A West Palm Beach man known on the streets as Ziggy and known to law enforcement as the biggest cocaine dealer in the county was one of more than 20 local and out-of-state men and women arrested today, accused of supplying the county’s streets with crack cocaine.
Those who were arrested this morning as part of “Operation Tumbleweed” range in age from 19 to 50 and are from local areas such as Lake Worth, North Palm Beach, Port. St. Lucie and as far as Tucson, Ariz.
Federal prosecutors say the head of the ring is 31-year-old Daniel E. Torrez of Tucson. He allegedly sold the crack cocaine to Antonio M. Beverly, 31, of West Palm Beach, who sold it to customers like George E. “Ziggy” Bivins Jr., 30, of West Palm Beach.
Beverly’s wife, Theresa Razz, a 28-year-old mother of three, was also arrested in the ring.
Bivins Jr. could deliver one kilo, or more than two pounds, of crack cocaine to buyers in the county within just two days, prosecutors said this morning in the defendants’ first appearance in front of a federal judge.
Not all of the 30 defendants named in the federal indictment were arrested today; five are at large.
In addition to taking about two dozen people into custody, FBI agents and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office enforcement confiscated six firearms, $55,000 in cash, eight high-end vehicles, one kilo of cocaine from Arizona and one home.
The investigation started when authorities in the fall of 2011 intercepted packages containing the drugs from Arizona to Florida.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon ordered that the 23 defendants be ordered held in pre-trial detention. All were appointed a federal public defender except for one: Richard J. Mercy, 30, of North Palm Beach.
Most of the defendants said they were unemployed. Those who said they are employed hold jobs ranging from working in a barber shop to working in housekeeping at the local VA Medical Center in suburban West Palm Beach.
Some defendants, such as Michael “Tater” Barkley, seemed confused about the charges they were facing, which include conspiracy to distribute, and possession with the intent to distribute the drug.
“I’m really, like, thrown off,” Barkley, 38, of Lake Worth said. “This is just real crazy.”
The judge asked if he had any more questions and Barkley responded: “I’m gunna lay down for a few days and I’ll be back atcha.”
Others, like Eric L. Williams, also known as “Baby Boy,” didn’t handle the charges well and apparently suffered a panic attack.
Before he faced the judge he started crying and was breathing heavily. He had to be helped by the U.S. Marshals to lay across a chair.
He told the judge that he felt well enough to address the court, even though he said his arms were numb.
When the U.S. Attorney read his charges aloud, Williams began disputing the charges with a shake of the head. He then said, “Only weed. No crack. Only weed.”
He was then taken away by the marshals for medical attention and the judge reset his case for Thursday.
Those facing federal drug charges are:
William Alvarenga, a/k/a “Chico,” 19, of Boynton Beach
Jessica Marie Arvizu, 30, of Tucson
Michael Maxwell Barkley, a/k/a “Tater,” 38, of Lake Worth
Jerrick David Bartee, 30, of West Palm Beach
Javaris Reshad Bartelmy, 24, of Boynton Beach
Antonio Markeith Beverly, a/k/a “Tony,” 29, of West Palm Beach
George Evans Bivins, Jr., a/k/a “Ziggy,” 30, of West Palm Beach
Kirk Douglas Bivins, a/k/a “Kirky,” 38, of Riviera Beach
Lavaris Reshard Bivins, a/k/a “Varis,” 22, of West Palm Beach
Demetri Pernell Cobb, a/k/a “Meechi,” 23, of Lake Worth
Darren Duane Donnally, 39, of Palm Springs
Quatavious Carnell George, a/k/a “Jelly Boy,” 26, of Riviera Beach
Wellington Timothy Glinton, a/k/a “Timmy,” 20, of Lake Worth
Ernest Andrew Holiday, a/k/a “Bam,” 30, of Riviera Beach
Jean Innocent, a/k/a “Barko,” 20, of Lake Worth
Demetrice Lemane Jones, 37, of Riviera Beach
Dominic Perry Lamare, 33, of Port St. Lucie
Evens Pierre Louis, a/k/a “E-Bo,” 27, of Palm Springs
Patrick Jarrod Lowe, 24, of Lantana
Richard John Mercy, 30, of North Palm Beach
Frank Davis Moore, Jr., a/k/a “Bow Head” Bodeen,” 33, of Royal Palm Beach
Theresa Lashai Razz, 28, of West Palm Beach
Lori Beth Mae Saccoman, 50, of West Palm Beach
Jeannot Saintelus, a/k/a “Jit,” 23, of Lake Worth
Calvin Leon Sirmans, Jr., a/k/a “CJ,” 28, of Lake Worth
Jamie Toby, 24, of Lake Worth
Monica Deloris Toby, 47, of Lantana
Daniel Emmanuel Torrez, 31, of Tucson
David Lendell White, a/k/a “Popper,” 25, of Lake Worth
Eric Lanard Williams, a/k/a “Baby Boy,” 29, of Lantana.