Four Washington County residents sentenced in meth trafficking case


PENSACOLA – A federal judge sentenced four defendants in a large-scale

methamphetamine trafficking organization operating primarily in Washington County. The

convictions and sentences were announced Thursday, July 27, by Jason R. Coody United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

 

Sentenced in the case were:

  • Ashley Michelle Zurica, 43, of Caryville – 220 months in prison
  • Ashley Elliot Brown, 41, of Caryville – 180 months in prison
  • Donald Eugene Skipper, 55, of Chipley -180 months in prison
  • William Keith Carter, 52, of Wausau -168 months in prison

 

 

Coody called methamphetamine distribution a “scourge on large and small communities†in the Thursday statement.

 

“With our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to identifying and aggressively prosecuting those who threaten our citizens’ health and safety by distributing such addictive, controlled substances,†said Coody. “These sentences demonstrate that resolve.â€

 

The sentences stem from a 2019 investigation launched by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Panama City Resident Office Task Force. The investigation targeted the distribution of multiple kilograms of methamphetamine by Zurica, Brown, Skipper, Carter, and others in Washington County and surrounding areas of North Florida.

 

Over the course of the three-year investigation, DEA, working with state and local partners, compiled evidence to secure indictments on four federal defendants in the Northern District of Florida in addition to indictments in other federal districts and multiple State of Florida defendants. The investigation led to the seizure of several kilograms of methamphetamine, and the identification of illegal drug sources in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.

 

“Our work with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Florida and DEA is

resulting in convictions and removing illegal narcotics from our community,†said Washington

County Sheriff Kevin Crews.

 

“We remain committed to working with our federal, local, and

state law enforcement partners to keep these highly addictive and destructive drugs out of our

Community.†“Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and destructive substance, which can inflict great harm to our communities,†said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “The success of this investigation is a direct result of the collaboration between the DEA Miami Field Division and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, working together to keep our communities safe and healthy.â€

This case was a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the

Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Chipley Police Department, the Bay County Sheriff’s

Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Washington County State’s

Attorney Office. Assistant United States Attorney Walter Narramore prosecuted the case.

 

All defendants in the case will be on supervised release when they are eventually released from custody, according to the release.