for immediate release
October 25, 2002

N E W S   R E L E A S E

A suspected cocaine dealer recently featured as a wanted fugitive by Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers has been apprehended. Francisco Antonio Duarte, age 44 (10-1-1958), was taken into custody last evening (Thursday evening) after the Okaloosa County Multi-Agency Drug Task Force received confidential information via Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers.

Duarte is originally from El Salvador, and had recently resided on Garfield Drive in Fort Walton Beach; his whereabouts had been unknown in recent weeks. He was named on charges of Trafficking in Cocaine and Sale of Cocaine in a Warrant signed on October 9, after a search warrant was served at his residence, yielding more than three quarters of a pound of cocaine in powder form.

Last evening (Thursday evening), confidential information led to Duarte's apprehension at a convenience store on John Sims Parkway in Niceville , where he had met his wife.

Agents believe Duarte had returned to the area for only a brief visit to distribute a new shipment of cocaine. After his arrest, investigators learned Duarte was staying at a Niceville motel. A search of his motel room produced more than one and one half pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of more than $25,000.

The Niceville Police Department and its K-9 Unit assisted the Drug Task Force.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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