Thirty Three Members of Two Opa Locka Drug Gangs Indicted on Narcotics and Gun Charges
DEC 18 -- Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Robert Parker, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Rodney Ballentine, Chief, City of Opa-Locka Police Department, announced the unsealing of two indictments against 33 defendants on federal drug and gun charges in connection with two separate investigations into drug trafficking gangs in the City of Opa Locka, Florida.
The first investigation resulted in the indictment of 17 defendants, the seizure of approximately 40 firearms, including assault weapons and machine guns, and a ballistics vest. This investigation identified Vashawn Young as a main supplier of narcotics in an Opa Locka drug trafficking gang (“the Young Gang”). The investigation also identified Delvin Robinson as a lieutenant in the Young Gang, responsible for overseeing daily drug trafficking activities. It is estimated that the Young Gang trafficked in approximately 8,200 grams of marijuana, 560 grams of crack cocaine, 700 grams of powder cocaine, and 500 MDMA in just a one month period. The defendants were charged in a 28-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, powder cocaine, marijuana and MDMA; multiple counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of narcotics. If convicted of these charges, the defendants face terms of imprisonment ranging from five years to life in prison, depending on the charges. Charged in the 28-count indictment are:
Vashawn Isaac Young; Delvin Robinson; Audrei Butler; Erick Hinds; Luther Boykin; Anthony Smith; Quinton Mcghee; Marcus Carroll; Vance Williams; Tauvaris Hall; Montecello Cooper, JR.; Hollis K. Oliver; Pernell D. Scott; Jonathan Daniels; Shane Ricardo Brown; Maurice Williams, and Curtis Hanks.
The second investigation resulted in the indictment of 20 additional defendants associated with a separate Opa Locka drug trafficking gang. Everette W. Slocum Jr and his uncle, Reginald Holsey, were identified as the leaders of the Holsey drug gang (“the Holsey Gang”). According to evidence gathered during this investigation, it is estimated that this gang trafficked in approximately 1 kilogram of crack cocaine, 1 kilogram of powder cocaine, and 100 grams of heroin in a one month period. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent distribute heroin, crack and powder cocaine, and additional counts of substantive narcotics distribution. If convicted, the defendants face terms of imprisonment ranging from 5 years to life in prison, depending on the charges. Charged in the 18-count indictment are:
Terrance Scott; Luis Ortiz Simono; Reynaldo Diaz; Reginald Holsey; Torrence Holmes; Anthony Smith; Erick Hinds; Vance Williams; Delvin Robinson; Taquilla Williams; Sandra Rawlins; Terrell Stephens; Cassandra Clarke; Charles Murray; Eddie Ingram; Latiska Patterson; Larry Hunter; Mark McKinnon; Charmis Grant, and Everette Slocum.
“The success of this investigation was the result of hard work by federal and local law enforcement officers who have pledged to make our communities safer,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. “Our citizens should be protected from rampant drug dealing and other criminal activity in their neighborhoods. DEA is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to help rid communities of drugs and the violence that accompanies this death trade.”
“Gangs and the guns and drugs that they bring are not welcome in Miami, and our prosecutions make that clear. If you are in a gang, if you sell drugs, and if you have a gun, you will face federal charges,” stated U.S. Attorney Acosta. “Our focus on gang and gun violence has resulted in increased prosecutions for our community. In 2006, the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted 224 gun defendants. That number rose to 307 in 2007, and jumped to a staggering 409 defendants in 2008.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan I. Solomon added, “The arrest of these gang members has struck a serious blow to a violent gang network affecting several neighborhoods in South Florida. The FBI will continue to leverage its local, state, federal and international partnerships, working together to protect our communities.”
“These gangs prey on our communities without regard to the damage they do or the lives they ruin. As residents of this community, we must reject this way of life,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Hugo Barrera. “We will not tolerate gang behavior, or that of anyone who uses firearms to wreak violence on law enforcement and on our community. Our message is simple. We will not go away; we will continue to investigate and prosecute gang members and felons who commit acts of violence using guns.”
Miami-Dade Police Director Robert Parker added, "This is another example of what law enforcement can accomplish when federal and local agencies join forces to combat violent crimes perpetrated by drug leaders.”
Rodney Ballentine, Chief of the Opa-Locka Police Department stated, “It is great to get the bad guys off the streets and send them on their way to jail. The combined effort of the law enforcement agencies involved in these operations have produced great results.”
These two indictments are the result of two investigations jointly conducted by the DEA, FBI, ATF, Miami-Dade, and Opa-Locka Police Departments. Law enforcement determined a need to focus resources to combat violence in the City of Opa-Locka following the October 2006 shooting of two police officers.
Mr. Acosta commended the efforts of the DEA, FBI, ATF, Miami-Dade Police Department, the City of Opa-Locka Police Department, and other state and local law enforcement agencies for their work in this investigation.