Green Cove Springs, FL

Clay County man among 9 indicted in multi-state drug trafficking conspiracy

Don Johnson

Nine individuals, including a Green Cove Springs man, have been indicted on charges of drug trafficking conspiracy and other charges as a result of a joint investigation dubbed “Operation Ice Man,” U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced.

One of the individuals charged was identified as Jimmie Lee Bizzell, 53, of Green Cove Springs. Bizzell was indicted on a charge of drug trafficking conspiracy and faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years if convicted.

According to the indictment and court documents, since early 2022, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the DeLand Police Department, and the Daytona Police Department have been involved in an investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that was transporting methamphetamine and cocaine from Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles to central Florida.

During the investigation, federal agents and task force officers identified several members of the conspiracy and the methods used by the drug trafficking organization 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 organization. Bizzell was one of the commercial truck drivers who transported the drugs from Phoenix to Florida, according to the court documents.

On Oct. 31, 2022, search warrants were executed at six locations in Palm Coast, Bunnell, and Daytona Beach. 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, 48, of Bunnell resided.

Tyrone James Jones, 55, of Palm Coast, Zara Adriana Mascarella, 20, of Palm Coast, Alfred Shavers, Alfred Shavers, Jr., 26, and Camarie Shavers, 23, all of Bunnell were all identified as drug distributors in central Florida.

Upon further investigation, law enforcement determined that Saul Sandoval, 39, of Phoenix and Luis Miguel Hernandez, 36 of Phoenix were the sources of the methamphetamine and cocaine from Phoenix and Los Angeles. Agents learned that Sandoval and Hernandez had brokered deals with co-conspirators in Mexico who were sending drugs across the border for Sandoval and Hernandez to sell. Law enforcement also discovered that Sandoval possessed multiple illegal firearms at his residence including fully automatic firearms, short-barrel firearms, and auto switches designed to be installed on Glock handgun slides to render the handguns fully automatic. 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. Sandoval was detained and is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending transport to the Middle District of Florida for further proceedings. Hernandez was arrested in Los Angeles on the same day. He was in the middle of conducting a new drug trafficking deal for approximately 36 kilograms of methamphetamine at the time of his arrest. Hernandez was also detained and placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending his transport to the Middle District of Florida.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

The indictment also notifies Alfred Lamar Shavers that the United States intends to forfeit four pistols, two rifles, and one shotgun which are alleged to be traceable to the offense.

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.
Nine people indicted on federal charges.Photo byDOJ

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I am a freelance journalist who has been covering Florida since 2004. I have experience in website and newspaper content as an editor and writer.


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