LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Members of a Haitian drug organization with ties to Miami will be spending serious time in prison following convictions today in U.S. Federal Court in Fort Myers. The suspects were rounded up last October during a drug sting, the result of a cooperative effort between the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Collier County Sheriff's Office, Cape Coral Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami Police Department. The group operated out of the Palmona Park and Suncoast Estates areas of North Fort Myers.
Today's convictions in U.S. Federal Court resulted in mandatory life sentences for Jude Sereme, 28, Jophaney Hyppolite, 29, and Eric Bonita, 26, all of Miami. Those sentences will be handed down by a judge in January. Rick Jean, 26, of Miami faces a maximum 20 year sentence and Wilmane Jean, 23 of Miami and Neheme Ductant, 28, of Hollywood, Florida face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison.
Two local defendants, Michael Dupin, 30, and Jennifer Sander, 30, both of Fort Myers, also pled today to drug conspiracy charges and face sentencing in January.
Six people have been snared in a drug sting targeting a crack cocaine organization with ties to Miami and Southwest Florida. The arrests were the result of a cooperative effort by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Coral Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami Police Department.
The defendants face federal charges including conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute crack cocaine. Those arrested and charged are Eric Bonita, DOB 4-2-86 of Miami; Jude Sereme, DOB 10-14-83 of Miami; Jophaney Hyppolite, DOB 9-4-83 of Miami; Rick Jean, DOB 10-1-86 of Miami, Wilmane Jean, DOB 6-16-89 of Miami and Neheme Ductant, DOB 7-18-84 of Hollywood, Florida. Five other individuals, including 29-year-old Michael Dupin of Fort Myers, also face federal indictments and are being actively sought.
During the execution of the federal search warrant, Lee County narcotics detectives encountered two other individuals with crack cocaine. Emmanuel St Vil, DOB 8-2-92, of 16902 Carmen Avenue, Fort Myers and Traven Paschal, DOB 4-2-83, of 16902 Carmen Avenue, Fort Myers each face state charges for cocaine possession.
“These arrests are just the latest example of law enforcement teamwork,” says Sheriff Mike Scott. “Tonight some bad, bad, individuals have been taken off the streets."
If convicted on all counts, each defendant (facing federal charges) faces sentences of up to life in prison.