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Drug trade takes a hit

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By Jim Clark

The drug trade in Levy County and surrounding areas took a big hit recently with the announcement last week of the arrest of more than 70 people in a joint Levy-Dixie County effort.

Included in the arrests were seven people who will be facing federal charges. They include Andre Delaney Thompson, 34, and Nacola Monique Brown, 24, both of Chiefland; Dearmus Cezhan Lovett, 33, Juan Antrell Washington, 31, and Willie Charles Carter Jr., 37, all of Cross City; and Clarence Darnell Marshall, 30, and Jaquana Adeline McPhee, 28, both of Leesburg. The federal indictment was returned on Feb. 26.

Those arrested from the Williston area facing state charges include Paul Lavell Alexander, 29; Harold Monroe Dallas, 20; Robert Lee Gaines, 22; Eddie Daniel Graham, 25; Courtney Cordelroe Harvey, 19; Calvin Jackson, 43; Lee Clarence Lewis Jr., 20; Jeffrey Rashad Middleton, 24; Gerald Lavern Ross Jr., 36; Donnie Lee Wesley, 24; Derrick Jerome Wesley, 18 and Derwin Homer Williams, 47.

At a press conference last Friday which included Sheriffs Johnny Smith of Levy County, Dewey Hatcher of Dixie County and Dixie Sheriff's Capt. Chad Reed, Lt. Evan Sullivan of Levy County said the operation was "huge." He said the "real story" was the seizure of more than 50 kilograms of crack cocaine, with an estimated value of $1.4 million. Also seized was five kilograms of powder cocaine, with an approximate value of $110,000.

The operation, dubbed Yellow Fever in Levy County and Gill Net in Dixie, started with a car chase from Levy into Dixie about a year ago that ended at an alleged drug house. From there the investigation grew to include the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Investigators also seized a number of assets which could become forfeited items to the various agencies. "We like taking their money," Sullivan said.

Those arrested from the Chiefland area included Tony Gause, 52; Naomi Adams, 25; Eddie Latson, 28; George Wilkerson, 30; Raulney Macon, 25; James Ellerby, 42; Reginald Adams Jr., 23; Terrence Young Sr., 38; Susie Bennett, 52; Phillip Scott Grant, 39; Brenda Monroe, 36; Linda Barnes, 48; Clint Thomas, 28 and Tremaine McQueen, 30.

Other defendants are from Cross City, Steinhatchee, Old Town, Trenton and Orlando.