Thursday, June 21, 2018

Altair Military Training Facility Goes Back To Lenders

LABELLE, FL. -- On June 19, 2018, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden received from the court a Writ of Possession Instanter ordering Sheriff Whidden to seize all of the property named in the writ and turn it over to the new owner and remove any persons on the property known as Altair Training Solutions, a regional training facility with an address of 31101 Nafi Dr., Immokalee.

Altair Training Solutions, Inc., Blue Spoon LLC and Brian W. Jones (photo left) were sued in Hendry Circuit Court for failure to make payments under a $4,375,000 credit line and promissory note for the purchase and operation after the military and law enforcement training facility in southern Hendry County, Fl. could not bring in enough income to pay the loans.

South Florida Ops LLC along with Robert White and R. Laken Mitchell filed the foreclosure suit September 24, 2015 alleging default on payments due. Also joined as defendants were Bryant Construction and Roofing and Guardian Fueling Technologies, both having claims against Altair.

This training facility is the former site of Hendry Correctional Institute. 

Brian Jones at the time, filed papers with the state indicating plans to employ 200 people at the facility. In 2014, Hendry County gave Altair a property tax waiver deal for the promise to create 144 jobs with an average salary of $62,152. That's almost three times the average Hendry worker's paycheck.  Hendry County and it's Economic Development Office has made several tax waiver deals with new companies over the years that also have not panned out as promised.

The lender sued Altair and others in a foreclosure and were awarded the property due to the default in payment of the various loans on the property. The property was sold at auction on May 30. As a result of the sale, the writ was issued to enable the lenders to gain possession of the property.

Due to the size of the facility and the type of training being conducted there, Sheriff Whidden felt that the safest way to do this was to organize an operation and enact the Mutual Aid Agreement, per statute.

ATF seized several firearms that were in violation and a small amount of explosive ordinance was seized by the bomb squad.

Lee County Sheriff's Office, Collier County Sheriff's Office, SW Florida Regional Bomb Squad, Florida Wildlife Commission, ATF and Homeland Security Investigations assisted Hendry County Sheriff's Office with personnel and assets. 

73 law enforcement officers were briefed on the situation and entered the property securing all buildings. Once that was done, the property was turned over to the new owners.

There were no arrests made at this time.

Southwest Florida Online has reported many times on Altair's financial problems and it's proposed plans for the facility. See more Altair and Brian Jones reports

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