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DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge James DiCaprio confirmed a money laundering investigation is continuing. Officers seized $115,000 in cash; the inclusion of $5 and $10 bills in the seizure is a reflection of the retail nature of this drug organization. The Bradenton Police and the Sheriff 's Offices in Manatee and Sarasota counties also assisted in the operation. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (the old AFT) was "called in at the last min- ute," said AFT Special Agent Deland Reid, assistant special agent in charge of the Tampa office. "We focused on the arrest of violent, repeat firearms violators," he said. It took investigators 18 months to penetrate the organization. "These are people who grew up together," said Ledwith. Hawks, who is 36, was on probation for fed- eral firearms charges. Shannon is 44. Gomez has already served one prison sen- tence for trafficking in cocaine. As the date of Gomez' alleged delivery drew near, detectives signed the probable cause affidavits in December and January in prepa- ration for a series of arrests the week of Jan. 20. Street-level drug sales were primarily in north Sarasota, including sites along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, the 4900 block of North Tamiami Trail, the 3500 block of Old Bradenton Road, the 1100 block of 32nd Street, 2412 Pershing Ave., the 1500 block of 23rd Street and other locations identified only as "City of Sarasota." Those arrested follow: • Irwin Donte Brown, 26, of 1349 20th St., Sarasota. • Roderick Shannon, 44, of 5000 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (the Rodeway Inn Motel). • Almuta Muhammad Shabazz Hawks, 36, of 2030 29th St., Sarasota. • Alex Hernando Gomez, 46, of 2352 NW 34th St., Miami. • Kewarren Lamar Jones, 43, of 3039 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota. • Reginald Eugene Brown, 36, of 821 Mecca Drive, Sarasota. • Shane Kendall Phillips Austin, 28, of 1506 23rd St., Sarasota. • Reginald Maurice Williams, 38, of 4990 Baraldi Circle, Unit 101, Sarasota. • Demond Williams, 40, of 1958 24th St., Sarasota (no prior criminal history). • Guss Jackson Jr., 43, of 2412 Pershing Ave., Sarasota (no prior criminal history). To view the Feb. 4 press conference, visit % E d i t o r s ' n o t e : S t a n Z i m m e r m a n i s n o stranger to drug traf- ficking organizations or money laundering, having covered both in his book A History of Smuggling in Florida. Sarasota News Leader February 7, 2014 Page 49

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