Floriano ‘Floyd’ Daponte: ‘Dog gulag’ owner charged in $1M Middlesex County drug bust

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This wasn’t Floriano “Floyd” Daponte first trip to court on drug charges.

But this time, it could be for one of the biggest Middlesex County drug busts in recent memory.

Daponte, 61, made his first court appearance Monday after the OPP swooped down on his ramshackle Napier Rd. property near Strathroy on Sunday and seizing what so far estimate to be $1.1 million in cash and drugs.

Daponte, charged with drug possession, was hoping to get a bail hearing just 24 hours after his arrest.

But federal drug prosecutor Brian Farmer told Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen that the police were still counting the stash of pills and needed to finalize its report.

But Farmer did give some indications of some of the drug haul – 7,959 OxyContin tablets, 3,467 morphine tablets and 100 Fentanyl patches,

There’s also reports that a kilo of cocaine, 450 grams of crack cocaine and $84,000 in cash was found.

The police didn’t leave the property until 8 p.m. Sunday night. “We need time to be fully appraised of the facts,” Farmer said.

Two other people – a man and a woman – have been charged in the case.

Daponte’s defence lawyer, Enzo Battigaglia, pressed for a hearing, arguing that the exact totals of drugs weren’t needed. One surety has come forward.

Seneshen disagreed and said the court had a full plate of bail hearings Monday. Battigaglia said there should be a second bail court to handle the case.

But Sensehen said only one federal drug prosecutor was available for the hearing.

Daponte was acquitted in 2015 after another police search that turned up crack cocaine, pot and pills at a rural property that has 31 structures on it, including two houses and small buildings for dog kennels and bird coops.

While the drugs were found on the property, none could be directly placed on Daponte.

The property is known as the “dog gulag” of Middlesex County, named after Daponte was busted in 2008 for animal cruelty.

Sarnia police had gone to the property looking for stolen property but called in the humane society when they found more than 100 dogs, plus sheep, goats and chickens living in deplorable conditions that included a multitude of dead rats living in dog pens, carcasses of dead animals all over the property and a dead dog on a garbage pile.

Daponte was sentenced to a year of probation, but at the time, the court was told he had a criminal record dating back 25 years.

Daponte’s name was also mentioned during the recent shocking criminal negligence causing death trial of Amanda Dumont, 32, and Scott Bakker, 29, both charged in the death of 20-month old Ryker Daponte-Michaud.

Dumont is Daponte’s daughter and Baby Ryker, who died of shock and dehydration from burns suffered three days earlier from a scalding cup of coffee, was Daponte’s grandson.

Daponte is currently facing drug charges laid earlier this year. Battigaglia told Seneshen Monday that the case goes to an Ontario Court preliminary hearing in October where Daponte has a “great likelihood of being discharged.

“That’s speculative,” Farmer replied bluntly.

Daponte’s bail hearing is tentatively slated for Tuesday.

jsims@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JaeatLFPress


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