Local Residents Sentenced On Federal Meth Related Charges

July 31, 2013

Seven defendants arrested back in April on methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine related conspiracy charges have been sentenced in federal court, while five additional defendants will be sentenced within the next month. All either previously pleaded guilty or were convicted.

A federal judge convicted 29-year old Jared L. Hester of Pensacola on charges involving a conspiracy to possess and distribute pseudoephedrine, knowing it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.  Prosecutors said Hester was involved in the conspiracy to possess and distribute large amounts of pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture methamphetamine from January 1, 2011, until his arrest in April 2013.

The jury heard from other members of the conspiracy and was shown pharmacy records displaying dozens of pseudoephedrine purchases by Hester during the conspiracy. Many of these purchases overlapped with his co-defendants’ purchases. In all, the conspirators purchased between 350 and 400 boxes of pseudoephedrine, so that it could be manufactured into methamphetamine. All of Hester’s seven co-defendants pled guilty to the charges.

Hester will be sentenced in August.

The following additional defendants have been sentenced:

  • Stephanie Ann Gunderson, 26, Cantonment — Four months in federal prison, home detention for  24 months, supervised release for three years. She will be allowed  to remain free until she surrenders on or before August 12.
  • Shawn Michael King, 34, Cantonment –  Federal prison for 51 months, three years supervised released.
  • Joseph David Peterson, 33, Cantonment –  Federal prison for 168 months, three years supervised released.
  • Hunter Grant Myrick, 23, Cantonment  –  Federal prison for 20 months, three years supervised released.
  • James E. Atiabi, 35, Pensacola, — Federal prison for 162 months, three years supervised released.
  • John Wyatt Casey, 33, Pensacola  — Federal prison for 115 months, three years supervised released.
  • Shannon Lee Hurd, 29, Pensacola  –  Federal prison for 70 months, three years supervised released

In addition to Hester, four additional defendants will be sentenced in August or September:

  • Gregory A. Militello, 42, Cantonment
  • Kirby Brian Smith, 50, Molino
  • Joshua Paul Militello, 30, Pensacola
  • Nicole Danielle Jones, 32, Pensacola

Federal prosecutors say suspects were all were involved in a conspiracy to possess and distribute large amounts of pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture methamphetamine from January 1, 2011, until their arrests.

The indictments resulted from an investigation by agents of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Attorney’s Office.

Each defendant faces or faced up to 20 years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000.


15 Responses to “Local Residents Sentenced On Federal Meth Related Charges”

  1. bamachick68 on August 2nd, 2013 3:42 am

    I sat in on their last hearing and it sounded like 2 of the 4 defendants were good people with some smarts about themselves. A hearing they all pled quilty at btw. 2 of the defendants were well educated,with good jobs and one of the brothers was even a veteran. It just goes to show you what this drug does to people. People who do meth aren’t the same people they were before taking meth. Just one high from this drug changes your brain chemistry. Unfortunately when u lose brain cells they are gone forever

  2. Mom on August 1st, 2013 3:39 pm

    @bamagirl….It is sad for the family. But people don’t ‘just get caught up in a bad drug’……they make that choice. And even if they were there and not doing any drugs, they should not be hanging around this crowd! I do hope that all of these people have the desire to come clean & get the help they need.

  3. Mark on August 1st, 2013 12:23 pm


    I understand you wanting to protect your family, but face the facts, they are scum. Saying they got “caught up in a horrible and scary drug”, you make your relative come off as a victim, and they ARE NOT!

    They made a conscious choice to get involved with this drug. Unless they were held captive and forced to do meth, they are NOT a victim, they are someone who just makes bad choices.

    I’m sorry one of them is your family member, and if any were mine I would probably disown them. If you cannot make the correct choices in your own life, then I don’t need someone like that around me. Family or not, they are adults who should be held accountable for their actions, not given excuses for their actions.

