Ten Individuals Headed To Federal Prison As A Result Of "Pines Operation"
Tampa, FL - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that Jaris Youngblood (34, Tampa) was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison for distributing crack cocaine. Youngblood was the last individual to be sentenced on federal charges as a result of “Operation Pines.”
According to court documents, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO), along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), initiated the "Pines Operation" in an effort to combat an ongoing drug and gang epidemic in a pair of apartment complexes located in Tampa. Approximately 52 individuals were arrested on state or federal charges as a result of the operation, ten individuals were charged federally.
“This lengthy prison sentence will remove another dangerous criminal who has plagued our neighborhoods by selling drugs,” stated Special Agent in Charge Julie Torres. “The success of ‘Operation Pines’ is attributed to the excellent undercover work that was conducted and the solid partnership between ATF, our law enforcement partners, and the United States Attorney’s Office.”
“These arrests are another example of the positive results by local and federal agencies working together to remove individuals off of our streets,” said Sheriff David Gee.
Nine others were previously sentenced to federal prison terms. Zavien Brand (29, Tampa) was sentenced to 31 years for distributing crack cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possessing a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Cuwissie Hamilton (34, Tampa) was sentenced to 16 years for distributing 28 grams or more of crack cocaine. Bruce Kenyon Davis (32, Tampa) was sentenced to 15 years and 8 months for distributing crack cocaine. Victor Milliner (25, Tampa) was sentenced to 15 years for distributing crack cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Terrill LaDaja Gainous (32, Tampa) was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months for distributing crack cocaine. Tyrone Flowers (50, Seffner) was sentenced to 10 years for distributing crack cocaine. Kenneth Wayne Richardson (46, Tampa) was sentenced to 7 years and 1 month for distributing crack cocaine. Shay John (39, Tampa) was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months for distributing crack cocaine. Kimoy Prince (22, Tampa) was sentenced 5 years and 10 months for distributing cocaine base. And, Aaron Petrus (27, Jacksonville) was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months for distributing crack cocaine.
This case was investigated by ATF and HCSO. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo and Walter E. Furr.
This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. U.S. Attorney O’Neill, along with SAC Torres, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.