MIL-OSI Security: Nine Sentenced In Interstate Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Spanning California, Arizona, And Central Florida

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Source: Office of United States Attorneys

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton has sentenced nine individuals to federal prison for their respective roles in a multi-kilogram cocaine and methamphetamine distribution operation. The multi-agency investigation lasted two years and spanned from Central Florida to Arizona and California. Each individual charged in the case was found guilty by a jury or pleaded guilty for their role in the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and related offenses, and were sentenced as follows:  

Name

Offense(s)

Date of Conviction

Sentencing Date

Judgment

Luis Miguel Hernandez

(36, Phoenix, AZ)

500 grams methamphetamine; 5 kilograms cocaine

8/10/23

(pleaded guilty)

12/13/23

9 years, 1 month

Saul Sandoval

(41, Phoenix, AZ)

500 grams methamphetamine

12/27/23

(pleaded guilty)

5/31/24

10 years

Zara Mascarella

(20, Palm Coast, FL)

500 grams methamphetamine; 500 grams cocaine

9/12/23

(pleaded guilty)

12/19/23

5 years

Camarie Shavers

(24, Bunnell, FL)

500 grams cocaine

9/20/23

(pleaded guilty)

12/11/23

2 years, 6 months

Alfred L. Shavers

(50, Bunnell, FL)

cocaine; possession of a firearm by convicted felon

2/23/24 (jury trial)

6/3/24

16 years

Alfred L. Shavers Jr.

(26, Bunnell, FL)

50 grams methamphetamine

9/18/23

(pleaded guilty)

12/11/23

5 years

Jimmie Lee Bizzell

(53, Bunnell, FL)

500 grams methamphetamine

9/18/23

(pleaded guilty)

1/16/24

6 years

Wendell Ferreira

(42, Berlin, CT)

500 grams methamphetamine, 5 kilograms cocaine

1/31/24

(pleaded guilty)

5/13/24

2 years, 9 months

Tyrone Jones

(56, Palm Coast, FL)

500 grams methamphetamine (2 counts); 50 grams methamphetamine

2/23/24

(jury trial)

6/3/24

10 years

According to court records, during the investigation, federal agents and task force officers identified several members of the conspiracy and the methods used by the drug trafficking organization (DTO) to ship methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico across the United States to Central Florida using commercial trucks. Law enforcement tracked the drugs from Phoenix and Los Angeles gathering vital intelligence on the DTO. Bizzell and Ferreira were the commercial truck drivers who transported the drugs from California and Arizona to Florida.

On October 31, 2022, search warrants were executed at six locations in Palm Coast, Bunnell, and Daytona Beach, Florida. As a result, 44.54 kilograms of methamphetamine and 2.72 kilograms of cocaine were seized. In addition, nine guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were seized from a location where Alfred Shavers resided. Jones, Mascarella, Alfred Shavers, Alfred Shavers, Jr., and Camarie Shavers were identified as drug traffickers in Central Florida.

Law enforcement determined that Sandoval and Hernandez were the sources of the methamphetamine and cocaine from Phoenix and Los Angeles. Agents learned they had brokered deals with co-conspirators in Mexico who were sending drugs across the border for Sandoval and Hernandez to sell. Authorities believe that since 2021, Sandoval and Hernandez distributed more than 300 kilograms of drugs that were shipped to Central Florida.

On April 25, 2023, Sandoval was arrested in Phoenix and a search warrant was executed at his residence. Inside his home, agents located 1,114 grams of fentanyl pills, 18 firearms, 4 firearm suppressors, and more than $5,000 in cash. The illegal firearms included fully automatic firearms, short-barreled firearms, and auto switches designed to be installed on Glock handgun slides to transform the handguns into machineguns. Hernandez was arrested in Los Angeles on the same day he was conducting a new drug trafficking deal for approximately 36 kilograms of methamphetamine. Both were returned to the Middle District of Florida for prosecution.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Daytona Beach Resident Agency, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Daytona Beach Police Department, and the DeLand Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Sartoian and Matthew Del Mastro.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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