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14 arrested in marijuana distribution conspiracy

TAMPA, Fla. — Law enforcement teams in Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi arrested 14 individuals Wednesday for conspiring to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana. The arrests were part of an investigation dubbed Operation Wooley Swamp, which was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force 2, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Clearwater Police Department.

The following individuals were arrested:

  • Gaudencio Garcia, aka Pelon, aka Hugo, aka Jose, 26, of Wimauma, Fla.,
  • Armando Martinez-Hernandez, aka Choco, aka Mando, aka Juan, 45, of Weslaco, Texas,
  • Luis Alberto Garcia, aka Louie, aka Chuey, 32, of Weslaco,
  • Herman Martinez, 23, of Wimauma,
  • Ismael Martinez, aka Jose, 24, of Wimauma,
  • Charles Daniew Law, 52, of Riverview, Fla.,
  • Anthony Edward Peters, aka Tony, 36, of Clearwater, Fla.,
  • Joseph Fairweather, aka Joey, 28, of Holiday, Fla.,
  • Christopher Hart, aka Chris, 39, of New Port Richey, Fla.,
  • Paul Jason Pless, 37, of Gibsonton, Fla.,
  • Charles Francis Martin III, aka Chuck, 42, of Riverview,
  • Cynthia Ford Rico, aka Cindy, 56, of West Memphis, Ark.,
  • Pamela Ford Walker, 54, of Oxford, Miss., and
  • David Ray Hobbs, 63, of Memphis, Tenn.

If convicted, each individual faces between 10 years and up to life in federal prison.