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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2006

Operation Magnum Force Results in
23 Arrests in Palm Beach County

MAY 24--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 (SDFL), Ric L. Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Frank Kitzerow, Chief, Jupiter Police Department, Joseph L. Schroeder, Chief, Delray Beach Police Department; and G. Matt Immler, Chief, Boynton Beach Police Department, announced that federal agents, working with local authorities, arrested 23 people involved in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine and cocaine powder throughout Palm Beach County, Florida.

The investigation, dubbed Operation Magnum Force, involved the DEA, the Delray Beach Police Department, the Boynton Beach Police Department, the Jupiter Police Department, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, who worked together to end a long-term conspiracy between Winfred Lorenzo Hunt, Carlton Potts, and others. The conspirators manufactured and distributed crack cocaine throughout Palm Beach County – stretching from Delray Beach through Jupiter. This investigation has resulted in the seizure of more than 250 grams of crack cocaine, over 1 kilogram of cocaine powder, more than $30,000 in cash, and one firearm.

Thirty-eight defendants are charged in two separate grand jury Indictments that were returned in the SDFL on May 12 and May 19, 2006. The first indictment charges twenty-three defendants and contains thirty-six counts, along with two counts seeking the forfeiture of assets. That indictment focuses on the conspiracy headed by Winfred Lorenzo Hunt, a/k/a “Big Dred,” a/k/a “Fatboy.” The second indictment charges fifteen defendants and contains twenty-four counts, along with one count seeking the forfeiture of assets. That indictment focuses on the conspiracy headed by Carlton Potts, a/k/a “Pep.” The indictments were unsealed May 22, following the arrests of the defendants. The indictments charge conspiracy to manufacture crack cocaine and to distribute crack cocaine and cocaine powder; possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine powder; possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon; and manufacturing crack cocaine. In addition to the arrests, agents executed nine federal search warrants at various locations in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter. These search warrants resulted in the seizure of cocaine, crack, guns, various types of ammunition, and a bulletproof vest.

"Today we have eliminated the flow of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illicit drugs into our community and dismantled a violent drug organization from top to bottom," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. "These arrests send a clear message to drug dealers that they will not operate freely on the streets of Palm Beach County. If you sell drugs, you will be arrested and prosecuted."

U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta stated, “Street drug gangs infest our communities with more than cocaine and crack. They also spread gun violence and death. Operation Magnum Force is an attempt by the United States Attorney’s Office and our federal and local law enforcement partners to heed our communities’ call for help. We have joined forces to attack and dismantle local drug organizations and the violence that plague our communities. This Operation is an example of the level of success we can attain when local and federal authorities work together make our communities safer.”

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, stated, “Reducing violent crime in our community requires a commitment by federal and local law enforcement to combat illegal drug trade and the violence associated with it. This joint operation, which has been conducted for almost a year by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jupiter Police Department, Delray Beach Police Department, Boynton Beach Police Department, and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, represents that type of commitment of resources. We believe that today’s arrests will significantly reduce violence in our community by dismantling this notorious drug operation from top to bottom. We are hopeful that this will have a lasting community impact by reducing the level of crime in our county.”

Sergeant Scott Pascarella, Jupiter Police Department, stated, “The Jupiter Police Department has worked cooperatively with other local and federal law enforcement agencies to make Operation Magnum Force successful. We have sent a clear message that we have “zero tolerance” for drug dealers and their violence in northern Palm Beach County. Operation Magnum Force has demonstrated our clear resolve to dismantle criminal organizations such as this and to reduce violent crimes and drug related activities in our community.”

“The Delray Beach Police Department is pleased to have been a part of this multi-community and multi-agency investigation,” said Officer Jeff Messer of the Delray Beach Police Department. “The way to combat criminal organizations of this magnitude is through the combined cooperative efforts of the law enforcement agencies throughout Palm Beach County and the State of Florida, including federal law enforcement agencies. Today’s arrests will likely result in long prison sentences for these violent drug dealers and help make our communities safer. We hope to break the cycle of generational violence that we so often see in our community.”

G. Matt Immler, Chief, Boynton Beach Police Department, stated, “Operation Magnum Force is a model for interagency cooperation in drug investigations and has severely curtailed the organized trafficking of controlled dangerous substances throughout the city of Boynton Beach. We are grateful for the assistance provided by Sheriff Bradshaw and the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration in our efforts to control the sale of illicit narcotics in our city and the crime and despair associated with it.”

 

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