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Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > Drug Crimes > Florida Senior Faces Probation Sentence For Her Role In Methaqualone Trafficking Operation

Florida Senior Faces Probation Sentence For Her Role In Methaqualone Trafficking Operation


Methaqualone, a sedative, was a widely prescribed drug before its withdrawal from the market and reclassification as a Schedule I controlled substance in the early 1980s.  It was sold under several brand names, the most famous of which is Quaaludes.  Quaaludes were popular on the disco scene in the 1970s, where they got the nickname “disco biscuits.”  One of the most memorable sequences in The Wolf of Wall Street is the one Leonardo DiCaprio’s character procures a prized vial of Quaaludes from Jonah Hill’s character and proceeds to have the time of his life, complete with wrecking his car.  Demand for methaqualone never completely disappeared, though, and copycat Quaaludes have been a constant presence in the drug supply.  A South Florida woman recently pleaded guilty to a years-long stint of selling the drug to her fellow lifelong Quaalude enthusiasts.  If you are facing criminal charges related to methaqualone or another illegal drug, contact a Tampa drug crime lawyer.

Florida’s Quaalude Queenpin Avoids Prison Time

Like many college students in the 1970s, Linda Horn experimented with a variety of drugs.  Many of her generation emerged from the experience as lifelong cannabis aficionados; their story has a happy ending, as it is now possible to buy and consume cannabis legally in many states.  The drug to which Horn became attached, though, was methaqualone.  She consumed methaqualone almost every day for 50 years; the only interruptions to her methaqualone habit were when she was pregnant with each of her three children.

Horn never planned to sell methaqualone, but in 2012, the friend from whom she used to buy the drug died.  Through contacts she had met through this friend, she began receiving shipments of methaqualone from various sources.  The Palm Beach County seniors in her social circle began to look to her as a source of latter-day Quaaludes, just as they had previously looked to her late friend.  Over the course of nearly a decade, Horn sold the drug to acquaintances throughout South Florida and made more than $1 million in profits.  The network of methaqualone trafficking from which her drugs came allegedly included contacts in Cameroon, Portugal, and Jamaica.  Eventually, the Department of Homeland Security tracked a package of methaqualone from Cincinnati all the way to Horn’s address, leading to her arrest on drug trafficking conspiracy charges.

Horn, 70, pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking.  Before her sentencing, she asked for leniency, expressing remorse and citing her responsibilities as an in-home caregiver for her husband and her 94-year-old mother.  In September 2023, the court sentenced her to three years of probation.  News sources did not indicate any other details of her plea deal.

Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

You might get drug charges tomorrow even if you have been in the presence of illegal drugs for decades with no run-ins with the law.  A criminal defense lawyer can help you present compelling defenses or negotiate a plea deal.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.



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