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Shooting & Cocaine Tie to Strickland’s Business Site between Naples-Immokalee | James Pat Guerréro

Posted in Immokalee FL, Naples FL by James Pat Guerréro on 05/16/2011

The story on Collier County Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Willie H. Strickland, Jr.’s, tomato packing business site begins on the ownership of that business site in Naples, Florida. Strickland suddenly quit after a shooting and drug raid at the business site. Strickland (50) worked for the Vice and Narcotics Bureau. Most of the following information is all talk and limited facts from authorities.

The business site is Felda Tomato Growers, Inc., a six-year old company owned by Strickland. The business site is located at 28405 Immokalee Road, Naples, Florida 34120.

A convicted felon, Noe Martinez, Jr., (41) worked for Strickland as a security employee, who was responsible for checking the building every night. However, records show that Martinez’ employer is Acosta’s Fresh Produce LLC, the lessee of Felda Tomato Growers, Inc. Martinez’ direct boss was Gabriel Acosta. According to state records, the corporate officers of Acosta’s Fresh Produce are Noe Barreiro of Penitas, Texas; Jesus Cipriano Acosta of Bonita Springs; and Cipriano Acosta of Zacatecas, Mexico.

On March 9 while Martinez was inspecting the building in his 2005 white Hummer, he was approached by two Hispanic men, one of whom shot him in the leg. Martinez wrestled the gun from the assailant, and they ran.

However, the Collier County Sheriff Office continues to investigate the March 9 shooting. Martinez reported that a light blue Buick had followed him around Immokalee for days before the shooting. The Sheriff Deputy Michael Ramos reported in detail what happened at the shooting but some information was redacted, e.g., the gun manufacturer and evidence underneath the Hummer’s front passenger door and on the ground nearby. Martinez reported that he denies knowing what the men wanted.

Detective Silogene Clervoix also wrote a supplemental report. The bottom line is that Martinez reported that he denies knowing what the men wanted.

Previously a farming partner with Strickland, James W. Williams of Williams Farms was asked about the amount of cocaine seized, and he stated that he heard it was 200 kilos ($7 million street value). Williams said that Strickland no longer needed the building for packing their tomatoes, watermelon, and peppers, therefore, he leased it.

Martinez denies knowing about cocaine and how a large amount of cocaine was stored in the building. Martinez has a criminal record of  dropped home invasion robbery, burglaries, theft, drug dealing, and conspiracy to traffic marijuana that resulted in a 10-year prison term.

The Miami office of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the U.S. Department of Justice has jurisdiction of Immokalee. DEA Special Agent David Melenkevitz neither confirms nor denies that cocaine was seized from that building and that an investigation is ongoing.

Read More: Collier narcotics agent quits; reports or associates tie shooting, drug raid to business site » Naples Daily News.

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