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56 Individuals Arrested on Federal and State Methamphetamine & Pseudoephedrine Charges

APRIL 19 (PENSACOLA, Fla.) – A federal grand jury returned two indictments on April 16, 2013, charging 12 individuals with methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine related conspiracy offenses.  The indictments were announced by Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. 

The indictments charge that Gregory A. Militello (42), Joshua P. Militello (30), Nicole D. Jones (32), Kirby B. Smith (50), James E. Atiabi (35), John W. Casey (33), Stephanie A. Gunderson (26), Jared L. Hester (29), Shannon L. Hurd (29), Shawn M. King (34), Joseph D. Peterson (33), and Hunter G. Myrick (23), all from the greater Pensacola area, were involved in a conspiracy to possess and distribute large amounts of pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture methamphetamine from January 1, 2011, until their arrests.  Pseudoephedrine is a chemical used to manufacture methamphetamine. 

If convicted, each of the 12 defendants face up to twenty years imprisonment, three years of supervised release and up to a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charged in the indictments.  Mr. Peterson faces a separate mandatory penalty of ten years to life imprisonment based upon a charge against him involving the manufacture of methamphetamine.

In addition to the federal indictments, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) obtained 64 arrest warrants for drug charges ranging from trafficking in pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine to possession of a listed chemical (pseudoephedrine) with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

On April 18, 2013, nine of the 12 federal defendants and 43 of the 64 state defendants were arrested without incident.  Today, an additional four state defendants were arrested.  For a list of the state defendants arrested, please see the attachment sent with this press release.  This investigation is still ongoing and there will be the possibility of additional arrests.

Yesterday’s operation was a direct result of a seven month investigation conducted by the DEA Pensacola Resident Office and the ECSO, with the assistance of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  This investigation is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida and the State Attorney’s Office.

An indictment is merely a formal charge by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until the government proves their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury at trial.

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