News


Two Men Charged in Drug Trafficking, Racketeering, and Money Laundering Case

 
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agents with the Sebring Field Office today arrested Carlton Wayne Smith, 43, of Rancho Dominguez, Ca. and Christopher Lee Pinnock, 36, of Avon Park, Fl. on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to traffic in cannabis (more than 25 pounds), money laundering, and structuring transactions to evade reporting or registration requirements.

Smith, a Jamaican national, who is already in federal custody, was served with the arrest warrant by FDLE. Pinnock was arrested at the Miami International Airport after arriving from Jamaica.

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. Several other individuals were also involved in making cash deposits into other bank accounts. Further investigation revealed that the accounts were being used by Pinnock and Smith to funnel payments for shipments of marijuana. The two are believed to be responsible for receiving and distributing marijuana in several other cities in Florida as well as other states.

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.

Additional arrests are anticipated. 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