Five Convicted by Federal Jury in a Multi-State Drug Conspiracy
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced today that a federal jury in Fort Lauderdale returned guilty verdicts against five members of a multi-state cocaine and oxycodone distribution conspiracy yesterday evening.
In January, a grand jury returned a multi-count indictment against the following nine individuals: Andre Barbary, 36, Scott Barnes, 40, Kim Carswell, 34, Willie Hartfield, 54, Nathaniel Holt, 55, Tamika Jasper-Barbary, 36, Robert Lespinasse, 34, Monica Lewis, 31, all from the Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas; and Robert Jackson, 24, of the Fort Myers area. The indictment charged that the individuals were involved in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine and oxycodone. The indictment further alleged that the named defendants conspired to use telephone facilities to carry out the drug trafficking offense.
At the conclusion of a four week jury trial involving Andre Barbary, Scott Barnes, Nathaniel Holt and Monica Lewis were found guilty as charged. Willie Hartfield was convicted on the drug conspiracy count, but was acquitted on the telephone facilitation count. During the course of the trial, the jury received evidence in the form of cooperating defendant testimony, surveillance videos, business records and wiretap intercepts that were obtained by court order. As the leader of the drug trafficking organization, Andre Barbary’s telephones were wiretapped by the Drug Enforcement Administration for approximately four months. The jury reviewed approximately one hundred illicit telephone calls and text messages involving Andre Barbary and the other defendants. There were also exhibits regarding the seizure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, concealed cocaine, concealed oxycodone, and drug distribution paraphernalia. The conspiracy spread from south Florida to the west coast of Florida, and as far north as Boston, Massachusetts. The conspiracy transported money and drugs via plane, train, automobile and using the mail.
In addition to the five defendants found guilty at trial, Kim Carswell and Robert Lespinasse have pled guilty to the charges. Tamika Jasper Barbary, a legal assistant in the Grand Jury Suite of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida (Miami Division), and Robert Jackson are scheduled for trial on the same charges in January 2013.
Andre Barbary, Scott Barnes, and Nathaniel Holt face up to a maximum term of life imprisonment. Willie Hartfield faces a maximum term of up to thirty years imprisonment, and Monica Lewis faces up to a maximum term of forty years imprisonment. In addition to imprisonment, the jury returned a monetary judgment regarding drug proceeds against Andre Barbary for $350,000. All five defendants are scheduled to be sentenced before United States District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on January 25, 2013.
This case has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Miramar Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Coral Springs Police Department, Coconut Creek Police Department and the Office of the Inspector General. Because the allegations involve an employee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, the U.S. Department of Justice recused that office, at its request, from investigating and prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida was assigned to lead the investigation and prosecution of these offenses to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest for U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida. Assisting Goldberg in the trial of the case were Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany H. Eggers and Robert G. Davies, also of the Northern District of Florida.