Wifredo R. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Ric L. Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, announced today that a federal grand jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, has returned an indictment against three former corrections officers. The three individuals formerly worked as Corrections Officers for The Geo Group at Moore Haven Correctional Facility in Moore Haven, Glades County, under a contract with the state of Florida.
The federal indictment charged defendants Dameyenoe Francis, Jerry Thicklin, and Derrick Jackson, with one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. The Indictment also charges the same three individual defendants with a count of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to distribute it, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). They face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison on each count, up to a $4,000,000 fine and lifetime supervised release. The investigation involved sham cocaine, and no actual cocaine was smuggled inside of Moore Haven Correctional.
During the investigation, FBI undercover agents represented to the defendants that they were members of a purported drug trafficking group, interested in having the defendants protect and facilitate the undercover agents’ drug trafficking operation in exchange for cash payments. The undercover officers as purported drug traffickers, and paid each of the defendants to carry multi-kilogram quantities of purported cocaine from Miami to West Palm Beach in exchange for cash payments of $5,000.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Ferrer also noted with appreciation the cooperation of the Florida Department of Corrections during this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Carlton and Julia Paylor.
An Indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.