For Immediate Release
Monday, June 19, 2017
, United States Attorney
W. Stephen Muldrow
Contact: William Daniels
Three Lake City Residents Plead Guilty to Narcotics and Firearms Charges
Field Division: Tampa Field Division
Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that Lake City residents Latoshia Nicole Shade (41), James Terrence White (36), and Willie Lee Simmons, Jr. (31) have pleaded guilty to federal narcotics and firearms charges. Shade pleaded guilty to possessing ammunition as a convicted felon and to distributing cocaine. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for the ammunition offense and up to 20 years’ imprisonment for the drug distribution charge. White pleaded guilty to possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine, possessing with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, and maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing drugs; he faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each count. And, Simmons pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as convicted felon and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
According to the plea agreements, in the fall of 2016, Shade was introduced to an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). On December 8, 2016, she sold a box of ammunition and approximately one ounce of cocaine to that agent. Shade had obtained the cocaine from White, who operated a barbecue stand in Lake City, Florida. Shade and White sold approximately one ounce of cocaine to the undercover agent on two additional occasions.
On February 2, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a shed adjacent to White’s barbecue stand and found that he was using the shed to store cocaine and crack cocaine, as well as narcotics manufacturing and packaging equipment. Officers recovered $2,975 in cash from the shed and $5,623 from White.
Shade also had introduced a person to Simmons who, unbeknownst to her, was a confidential informant (CI) working for ATF. In November 2016, Simmons sold Alpha-PVP, also known as “flakka” or “gravel,” to the CI on two occasions. On November 8, 2016, Simmons sold a .357 caliber revolver to the CI and, a few weeks later, he informed the CI that he had a second firearm to sell. The CI introduced Simmons to the undercover agent and, the next day, Simmons sold the agent a.40 caliber semiautomatic handgun.
At the time of the offenses, Shade and Simmons both had prior felony convictions and were therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. Shade’s previous felony convictions include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, retaliating against a witness, and sale of cocaine. Simmons had a prior felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.
These cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in conjunction with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake City Police Department. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.
These cases are being prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow, along with Daryl R. McCrary, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.