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Deputies arrest judge's stepson

The 21-year-old Port Richey man is jailed after paying two women to pick up drugs called in to a pharmacy, deputies say.

By RYAN DAVIS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 3, 2002

PORT RICHEY -- The stepson of County Judge Marc Salton faces drug charges after he was arrested Friday night by Pasco sheriff's deputies.

Deputies say 21-year-old Marc David Hutchens had two young women place false prescription orders. They say he planned to pay the women $735 for 480 tablets of a narcotic painkiller and 90 tablets of an anxiety drug. He was going to resell the drugs, they said.

Hutchens, who has been living in his stepfather's Port Richey home, faces charges of criminal solicitation, conspiracy and trafficking in a controlled substance, deputies said.

"The family is upset and he has our support," Salton said.

Salton took his spot on the bench in 1989. The year before, in one of his last cases as a trial attorney, Salton argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that stemmed from a drug arrest.

Deputies say the judge's stepson, a Pasco-Hernando Community College student, met in January with 19-year-old Carrie Jo Palmeter and 20-year-old Tina Marie Walrod. In February, Palmeter called two Eckerd pharmacies and placed prescription orders while posing as a doctor's office employee, deputies said.

She and Walrod were arrested Tuesday outside Eckerd at 12015 Little Road after they picked up one of the prescriptions, deputies said. They told deputies they didn't use the drug and were just trying to make money, according to a deputy report.

Deputies said Hutchens had paid the women $600 and intended to pay them $135 more after they delivered the drugs.

In total, they were to provide him with 480 pills of Vicodin and 90 pills of diazepam, deputies said.

Hutchens was scheduled to be released Saturday from county jail in Land O'Lakes on $30,000 bail, deputies said.

-- Ryan Davis is the police reporter in Pasco County. He can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6245, or toll free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6245. His e-mail address is

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