TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Jermaine Hadley, 32, of Quincy, Florida was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on Friday, June 4, 2021. Hadley headed a drug trafficking organization affiliated with a violent gang in the Gadsden County, Florida area that was responsible for the distribution of over 50 kilograms of methamphetamine, over 15 kilograms cocaine, MDMA, possession of illegal firearms, in addition to facilitating a largescale dogfighting ring throughout the north-central Florida Panhandle between 2018 and 2019. The sentencing was announced by Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
A total of 21 defendants were arrested and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing from the long-term investigation into drug trafficking and dogfighting, to include:
- Dennis Lamar Howard, 47, of Chattahoochee, Florida; Sentenced to credit for time served, with 2 years of supervised release, 6 months of which will be served on home detention with location monitoring.
- Eddie Lee Hughes, 54, of Chattahoochee, Florida; Sentenced to credit for time served, with 3 years of supervised release.
- Leonard Safford, 39, of Gretna, Florida; Sentenced to 48 months in federal prison
- Patrick Lee Baker, 45, of Chattahoochee, Florida; Sentencing set for 6/24/2021
- Sariem Shanquell McMillian, 25, of Quincy, Florida; Sentencing set for 6/24/2021
- Bob Streets, 37, of Quincy, Florida; Sentencing set for 6/24/2021
- Jeremy Williams, 30, of Greenwood, Florida; Sentencing set for 6/25/2021
- Linda Lockwood, 50, of Chattahoochee, Florida; Sentencing set for 6/25/2021
- Zanntayfey Yohoun Bennett, 37, of Quincy, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/7/2021
- Samantha Eugenia Yelle, 32, of Marianna, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/7/2021
- Devar San Jacus Donaldson, 29, of Quincy, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/8/2021
- Tiffany Jean Hughes, 31, of Marianna, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/8/2021
- Jamaron Juanata Paden, Sr., 31, of Marianna, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/9/2021
- Tanya Henry, 43, of Marianna, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/9/2021
- Charles Randolph Corbin, 47, of Blountstown, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/21/2021
- Justin Cribley, 38, of Chattahoochee, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/21/2021
- Ja’Rod Lamar Bryant, 33, of Chattahoochee, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/22/2021
- DeCarlise Roidel Chapman, 47, of Marianna, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/22/2021
- Savanna Price, 21, of Marianna, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/23/2021
- Jequentavious Trayshon Owens, 26, of Chattahoochee, Florida; Sentencing set for 7/23/2021
Hadley led a drug trafficking organization supplied by multiple sources in Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, from which he and his associates distributed narcotics throughout the Northern District of Florida. His narcotics distribution network involved members of the Gadsden County, Florida “424” criminal street gang. In addition, Hadley and his associates coordinated and conducted numerous dogfighting matches where the animals were often made to fight to the death, as participants paid to watch and gambled on the outcomes. The investigation resulted in the seizure of multi-kilograms quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, marijuana, numerous firearms, large sums of U.S. currency, as well as the rescue and rehabilitation of over 100 fighting dogs. Several parcels of real property in the Gadsden County area used to facilitate the criminal activities of the organization were seized and are being criminally forfeited.
“As a result of the incredible work of our law enforcement partners, this criminal has been held to account for the violence, armed drug trafficking, and horrific acts of animal cruelty he orchestrated,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “The abuse of animals for profit is both inhumane and illegal and will be vigorously prosecuted by this office.”
“Jermaine Hadley can no longer distribute dangerous drugs nor harm innocent animals,” said DEA Miami Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge La Verne Hibbert. “As a result of the strong multi-agency law enforcement collaboration in this case, Panhandle communities are less afflicted by the scourge of his drug distribution and gang related criminal activities.”
USDA-OIG Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Salina Walker stated, “The United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General-Investigations, actively investigates allegations of animal abuse. This agency has made animal fighting a high priority in order to demonstrate that these blatant acts of cruelty to animals will no longer be tolerated. We want to thank the outstanding work of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners who investigated this case and the prosecutors of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for aggressively prosecuting perpetrators of animal fighting.”
“These investigations highlight the importance of law enforcement partnerships across the spectrum of local and federal government,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Micah McCombs. “Our communities can rest easier knowing this criminal is behind bars for his illegal activities with narcotics and animal fighting ventures.”
“Reducing violent crime involving firearms and ammunition are at the forefront ATF’s mission”, said ATF Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Saier, “The collaboration of law enforcement at every level in this case is an example of the positive impact partnerships can make particularly when such heinous crimes have occurred”.
“The Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the teamwork from all agencies. We are intolerable of offenses especially this kind,” stated Sheriff Morris Young.
This investigation and prosecution was the result of the collaborative effort of numerous federal, state, and local agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Chattahoochee Police Department, the Tallahassee Police Department, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Air National Guard Counterdrug Program. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Mountin.