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Owner of Florida Labor Camp and Three Others Charged with Federal Violations

Release Date: 07/27/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Stacie Keller, 202-564-4355 /

(7/27/05) On July 14, charges were announced against Robert Evans, Sr., of Palatka, Fla., Emma Mae Johnson, Nathaniel Davenport (a.k.a. James Bryant) and Eugene Sheppard by the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville. All defendants were charged with alleged violations at the Palatka Labor Camp in Palatka. The camp is a community where farm workers live near Palatka. Evans was charged with the following crimes: making false statements to officials of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) about the number of workers living at the camp, improperly transporting laborers and allowing the discharge of raw sewage to flow from the camp into Cow Creek which is a tributary of the St. John's River. Johnson and Davenport were charged with allegedly making false statements to DOL officials, and Sheppard was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The dumping of raw sewage into creeks can create a health hazard to humans and wildlife. The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor's Inspector General's Office, the Jacksonville Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division with assistance from EPA enforcement counsel.