Task Force dismantles Putnam County narcotics distribution ring


The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Tri-County Narcotics Task Force, the Palatka Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement today announced the arrest of 18 individuals following a four-month investigation into illegal narcotics distribution in Putnam County.
The investigation alleges that Johnny Batts, of Palatka, was integral in the importation and distribution of numerous types of narcotics onto the streets of Putnam County. According to investigators, Batts received illegal drugs from suppliers in South Florida and then distributed the drugs to individuals who were responsible for supplying numerous street dealers.

“Today, we took large amounts of drugs, drug dealers, felons and firearms off the street,” said 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney R. J. Larizza. “Johnny Batts, the leader of this drug gang was recently released from prison on drug related charges.  Such contempt for the law and the safety and welfare of the citizens of the 7th Circuit is intolerable.  Our efforts and our resolve shall not diminish in our fight against repeat offenders, drug activity and violent crime.”
“What an outstanding collaborative effort on the part of numerous law enforcement agencies to bring this investigation to a positive conclusion today,” said Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy. “This investigation will lead to many more arrests, which ultimately will help to keep the citizens of Putnam County safe.”
“Illegal drugs have no jurisdictional boundaries,” said Palatka Police Chief Gary S. Getchell. “This is a great example of numerous law enforcement agencies collaborating to make our communities safer.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of over 1200 grams of cocaine, one pound of high grade cannabis, 60 Roxicodone pills, 10 Lortab pills, over $20,000 in U.S. Currency and six firearms. Four of the firearms were taken from convicted felons.
The Tri-County Narcotics Task Force is comprised of FDLE, the Putnam, St. Johns, and Flagler County sheriff’s offices, the Palatka Police Department, the St. Augustine Beach Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 7th Judicial Circuit.
The following is a list of the individuals arrested in this investigation:
Name, Date of Birth, City of Residence, Charge
Johnny S. Batts, 10-20-80, Palatka – Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
Andrea Calhoun, 12-14-65, Palatka--Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
Torrey Smart, 02-27-78, Palatka–Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
Larry Hall Sr., 02-02-60, Palatka–Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
Timothy Wiggins, 02-28-68, Palatka–Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
Tyrone Johnson, 11-27-73, Palatka—Trafficking in Cocaine
Demetrius McCaskill, 02-16-83, Palatka–Conspiracy to Traffic in a Schedule II Cont. Substance
Cartageous Valentine, 09-03-80, Palatka--Trafficking in Cocaine
Darrell Jones, 11-06-76, Palatka--Conspiracy to Traffic in Cocaine
Kevin Adams, 06-29-79, Palatka--Trafficking in Cocaine
Alvin Perry, 05-24-78, Palatka--Trafficking in Cocaine
Lawrence Sharp 06-23-69, Palatka–Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine w/ Intent to Sell
Marvin Brown, 07-17-79, Palatka--Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine w/ Intent to Sell
Jim Curry, 11-17-77, Palatka--Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine w/ Intent to Sell
Cory Daniels, 10-09-82, East Palatka--Trafficking in Cocaine
Kristin Kellum, 06-09-87, Palatka--Conspiracy to Possess a Schedule II Controlled Substance
Royvie Leonard, 03-10-59, Palatka–Possession of Cocaine w/Intent to Sell
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Keith Kameg or Kristi Gordon
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001