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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sebring Mother and Son Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Import Ecstasy

Yesterday, a mother and her son pled guilty to conspiring to import Ecstasy from the Netherlands. 

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Antonio J. Gomez, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division, made the announcement.  

Annalisa Anfuso Patterson, 56, and her son, Jake Elwyn Patterson, 19, both from Sebring, pled guilty to conspiracy to import a controlled substance 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), also known as “Ecstasy,” in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 963; and attempted possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance- 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), also known as “Ecstasy” in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.  Each offense carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison.  The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on November 14, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Fort Pierce. 

According to the court record, including the stipulated factual proffer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Miami identified, searched and detained two U.S. Postal Service (USPS) parcels, destined for Highlands County.  The parcels were found to contain approximately 525 tablets of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), also known as “Ecstasy,” a schedule I controlled substance.  On May 17, 2016, HSI agents, with the assistance of United States Postal Inspectors, conducted a controlled delivery of one of the parcels to Sebring, Florida.  Annalisa Patterson accepted and opened the parcel.  Law enforcement then executed a search warrant at the residence and observed, next to the opened parcel, a laptop computer with images of MDMA on the screen. 

The record indicates that the defendants used Bitcoins to place orders for MDMA through internet websites, the “dark web,” from the Netherlands.  Jake Patterson used a test kit to ensure that the substances they had purchased were in fact Ecstasy.  The defendants supplied other individuals with Ecstasy, from their Sebring residence.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, CBP, and USPIS.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated August 9, 2016