LAWFUEL – US Law Newswire
R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Julie Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Joyce Dawley, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Ken Mascara, Sheriff, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, announced that defendant Derrick Cooper, one of the lead defendants in a Treasure Coast cocaine ring, was sentenced yesterday for violations of federal narcotics’ laws. United States District Court Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced Cooper to a term of life in prison, followed by ten (10) years of supervised release. Cooper was also ordered to forfeit $134,278 in U.S. currency and a 2004 BMW to the government, as property constituting or derived from proceeds which were obtained as a result of the criminal offenses .
Cooper was convicted in December 2006 following a four-day trial in Ft. Pierce, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of fifty grams of crack cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute in excess of fifty grams of crack cocaine.
The investigation, which was dubbed Operation Unlucky Thirteen, involved long-term conspiracies between Derrick Cooper, Johnny Lee Daniels, and others, who distributed crack cocaine and cocaine powder throughout the Treasure Coast. According to the evidence presented at trial, Cooper was the organizer/leader of one of the drug rings that was responsible for this influx of narcotics into the community.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Pierce Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office for the 19th Judicial Circuit. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Corey Steinberg and Robert H. Waters.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.