OKEECHOBEE — A local man arrested late last month for his alleged involvement in a methamphetamine distribution ring has again been arrested on drug charges.
An Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force arrest report stated Bobby Joe Fulford was arrested Friday, Sept. 11, on one felony count of possession of cocaine.
Fulford, 59, was also arrested on misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana under 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $6,500. Jail records indicate he has been released on bond.
Fulford, N.W. 80th Court in Okeechobee, is one of 25 people who were arrested on state conspiracy to commit racketeering charges last month. At that time he was booked into the county jail on $75,000 bond. He was later released on bond.
He was arrested during an early-morning operation staged Friday, Aug. 28, that targeted people in Okeechobee, Glades, Highlands and Polk counties who were allegedly part of a large meth distribution ring. That ring is apparently headed up by Steven Lee ‘Wildman’ Oakes, 59, of Davenport.
Oakes, along with 14 other people, have been indicted on federal meth distribution charges.
According to a task force detective’s Aug. 28 arrest report he, along with agents from the U.S. Marshal’s Service, found Fulford sitting in his truck that was parked in the back yard of his property.
That report went on to state Fulford was the only occupant of the gray Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck at the time, and that the truck was running when the arrest warrant was served.
Once Fulford was removed from the truck and secured, both his home and truck were searched. During that search, continues the detective’s report, 12 grams of suspected marijuana was found in his bedroom.
That substance was field tested, and the test reportedly indicated a positive result for the presence of marijuana.
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) K-9 Kiki was used to check Fulford’s pickup for illegal narcotics. Kiki, stated the report, alerted on the vehicle.
A subsequent search of the truck reportedly turned up a cut straw containing a residue, along with a pieces of what the report described as “white rock.”
A field test on the straw allegedly indicated a positive result for the presence of meth, while a test on the “white rock” indicated a positive result for the presence of cocaine.
The suspected crack cocaine weighed 1 gram, added the detective’s report.
Fulford’s arrest Friday was based on the marijuana and cocaine being found in his pickup, stated the task force detective.
Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright, who will be prosecuting the state racketeering cases, said Fulford was arrested in connection with the suspected meth ring because of his involvement in four transactions with a minimum of 18 grams of meth.
Several more people are still being sought for their alleged involvement in the meth ring.
Mr. Albright said those arrested on state charges face a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted.
Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News