Three Florida Men Sentenced To Life Imprisonment And Fined $2 Million For Trafficking Methamphetamine From California To Florida And Georgia
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida
Ft. Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Brown Laster, Jr. (37, Tampa), Jerry Browdy (44, Riverview, FL), and Wesley Petiphar (30, Davenport) each to life in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The Court also ordered Browdy to forfeit $106,060 and Petiphar to forfeit $22,400, which are traceable to the proceeds of the offense. As part of their sentences, the Court imposed a fine of $1 million for Laster and $500,000 each for Browdy and Petiphar.
A federal jury found the individuals guilty on July 28, 2017.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Laster, Browdy, and Petiphar were part of a conspiracy to ship kilograms of methamphetamine from Sacramento, California to various hotels in Florida and Georgia via Federal Express.
The evidence showed that, throughout 2015, the men had sent approximately 40 packages of methamphetamine through the mail per week. The packages were delivered to co-conspirators who had been recruited to wait at the hotels for the packages of methamphetamine to arrive. The packages were then delivered to local drug traffickers. In addition, witness testimony revealed that the men enforced the conspiracy through violence, including one incident where a cooperating witness had a gun placed in his mouth with such force that the gun knocked out some of his front teeth.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office (Georgia), the Placer County Sheriff’s Office (California), the Lakeland Police Department, and the Miami-Dade Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Baeza and Mike Leeman.
Updated December 20, 2017