2018-19 undercover ‘Operation Ice Mama’ concludes with final defendant pleading guilty

16 persons sentenced, Sheriff’s Office reports

This is the Operation Ice Mama graphic showing all of the defendants arrested after the undercover work concluded. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

This week, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reported that the final defendant in a major drug operation that the agency announced in May 2019 had agreed to a plea deal. That marked the resolution of Operation Ice Mama, the Sheriff’s Office noted in a June 15 news release.

Altogether, 16 people were charged with methamphetamine trafficking and other drug offenses, the Sheriff’s Office reminded the public in the new release.
The agency’s Special Investigations Section conducted the undercover operation, which was “aimed at infiltrating a large drug trafficking ring responsible for distributing methamphetamine” throughout Sarasota County, the release said.
With the court system’s having been shut down in part of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “the cases slowly progressed through the judicial system, culminating last week when the final defendant took a plea,” the release explained.

The original release that the Sheriff’s Office provided about three years ago noted that detectives launched the investigation in October 2018 “after connecting 44-year-old Jennifer Lambert to the sale and distribution of methamphetamine in the Nokomis area. Known within her network as ‘Mama Jen,’” that release continued, “Lambert has drug arrests dating back to 2013 and has been a person of interest related to drug trafficking for more than a decade.”

In April 2019, that release continued, “detectives connected Lambert to seven individual drug transactions in which she conspired to traffic in methamphetamine. Over the course of approximately eight months, Special Investigation Section detectives worked to identify Lambert’s associates” and others who might be involved in her network. Those efforts resulted in the other arrests, the release said.

Combined, that release added, the 16 persons had 156 prior felony charges, with 49 convictions, plus 149 previous misdemeanor charges, with 72 convictions. Among those prior charges, the release pointed out, were Murder, Aggravated Battery and Burglary.

“Over the past year, detectives have been involved in multiple depositions and put in an extraordinary amount of effort, working towards a successful resolution [of the cases],” as shown below, the June 15 release pointed out. “Because of the hard work of our investigators and our partners at the State Attorney’s Office,” the release added, each arrestee pleaded guilty:
• Jennifer Lambert, 47, of 401 Pinewood Ave., Nokomis — 10 years in the Department of Corrections and 5 years of probation.

  • Robbie Cain, 38, of 325 Myakka Road, Sarasota — 10 years in the Department of Corrections and 5 years’ probation.
  • Randy Greene, 51, of 203 N. Aquila St., Nokomis — 10 years in the Department of Corrections and 5 years’ probation.
  • Erik Walker, 41, of 434 Argus Road, Venice — 7 years in the Department of Corrections and 18 months’ probation.
  • Walter Lint, 55, of 201 N. Sierra St., Nokomis — 5 years in the Department of Corrections.
  • Scott Hill, 61, of 306 S. Ravenna St., Nokomis — 3 years in the Department of Corrections
  • Ronda Gibson, 60, of 42 W. Oak St., Lot D10, Osprey — 3 years in the Department of Corrections and 2 years’ probation.
  • Bobby Jo Whiting, 53, of 100 S. Sierra St., Nokomis — 2 years in the Department of Corrections.
  • Heather Johnson, 36, of 5061 Banyan Drive, Venice — 1 year in the county jail and 2 years’ probation.
  • Drew Tilson, 32, of 601 Bristol Lane, Nokomis —1 year in the county jail and 18 months’ probation.
  • Jimalee Willis, 42, of 102 Jessica Street, Nokomis — 4 months in the county jail and 3 years’ probation.
  • Joseph Hochberg, 30, of 1100 Coleman Ave., Sarasota — 6 months in the county jail.
  • Robert McMullen, 59, of 5144 Oxford Drive, Sarasota — 90 days in the county jail and 1 year of probation.
  • William Williams, 46, of 6625 Terri Drive, Bokeelia — 5 years’ probation.
  • Casey Ross, 35, of 1240 Dustin Road, North Port — 5 years’ probation.
  • Patricia Greene, 56, of 203 N. Aquila Street in Nokomis — 5 years’ probation.

Operation Ice Mama was conducted with assistance from the 12th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office added in the release.