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.
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.