  4. Lucy Wright on August 1st, 2013 9:25 am

    Don, police officers like to scare people. they dont know what sentences certain crimes carry. Only a judge can determine that!

  5. bamagirl on August 1st, 2013 12:25 am

    Some of you need too realize that not all those people up there are bad people. Some got caught up in the wrong thing at the wrong time. Not all are rats and saying i bet their mothers are proud is just plain rude. The mother along with the family I’m sure are very upset and don’t just want them to have to pay for what they have done but to also get help. I am speaking because i have a family member in one of these rows! Never judge without knowing the full story and always think how would you feel of someone was bashing your family member when you knowing in your heart that this is not what he nor she planned to do in their life, they just got caught up in a horrible scary drug!

  6. FL Girl on July 31st, 2013 9:18 pm

    I have severe allergies, had them all my life. My doctor recommended Allegra D, which I tried and it was the first medication that ever alleviated all my symptoms. Back then it was a prescription, $10 co-pay and no problem to get. Then Allegra went OTC, like most all the ephedrine drugs. Then the insurance companies quit paying for it. It also became very hard to buy the mess without feeling like a criminal. They check your license, which is no big deal for me, but if you buy a pack of 10, then go back on day 8 or 9 to buy another pack, you set off all kinds of warnings in their FBI database and they refuse to sell you more until the 10th day! I finally got my Dr to just write an Rx, the pharmacy fills it for a 30 day time period, I pay full price, and don’t have to go through all the background check. My pharmacy KNOWS I am not a druggie because I never buy more than I need. So tell me…HOW ARE THE DRUGGIES ABLE TO GO IN THE PHARMACIES AND GET LOTS AND LOTS OF EPHEDRINE??? Doesn’t seem fair. The druggies have made it very hard for those of us who really truly benefit from the drug. But they seem to have no problem obtaining it. Messed up!!!

  7. David Huie Green on July 31st, 2013 5:08 pm

    “Why is it everybody else is getting lots of time in prison but Gunderson she’s only getting 4 months? She is a rat ratting on everybody.”

    If so, that would be a perfectly good reason to give her a reduced sentence, helping take a bite out of crime. (and she’s pretty — relatively speaking)

    The more outlaws turn on each other, the harder it is to live outside the law and the less lawless nation we will have. Which is to say the more law abiding nation.

    David for rats, snitches, finks
    and decent, honest people

  8. Awesome on July 31st, 2013 12:21 pm

    Awesome. Serves them right.

  9. big ride on July 31st, 2013 10:28 am

    Why is it everybody else is getting lots of time in prison.but Gunderson she on getting 4 months. She is a rat rating on everybody. It crazy they shound all get the same thing. Hate drug head lock them all away

  10. me on July 31st, 2013 9:39 am

    Wouldve loved to see those smiling faces then lmbo

  11. Don on July 31st, 2013 8:35 am

    Bob,if it walk’s like a duck…………………………

  12. SFC on July 31st, 2013 8:21 am

    I bet their Mom’s are proud of them.

  13. Bob Benson on July 31st, 2013 8:01 am

    @Don: I believe it states clearly above that they were charged with “conspiracy to possess and distribute pseudoephedrine, knowing it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine,” not meth trafficking. For all we know, the people involved may have never even touched meth. They did, however, knowingly purchase & distribute large quantities of sudafed, which can be used to make it. They didn’t get a lesser penalty than what Sgt Miller said, they were charged with a completely different crime.

  14. Don on July 31st, 2013 5:53 am

    in a previous case it read “Sgt. Marvin Miller, who supervises the Pensacola Police Department’s Vice & Narcotics Unit, said the trafficking in methamphetamine charge carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 25 years plus a $500,000 fine?

    why the lesser penalty in this case?

  15. Linda Stokes on July 31st, 2013 4:22 am

    It serves them right, they know it is wrong, WHY not get a real job and do like the rest of some people.

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.