Attorney General Bill McCollum News Release
August 13, 2009
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Drug Traffickers Convicted for Criminal Racketeering, Cocaine Trafficking
~ Central Florida men were involved with separate aspects of cocaine trafficking enterprise ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL -- Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that two men were convicted of criminal racketeering charges and drug trafficking charges stemming from their involvement in a narcotics trafficking enterprise in Central Florida. Juan Javier Romo-Jimenez, of Apopka, and Bruce Haynes, of Winter Garden, were prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution. Sentencing is set for September 30.
Romo-Jimenez and Haynes were among 36 defendants indicted by the 18th Statewide Grand Jury on numerous charges related to drug trafficking. The indictment was handed down in April 2008 and was the result of an 11-month investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Court-ordered wiretaps were used to expose a multi-jurisdictional cocaine trafficking enterprise that was receiving cocaine from Mexico and distributing the drugs throughout Apopka, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Orlando, Eustice, Zellwood and Mount Dora communities. Romo-Jimenez, a documented SUR 13 gang member, was at the heart of the operation that was responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of powder and crack cocaine.
Authorities determined that Romo-Jimenez, 32, received shipments of cocaine from two codefendants and Haynes, 45, frequently bought quarter and half kilogram quantities of cocaine for conversion into crack and additional distribution. As part of the investigation, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized thousands of dollars in cash and four kilograms of cocaine, worth more than $400,000 in terms of street value.
An Orange County jury returned the guilty verdicts late Wednesday afternoon following a two-week trial before Circuit Judge Bob LeBlanc. The other 34 defendants have already been prosecuted and all received sentences related to their involvement.
The joint investigation was conducted by the Orange County Sheriff's Office Gang Enforcement Unit, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Apopka Police Department, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.