PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Newly-released court documents show former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad used crack cocaine and meth every night and used drug runners to do his "dirty work."
The records show Massad, 68, also played personal doctor for many of his friends, tending to injuries on his own kitchen table – all while holding elected office in the Pasco County city.
Massad was arrested Feb. 21 after law enforcement said he shot at Pasco deputies during a SWAT raid on his home. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said agents had gotten a tip that Massad was still practicing medicine without a license.
Massad's medical license was relinquished in 1992 after the death of a 3-year-old patient.
During a news conference following Massad's arrest, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Massad was a "known drug user" and a "drug dealer."
The former mayor faces charges practicing medicine without a license and attempted murder. Last month, a conspiracy charge was added when Massad was heard on a recorded jail phone call plotting with acting-mayor Terrence Rowe to harass and intimidate a police officer involved in the investigation.
Rowe ended up being the second Port Richey mayor to be arrested within a month.
Port Richey mayor coverage
The new court records detail interviews with Massad's close friends and some acquaintances. They reveal what launched the investigation into Massad's alleged illegal medical practices.
A man named Corey White – who said he knew Massad for several years –told investigators on Sept. 27, 2018, that Massad and his friends like crystal methamphetamine. They called the drug "jet fuel."
White said he used to live in an apartment attached to Massad's home.
White said he had seen Massad smoke the "jet fuel" and eat it after crushing it. Massad would also use it before golfing by crushing it, putting it in a little line on his counter then snorting it, White said.
The records say Massad often went into his bedroom to use drugs because he was afraid of the cameras in his home.
White said he began buying crack cocaine for Massad shortly after he moved into the apartment. He said if Massad did not have a glass pipe available, he would use an old golf club he had cut to use for a pipe.
He said he guessed he had bought drugs for Massad about 60 times. One of those incidents occurred during the end of Massad's first term as mayor. White said Massad was working on a construction project and asked White to buy him meth that morning.
Massad would also tend to his friends’ injuries and even suture them like an at-home doctor, White told investigators. Massad kept medical supplies like gauze, bandages, needles, forceps and scalpels in kitchen cabinets, and he would also keep syringes in a drawer, according to the documents.
The documents said Massad would have several people over at his house for medical procedures. White said Massad once sutured a friend's leg on his kitchen counter. "That's where we did all of the surgeries," White said.
Another acquaintance, Daniel Tatum, said he would use crack cocaine and meth with Massad and his girlfriend. Tatum said Massad also asked him to get Vicodin tablets, and he and Massad's girlfriend would take Massad's SUV to buy drugs for him.
The Port Richey city manager told law enforcement Massad told him he would “never go back to jail” after his first stint, and if they came for him, “they would need a body bag."
The records show Port Richey City Manager Vincent Lupo and Police Chief Gerard DeCanio first reached out to state agents with claims that Massad was involved in drug use, illegal medical practice and corruption.
Lupo told agents he learned that Massad was ordering prescription medicine online. DeCanio told FDLE he had received messages from every city council member asking what will be done about Massad's behavior.
A city council member told law enforcement Massad would sign emails as "Dale Massad M.D."
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