Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida on April 24, 2004 · 4
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Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida · 4

Pensacola, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, April 24, 2004
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Pensacola News Journal Saturday, April 24, 2004 Page edited by Phillips Nickinson; 435-8517 after 4 p.m. LOCAL Beach cocaine ringleader sentenced 4A FROM 1A Vinson praised Seale for the assistance he offered to law enforcement. "I feel you've been very candid," Vinson said. "But a lot of your friends are involved in this case simply because they're your friends. They are where they are because of you." Vinson sentenced Seale to five years on probation following his release from federal prison. He also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. No sentence reduction Although federal prosecutors can request a "downward departure" from sentencing guidelines if they determine a defendant has offered "substantial assistance" to their investigation, Assistant State Attorney Tom Swaim did not do so in Seale's case. Couch argued that when Seale pleaded guilty on Dec. 12, it prompted other defendants in the Sandshaker case to follow suit. Each of the other 11 defendants charged in federal court have entered guilty pleas, and two of the 41 individuals facing state charges have pleaded no contest. "I think several other people in state court are going to start pleading because of the testimony that Jackie can give against them," Couch said. "No one has offered more help than him. He's done everything he could possibly do, more than I've ever seen anybody do to cooperate." He said Seale also provided information critical to the apprehension of two suspects in South Florida: Domingo "Chino" Gonzalez, who supplied cocaine to Seale, and Denise Winkler, a woman who served as a go-between for the pair. "They say they could have gotten them without (Seale's) help. But the question then is: Why didn't they?" Couch said after Seale's sentencing. But Swaim said in court that much of the information provided by Seale already had emerged from the three-year investigation by federal drug agents. Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney Len Register said although Seale undoubtedly has assisted investigators, "the level of cooper- Today in history Today is Saturday, April 24, the 11 5th day of 2004. There are 251 days left in the year. Today's highlight: On April 24, 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress. On this date: In 1792, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise," was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War rule in the South. In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America's ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba. In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish Empire began the brutal mass deportation of Armenians during World War I. In 191 6, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The uprising was put down by British forces several days later.) In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, Calif., and Westford, Mass. In 1968, leftist students at Columbia University in New York began a week-long occupation of several campus buildings. In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, The East is Red." In 1980, the United States launched an abortive attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen. In 1994, Bosnian Serbs, threatened with NATO air strikes, grudgingly gave up their three-week assault on Gorazde, burning houses and blowing up a water treatment plant as they withdrew. In 1999, on the second day of a NATO summit, the alliance ran into objections from Russia and questions among its own members about enforcing an oil embargo against Yugoslavia by searching ships at sea. ation he's provided has not risen to the level of substantial assistance at this time." However, there is a chance that Seale's sentence could be reduced in the future, if the government files a recommendation to do so, and if a judge consents Cocaine cooperative Speaking from jail Friday night after 137 days behind bars, Seale recalled the chain of events that led to his sentencing. Seale admits freely that he made his living as a drug dealer and as the "ringleader" of the Sandshaker operation, as much as there really was one. "If there was anybody who knew everything, it was me," Seale said. About once a month sometimes more and sometimes less he drove to the Miami area to buy cocaine from Winkler, who he met through a mutual friend several years ago. He usually purchased about a kilogram. Robert Murphy, the husband of Sandshaker Lounge and Package Store owner Linda Murphy, often accompanied him. "If anyone else besides Robert came with me, they weren't there when we actually, made the deal," Seale said. "No one else dealt with Denise (Winkler)." When they returned from South Florida, Seale sold the cocaine to friends, usually from his home on Panferio Drive. He didn't recruit buyers or seek them out, Seale said. "I don't think there was a single person arrested who did their first line of cocaine with me," he said. Added Couch: "It wasn't like he was pushing this on people. It was more of a cocaine cooperative from people who got into this willingly." Seale said the trips to South Florida were