Men charged in Central Florida drugs, weapons operation face judge Thursday

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TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Two men arrested at Vacation Villas Resort in Titusville Wednesday on drugs and weapons charges appeared in federal court Thursday.

U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and Brevard County deputies raided the resort Wednesday and took Christopher Dickerson, 38, and David Heineman, 62, into custody.

The investigation started on March 17 after an Orange County Sheriff’s Office undercover narcotics agent reported Dickerson, a convicted felon, was in possession of firearms and drugs, the complaint said.

Using a confidential source as a go-between, the undercover agent arranged to purchase multiple firearms and drugs for $4,500, investigators said.

The transaction was conducted in the parking garage of a hotel on International Drive, the federal complaint said.

Of the seven firearms purchased by the undercover agent, three were stolen, investigators said.

One of the stolen handguns was a .45 caliber Glock that was stolen from an Orange County deputy's vehicle on March 23, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Stephen Ferguson was staying at the resort when deputies and agents raided Dickerson and Heineman's room.

"It was a little scary, to be honest with you," he said. "My wife and I went inside and stayed put until they said it was OK to come out."

Dickerson and Heineman were both charged with federal conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of controlled substances.

Dickerson was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Heineman faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

As a convicted felon accused of possessing a handgun, Dickerson could face up to life in prison, officials said.