A month ago Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly held a news conference about the arrest of two people involved in an R-Section home invasion that resulted in the shooting death of a man. Staly was seething. Not just about the drug deal gone bad that took a life, but about the fact that he could not name the alleged drug dealer at the center of the deal: Danial Marashi.
It was Marashi who had allegedly set up the drug deal out of his parents’ home in the R-Section. It was Marashi who shot Zaire Roberts dead when the deal took a wrong turn. Roberts, 23, Kwentel Lakelvrick Moultrie, 23, and Moultrie’s girlfriend Taylor Manjarres, 19, had set up the drug deal earlier in the day with Marashi. They allegedly decided to rob Marashi instead, after Marashi flashed bundles of cash to Manjarres that afternoon. (See: “Resident Involved in Drug Deal Gone Bad Killed Zaire Roberts After Getting Shot, Reports Show.”)
Roberts had just been released from prison after several years’ incarceration for shooting another man. He allegedly came at Marashi with a gun. Marashi killed Roberts. The shootout at 8 Regent Lane in Palm Coast took place the night of Dec. 29.
But Marashi wasn’t charged–not for drug-dealing, not for shooting Roberts. Moultrie and Manjarres were, for second degree murder, because Roberts died while they were allegedly committing a felony. Marashi was just defending himself, at least according to the official narrative of the incident.
At the news conference on Feb. 28, Staly couldn’t even name Marashi because of the expansive–and often erroneous–application of the newly enacted Marsy’s Law, which protects the identity of victims involved in crimes. But you could tell he wanted to, because he did not like referring to Marashi as a “victim.” So Staly repeatedly called him the “victim drug dealer.”
Today, Staly could finally call him what he’s wanted to call him all along: a “dirtbag,” And he could name him, if still without explicitly connecting him to the Dec. 29 shooting.
“This dirtbag endangered the lives of others by running a red light,” Staly said, before only alluding to the Dec. 29 incident, though in obvious dot-connecting ways: “He was also involved in a drug-related home invasion last year. He came to our attention then and stayed on our radar. All I can say is karma! I commend our deputies for going beyond the crash
investigation and arresting him.”
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Marashi, 26, after he was involved in a car crash Thursday at Royal Palms Parkway and Belle Terre Parkway. He was driving a white Chrysler. Traffic cam footage released by the Sheriff’s Office clearly shows Marashi blowing through a red light at the intersection (after a tentative slowdown), violating an oncoming car’s right of way, and causing it to broadside Marashi’s car in the sort of crash that could have taken the other driver’s life but for a split second’s difference in the violent collision. Marashi could have struck him on the driver’s side instead of being struck on the passenger side. Still, that was the least of it.
As deputies were investigating the crash, they detected a strong odor of pot emanating from his vehicle. A deputy asked Marashi if he had anything illegal on him. Marashi said no, that all he had “literally” was weed “and the Glock.”
There was a loaded Glock firearm on the floorboard, for which Marashi did not have a concealed carry permit. (He did not need a permit to have a firearm at home, or to use it there, as he did in the killing of Roberts.) Deputies also found a 19-round magazine and a rifle. They found oxycodone and 67 grams of pot in the car, 47 grams above the limit for misdemeanors, making the possession a felony, plus a loose joint and loose marijuana and other drug substances. They also found paraphernalia typically used by dealers.
Marashi called for his mother, who turned up at the scene. He asked her to have his attorney contacted.
Then he spoke the textbook words of the privileged and well-heeled in the habits of getting arrested and getting away: “I mean, do I have to go to jail? Can’t you all just give me a write-up, then I just go to court like I always fo?”
Marashi claimed to deputies at the scene that his attorney had told him he could legally carry a firearm “but needed to follow the three step rule,” according to a sheriff’s report.
A sheriff’s release states Marashi now faces charges of Possession of Hashish, felony Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Oxycodone, Carrying a Concealed Firearm and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His criminal history dates back to February 2016. The Port Orange Police Department and the Daytona Beach Police Department have both previously arrested Marashi in 2016 and 2019, respectively. Previous charges include Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Battery, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Marijuana.
The arrest doesn’t dispense with the fact that Marashi remains the state’s only witness in the prosecution of Moultrie and Manjarres, giving him significant leverage. On the other hand, the state now also has four local felony charges to hang over Marashi’s head and the threat of actual prison time as bargaining chips.
Marashi spent all of five hours at the Flagler County jail. At 5 this morning, he posted bail on $10,500 bond and was released.