News and Press Releases

Eight Overtown Residents Indicted on Drug Conspiracy and Distribution Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2014

Indictment Stems from USAO’s Overtown Violence Reduction Partnership

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Manuel Orosa, Chief, City of Miami Police Department, announce the indictment of eight individuals for their alleged participation in various heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana distribution conspiracies.

This indictment is, in large part, the result of the Overtown Violence Reduction Partnership, launched by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in October 2011. To date, 46 individuals have been charged in federal court as a result of this initiative. Of those charged, 27 individuals, including the eight charged in the present indictment, are career offenders under the Sentencing Guidelines or Armed Career Criminals under the Armed Career Criminal Act. Through the Partnership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its federal and local law enforcement allies have sought to dismantle the most violent criminal networks in the Overtown neighborhood, while simultaneously working with community leaders and concerned citizens to mentor at-risk youths, provide jobs and job training to young families, and help probationers and parolees successfully re-enter society.

The 19-count indictment, returned on January 10, 2014, and unsealed yesterday, charges the defendants with conspiracy to possess controlled substances with the intent to distribute, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846 (Counts 1, 10, and 13); and possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) (Counts 2-9, 11, 12, and 14-19). The indictment charges the following eight individuals:

Travis Lamont Smith, 29, of Overtown;
Christopher Thomas Smith, 28, of Overtown;
Tremayne Lemont Whigham, 33, of Overtown;
Raymond Murray Scott, 23, of Overtown;
Joshwa Brown, 35, of Overtown;
Gregory Allen Blue, 29, of Overtown;
Carl Earnest Hurd, 34, of Overtown; and
Quentin K. Tracy, 25, of Overtown.

Seven of the eight defendants have been arrested and are expected to make their initial appearances in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt today, January 16, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Quentin K. Tracy remains at large.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “These arrests reflect the joint commitment of federal and local law enforcement professionals to the Overtown Violence Reduction Partnership. The goal of the Partnership is to leverage resources to help one of Miami’s most historic neighborhoods shake off the cycle of violence that has tormented it for years and return to its prior prominence. Enforcement of federal criminal statutes is an integral component of our holistic approach to community building. But we cannot arrest our way out of the violence that has gripped Overtown for decades. To that end, our Partnership also focuses on community-partnering, crime prevention, and reentry assistance for offenders attempting to put their pasts behind them and build healthy, productive lives in our community. The results of this investigation clearly illustrate that we remain committed to this comprehensive approach.”

“Drugs and the armed gangs who peddle them have a devastating effect on our communities,” said Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Miami. “This case is part of the Overtown Violence Reduction Initiative which targets areas most stricken by gang activity within Dade County. The FBI and its partners will continue to pursue and dismantle these violent gangs.”

If convicted, the defendants face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to twenty years in prison.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, City of Miami Police Department, and ATF. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roy Altman and Jonathan Kobrinski.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Attachment:

Wanted-Red Flag (PDF)

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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