the natural progression of a growing drug addiction that began in his early 20s. "We would get together, 18 or 20 of us, and buy a gram for about $90," Seale said. "We would each get two little pin lines. From there, it just went on." Seale used drugs and drank alcohol, but his substance abuse grew after his father died in the early 1990s. Seale took over his father's engineering business. But because he wasn't a registered en- "I'm here for love. I'm not here for fame. But who wouldn't someone doing your hair and makeup, right?" Renee Sisk, 32, who auditioned for "The Bachelor" Liberty Cuevas gives her best for for The Bachelor." More than 80 Browning 15th from area to win Carnegie Medal FROM 1A "She laid down her life not for a friend but for a complete stranger," O'Steen said. "It says to me that her actions are motivated by a love for humanity." While Browning and Conley no longer are together, Browning said she will dedicate the award Sunday to Conley. Browning is the 15th person from Pensacola to receive a Carnegie Medal since 1904. Most past medal winners were honored for saving people from drowning in local waters. Chambers said it seemed like a large number for a city of Pensacola's size. Status of other Sandshaker cases The status of the 53 criminal cases that resulted from the ' three-year "Operation Sandshaker" cocaine investigation: Federal cases Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing: Denise Killerlane Winkler Tuesday Robert Marshal Murphy and Linda Taylor Murphy Wednesday Glen Murray Sanford Thursday Dana Lynn Powell Friday Domingo "Chino" Gonzalez May 25 Sentenced: Mary Jo Archer 3 years probation Scott Andrew Carstens 2 years prison Jeff Edward Cary 5 years, 10 months prison Kenneth Craig Barrow 3 years, 1 month prison Bonnie Marie Burleson-Mowrey 3 years, 4 months prison Mitchell "Jackie" Seale III 15 years prison State cases Pleaded no contest, awaiting sentencing: Jeffrey Paul Colley May 6 Deborah Little Ward May 20 Awaiting trial: Charles Lamar Switzer Kelly Kathryn McGraw Michael James Valen Thomas Seilles Kennedy III David Lynn Collins John Todd Pallin Pamela Kaiser Reynolds Theresa Anne Williams Chad Francis Broadley Casey Doil Hyman Deborah Lynn Hyman Deborah Ann Cowen Karen Knowles Dyess Kevin Gregory Mason Deith Knapp Mason Robert Brodrick Ryan Roland Douglas Bizzell gineer, he had to hire a partner. "After awhile, I just started working less and less, drinking more and doing more cocaine," Seale said. Eventually, Seale decided to sell ofThis half of the business a decision that left him with plenty of money to "goof off with." Seale got into the habit of buying larger amounts of cocaine. He could get it at a higher quality and at a cheaper price than buying it interviewers Friday at the Hilton people tried out for the program The 15 medal winners are a reflection of the character of people in Pensacola, O'Steen said. "That seems to be a significant number to our little city," she said. "I think it's indicative of the Southern tradition of caring for one another." Browning said she feels humbled and honored by the award. Even given the suffering she's been through since being shot, Browning said she would do it again. "I don't know why I did it," she said. "Am I crazy? Am I a fool? Am I a glutton for punishment? I don't think so. I would do anything to help anybody." ,? fas'. JM ' ...... i; ' I -s ; . . J James Robert Grimes Mark H. Julian Tammy Sue Kehoe-Thomason Cathy B. Long Claire Ellen McCarty Charles Andrew Mixon Jr. Pamela G. Randall James Rausch Milissa Hargrave Schang Christine Robin Scharfenstine Shawn Marie Smith Christian Andrew Anderson James Allen King Vivian Elizabeth McGinnis Marguerite Cecelia Jones Kaycee Brandon Klisart Karen Lee Baker Michael Jay O'Quinn John Stephen Hahn Peggy Howard Hawkins Janice Pace Reeves Renee Neyrey Mack in small quantities off the street. "I might buy enough for three or four people to share, but then those people have friends they want to share it with," Seale said. "It started to grow." Because of the nature of the business, Seale turned into a night owl closing down bars night after night and answering telephone calls from customers eager for their next line of cocaine. "People always seem to want co Garden Inn on Pensacola Beach while auditioning Friday, and auditions continue this weekend. Past Pensacola winners '. Here's a list of past Carnegie Medal winners from Pensacola and the year the event occurred for which they were honored: Nancy Browning: 2002 shielded a stranger from gunfire and was shot in the process. ' Richard Eckler: 1998 helped pull a man I from a burning car. j Rene Javier Cerda: 1982 helped save a I man from suffocation during a fire. ; James F. Davidson Jr.: 1982 helped save : a man from suffocation during a fire. Matthew Hili: 1 972 rescued three children ; from a burning apartment. ' Alfred Stephen Mandel: 1972 helped save ' two young girls from drowning. t Edward Charles Mandel: 1 972 helped save a young girl from downing "If there was anybody who knew everything, it was me Jackie Seale, who was sentenced Friday to 1 5 years in j federal prison for his role in a Pensacola Beach cocaine ring I caine when they're drinking," he said. "So it doesn't matter what time it is, people are calling you or showing up at your house." Seale said his girlfriend, Bonnie Mowrey, repeatedly tried to break up with him because of