for immediate release
May 13, 2002

N E W S   R E L E A S E

The Okaloosa County Drug Task Force has arrested three individuals and seized an estimated $57,000 worth of locally-grown marijuana in two separate cases in the past several days.

Today (Monday), Task Force Investigators arrested Robert Ernest Whoolery,  (left) age 42 (11-6-59), of 324 West Hollywood Boulevard, Fort Walton Beach on charges of Cultivation of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Whoolery was intercepted as he removed irrigation and cultivation equipment from a marijuana field on Eglin property off FIM Boulevard, north of Fort Walton Beach. The location, which had an elaborate automated irrigation system, had been under surveillance in recent weeks, during which time Whoolery was developed as a suspect.

Last week (May 8), agents of the Drug Task Force executed a Search Warrant at the residence of Stephen Shepard Hudson (photo unavailable), age 58 (9-23-43), at 5987 West Dogwood Drive, Crestview. Agents seized more than 20 firearms, plus several marijuana plants under cultivation in two sophisticated indoor growing rooms inside the house. Hudson was arrested on charges of Cultivation of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. A co-defendant present when Investigators arrived to serve the search warrant, Michael Allen Southard (photo unavailable), age 41 (8-7-60), of 6160 Sundew Street, Crestview, was arrested on Marijuana possession charges.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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