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Victim was lured by federal agents to narcotics deal
A suspected drug dealer working for federal agents lured Donovan Brooks from New Jersey to a West Palm Beach motel parking lot to buy $80,000 of marijuana Friday morning.
There, agents and police officers approached Donovan and another man, ordered both to the ground, and then shot and killed Brooks.
That revelation, made public Wednesday in a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration complaint, came as authorities disclosed that a Jupiter police officer working with the agents pulled the trigger.
Officials, though, declined to give other details leading up to the shooting outside the Days Inn near Interstate 95 and 45th Street, other than to say the officer felt threatened.
Brooks, 40, who family members said was a cook from Toronto, showed up at the motel with money to buy drugs from Michael Ray Roberts, 55, of Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Roberts, a suspected drug dealer, is cooperating with federal investigators after getting caught smuggling about 400 pounds of marijuana from Port Antonio, Jamaica, to South Florida on Aug. 1, the complaint said.
The two men had a drug transaction at the same hotel in June, the complaint said. During that deal, Brooks pulled out a heat-sealed package of $100 bills from his pants to pay for 75 pounds of marijuana that Roberts brought from Jamaica on his boat.
Roberts was taken out of the Palm Beach County Jail to help agents set up Brooks, the complaint said. Using his drug contacts, Roberts arranged to meet Brooks, known in court records as "Rasta," and his associate Mickey Miles, 23, of Patterson, N.J., at the motel. Along the way, police stopped Brooks' rented Lincoln and he hid the money under a seat.
When Brooks got there, Roberts asked him to meet at Roberts' white Dodge Dakota, which an agent was driving. As Brooks and Miles approached the car, agents in and around the car moved toward the men. Identifying themselves as police, authorities ordered the men onto the ground.
What happened next remains unclear because investigators refused to reveal more details.
The male officer who shot Brooks was on assignment with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office's organized crime bureau, which assisted U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the operation, sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller said.
The officer was placed on paid administrative leave while the Sheriff's Office investigates the shooting. The officer's name was not released because he has worked in undercover stings and officials don't want to jeopardize other investigations.
Miles was arrested on drug charges. He told officials that Brooks paid $500 to drive him to South Florida.
Brooks' separated wife, Antoinette "Princess" White, said she was outraged at the shooting.
She said she didn't know about Brooks' alleged drug history and had never known him to get involved in criminal activities. "If a man does a crime, he should pay for it by going to jail.
But he shouldn't be killed," White said.
"It's not right to shoot someone like that."
Brooks moved from Jamaica to Toronto in 1993 and recently began dividing his time between Canada and the New York area, where he had relatives, White said.
He had two sons and two daughters with four women, she said.
White has contacted a Miami law firm founded by the late trial lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., to assist her in bringing a complaint against the authorities.
"I want to see justice and nothing else," she said.