Last Individual Sentenced As Part Of “Operation Woodchop”
Orlando, Florida - United States Chief District Judge Anne C. Conway sentenced Willie Shelly (35, Apopka) last week to 3 years in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute BZP pills (a drug that mimics the effects of “Ecstasy”).
In March 2010, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Orlando District Office Enforcement Group and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit initiated an investigation, dubbed “Operation Woodchop,” into multiple individuals operating in Zellwood and Tangerine, Florida. These individuals were known to be associated with one another and involved in criminal activities, operating in two neighborhood-based street gangs, the “Zellwood Boyz” and the “Tangerine/Terrell Boys.” These two gangs operated only a few miles apart from one another and often worked together or through criminal affiliates to engage in drug trafficking and other crimes within a small geographical area.
Between June 2011 and October 2011, twenty-four individuals were charged with federal drug and firearms violations as part of Operation Woodchop. Subsequently, they were all convicted of felony offenses and sentenced in federal court. In addition to the federal charges, more than 20 individuals were charged with state crimes as part of Operation Woodchop. The state charges included drug violations, murder and property crimes.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with operational assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Mount Dora Police Department, the Tavares Police Department and the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange. The federal cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney E. Jackson Boggs, Jr.