Panhandle Cocaine Kingpin Gets 15 Years in Prison

Mitchell "Jackie" Seale III, who listed his occupation as “drug dealer” in court records, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the case known as “Operation Sandshaker.” It is named for a Pensacola Beach bar where some transactions took place.

Seale's penalty was the harshest among five defendants sentenced so far. The others received reduced sentences in return for their cooperation with authorities.

They are among 53 people arrested on federal or state charges, most of them friends or acquaintances of Seale. He apologized to them in a statement before he was sentenced.

Chief US District Judge Roger Vinson gave Seale one year more than the minimum under sentencing guidelines that ranged from 14 to 19 years.