Sarasota Herald Tribune: On Tuesday 2/4/2014, the Sarasota Police department announced the results of an 18-month investigation called Operation Sarasota Cartel II. A similar sting was conducted from 2008 to 2012. Ten people were arrested, $115,000 in cash was seized, $1 million worth of powder cocaine — 12 kilos — was recovered and five cars were confiscated. The suspects, who have extensive criminal histories, face anywhere from three to 15 years in prison. "Our main goal was to dismantle a local drug organization from bottom to top," Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said.
It all started when undercover detectives gained information regarding alleged street-level drug dealer Irvin Brown, 26, who operated in the area of Leon Avenue — where the police department's block party was held last month. "We monitored his activities for a length of time and he was able to lead us to the distributor," Lt. Pat Ledwith said. Both Roderick Shannon, 44, and Al Muta Hawks, 36, were allegedly dealing in one to nine ounces of cocaine at a time as "mid-level distributors," Ledwith said. Eventually, detectives tracked the activity to kingpin source Alex Gomez, 46, who was allegedly supplying kilos of cocaine to those distributors and dealers. Gomez, who is from Miami, has previously served prison time for trafficking cocaine, Ledwith said.
ARRESTED NEWTOWN DRUG DEALERS:
1). Irvin Donte Brown, Date of Birth: 4-23-1987 (Age 26) Charges: • Trafficking in Cocaine (29 -- 200 grams)• Sale of Cocaine• Conspiracy of Traffic Cocaine (200 to 400 grams) Criminal History: Robbery, Aggravated Battery, Narcotics
2). Roderick Shannon, Date of Birth: 2-28-1969 (Age 44) Charges: • Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine over 400 grams Criminal History: Fraud, Theft, Burglary
3). Al Muta Hawks, Date of Birth: 3-2-1977 (Age 36) Charges: • Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine over 400 grams Criminal History: Weapons, Narcotics, Fleeing **Also on Federal Probation for Weapons Charges**
4). Alex Hernando Gomez, Date of Birth: 4-15-1967 (Age 46) Charges: • Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine over 400 grams Criminal History: Burglary, Robbery, Narcotics, Trafficking
5). Kewarren Lamar Jones, Date of Birth: 4-3-1970 (Age 43) Charges: • Traffic in Cocaine - 2 counts• Sale of Crack Cocaine Criminal History: On Federal Probation for Weapons Charges
6). Reginald Eugene Brown, Date of Birth: 5-16-1977 (Age 36) Charges: • Sale of Crack Cocaine within 1,000 feet of Public Housing• Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine• Possession with Intent to Sell
7). Shane Kendall Phillips Austin, Date of Birth: 1-18-1986 (Age 28) Charges: • Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
8). Reginald Maurice Williams, Date of Birth: 7-3-1975 (Age 38) Charges: • Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
9). Demond Williams, Date of Birth: 12-16-1973 (Age 40) Charges: • Sale of Crack Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a Public Park
10). Guss Jackson, Date of Birth: 1-23-1971 (Age 43) Charges: • Sale of Crack Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a Public Park
Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com