March 5, 2007 -- This morning in U.S. District Court, Fort Pierce, John Thomas Bolen, owner of the 42-foot fishing boat “Gypsy,” received a federal sentence of life in prison in the case of last July’s seizure of the boat containing $16.4 million in cocaine. Co-defendant Tristan Seymour (DOB 12/4/83) received a sentence of 84 months.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office participated in the investigation of the case, the arrest on July 28, 2006, of Seymour and Quincy Garvey (DOB 5/8/65) and the seizure of the “Gypsy.”
“The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office is committed to fighting drug smuggling from the street level to the suppliers,” said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara this afternoon.
“When I became Sheriff of St. Lucie County in 2001, I promised to fight drug smuggling and distribution at all levels and to work cooperatively with all other law agencies engaged in this fight,” Sheriff Mascara said. “That dedication and cooperation have paid off in today’s sentencing in federal court of John Thomas Bolen, owner of the fishing boat ‘Gypsy’ and crew member Tristan Seymour.”
Seymour and Quincy Garvey, both of the Bahamas were arrested aboard the Gypsy July 28, 2006, more than seven miles east of the Fort Pierce Inlet in the Atlantic Ocean. When Coast Guardsmen and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents seized the boat, they brought it to Cracker Boy Boat Works in Fort Pierce where St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Detective Gerry Graff and his K-9 Miranda (a female Golden Retriever) boarded the vessel and Miranda alerted to the presence of drugs in several suitcases containing 164 kilograms of cocaine.
The $16.4 million street value of the seized cocaine was the largest dollar-value of cocaine seized in at least the past 15 years in the St. Lucie County area, Sheriff Mascara said.