Fort Myers Men Indicted For A Drug Trafficking Conspiracy That Included The Killing Of An Informant
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Robert Lee Ward (50, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and tampering with an informant by killing him. The indictment also charges Dalton Kelvin McGriff (49, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The drug conspiracy charge is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. The tampering with an informant by killing offense is punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or death. The Justice Department will later determine if it will seek the death penalty in this particular case.
According to the indictment, from approximately 1996 to November 2018, Ward and McGriff conspired with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere. The conspirators sold cocaine in and around Fort Myers, Panama City and elsewhere, and killed or threatened to kill suspected informants in furtherance of the conspiracy. The indictment also alleges that Ward aided in the killing of a confidential informant on January 7, 2013, in Fort Myers.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fort Myers Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Sinacore and Christopher Murray.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
This investigation is also 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.