Crime

Soca family, accused of running major drug operation on Stock Island, has arraignments delayed

As federal and state authorities continue to discus the appropriate venue to prosecute, a scheduled Thursday arraignment for the Soca family, accused of a massive drug trafficking operation based on Stock Island, was put off until Feb. 20.

Juan Soca Sr., 63, Juan Soca Jr., 42, and Jose Soca, 38, appeared at the Freeman Justice Center in front of Monroe County Judge Wayne Miller, standing in for Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones. Assistant Monroe County State Attorney Mark Wilson, designated a special assistant U.S. attorney, asked for the continuance without comment or objection.

Key West attorney Alan Fowler represents the Socas.

On Jan. 29, Monroe County Sheriff's Office detectives served a search warrant on the 6th Street trailer compound of the Socas, then expanded the search to a nearby storage shed and three boats.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said that by the time the search wrapped three days later, detectives recovered 10 kilos of cocaine (more than 22 pounds), more than two pounds of marijuana, 2,100 Xanax bars, 1,300 Oxycodone pills, a 7.5-gram cookie of crack, about 700 undersize lobster tails and $252,261 in cash believed to be drug proceeds.

Jose Soca is charged with trafficking cocaine and Oxycodone, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possessing the short lobster tails, which were found in a freezer on his property. His bond is $6.055 million.

Juan Soca Jr. is charged so far with trafficking cocaine and Oxycodone. He's held on a $6 million bond. Juan Soca Sr. is charged with trafficking cocaine and is held on $1 million bond.

All three are being held at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.

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