Two more charged in meth ring case

OKEECHOBEE — Two more Okeechobee men have been arrested for allegedly conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) by being involved in a methamphetamine distribution ring.

With the arrests of Herman Jackson Sutton and Bruce Allen Waldron, the number of people arrested for their alleged connection with the meth ring stands at 23.

Herman Sutton

Herman Sutton

Sutton, 35, N.W. 176th Ave., and Waldron, 42, S.E. Seventh St., are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering each.

The men were arrested for their alleged connection with last week’s roundup of 35 people supposedly involved in the distribution or redistribution of methamphetamine in Okeechobee, Glades, Highlands and Polk counties.

Sutton and Waldron were booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $75,000 each. Jail records show Sutton has been released on bond, while Waldron remains incarcerated.

Bruce Waldron

Bruce Waldron

Fifteen people allegedly connected to the same meth ring have been indicted on federal meth distribution charges. They will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney L. Coker and Special Assistant United States Attorney Ryan L. Butler.

The remainder of those charged, including Sutton and Waldron, were arrested on state charges and will be prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Ashley Albright.

Mr. Albright indicated in a list of those he will prosecute that Sutton was accused of being involved in four transactions. One of those transactions was for 7.5 grams of suspected meth. The remaining weights are unknown.

Waldron is accused of taking part in two transactions for a total of 5.25 grams.

The 18-month probe ended early Friday, Aug. 28, when 15 takedown teams comprised of county, state and federal law enforcement personnel started knocking on doors at 4 a.m.
According to the state prosecutor a large number of the buys were done while under surveillance. Detectives with the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration made the buys, added Mr. Albright.

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

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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