Drug Enforcement Administration
Skip Navigation

Press Room
News Releases
E-mail updates red envelope
Speeches & Testimony
Multi-Media Library

About Us
Organizational Chart
Programs & Operations
Wall of Honor
DEA Museum
Office Locations

Careers at DEA

DEA Drug Information
Drug Information Resources

Law Enforcement
Most Wanted
Major Operations
Threat Assessment
Training Programs
Stats & Facts
Additional Resources

Drug Prevention
For Young Adults
For Parents
Additional Drug Resources

Diversion Control & Prescription Drugs
Cases Against Doctors

Drug Policy
Controlled Substances Act
Federal Trafficking Penalties
Drug Scheduling

Legislative Resources


Acquisitions & Contracts

Need to know more about drugs?  www.justthinktwice.com

GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
February 28, 2004

Alleged Marihuana And Meth Drug Dealers
Rounded Up In Baker County In “Operation Sawmill”

U.S. Attorney Paul I. Perez, Randall S. Bohman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Jacksonville District Office, Miami Field Division and Baker County Sheriff Joey B. Dobson today announced the indictment and
round-up of numerous defendants on drug charges. Early this morning Baker County Sheriff’s Office deputies and special agents from DEA swept through Baker County and Charlton County, Georgia and began arresting several of the thirteen (13) defendants (see attachment) who were indicted on methamphetamine and marihuana related charges. The indictment was returned on February 24, 2005 in Jacksonville after a year-long investigation. If convicted, all defendants face a mandatory minimum of 10 years' imprisonment up to life imprisonment.

During the investigation it was revealed that the methamphetamine was being manufactured in California and was being transported through Georgia and North Carolina to Baker County. Investigators believe the marihuana was transported from Mexico through Texas and Georgia to Baker County. The investigation further revealed that once the drugs arrived in Charlton County, Georgia, it is alleged that James Dwayne Merrett, age 43, and his brother John Charles Merrett, age 37, of Charlton County, Georgia, distributed the drugs in Baker County, Florida. Charlton County, Georgia is just across the St. Mary’s River and adjacent to Baker County. In all, it is alleged that the Merretts and their associates distributed a total of more than 1,000 pounds of marihuana and six pounds of methamphetamine. The conspiracy is alleged to have lasted from 2001 until February 2005.

Sheriff Dobson praised the efforts of those who worked on the joint investigation and stated, “This local and federal law enforcement team has put several drug dealers out of business in Baker County. This is a family community, a hard working community and today an even better and safer place to raise a family.”

“The DEA effort here in Baker County has been successful because of the outstanding partnership we formed with Sheriff Dobson and his deputies. This team effort should have a major impact,” stated Randall S. Bohman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge DEA.

U. S. Attorney Paul I. Perez also thanked Sheriff Dobson for his support and stated, “Methamphetamine or “meth” is becoming the scourge of many rural areas in Florida. This drug has devastating effects on users. It is critical that we vigorously investigate, prosecute and incarcerate those who manufacture and sell this poison.”

This case was investigated by the DEA, the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), and the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. The HIDTA Task Force is made of law enforcement officers from the following agencies: Fernandina Beach Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Jacksonville Beach Police Department. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.


Home USDOJ.GOV Privacy Policy Contact Us Site Map