Defendants Convicted And Sentenced To Federal Prison In Long-Term Methamphetamine Drug Trafficking Investigation In Washington County
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – A federal judge sentenced the fourth defendant in a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking organization operating primarily in Washington County. The convictions and sentences were announced by Jason R. Coody United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The defendants and their sentences were:
• Ashley Zurica, 43, of Caryville, Florida, 220 months in prison
• Ashley Brown, 41, of Caryville, Florida, 180 months in prison
• Donald Skipper, 55, of Chipley, Florida, 180 months in prison
• William Carter, 52, of Wausau, Florida, 168 months in prison
“Methamphetamine distribution is a scourge on large and small communities of our district,” stated U.S. Attorney Coody. “With our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to identifying and aggressively prosecuting those who threaten our citizens’ health and safety by distributing such addictive, controlled substances. These sentences demonstrate that resolve.”
All will be on supervised release when they are eventually released from custody.
In 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Panama City Resident Office Task Force initiated an investigation targeting the distribution of multiple kilograms of methamphetamine by Ashley Zurica, Ashley Brown, Donald Skipper, William Carter, and others in Washington county and surrounding areas of north Florida. Over the course of the three-year investigation, DEA, working with state and local partners, compiled evidence to secure indictments on four Federal defendants in the Northern District of Florida in addition to indictments in other federal districts and multiple State of Florida defendants. The investigation led to the seizure of several kilograms of methamphetamine, and the identification of illegal drug sources in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.
“Our work with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Florida and DEA is resulting in convictions and removing illegal narcotics from our community,” said Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews. “We remain committed to working with our federal, local, and state law enforcement partners to keep these highly addictive and destructive drugs out of our community.”
“Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and destructive substance, which can inflict great harm to our communities,” said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “The success of this investigation is a direct result of the collaboration between the DEA Miami Field Division and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, working together to keep our communities safe and healthy.”
This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Chipley Police Department, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Washington County State’s Attorney Office. Assistant United States Attorney Walter Narramore prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.
United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
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