Published: Sep 22, 2010 10:57 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 22, 2010 5:35 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and New Jersey State Police have just completed an investigation into the shipment of illegal pills between North Fort Myers and Cumberland Township, New Jersey.

On July 13, 2010, investigators with the New Jersey State Police received information regarding the illegal distribution of prescription medications being sent via the United States Postal Service (USPS). An investigation into the matter revealed that large quantities of Oxycodone had been shipped several times from North Fort Myers to a residence in New Jersey.

Detectives with the New Jersey State Police intercepted one of the packages, a teddy bear stuffed with more than two-hundred pills. After making contact with the Postal Inspector for the USPS, investigators learned of an additional twenty-one items mailed from North Fort Myers to New Jersey between February and May, 2010. The mailing labels identified Rose Pierce of North Fort Myers as the individual associated with the shipping of each item.

After speaking with the recipient of the packages, investigators learned that seven prior shipments containing nearly two-thousand pills had been sent from North Fort

Myers. The New Jersey recipients would then sell the pills illegally and deposit the proceeds into a bank account. A review of bank records showed that between October 2009 and July 2010, more than one-hundred thousand dollars was withdrawn from the account by individuals located in North Fort Myers.

New Jersey Detectives contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in reference to Pierce and other individuals responsible for sending the illegal pills through the mail. As part of the joint investigation, detectives assigned to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit conducted several hours of surveillance before establishing probable cause to arrest the following individuals for their part in the illegal pharmaceutical distribution ring:

Elton Corson Pierce (DOB 12/23/36) & Rose Marie Pierce of Powell Drive, Lot 24, North Fort Myers

Edwin Maxwell Pierce (DOB 3/3/77) of 15421 Crystal Lake Drive, North Fort Myers (see attached photo of guns and more than fourteen thousand dollars in cash seized at Pierce’s home during his arrest)

All three were arrested at their homes during the early morning hours of September 22, 2010. Each is being charged by the New Jersey State Police with one count of Distributing a Controlled Substance, one count of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and one count of Money Laundering More than $75000. Additional charges are pending.