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Press Release

Three Pensacola Women Sentenced for Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that United States District Court Chief Judge Kristi K. DuBose sentenced co-defendants Ernestine Arlecia Brazile, Taralicia Petrice Witherspoon, and Nicole Lasha Lewis on June 14, 2019 for their roles in conducting a drug conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine in violation of 21 USC § 846.  Brazile and Witherspoon were each ordered to serve a term of imprisonment of 121 months followed by 5 years of supervised release.  Lewis received a time served sentence followed by 3 years of supervised release.  The defendants’ guilty pleas were accepted by the Court on February 19, 2019.

In October 2017, a Confidential Informant (CI) informed police officers from the Mobile Police Department (MPD) that he/she could buy methamphetamine from a female from Pensacola.  MPD police officers contacted the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to assist in the investigation and an undercover MPD officer (UC) was introduced to Ernestine Arlecia Brazile by the CI and five controlled buys were made between October 2017 and January 2018.  The defendants were very consistent in their actions during each of the five sales of methamphetamine to the UC.  During each sale, Brazile would drive to Mobile in a vehicle that was registered to her co-defendant, Nicole Lasha Lewis.   While Brazile drove the vehicle, Lewis would ride in the front passenger and Taralicia Petrice Witherspoon would ride in the back seat during the trips to Mobile.
The three defendants would meet the UC at the same gas station in Mobile County.  During each drug buy, Brazile would get into the UC’s vehicle front passenger seat and Witherspoon would get in the back seat of the UC’s vehicle.  At that point, the UC would provide the money to Witherspoon and Witherspoon would provide the methamphetamine to the UC.  Each buy was set up via phone calls and/or text messages from the CI to Brazile to order the methamphetamine.  Although Lewis stayed in the passenger seat of her vehicle as the drug deals were being brokered, she would later confess that she knew drug transactions were taking place and she allowed her vehicle to be used for all of the drug deals.  The total amount of methamphetamine that the three defendants conspired among themselves and others to distribute and sell was approximately 420 grams of pure (Ice) methamphetamine.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Mobile Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief, Assistant United States Attorney George F. May and Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence J. Bullard for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama.

Updated June 21, 2019