Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Robert Lee Ward (50, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and tampering with an informant by killing him. The indictment also charges Dalton Kelvin McGriff (49, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The drug conspiracy charge is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. The tampering with an informant by killing offense is punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or death. The Justice Department will later determine if it will seek the death penalty in this particular case.
According to the indictment, from approximately 1996 to November 2018, Ward and McGriff conspired with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere. The conspirators sold cocaine in and around Fort Myers, Panama City and elsewhere, and killed or threatened to kill suspected informants in furtherance of the conspiracy. The indictment also alleges that Ward aided in the killing of a confidential informant on January 7, 2013, in Fort Myers.