CCSO, DEA break up local meth ring with ties to Mexican cartel

Two Middleburg men sentenced to federal prison after 20 pounds of meth recovered

By Don Coble don@opcfla.com
Posted 10/28/20

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A methamphetamine trafficking ring linked back to the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel that was intended for local sale was busted by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug …

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CCSO, DEA break up local meth ring with ties to Mexican cartel

Two Middleburg men sentenced to federal prison after 20 pounds of meth recovered

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A methamphetamine trafficking ring linked back to the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel that was intended for local sale was busted by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Nicholas Mattox, 51, and Keith Williams, 61, both of Middleburg, have been sentenced to federal prison after deputies recovered 20 pounds of “98% pure” crystal methamphetamine and $32,200 in cash during separate raids the men’s homes.

“In July of 2019, this task force began an investigation into a drug trafficking organization, with ties to Clay County, that was being operated by Nicholas Mattox,” Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook said. “During the investigation, multiple drug buys were made from Mattox. The DEA obtained a federal search warrant for Mattox’s residence, and seized over 14 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, and approximately $32,200 in U.S. currency.

“Investigators learned that Keith Williams was being supplied kilogram quantities of crystal methamphetamine by Nicholas Mattox. Clay County Sherriff’s Office obtained a state search warrant for Williams' residence. During the execution of the search warrant, detectives located over 400 grams of crystal methamphetamine, which Williams admitted to purchasing from Mattox. This case was presented to the US Attorney’s office, and federal indictments were secured for both Mattox and Williams.”

The officers found more than 200 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside a rubber duck chlorine tablet holder on Williams’s porch.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Mattox to 10 years in federal prison, while Williams, was sentenced to five years.

Mattox had pleaded guilty on April 6, and Williams had pleaded guilty on July 13.

DEA Assistant Special Agent, Mike Dubet, said most of the drugs in the Southeast are being shipped from Mexico and distributed from Atlanta.

“This particular meth seizure was 98% crystal meth, that right there in itself is an indicator that this was produced in Mexico in these super labs,” said Dubet. “The days of, you know, people cooking up meth, in their ‘Breaking Bad’ days, are over. Our investigation led us back to the Atlanta area, which is a major hub of methamphetamine trafficking for the Mexican cartels.”

Dubet said the COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant price increase for methamphetamine. Nine months ago, 20 pounds of pure crystal meth would have been worth about $60,000, he said. Now it’s worth about $600,000.

The reason for the price increases are marketing plans by the cartel to increase profits, as well as tighter control of the Mexican/United States border, Dubet said.

Dubet and Cook both said other arrests could come from the same investigation.

“This is a great example of what can be accomplished by working with our valued law enforcement and prosecution partners. Not only were drugs removed from our streets, but those responsible for peddling this poison to our community were held accountable and will serve lengthy prison sentences. This is just one example of the many ongoing investigations we continue to work,” she said.

Cook said the CCSO Narcotics Unit has made 12 arrests and seized cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, pharmaceutical pills, fentanyl, marijuana and four firearms in the past two months.

“We know that drug trafficking breeds violence and we will not tolerate it here in Clay County,” she said.

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