A 55-year-old man is facing life in prison after he led police from Miami to an Orlando-area storage unit filled with over 100 kilograms of cocaine valued at nearly $3,000,000.
Avery Lans, who is from the Virgin Islands, was arrested in June on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine after authorities from Homeland Security Investigations caught him with five kilograms of the drug, valued at over $135,000.
According to evidence presented at trial, on June 1, 2022, Wayne Ellsworth Stout Jr., who is being charged as a conspirator, drove from Miami to Orlando and retrieved a grey and teal duffle bag from a storage locker in the Edgewater area.
At the time, Stout was being followed by HSI agents who were conducting surveillance on him.
Stout left the storage locker and drove to a Winter Park restaurant, where he met up with Lans that afternoon.
After a brief meeting, Lans took the duffle bag and circled the block, before leading HSI surveillance agents to the corner of Lee Road and Wymore Road in Winter Park. At that point, Lans abruptly turned and dropped the duffle bag out of his passenger side window.
Lans led authorities on a high-speed chase before he was detained and the duffle bag was retrieved.
The bag contained five kilograms of cocaine that were wrapped in black tape with special markings.
Authorities searched the storage locker from where the drugs were retrieved and in it, found 109 kilograms of cocaine valued at nearly $3,000,000. Some of the cocaine contained the same black and gold marking as the bricks being carried by Lans.
Lans was indicted just two weeks after he was arrested on June 15, 2022, and a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocaine on Tuesday, October 4. He faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years, and could possibly be sentenced to life in federal prison. Stout, who is 35 years old and from Miami, pled guilty on August 19. Lans will be sentenced on December 5, according to court records.