Friday, July 13, 2007, 3 p.m. -- St. Lucie County Sheriff’s narcotics detective Brian Hester’s leadership in "Operation Lucky 13" in 2006 has earned him honors as the 2007 Florida Narcotic Officers Association Officer of the year for Region 6, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
"The entire community can be proud of Detective Hester for originating, planning and coordinating the highly successful shutdown of the notorious 13th Street Gang of Fort Pierce," Sheriff Mascara said.
"The gang ran a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring in Fort Pierce," Sheriff Mascara said. "Detective Hester saw the need to put the gang out of business and came up with a multi-agency plan to do just that."
Detective Hester, 36, coordinated Operation Lucky 13, which lasted for 14 months, culminating in 37 arrests in May 2006.
Participating agencies included: the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, Fort Pierce Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, State Attorney’s office, U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The mastermind of the drug gang was Johnny Daniels, 27, of Stuart, who was jailed on federal charges.
In addition to the arrests, investigators served 14 search warrants in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, and seized nine firearms, 320 grams of crack cocaine, 595 grams of powdered cocaine, 55 prescription drug pills, more than $197,000 in currency and seven vehicles.
Here are the sentences levied by the U.S. District Court in the case:
• Antonio Ferguson sentenced to 20 years.
• Courtney Washington sentenced to 16 years.
• Derrick Cooper sentenced to life.
• Tyrone Williams sentenced to 27 years.
• Deshon Stacy sentenced to life
• Michael Shepard sentenced to 27 years.
• Lushus Banner sentenced to 10 years
• Katherine Nelson sentenced to 4 years.
• Edwin Hill sentenced to.12 years.
• Marion Mitchell sentenced to 27 years.
• Gosett Heaven sentenced to 27 years.
• Darrell Brunson sentenced to 15 years.