Jacksonville, FL - Two local men are among the 17 people who have been taken down as part of an anti-drug trafficking operation targeting what the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida calls “outlaw motorcycle clubs”.
Prosecutors say these conspirators, some of who are part of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, are responsible for hundreds of grams of meth being on the streets of Florida, including in Jacksonville and St. Augustine.
Robert Foster, of St. Augustine, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess meth with intent to distribute and possession of meth with intent to distribute. His plea agreement says he took part in a group that was responsible for distributing kilos of meth from Georgia to other trafficking groups in Florida. The drugs were largely moved to Central Florida, but the plea agreement says they were brought to St. Augustine as well. Foster specifically admits to conspiring to distribute at least 150 grams of meth. He further admits to, on a single occasion in April 2018, purchasing 137 grams of meth that was 99% pure.
Salvador Rivas, of Jacksonville, has pleaded guilty to his part in a related organization, although not directly the operation that Foster was involved in. He faces one count of possession of meth with intent to distribute and two counts of distribution of meth. The leader of the organization Rivas was in is responsible for distributing kilos of meth in Florida, according to court records, with some of that coming to Jacksonville. Rivas served as a runner, and his plea agreement says he conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of meth from around November 2017 through September 2018. He further admits to distributing nine ounces of 96% pure meth in exchange for $1800 in one incident in Daytona Beach, and exchanging 561 grams of 92% pure meth for $3800 in an incident in Jacksonville.
The other suspects who have pleaded guilty as part of this targeted investigation include 47-year-old Barbara Caylor-Hernandez, of Ormond Beach; 44-year-old Ramiro Fraire-Chavarria, of Dalton, GA; 47-year-old Michael Babin, of Daytone Beach; 28-year-old Melanie Kerr, of Daytona Beach; 41-year-old Keith Simmons, of Oak Hill; 51-year-old Carla Ray, of Oak Hill; 49-year-old Spencer Burkard, of New Smyrna Beach; 54-year-old Daniel Barbarino, of Daytona Beach; 33-year-old Andrew Shettler, of Palm Coast; 47-year-old Brian Burt, of Port Orange; 55-year-old Lawrence Sann, of Bunnell; 33-year-old Michael Andrews; 38-year-old Jason Stringer, of Daytona Beach; 35-year-old Melissa Ford, of Daytona Beach; and 53-year-old Theodore Bilski, of Daytona Beach.
Both local suspects could face up to life in prison. Their sentencing dates have not yet been set.
These indictments stemmed from FBI and DEA investigations that involved controlled drug purchases by an undercover officer and several confidential informants, as well as intercepted telephone conversations.