LAWFUEL – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for …

LAWFUEL – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chief John F. Timoney, City of Miami Police Department, and Chief Robert Parker, Miami-Dade Police Department, announced today that on June 27, 2006, a federal grand jury sitting in Miami, returned a twenty-five (25) count Indictment charging fourteen (14) individuals for their roles in a crack and powder cocaine distribution ring.

This multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation successfully dismantled a high volume crack and powder distribution ring operating in parks and neighborhoods in and around the Model City area of Miami.

The Indictment charges defendants Eric Vandyke, David Sherrod King, a/k/a “Love,”Thomas Jean Baptiste, a/k/a “Greedy,”Jeffery Johnson, Junior Pierre, a/k/a “Twin,”a/k/a “Skinny Twin,” Doris Trapp, a/k/a “Twin,”Willie Griffin, a/k/a “Rock,” William Sweet, Nathaniel Ward IV, Lebrone Hanks, Ian Shipman, a/k/a “Cheese,”Leon Johnson, JR., a/k/a “Bud,”Lazaro Hidalgo, and Kenneth Gaiter, with conspiracy to possess crack and/or powder cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute crack and/or powder cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841(a)(1).

United States Attorney Alexander Acosta stated, “Working with our federal and local law enforcement partners, the United States Attorney’s Office is determined to help make our community and our neighborhoods safer. With this prosecution, we have dismantled a drug ring that had effectively hijacked a neighborhood park to conduct its drug business. We hope to return our streets and parks to our citizens for their safe enjoyment.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan I. Solomon stated, “This operation is an FBI Miami Safe Streets Task Force investigation that targeted mid-level and upper echelon drug distributors in various Miami neighborhoods. The subjects arrested today were part of an organization that was distributing crack and powder cocaine. FBI Miami will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to dismantle and disrupt violent drug organizations affecting the quality of life in our community. We commend all the participating agencies in the Safe Streets Task Force for their outstanding work.”

Miami Police Chief John Timoney stated, “The Miami Police Department, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Dade Police Department and the United States Attorneys Office, launched an investigation into this drug organization that was responsible for the distribution of a high volume of narcotics in various Miami neighborhoods. This operation targeted mid-level and upper-echelon drug distributors with the goal of reducing not just drug trafficking in these area, but also the number of violent crimes associated with the drug trade. By dismantling these types of organizations, we hope to improve the quality of life in the City of Miami and make our streets safer.”

Director Robert Parker of the Miami-Dade Police Department says, “Once again, another successful joint investigation has led to the arrest of several individuals who will be off the streets and no longer able to continue with their narcotics activities in this county.”

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, Miami Police Department, and Miami-Dade Police Department for their work in this investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney George M. Karavetsos.

A copy of all press releases may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on .

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