News Release
January 22, 2007

Six Alleged Drug Traffickers Arrested in Immokalee

JAN 22 -- Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Miami Field Division, Paul I. Perez, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida and Sheriff Don Hunter, Collier County Sheriff's Office, announced the arrest of six Immokalee residents on federal drug charges, involving the distribution of crack cocaine in that area. Federal and local law enforcement authorities commenced a round-up of the subjects on January 19th, that continued through January 21st. All defendants are Lynette Gadsden, Lawrence Smith, Solon Daniel, Kenneth Dawson, Charles Byrd and Jimmie Hope. All are charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell. Each defendant faces maximum penalties of 40 years, a $2 million fine and 4 years supervised release.

"With these arrests, the streets of Collier County are safer today. DEA is committed to ridding communities of drugs and the violence that accompanies this death trade," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. "The success of this investigation was the result of hard work by DEA and our partners at the Collier County Sheriff's Office who have pledged to make our communities safer."

U.S. Attorney Perez applauded the efforts of law enforcement stating, "I want to thank Sheriff Hunter for his cooperation and the assistance of his outstanding deputies and detectives who worked day and night to make this effort a success. Working along side special agents from the DEA, the Collier Sheriff's Office has put a major dent in the drug trafficking trade in Immokalee."

"This is another or our valuable successes working in partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Collier County Sheriff's Office works hard to keep illegal drugs off our streets and keep our communities safe. This operation shows our continued dedication to that effort," Sheriff Hunter said. "The Immokalee area is not alone in portraying a historical concern with drug dealing in Collier County. We will be attacking our other geographical areas of concern for further relief from the dangers that illicit drugs and pharmaceutical misuse represents," Sheriff Hunter said.