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Pasco men charged in drug buy

Authorities say the 21-year-olds bought about 2.2 pounds of cocaine. They will face a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

Two Pasco County men faced drug trafficking charges Friday after authorities said they bought 1 kilogram of cocaine from an undercover detective just after midnight that morning.

They would have bought more if they had not been arrested, Hernando County sheriff's Maj. Richard Nugent said.

"After purchasing the cocaine that night, one of them wanted to come back today and move a couple more," Nugent said, adding that the men were suspected of selling in Pasco and Hernando counties.

Nugent said Jason Lee Oates, 21, of 17517 Laura Lee Drive in Shady Hills was the "middle man" of the deal, while Jason Terrill Stamer, 21, of 10227 Jungle St. in Hudson was the one with the cash _ $12,500. According to reports, an undercover deputy who had been investigating Oates was on the phone with him when Oates said he had a friend who wanted to buy a kilogram _ about 2.2 pounds _ of cocaine. The three men agreed to meet Thursday evening in a hotel at Commercial Way and Cortez Boulevard, authorities said. Authorities refused to release the name of the hotel.

Oates and Stamer were late, not showing up until after midnight, authorities said. Oates went upstairs to complete the deal, Nugent said, while Stamer stayed in the car. Oates was antsy, Nugent said. But the deal was completed anyway.

"Greed is a terrible thing," Nugent said, smiling.

After Oates took the kilo of cocaine, about the size of a brick, he left the hotel and went back to the car, authorities said. That's when deputies moved in and arrested both men, who were unarmed.

Because of the amount of cocaine involved, each will face a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted. Both men have records that could result in additional years, however.

Stamer was arrested in Pasco in May for possession of a controlled substance and received probation. In 1996, he was cited for possession of alcohol by a person younger than 21, as well as possession of marijuana.

Oates was charged in Pasco County in November with cocaine trafficking; the case is pending. He also was charged with driving under the influence in March, as well as possession of ecstasy, a stimulant and hallucinogen. That arrest constituted a probation violation for Oates, who in addition to being accused of trafficking Friday also is accused of violating parole.

"These guys could get 50 years," Nugent said.