Defendants convicted in long-term drug trafficking investigation in Franklin and Gulf Counties

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Sentencing the last of 16 defendants, federal prosecutors concluded prosecution of a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking organization operating primarily within Franklin and Gulf Counties.

The convictions and sentences were announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida on October 14.

“Cooperative and concerted efforts enable our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to identify and investigate those distributing addictive and deadly controlled substances in both our urban and rural communities,” stated U.S. Attorney Coody. “We remain vigilant to support their investigative efforts and will aggressively prosecute those engaged in drug trafficking throughout North Florida.”

In November 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office began a joint investigation into methamphetamine-trafficking in the Franklin County area. The investigation uncovered an organization that was obtaining up to 20–25 kilograms of methamphetamine per week from Atlanta, Georgia, and reselling it in North Florida, along with a web of methamphetamine dealers buying and selling methamphetamine in Franklin and Gulf Counties. A total of 16 defendants were charged in a series of separate drug-trafficking indictments.

“We are extremely grateful for the local/Federal partnership that enables repeat meth traffickers to receive sentences which keeps them out of our communities longer, thus making them safer,” said Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith.

“Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and destructive synthetic drug, which poses a grave danger to Florida communities,” said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter.

“DEA remains committed to working with our local, state, and federal partners, using every resource at our disposal, to ensure the individuals bringing this poison into our communities are held accountable for their actions.”

The Defendants and their sentences were:

  • Gerry Carter, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia, 30 years in prison
  • Ruben Fuller, 45, of Port Saint Joe, Florida, 30 years in prison
  • Brandon Williams, 39, of Port Saint Joe, Florida, 15 years in prison
  • Fabian Frazier, 27, of Port Saint Joe, Florida, 15 years in prison
  • Roderick Robinson, 55, of Port Saint Joe, Florida, 14 years in prison
  • Arthur Desean North, 29, of Port Saint Joe, Florida, 10 years in prison
  • Allen O’Neal, 38, of Apalachicola, Florida, 10 years in prison
  • Omarsharek “Reek” Harris, 39, of Apalachicola, Florida, 8 years in prison
  • John Lynn, 43, of Kinard, Florida, 8 years in prison
  • Robert Hill, 31, of Apalachicola, 6.5 years in prison
  • Carlos “Famee” Morris, 50, of Apalachicola, Florida, 6 years in prison
  • Shelton Hutchins, 36, of Eastpoint, Florida, 5 years in prison
  • Larry Warren, 49, of Eastpoint, Florida, 36 months in prison
  • Rachael Caudle, 23, of Eastpoint, Florida, 24 months in prison
  • Ronald “Bubba” Sanders, 35, of Eastpoint, Florida, 325 days in custody followed by 12 months of home detention
  • William Martina, 43, of Apalachicola, Florida, 3 months in custody

“Once again, these cases show the value of cooperation by all the agencies involve,” said Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison. “I appreciate U.S. Attorney Coody and his team for their hard work in putting these drug dealers behind bars for a long time.”

All will be on a term of supervised release when they are released from custody.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney James A. McCain prosecuted the cases.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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