cocaine. The two kept separate homes because "she didn't want to sleep with it there." But Seale said he always wooed her back with promises that he would quit selling and using the drug. "I would always talk about that being my New Year's resolution," he said. "Or I'd say that I was going to give it up before my 51st birthday. I think she always held out hope for that." Good times crash down In the two days before his Dec. 8 arrest, Seale sensed something unusual was going on around his home. He noticed a section of the grass in his yard that had been trampled down. When he went to inspect it, he found a wire that led into his home. Attached to the wire in a corner of his office was a small, button-sized camera. In October, federal agents had secured a court order to install a hidden surveillance camera inside Seale's home as well as to intercept his cell phone calls. In two months, they recorded dozens of drug buys. Seale dismantled the camera, left it inside his home and stayed at a friend's house that night. When he returned the next day, the camera was gone. "I knew I was in trouble," he said. That night, when he was driving with Mowrey back to her home, the two were pulled over on 17th Avenue and arrested. The arrests of dozens of their friends followed. "I had to watch 40 of my friends get hauled into jail," Seale said. Many of Seale's co-defendants want Richard Drew Haber: 1 970 helped save a man from drowning. John Henry Ross: 1943 saved a man from a burning airplane Thomas Jefferson Adams: 1 943 helped save two men from a burning airplane Edward P. McCuilough: 1 933 pulled a 9-year-old girl from burning vehicle. Ralph EScholl: 191 2 saved a girl from -drowning. Walter B. Wallace: 1 91 1 - died attempting to I save three women from drowning. Ralph F. Berlin: 1 906 rescued two people i from drowning. Leon Harris: 1 905 saved a 1 0-year-old boy :. from drowning. same incidents if For more details, visit j were placed in the same cell, and Seale said they made an agreement to "tell the truth and not complicate things by making up lies and trying to keep up with them." Although Seale said he felt horrible making statements that would incriminate his friends, Seale said most had been captured on the video. "I wasn't sure what I could do to help anybody," Seale said. "What can you do at that point?" Continued cooperation With the possibility of a reduced sentence still lingering, Seale said he plans to continue cooperating with authorities on the Sandshaker case and on others that he might have information about. Although he's disappointed at the prospect of staying in a federal prison until the age of 65, he said he's prepared. Seale worried about the possibility of suffering from withdrawal from cocaine and alcohol but said being clean has been relatively painless. He also has grown closer to his family and redeveloped a relationship with his son. "He's doing OK, I think," Seale's son, David, said after Friday's sentencing. "Hell get through it." Jackie Seale said he spends many days writing letters to his fellow defendants and their families, apologizing for his actions. Swaim said he's also sorry mainly for the families who have been torn apart by cocaine in this case and in others. When Linda and Robert Murphy are sentenced Wednesday, their young daughter faces the prospect of seeing both her parents sent to prison. "As remorseful as these people might feel, they allowed this conspiracy to operate, and a lot of people have been hurt because of it," Swaim said. "That is the legacy left by the Sandshaker." Area hopefuls look for love on 'Bachelor' FROM 1A assistant manager at a local AT&T Wireless store. "But there is something missing in all the guys here." , She wants someone on her "spiritual level" who can provide for a family. The successful reality show, now in its fifth season, helps one bachelor find love by providing him with 25 women who vie for his affection. He has six weeks to gradually eliminate the women until he finds his bride. Those interested in appearing on "The Bachelor" should be ready to face a proposal by this summer. The show tapes in June and airs in the fall. People came from Hattiesburg, Miss., Mobile and Navarre to tape their 2-minute interview here. Each applicant filled out a four-page questionnaire that requested vital dating information, such as ahem an annual salary. Buddy Hamilton, 44, who is divorced, describes himself as a "nice guy." "My perfect woman is someone who is confident, sincere, reliable and an honest-to-goodness person," he said during his taped interview. Applicants were asked about past relationships and why they wanted to be on the show. "We're looking for good personality, energy and someone who is really looking for a relationship," Lee said. The Pensacola auditions produced some attractive candidates, "which we like," she said. But compared to the 30 other cities the casting crew has visited, Pensacola had more young women applying. "I've seen many 21- to 23-year-olds. That seems young to get married," Lee said. Local paralegal Renee Sisk, 32, said she is looking for love. But after moving to Pensacola last year, she has determined the dating scene is non-existent here. "Where is it?" said the statuesque brunette. "I'm here for love. I'm not here for fame. But who wouldn't want someone doing your hair and makeup, right?"

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