News Release
September 7, 2006

Operation Dunbar Phase Two Includes Seven Federal Indictments and More Than Four Dozen Defendants Sought on State Drug Charges

SEPT 7--Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Miami Field Division, U.S. Attorney Paul I. Perez, Middle District of Florida and Chief Hilton Daniels, Fort Myers Police Department, announced the indictment of seven individuals on federal drug charges. Four of those indicted are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. If convicted, those defendants each face a minimum mandatory 10 years' imprisonment, up to life imprisonment. The other three are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and they face a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment if convicted. These indictments include criminal forfeiture counts for eight parcels of real property and seven vehicles. In addition, more than 50 individuals are being sought on state drug charges.

Over 150 law enforcement officers throughout Lee County and surrounding communities arrested those individuals wanted on federal and state charges. The investigation, "Operation Dunbar," began in July 2004. The goal of Operation Dunbar was to investigate and dismantle a group of very dangerous and violent individuals who were identified as drug dealers that were bringing drugs from the Miami area and distributing them in Fort Myers, specifically the area known as Dunbar. A number of undercover cases and other intelligence gathering techniques led to the identification of individuals involved in upper and mid-level distribution of cocaine. Presently, 33 defendants have been convicted and sentenced on federal charges in this operation.

In addition, the DEA Miami Field Division's Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) was deployed in the Fort Myers area in May and June 2005. The MET group, based in Miami, travels throughout Florida assisting state and local agencies in fighting street-level drug problems.

This case is being investigated by the DEA Fort Myers Resident Office, the Fort Myers Police Department, the State Attorney's Office (20th Judicial Circuit) and the Florida Highway patrol. The following agencies also assisted in the investigation: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Marshals Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Lee County Sheriff's Office, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, Collier County Sheriff's Office and Cape Coral Police Department.

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