Tomato-packing Dep. Strickland quits after a shooting & drug raid on his packing house in Immokalee | James Pat Guerréro
A Collier County Sheriff Narcotics Agent Sgt. Willie Strickland (50) quits after 28 years of service. On April 7th Strickland suddenly resigned saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
After being hired on June 6, 1983, Strickland had somewhat of a career.
In 1996 Strickland was accused of conduct unbecoming an officer for a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, Dora Silvia Vidaurri. Ms. Vidaurri did not pursue prosecution but rather complained to her boss at the Hendry Correctional Institution (State Prison) in Immokalee, Florida, and a friend at the Collier County Sheriff Office. As the Collier County Sheriff corrected Strickland lightly, Strickland was kept on. Eventually, he married Vidaurri in 2002.
In 1997 a drug informant and jail inmate, Omar Cabrera Torres (36) of Immokalee, told investigators about a deputy who had conversations with “the biggest drug dealer in Immokalee.” Torres said the deputy was Strickland, who had meetings with the dealer in a cocaine house and the Seminole Casino. Conflicting details halted further investigation and Torres was deported to Honduras.
On or about 2001 Strickland helped to convict Collier County Sheriff’s Sgt. Glendell “Pee Wee” Edison and Captain Jim Sanders on extortion charges.
In 2007 a complaint from Cordey Jemel Taylor (28) of Immokalee, stated that he was a former drug addict, clean, and seeking custody of this children, but that Strickland was causing him to fear setup by watching him too closely. The complaint was categorized “unfounded” after Taylor was charged with drug possession.
In 2005 in Labelle, Florida, Kevin Howard complained that Strickland and his employee, Stanley Warford, failed to pay him for work at Felda Tomato Growers. The payment issue on $11,305 was later resolved, and the “unlawful and improper conduct” investigation was closed.
About one month ago, an April 2-3 shooting and drug raid occurred at Strickland’s tomato packing building in Immokalee. It was a large cocaine seizure. There are not many details at this time.