Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney Karin Hoppmann announces the return of an indictment charging eight individuals with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute MDMA, also known as “ecstasy” or “molly”, and α‑Pyrrolidinopentiophenone, also known as “alpha-PVP” or “flakka.” If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies the defendants that the United States intends to forfeit property that was used to facilitate the offense or that is traceable to proceeds of the offense, including approximately $185,000 in cash, a 2015 BMW 550i, a 2015 Lexus IS 250, a 2013 Audi A8 L Quattro, a 2020 Ryker Rally Edition motorcycle, two Rolex watches, numerous pieces of jewelry, and five firearms.
The individuals charged in the indictment are: Kimberly Michelle Claridy Walker (44, Jacksonville); Neal Merrell Walker (50, Jacksonville); Marcus Antonio Peterson (35, Lake City); Ramone Lazai Astin (35, Jacksonville); Alfred Eugene Bell (36, Jacksonville); Mar’quez Maurice Mickler (20, Jacksonville); David Lee Geathers (24, Jacksonville); and Brandiesa Tylese Williams (24, Jacksonville).
According to the indictment and other court documents, the defendants were part of an armed drug trafficking organization that distributed illegal narcotics, primarily out of a “trap house” on 14th Street in Jacksonville, beginning in July 2018 and continuing until April 13, 2021, when six of the defendants were arrested. During the course of the conspiracy, the conspirators obtained kilogram quantities of the drugs, which were broken up into small amounts and re-packaged for sale to numerous individuals.
Bank account records and public documents reflect that on two occasions Kimberly Walker and Neal Walker, with the assistance of co-defendants, laundered approximately $98,000 through financial institutions from which they had obtained cashier’s checks to buy tax deeds for five properties in Jacksonville. Bank records also reflect that between June 13, 2019, and November 30, 2020, approximately $330,000 was deposited, almost entirely in cash, into an account in the name of a business entity owned by the Walkers.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lake City Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.