News and Press Releases


September 20, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations, Miami Field Office, Randy Donnelson, Director of Air Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Robert L. Crowder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), announced the (omit “arrest”) September 16 arrest of defendant Timothy Dawson, 44, of Port Saint Lucie, on drug smuggling charges. The federal criminal complaint is the result of a multi-agency investigation into alleged drug-smuggling on the waterways of Martin County.

According to the criminal complaint, on Saturday, September 4, 2010, a (omit “Customs and Border Protection”) CBP aircraft, based out of Jacksonville, Florida, tracked a vessel entering St. Lucie Inlet. When the vessel was approximately five miles from the St. Lucie Inlet, the motors were shut down for a few minutes. CBP alerted the Martin County Sheriff’s Office to this suspicious behavior. Thereafter, MCSO Marine Unit Deputies located the vessel, a 1984 Wellcraft center console boat, approximately two miles off the coastline of Martin County. As Deputies were attempting to board the vessel, the operator of the vessel, Timothy Dawson, threw two weighted dive bags overboard into the ocean. Thereafter, Timothy Dawson was arrested on state charges of tampering with evidence and resisting arrest without violence. He was released after posting bond. The vessel was taken as evidence.

According to the federal criminal complaint, on Sunday, September 5, 2010, MCSO Dive Team members returned to the ocean location and retrieved the two dive bags. Each bag was weighted with a 40 lb. weight tied by a length of rope to the bag. The bags were determined to contain more than 30 pounds of cocaine and more than 39 pounds of marijuana.

On Thursday, September 16, 2010, ICE special agents executed a federal search and arrest warrant on Timothy Dawson, who was charged federally with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. He is being held without bond at the St. Lucie County Jail.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Ft. Pierce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana M. Acosta.

A compliant is only an accusation and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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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 Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

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