Four Defendants Convicted and Sentenced For Role In Broward County Narcotics Ring
The last of four defendants was sentenced on March 13, 2018 for his role in a narcotics ring, operating out of Broward County, involving the powerful opioid fentanyl, as well as cocaine, oxycodone, methamphetamine, and amphetamine.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Amos Rojas, Jr., U.S. Marshals, U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), made the announcement.
According to court records, Justin Devon Hampton, 41, Ricky Jermaine Brinson, 44, Kenneth Alonzo Taylor, 44, of Broward County, and Ernesto Garcia-Hernandez, 52, of Miami-Dade County, conspired to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, between January 2017 and June 2017; and defendant Hampton further conspired to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, oxycodone, methamphetamine, and amphetamine, and maintained a drug-involved residence within 1,000 feet of a playground in Miramar, Florida.
Over the course of the DEA’s investigation, law enforcement conducted surveillance of Hampton’s residence and determined that multiple previously convicted narcotics traffickers, including Garcia-Hernandez, repeatedly visited the home between January and June 2017. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Hampton’s residence, which agents planned to execute on June 26, 2017. That evening, as agents conducted surveillance, they observed Taylor and Brinson arrive at the home, followed by Garcia-Hernandez. Taylor, Garcia-Herandez and Hampton then engaged in a narcotics transaction in the driveway. Agents later recovered one kilogram of cocaine from the Brinson and Taylor’s vehicle, as well as over $50,000 in drug proceeds, and distribution quantities of fentanyl, oxycodone, methamphetamine, and amphetamine from Hampton’s residence. Hampton fled to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was later apprehended with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals, in October 2017.
The defendants all pled guilty in late 2017. United States District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas sentenced Hampton to 235 months’ imprisonment, Garcia-Hernandez to 144 months’ imprisonment, Brinson to 60 months,’ and Taylor to 18 months’ imprisonment, for their role in the scheme.
This investigation and prosecution was carried out by members of the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force. The South Florida HIDTA, established in 1990, is made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who, cooperatively, target the region’s drug-trafficking and money laundering organizations. The South Florida HIDTA is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy which sponsors a variety of initiatives focused on the nation’s illicit drug trafficking threats.
This prosecution is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the DEA and USMS. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan K. Osborne.