Supplier in federal meth trafficking case sentenced


An Alabama man has been sentenced in federal court as the supplier of a large drug ring which brought illegal narcotics into Washington County.

Four Washington County residents were sentenced in federal court in July, after being found guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine.

These residents of our county were responsible for the distribution of multiple pounds of methamphetamine throughout Washington County and surrounding areas.

As a result of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigation, the main source of supply coming into Washington County was identified as Eddie Wayne Hutto of Hartford, Alabama. Hutto received a 20-year federal prison sentence out of the Middle District of Alabama.

The investigation was initiated in 2019 by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force targeting the sale and distribution of methamphetamine, concentrating on major dealers in the county. This investigation spanned several years with countless man hours, undercover operations, and long term surveillance across several Florida counties as well as Georgia and Alabama.   

WCSO worked closely with numerous law enforcement partners to include: the Drug Enforcement Administration of Florida, DEA of Georgia, DEA of Alabama, Chipley Police Department, Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Panama City Police Department, Springfield Police Department, Panama City Beach Police Department, Dothan Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Office of State Attorney Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

The investigation led to the seizure of more than 50 kilograms of methamphetamine and secured multiple federal indictments in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

A federal judge in Pensacola found all defendants guilty after hearing facts presented of this large-scale methamphetamine trafficking organization which primarily operated in Washington County.

The sentences handed down were:

  • Ashley Michelle Zurica, 43, of Caryville, 18 years federal prison
  • Ashley Elliot Brown, 41, of Caryville, 15 years federal prison
  • Donald Eugene Skipper, 55, of Chipley, 15 years federal prison
  • William Keith Carter, 52, of Wausau, 14 years federal prison

These residents were responsible for the distribution of multiple pounds of 

“We are continuing to work tirelessly to eradicate drugs from Washington County communities and to provide treatment for addiction to these drugs,†said Sheriff Kevin Crews. “Cooperation and communication between law enforcement agencies is invaluable in the success of these types of investigations.â€