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Additional Arrests in Drug Trafficking, Racketeering, and Money Laundering Case

 
 Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agents with the Sebring Field Office yesterday arrested two more individuals involved in a marijuana trafficking and money laundering scheme. Alexis Anthony Foster, 26, of Orlando, and Kesha Vashanda Jennings, 35, of Bartow, were charged with racketeering, conspiracy to traffic in marijuana (more than 25 pounds), and money laundering.

Foster and Jennings’ arrest follows Wednesday’s arrest of Carlton Wayne Smith, 43, of Rancho Dominguez, Ca. and Christopher Lee Pinnock, 36, of Avon Park, Fl. for their role in the drug trafficking scheme.

FDLE began its investigation in October 2008 after an Avon Park bank contacted investigators regarding numerous cash deposits Pinnock had made in Smith’s account over a one-year period, totaling more than $700,000. The deposits were made in banks located in Highlands and Polk counties.

Further investigation revealed that the accounts were being used by Pinnock and Smith to funnel payments for shipments of marijuana. Pinnock, Foster, and Jennings are believed to have worked with Smith to receive and distribute marijuana in several cities in Florida and other states. The four used various bank accounts to make cash deposits and hide their activities.

The investigation also revealed Smith, who had previously been deported from the United States, had illegally re-entered the United States and assumed several aliases while assisting in the drug trafficking and money laundering activities. Agents say those involved in the drug trafficking scheme used multiple methods of transmitting drug proceeds, including money wire services. Funds were transmitted in U.S. dollars via wire to Jamaica where a member of the organization would then receive it in Jamaican currency in an effort to thwart detection.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assisted FDLE in the investigation. This case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Bill McCollum’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001