The Leader in the Largest Methamphetamine Distribution

Organization in Okeechobee County History Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Office, Paul C. May, Sheriff, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OSO), and John J. Burke, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Fort Myers Regional Operation Center-Sebring Field Office, announce the sentencing of Steven Lee Oakes, a/k/a “Wildman,” 59, of Davenport, the leader in a methamphetamine distribution network involving fifteen co-conspirators that operated in and around Okeechobee and Highlands Counties. Each of the fifteen defendants pled guilty to various narcotics trafficking offenses, in the matter of United States v. Steven Lee Oakes, et al., 15-CR-14046.

United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced Oakes to 300 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Oakes was the last of the defendants to be sentenced, as part of a coordinated law enforcement effort to combat the methamphetamine epidemic. The co-conspirators were previously sentenced to the following terms of imprisonment:

· Steven Lee Oakes 300 months

· Jetta Lyn Frake 70 months

· Lacy Junior Locklear 188 months

· Stephen Patrick Hall, Jr. 190 months

· Daniel John Alsdorf 96 months

· James “Buddy” Carter 87 months

· Teresa Lee Green 90 months

· Tanner Lynn Carter 48 months

· Felisha Michelle Leitner 70 months

· David Allen Sparks 60 months

· Jamie Lea Hewitt 121 months

· Jessica Marie Bell 65 months

· Vickie Lynn Johnson 90 months

· Travis Wayne Carr 70 months

· Timothy Dale Reid 70 months

United States Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Steven Lee Oakes and his organization poisoned our communities with illicit drugs. Mr. Oakes was held accountable in a court of law for infecting our local neighborhoods with his narcotics trafficking enterprise. However, the prosecution of Oakes and his conspirators has not put an end to this problem. The unlawful distribution of methamphetamines continues to pose a risk to our communities at alarming rates. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are committed to identifying for prosecution those who place the public’s safety and quality-of-life in jeopardy.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge A.D. Wright stated, “These convicted drug traffickers rightfully deserved the sentences they received. Justice was served for the residents of Okeechobee County. Methamphetamine is a poison. Those who were selling this poison in their neighborhoods can no longer continue to do so. The DEA is proud to work with our law enforcement partners in achieving such outstanding results. Our partnership is a strong and unstoppable force to be reckoned with.”

Sheriff Paul C. May, Okeechobee County, stated, “The defendants brought large amounts of methamphetamines into Okeechobee County and surrounding areas. With the help of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, the defendants were brought to justice and a dent was placed in the illegal trafficking of methamphetamines, in and around our county. We will continue to work with our allies to identify for prosecution those who bring illicit narcotics into our communities.”

FDLE Special Agent in Charge John J. Burke stated “FDLE remains committed to combatting the problem of illicit narcotics throughout our state. We welcome the opportunity to partner with federal and local agencies to ensure that those who seek to poison our population to feed their own greed find no safe haven in Florida. This operation is a credit to the agencies who investigated as well as the prosecutors who guided the case to this successful conclusion.”

The federal indictment was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney L. Coker and Special Assistant United States Attorney Ryan L. Butler.

This case was the 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. Ferrer commended the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the Okeechobee County Office of the State Attorney. Mr. Ferrer thanked the OCDETF law enforcement agencies that assisted with this multi-faceted investigation, including the DEA, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force, FDLE’s Fort Myers Regional Operations Center Sebring Field Office, Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, the Okeechobee Police Department, Glades County Sheriff’s Office, Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Pierce Police Department, the Fort Pierce Offices of the United States Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HIS), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Port Saint Lucie Police Department, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, United States Border Patrol, and Indian River County Sheriff’s Office

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls(http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls) . 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(http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov) or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov (http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov) .