17 arrested in drug probe

OKEECHOBEE — A nearly year-long investigation into street-level drug sales in Okeechobee came to a halt Thursday with the arrest of 17 men and women.

The probe and subsequent arrests were made by members of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, Okeechobee City Police Department and the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force.

This investigation came on the heels of last year’s operation that led to the arrest of 29 people for their involvement with a methamphetamine distribution operation that brought the drug into Florida, and Okeechobee County, from Mexico.

“After the big meth bust last year I asked the narcotics task force to concentrate on street buys and the people who will sell drugs to anyone,” Sheriff Paul May said Friday, Sept. 2. “This is a result of that investigation and I am very happy the people are off the street.

“I hope the justice system realizes these people don’t ask for IDs and they’ll sell to anyone,” he added.

The task force began their sweep Wednesday, Aug. 31, when two women — Retha Ann Barber, 46, and Sally Ellen Lee, 35 — were arrested in the S.E. 58th Drive home they shared with Ronald Barber and Norman Glenn Martin.

Ronald Barber

Ronald Barber

Retha Barber is charged with possession of hydromorphone without a prescription, possession of alprazolam without a prescription, possession of a drug not properly labeled and possession of drug paraphernalia.

She is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $22,000.

Lee is charged with possession of

Norman Glenn Martin

Norman Glenn Martin

methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is being held in the county jail on $11,000 bond.

Ronald Barber, 50, and Martin, 54, were arrested Thursday, Sept. 1, on felony warrants. Ronald is charged with possession of a  firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon. He is being held on $20,000 bond.

Martin is charged with sale of hydromorphone (two counts) and sale of heroin (two counts). His bond has been set at $300,000.

Anthony Brown

Anthony Brown

Others arrested Thursday, their charges and bonds, were:

• Anthony Brown, 52, N.W. 12th St., Okeechobee: sale of cocaine (two counts) and possession of cocaine with intent to sell (two counts). His total bond has been set at $200,000.

Vernon Ervin

Vernon Ervin

• Vernon Bernard Ervin, 43, N.W. Ninth St., Okeechobee: sale of cocaine (two counts) and possession of cocaine with intent to sell (two counts). His total bond has been set at $220,000.

Daniel Exantus

Daniel Exantus

• Daniel Exantus Jr., 31, N.E. 11th St., Okeechobee: sale of cocaine (three counts) and possession of cocaine with intent to sell (three counts). His total bond has been set at $450,000.

Corey Hardy

Corey Hardy

• Corey Nathan Hardy, 35, N.W. 12th St., Okeechobee: sale of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to sell. His bond has been set at $110,000.

Loren Hill

Loren Hill

• Loren Hill, 42, S.E. 18th Court, Okeechobee: sale of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell. His bond has been set at $110,000.

Krystalgail Amber Lyons-Holloman

Krystalgail Amber Lyons-Holloman

• Krystalgail Amber Lyons-Holloman, 25, N.W. 36th Terrace, Okeechobee: sale of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell. Her bond has been set at $75,000.

Jimmie Lee Howling

Jimmie Lee Howling

• Jimmie Lee Howling, 70, N.E. 64th Ave., Okeechobee: sale of oxycodone, possession of oxycodone with intent to sell and possession of hydromorphone. His bond has been set at $100,000.

Justin Jenkins

Justin Jenkins

• Justin Andrew Jenkins, 32, S.E. 36th Terrace, Okeechobee: sale of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a park (three counts), sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a park and driving while license suspended – habitual offender. His bond has been set at

Jesse James King

Jesse James King

$355,000.

• Jesse James King, 52, Seminole Road, Fort Pierce: sale of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to sell. His bond was set at $100,000.

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

• Joseph Lee Smith, 52, N.E. 15th Ave., Okeechobee: sale of cocaine (two counts) and possession of cocaine with intent to sell (two counts). His bond has been set at $150,000.

• William Paul Trotter, 36, S.W. 18th St., Okeechobee: sale of marijuana (two counts) and possession of marijuana with intent to sell (two counts). His bond has been set at $70,000.

• Casey Hayes Williams, 41, 21st Ave. E., Bradenton: possession of a firearm/ammunition by a convicted felon. His bond has been set at $50,000. Jail records indicate he has been released on bond.

• Lisa Jane Williams, 53, S.E. 36th Terrace, Okeechobee: sale of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Her bond has been set at $35,000. Jail records indicate she has been released on bond.

For several of those arrested this week, this is not the first time they’ve spent time in the county jail.

“Some of these are repeat offenders, and I have no sympathy for them whatsoever,” offered Sheriff May. “They’ve been through this before and they should have known better.

“We’ll continue to arrest them until they quit, or are put away (in prison),” he added.

William Trotter

William Trotter

Sally Ellen Lee, 35

Sally Ellen Lee, 35

Retha Ann Barber, 46

Retha Ann Barber, 46

Lisa Jane Williams

Lisa Jane Williams

Casey Williams

Casey Williams

 

 

 

 

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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