Alleged meth ring member arrested

OKEECHOBEE — Bradley Shane Perkins was taken into custody Thursday, which makes him the 25th person to be arrested for their alleged connection to a methamphetamine distribution ring.

Perkins, 28, N.W. 32nd Ave., Okeechobee, was arrested on a local warrant charging him with one felony count of conspiracy to commit racketeering. He is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on $75,000 bond.

The day worker is one of the 40 people either arrested on state charges or indicted on federal meth distribution charges stemming from the Aug. 28 execution of arrest warrants that marked the end of an 18-month investigation.

Bradley Perkins

Bradley Perkins

That investigation included Okeechobee, Glades, Highlands and Polk counties.

Local, state and federal law enforcement officers took part in both the investigation and the arrests that began at 4 a.m. on that Friday.

Following their arrests, the suspects were placed in holding cells at the Okeechobee Judicial Complex. They were each then interviewed by assistant state attorneys Ashley Albright, Don Richardson and Terry Tribble.

Each of the prosecutors were also members of ‘takedown’ teams that entered the homes and made the arrests. A total of 15 takedown teams were used.

Fifteen of the alleged meth ring members have been indicted on federal charges. The remainder either have been, or will be, arrested on state charges.

Not everyone has been arrested yet.

Mr. Albright will be prosecuting those who were arrested on the state charges.
The prosecutor said Perkins was arrested for his alleged participation in three methamphetamine transactions that totaled 10.5 grams. There is also “evidence he was redistributing,” added Mr. Albright.

Steven Lee ‘Wildman’ Oakes, 59, of Davenport, is at the center of the ring, said Mr. Albright. He has been indicted on federal charges.

According to the prosecutor Oakes would get the meth, then take it to Okeechobee, Lorida, Glades County and Brighton Reservation for distribution.

“He is high up in the organization,” said Mr. Albright. “We were able to show people getting it (meth) from Oakes and redistributing it.”

Local citizens who have been indicted on federal charges are: Daniel John Alsdorf, 58; Teresa Lee Green, 45; Felisha Michelle Leitner, 28; David Allen Sparks, 49; Jamie Lea Hewitt, 35; Jessica Marie Bell, 28; Vickie Lynn Johnson, 47; Travis Wayne Carr, 23; and, Timothy Dale Reid, 49.

All of these people will be prosecuted in federal court.

Mr. Albright said those arrested on state charges will face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, if convicted.

He went on to point out that a large number of the ‘buys’ were done while under surveillance, and were made by detectives with the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force or agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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