Sting lands 24 in jail

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By Claude Lewis

BRONSON - Back many moons ago, there was a cartoon series called "Superfriends" where crimefighters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman joined hands to battle evil.

In a similar vein, the Levy County Sheriff's Department along with the Chiefland Police Department, the Dixie County Sheriff's Department and state and federal agencies joined forces to crack down on a major cocaine infestation.

Details of the law enforcement effort were revealed at a press conference on Friday, April 18, at the Levy Sheriff's headquarters in Bronson

In all, 76 arrests were made - most of them in the Chiefland and Cross City areas. Seven face federal charges and 69 state charges.

Confiscated in the sting that took more than a year to execute were a total of 5 kilograms of powder cocaine and 50 kilograms of crack.

Vehicles and guns were also impounded.

"It's the biggest operation I've seen in Levy County in a long, long time," said Levy Sheriff Johnny Smith.

"The communities will be safer," added Levy Public Information Officer, Lt. Evan Sullivan.

On Feb. 26, a federal indictment was returned on seven people on the charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Those defendants include Andre Thompson, 24, of Chiefland; Nacola Brown, 24, of Chiefland; Dearmus Lovett, 33, Cross City; Juan Washington, 31, Cross City; Willie Carter Jr., 37, Cross City; Clarence Marshall, 30, Leesburg; and Jaquana McPhee, 28, Leesburg.

The sheriff department's surge against coke was broken down into two major fronts - Operation Yellow Fever in Levy and Operation Gill Net in Dixie.

Yellow Fever - named for defendant Andre Thompson's nickname "Yellow" - netted 24 arrests on state drug charges.

Those defendants included Tremaine McQueen, 30, Chiefland; Clint Thomas, 28, Chiefland; Linda Barnes, 48, Chiefland; Brenda Monroe, 36, Chiefland; Phillip Grant, 39, Chiefland; Susie Bennett, 52, Chiefland; Terrence Young Sr., 38, Chiefland; Reginald Adams, 23, Chiefland; James Ellerby, 42, Chiefland; Raulney Macon, 25, Chiefland; George Wilkerson, 30, Chiefland; Eddie Latson, 28, Chiefland; Naomi Adams, 25, Chiefland; Tony Gause, 52, Chiefland; Derwin Williams, 47, Williston; Derrick Wesley, 18, Williston; Donnie Wesley, 24, Williston; Gerald Ross Jr., 36, Williston; Jeffrey Middleton, 24, Williston; Lee Lewis Jr., 20, Williston; Calvin Jackson, 43, Williston; Courtney Harvey, 19, Williston; Eddie Graham, 25, Williston; Robert Gaines, 22, Williston; Harold Dallas, 20, Williston; Paul Alexander, 29, Williston; Bo Wilkinson, age and address unknown