The Panama City Police Department Special Operations Unit continues the investigation of a criminal organization where the members of a narcotics distribution ring have been arrested and charged.
Due to the large and complex nature of this investigation, Panama City Police investigators along with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms, Homeland Security Investigations, and other local agencies began working the case in 2011. This investigation required dedication and many long hours for all those involved in dismantling the criminal organization.
During the investigation, Freddie Lee Christopher Knowles IV was identified as the source of supply in our area. The first rounds of arrests were made in February of 2012, and the second round of arrests was made in May of 2012. Those cases were prosecuted through the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida for Conspiracy to Distribute More than 5 Kilograms of Cocaine.
During the investigation, it was confirmed that large amounts of cocaine were being distributed into our local community from Houston, Texas and Jackson, Mississippi. Including the most recent arrest listed below, 27 people have been arrested and charged who were involved in this criminal narcotics distribution ring.
Assistance was requested from the United States Marshals Florida Regional Task Force to help locate and apprehend the suspects. The task force is comprised of U.S. Marshals and members the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Panama City Police Department, and Bay County Sheriff’s Office. Two of the persons listed below were already in custody on other charges. The other six were located throughout the Panama City area and booked into the Bay County Jail on November 6, 2012. The following are charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine:
Angela Johnson, 44 years of age, Arthur Combs, 27 years of age, Octavious McGriff, 27 years of age, Justin McKinney, 27 years of age, Kiara Greene, 23 years of age, Laura Murry, 24 years of age, Barry Chriestenson II, 29 years of age, and Anthony Smith, 26 years of age. Angela Johnson was additionally charged with introduction of contraband into the Bay County Jail, six bags of marijuana and nineteen pills of Clonazepam. She was also charged with possession of the same narcotics.
The charges were made against those arrested based on their individual involvement in the criminal narcotics distribution ring described above. They will be prosecuted through the 14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.
This case remains under investigation and additional arrests are expected as the investigation continues. To preserve the integrity and progress of the investigation, further information related to evidence details that have not been covered in other news releases will not be disclosed at this time.
If you have any information in reference to this case please call the Panama City Police Department at 850-872-3112. You can also report your tips anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 850-785-TIPS.