LARGO – The Largo Police Department arrested a suspected drug dealer Dec. 13, after about six months of trying to collect evidence against the man, whom police described as “careful” and “discrete.”
Starting in June, the department’s special operations unit received several tips about suspected drug sales at a residence on Green Acres Avenue. However, the resident – Frederick Klingelhofer, 34, of Largo – was so careful, it was difficult to get a confidential informant or an undercover officer to make a purchase, the department reported.
“He is real discrete about selling to people he doesn’t know. That made it difficult for us to get a buy in,” explained Sgt. Keith Baron.
Even surveillance on the house was difficult, because it was located near the ditch line on the far west end of Green Acres Avenue, where the road dead-ends, Baron said. The residents were vigilant in looking for law enforcement.
In an effort to catch the suspect, the special operations unit shared the information with problem-oriented policing, or POP, which Baron heads.
Recently, a police contact proactively agreed to sign up as a confidential informant for the POP team and buy drugs at the residence. The informant was successful within the last several days, Baron said. With the help of the special operations unit, the team obtained a search warrant for the address.
The search warrant was served the morning of Dec. 13. Snipers began watching the residence at 5 a.m. and counted six drug transactions before the warrant was executed at 10 a.m.
The department’s tactical apprehension control team entered and safely secured everyone inside. POP officers and special operations unit detectives searched the home and seized a firearm, several drugs, marijuana and cash.
Klingelhofer and two others were arrested. Klingelhofer is charged with possession of a firearm by convicted felon, child neglect, armed trafficking in oxycodone and hydromorphone, possession of amphetamines, alprazolam and MDMA, felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.
“The longer a suspect like this evades law enforcement the more dangerous he becomes,” Police Chief Jeff Undstad wrote in a citywide email. “Great work by the officers!”
Klingelhofer admitted to owning the drugs and firearms, and he signed over $4,690 worth in cash profits and drug funds to the police department, Baron said.
Klingelhofer already has served two sentences in the Florida Department of Corrections, each time for about a year. His latest felony charges carry bonds between $5,000 and $75,000.
“Hopefully he will be gone a long while,” Baron said.
Daryl Barton, 27, of Safety Harbor also was arrested during the search. He is charged with possession of methadone, a felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia. A third occupant of the home, Dana Wells, 42, of Pinellas Park, was arrested and charged with felony child neglect.