"Sovereign Citizen" Receives Life Sentence In Conviction For Multi-State Cocaine Distribution
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Clinton Williams, Jr., 31, of Pensacola, Florida, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by Senior U.S. District Judge Lacey A. Collier to life in prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine. Judge Collier also sentenced Williams to a concurrent 360-month term for possessing with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
The testimony at trial established that Williams was a leader in a multi-state cocaine distribution operation extending from Texas to Florida. The group was responsible for distributing approximately one hundred and fifty (150) kilograms of cocaine beginning around August 1, 2011, with a wholesale value exceeding $5 million dollars.
Throughout the prosecution, Williams continually told the Court he was a “sovereign citizen” and had no “ownership interest” in the name Clinton Williams. He said he believed the charges against him were “only civil disputes” that he wished “to settle” with the “claimant.” He challenged the authority of Senior District Judge Collier to preside over the case.
The conspiracy was investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by the Pensacola Police Department, and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. This on-going investigation has resulted in the federal convictions of Darius Tracy, Clifford Scott, Warren Charlton, Jamil Tenon, Labarren Fields, Marquis Hopkins, and Eldon Abram. The investigation has also resulted in the seizure of multiple kilograms of cocaine, over $100,000 in illegal drug proceeds, vehicles, and other assets connected with this conspiracy.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. Swaim.