A chance encounter in June between a U.S. government source and a drug-trafficking suspect eventually led to the discovery of a hydroponic marijuana distribution ring in South Florida, according to federal court documents in Miami.
It also led to the arrest of an 18-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident, Jordan Campo, who allegedly had links to the drug distribution ring that imported high-grade hydroponic marijuana from California and Colorado, according to a criminal complaint filed by an FBI special agent.
The arrest of Campo in late October opened a window into what could be a national hydroponic marijuana distribution system featuring growers on the West Coast and distributors in South Florida, according to the complaint.
The case against Campo began in June when an FBI informant met a drug-trafficking suspect identified in the criminal complaint only by the initials V.B.
“V.B. was involved in the importation of high-grade hydroponic marijuana from primarily California and Colorado to the vicinity of South Florida for distribution and resale,” according to the complaint.
But V.B. also had an ulterior motive in talking to the informant, whom he did not know was gathering information for the FBI. The informant was identified in the complaint as S-1
“V.B informed S-1 that he was actively attempting to recruit an individual to perform a home invasion robbery of a ‘competitor’ of V.B.’s in the distribution of narcotics in the South Florida area,” the complaint said.
Later at a second meeting in which the FBI informant was joined by an undercover law enforcement officer, V.B. said “he and his partner had become angry with their out-of-state supplier” when the supplier began selling to another local distributor after promising V.B. and a partner exclusive distribution rights in Florida. The complaint identified the local distributor as Jordan Campo.
The complaint said the distribution rights applied to a marijuana byproduct known among drug traffickers as liquid THC, shatter or clear. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is extracted from marijuana .
V.B. then told the informant and the undercover officer where Campo lived and what kind of car he drove.
“V.B. made detailed handwritten notations on a paper napkin with Campo’s name, the make/model/color of Campo’s car (a BMW), and the address of the residence V.B. wanted robbed, as well as a hand-drawn map showing how to get there,” the complaint said.
In late September, agents contacted Campo at his home in Fort Lauderdale. The criminal complaint said Campo acknowledged dealing in drugs and profiting from the sale of narcotics. He also consented to a search of his residence where law enforcement found a loaded pistol and a small safe containing $25,027 from the sale of liquid THC and about 5,000 grams of liquid THC, according to the complaint.
“Law enforcement also seized Campo’s BMW automobile during this search,” the complaint said. “Campo advised law enforcement that he possessed the firearm in order to protect his drugs and drug proceeds.”
Campo was arrested Oct. 23, one day after he turned 18, according to court records.
He was indicted Nov. 5 and pleaded not guilty four days later, the records show. His trial has been tentatively scheduled for January.
The FBI declined comment saying the case is still under investigation. Campo’s attorney could not be reached for comment.