PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – A federal grand jury returned two indictments this week charging twelve individuals with methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine related conspiracy offenses. The indictments were announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. These individuals were arrested on federal warrants and made their initial appearances in United States District Court today.
The indictments charge that Gregory A. Militello (42), Joshua P. Militello (30), Nicole D. Jones (32), Kirby B. Smith (50), James E. Atiabi (35), John W. Casey (33), Stephanie A. Gunderson (26), Jared L. Hester (29), Shannon L. Hurd (29), Shawn M. King (34), Joseph D. Peterson (33), and Hunter G. Myrick (23), all from the greater Pensacola area, were involved in a conspiracy to possess and distribute large amounts of pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture methamphetamine from January 1, 2011, until their arrests. Pseudoephedrine is a chemical used to manufacture methamphetamine. In addition to the twelve individuals arrested on federal warrants, dozens more were arrested on state warrants involving similar alleged activity.
Trial for the federal defendants is set for June, 2013. If convicted at trial, each of the twelve defendants faces up to twenty years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charged in the indictments. Mr. Peterson faces a separate mandatory penalty of ten years to life imprisonment based upon a charge against him involving the manufacture of methamphetamine.
The indictments result from an investigation by agents of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely a formal charge by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until the government proves their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury at trial.