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Body found in bay was Clearwater man accused of running prostitution ring

CLEARWATER — The body found floating in a small Tampa Bay inlet Wednesday was a man accused last fall of running a drug and prostitution ring out of his upscale condo, according to authorities.

Larry E. Schwartz, 65, was found in the water near the Grand Venezia and Grand Bellagio, two luxury condominium complexes near U.S. 19 and Belleair Road.

An autopsy performed Thursday morning found no obvious signs of injury or suspicious circumstances, according to Clearwater public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. A more extensive autopsy, including toxicology study, will be performed, she said.

Schwartz lived at 2765 Via Cipriani, Apt. 1235A, in the Grand Bellagio condominium complex, where police said he ran a drug and prostitution ring that led to his September 2010 arrest on multiple felony charges.

According to a St. Petersburg Times report at the time, an undercover detective said Schwartz arranged a "date" for him with a female escort at his condo, where the bedroom had a glass wall and glass doors so Schwartz could observe activity in the room.

The detective also said he bought cocaine from Schwartz and that Schwartz told him he bought large quantities of cocaine from Colombia. Police seized cocaine, marijuana, pain pills and $60,000 in cash when they arrested him.

Schwartz did not show up for a scheduled court hearing Tuesday, according to Watts, and had been giving away belongings and telling people he expected to go to jail.

Body found in bay was Clearwater man accused of running prostitution ring 10/06/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2011 7:43pm]
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