Office of The State Attorney, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Florida
Serving the Citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties
Office of The State Attorney, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Florida
Serving the Citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties



(Citrus County, FL) In a recent case handled by the Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, 32-year-old Tyler David Cote was sentenced to 20 years in the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) after pleading guilty to two counts of Trafficking Fentanyl, two counts of Possession of Alprazolam, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Resist Law Enforcement Officer with Violence, Possess Place for Sale of Controlled Substance, and two counts Possession of Paraphernalia.  

Just a few weeks prior, co-defendant 30-year-old Courtney Mackenzie Hall pleaded guilty to three counts of Trafficking Fentanyl, three counts of Possession of Alprazolam, two counts of Resist Law Enforcement Officer without Violence, Possess Place for Sale of a Controlled Substance, and two counts of Possession of Paraphernalia. Hall was also sentenced to 20 years in the FDOC.

“The defendants in this case will have twenty years to reflect on their actions,” said William “Bill” Gladson, Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney. “Drug use and drug trafficking are not victimless crimes, they pose a significant threat to our communities, affecting the wellbeing of our citizens by fueling addiction.”

On June 30, 2023, deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for service in which two unresponsive adults were inside a parked vehicle located in the Homosassa Walmart parking. Upon arrival, the deputies located a male in the driver’s seat and a female in the passenger’s seat, both later identified as Cote and Hall. Also observed inside the vehicle were one small child and an infant.

CCSO officials attempted to gain the attention of Cote and Hall by knocking on the windows and eventually banging on the vehicle doors. After both defendants failed to wake, the deputies opened the driver’s door, which was unsecured. Deputies were then able to physically wake both defendants, who were asked to exit the vehicle.

Upon Cote exiting the vehicle, authorities noticed a small pouch worn by the defendant, which was opened and appeared to contain a small clear plastic baggie containing a white substance. Believing this to possibly be illegal narcotics, a CCSO deputy gave Cote a verbal command to remove the bag and hand it to officials. Cote refused and began to kick at officers while attempting to flee on foot.

Deputies subsequently secured Cote in handcuffs and detained him in a patrol unit for the remainder of the investigation. When the contents of the pouch were emptied, authorities located multiple pills and cut straws, along with the clear baggie of the white substance. A field test of the substance determined it to be Fentanyl.

Hall, who was later questioned by deputies showed obvious signs of impairment consistent with the use of Fentanyl. Both Cote and Hall had a similar white powdery substance around their nose, which was swabbed and tested positive for the presence of Fentanyl.

Surveillance footage from the business showed the vehicle parking approximately an hour prior, with both Hall and Cote remaining inside the car. A witness on scene also provided a statement, indicating both defendants inside the vehicle were unresponsive, with the two children inside crying. Cote and Hall were arrested for various drug possession charges, as well as child neglect.

Officials were able to secure a search warrant for the residence of Cote and Hall. During the execution of the lawful search warrant at the defendant’s home on South Allice Point in Homosassa, officials located nearly 29 grams of a white powdery substance that tested positive for Fentanyl.

Cote and Hall were interviewed while still in custody at the Citrus County Detention Center for their earlier arrest. Both defendants admitted post-Miranda to selling the illicit narcotic and were additionally charged with trafficking the drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, and rent/lease/own a structure or conveyance for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance. 

The successful prosecution of this case was a result of the diligent work of Assistant State Attorneys Patsey Jacobs and Tara Hartman.

Published on 6/4/2024.