News and Press Releases

SEVEN MIAMI MEN SENTENCED IN CONNECTION WITH LITTLE HAITI DRUG AND GUN SWEEP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Miami Field Office, James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, Miguel A. Exposito, Chief, City of Miami Police Department, and Richard Naue, Chief, Coral Gables Police Department, announced the sentences of Junior Sylvin, 26, Niko Thompson, 30, Frantz Sterlin, 29, Chris Victor, 28, Tarvus Daniels, 26, Gordon Louis, 35, and Ziv Bythol, 28, all of Miami.

Yesterday, following their previous convictions at trial, U.S. District Court Judge James L. King sentenced defendant Sylvin to 18 years’ imprisonment, defendant Thompson to 20 years’ imprisonment, defendant Sterlin to 16 years’ imprisonment, and defendant Victor was sentenced to 6.75 years’ imprisonment. Daniels, Louis, and Bythol had previously pled guilty. They were sentenced on June 3, 2010 by Judge King. Daniels and Louis were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, and Bythol to 5 years’ imprisonment.

Dubbed Operation “Natoye Lari,” creole for clean streets, this investigation focused on criminal activity in the Little Haiti area of Miami-Dade. According to evidence produced at trial, Sylvin was the head of a drug trafficking organization that operated in the area. Thompson was one of Sylvin’s source of supply. Victor’s residence, equipped with closed-circuit television for security purposes, was used as a stash house and a rendezvous point for drug sales. Sterlin, according to the evidence, was a street seller. Daniels and Bythol were independent dealers, and Louis was in charge of guarding Thompson’s drug supply. Defendant Emmanuel Othello remains at large.

Search warrants executed at six residences resulted in the recovery of 11 semi-automatic handguns, including an FN Herstal capable of firing bulletproof piercing ammunition, two AK-47 style assault rifles, one 12-gauge shotgun, more than 1 kilogram of cocaine, numerous drug paraphernalia, including a kilogram press to manufacture kilogram bricks of cocaine for resale, and more than $37,000 in U.S. currency.

This prosecution was a result of the collaborative efforts of DEA, ATF, City of Miami Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, and the Coral Gables Police Department, and included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on telephones. Mr. Ferrer commended the collaborative efforts of the DEA, ATF, State Attorney's Office, City of Miami Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Coral Gables Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell Koonin and Robert Luck.

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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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