Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. has sentenced James Franklin Broomfield, Jr. (37, Fort Myers) to 24 years in federal prison for tampering with an informant by killing. The court ordered the sentence to run consecutive to a sentence Broomfield is currently serving for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. Broomfield had pleaded guilty on January 9, 2019.
According to court documents and evidence presented in the related trial of United States v. Robert Lee Ward, Robert Ward was the leader of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Fort Myers that distributed cocaine in Fort Myers and other locations for over a decade until Ward’s arrest in 2018. In 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were investigating Ward and his DTO when the FBI obtained the assistance of Kristopher Smith, a member of Ward’s DTO, who agreed to cooperate in the investigation. Ward learned about Smith’s cooperation with investigators and solicited Broomfield to kill Smith. Broomfield agreed to kill Smith for $30,000. Ward provided Broomfield with a loaded firearm and told him where to locate Smith.
On January 7, 2013, Broomfield and another individual followed Smith and his girlfriend as they drove to their son’s school in Fort Myers. Smith remained in the car while his girlfriend entered the school to deliver lunch to their son, who was a first-grade student at the school. Broomfield and his accomplice parked their vehicle behind the informant’s car. Broomfield ran up to the car and shot Smith several times, killing him.
A jury has found Ward guilty of conspiracy to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine, and tampering with an informant by killing, and he is pending sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fort Myers Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore.
This investigation is the result of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.