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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney

Contact: Lennard Register, Assistant U.S. Attorney
(850) 444-4000

Four From Panama City and Jackson, MS Arrested on Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy; Cocaine, Guns, Cash, Vehicles and Boat Seized

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA — Four alleged members of a cocaine distribution conspiracy have been arrested and charged by criminal complaint in the Northern District of Florida. The arrests were announced this morning by Pamela C. Marsh, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, following the filing of a complaint before United States Magistrate Judge Larry A. Bodiford.

The complaint charges that Freddie Lee Christopher Knowles, IV, 26, and John Jerome Fagin, 29, from the greater Panama City area along with Candis Marshae Walker, 24, and David Isaac Rucker, 23, from Jackson, Mississippi were involved in a conspiracy to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine in Florida and elsewhere. The complaint further alleges that the conspiracy began as early as September 2011 and continued until their arrests on Sunday and Monday of this week. During the arrests and execution of three search warrants, investigators seized over 5 kilograms of cocaine, in excess of $125,000 in U.S. currency, 4 firearms, three vehicles and a 23 foot boat. Additional arrests are anticipated.

The complaint results from an investigation by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Panama City and Jackson, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICEHSI), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the Panama City Police Department, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Risinger is prosecuting the case.

If convicted at trial, all defendants face up to life in prison, at least 5 years of supervised release, up to a $10,000,000 fine on the count charged in the criminal complaint. Additional charges are anticipated.

A criminal complaint is merely a preliminary allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless the government proves their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury at trial.