TAMPA — The federal government Wednesday charged a man from Brooksville and a woman from New Port Richey with serious drugs and weapons charges stemming from a wild chase in northern Pasco County earlier this year.
Leslie Ray Collins, 27, of Brooksville was charged with conspiracy to possess and possession of methamphetamine and the use of a machine gun during a drug trafficking crime, according to U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill of the Middle District of Florida. Collins faces a minimum of 35 years in prison and could get life if he's convicted.
Mary Beth Johnson, 25, of New Port Richey was charged with being an accomplice in a drug crime. She faces at least five years in prison and as many as 40.
Collins drove a stolen blue Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck as fast as 100 miles per hour in leading Pasco deputies on a chase on March 6 that went from Moon Lake east on State Road 52 to the Suncoast Parkway. The pursuit ended when Collins crashed into a deputy's cruiser near Shady Hills Road. Deputies found 40 grams of cocaine and approximately 58 grams of crystal meth in the pickup.
The case was investigated by the Pasco and Hernando sheriff's offices and the Drug Enforcement Administration.