Nine Indicted in Multi-State Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

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As a result of a joint investigation known as “Operation Ice Man,” United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging nine individuals with a drug trafficking conspiracy and other charges.

As per the prosecution and court reports, since mid 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the DeLand Police Department, and the Daytona Police Department have been involved in an ongoing investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that was transporting methamphetamine and cocaine from Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California to central Florida.

“This is the largest drug trafficking investigation in the history of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly stated.

Sheriff Rick Staly addressing the media during the press conference. © Flagler County Buzz

During the course of the investigation, federal agents and officers from the task force were able to identify a number of the conspirators as well as the means by which the DTO transported cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico across the United States to central Florida via commercial trucks. From Phoenix and Los Angeles, authorities tracked the drugs and gathered crucial information about the DTO. One of the commercial truck drivers who brought the drugs from Phoenix to Florida was Bizzell.

Six locations in Palm Coast, Bunnell, and Daytona Beach saw the execution of search warrants on October 31, 2022. Tyrone James Jones, 55 and Zara Adriana Mascarella, 20 of Palm Coast along with Alfred Lamar Shavers, 48, Camarie Dontre Shavers, 23 and Alfred Lamar Shavers, Jr, 26 of Bunnell are among those being investigated for their involvement in the multi-state drug trafficking operation.

Subsequently, 44.54 kilograms of methamphetamine and 2.72 kilograms of cocaine were seized. Additionally, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and nine guns were seized from Alfred Shavers’ home.

The methamphetamine and cocaine from Phoenix and Los Angeles were sourced by Luis Miguel Hernandez, 36 and Saul Sandoval, 39 of Phoenix, AZ. Agents learned that Sandoval and Hernandez had made deals with other co-conspirators in Mexico to send drugs across the border for them to sell. Additionally, Sandoval was found to be in possession of a number of illegal firearms at his residence, including short-barrel, fully automatic, and auto switches designed to be installed on Glock handgun slides to make the guns fully automatic. Since 2021, Sandoval and Hernandez are thought to have distributed over 300 kilograms of drugs that were shipped to central Florida.

On April 25, 2023, Sandoval was captured in Phoenix and a court order was executed at his home. Agents discovered 18 firearms, 4 firearm suppressors, 1,114 grams of fentanyl pills, and more than $5,000 in cash inside his home. Sandoval was taken into custody after being detained, and the United States Marshals Service is holding him until he is transported to the Middle District of Florida for further proceedings. On the same day, Hernandez was detained in Los Angeles. He was busy directing another medication dealing bargain for roughly 36 kilograms of methamphetamine at the hour of his capture. In addition, Hernandez was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service until he could be transported to the Middle District of Florida.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty, and an indictment is merely a formal charge that they have broken federal criminal law.

The arraignment additionally advises Alfred Lamar Shavers that the US plans to relinquish four guns, two rifles, and one shotgun which are asserted to be detectable to the offense.

An investigation carried out by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) included this case. Using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach, OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that pose a threat to the United States. The OCDETF Program’s additional details can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The Volusia Bureau of Investigation, which includes the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Daytona Beach Police Department, and the DeLand Police Department, conducted an investigation into this case along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. John M. Gardella, Assistant United States Attorney, will be in charge of the case.

By Kim Hunt

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