Massive Drug Bust in Lakeland Results in Seizure of Meth Valued at $2 Million

Recently, 13 people were arrested following an investigation that had been ongoing for six months and involved state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies. The drug bust occurred in Polk County, Florida, more specifically in the Lakeland area and was known as Operation Hoodoo Voodoo, according to a news report at Bay News 9.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the drug bust was one of the largest they’ve had in several years involving methamphetamines, and that the operation was about drugs, money, and guns. While 13 were arrested, 25 suspects were involved. The bust involved the seizure of $2 million worth of meth, approximately 44 pounds according to authorities, who said that a Voodoo priest and a “stockpile” of military-grade weapons were involved. In all, there were 25 suspects who were allegedly trafficking drugs across state and county lines. In addition to seizing the meth, Judd said that more than 100 military-style weapons were being stockpiled by the suspects. Judd said that 44 pounds of meth equals about 20 kilos. The drug was allegedly being sold in several counties in central Florida including Polk, Orange, Lake, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.

Drug lord “El Don,” whose real name is Javier Flores, allegedly managed the shipment of meth to various locations on a large scale not only in Florida, but through southern California from Mexico to Atlanta and Las Vegas as well. “El Don,” according to officials, would consult the Voodoo priest regarding the welfare of the organization as well as their drug dealing decisions. According to Judd, the Voodoo priest told those who were arrested not to worry, that “everything is fine.”

The $2 million worth of meth, 7 vehicles, about 100 weapons, ammunition, bullet-proof vests, and tens of thousands of dollars were confiscated by investigators at a Love’s Truck Stop in Polk City on March 18. The 13 people arrested face various charges which include conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, trafficking in methamphetamine, and unlawful use of a two-way communications device to facilitate the commission of a crime.

In the state of Michigan, the sell, distribution, or delivery of methamphetamine in large amounts is a very serious crime. Individuals who are convicted of possessing meth with the intent to deliver will face criminal penalties which include up to 20 years in prison, and fines of up to $25,000. However, those with a prior conviction or past criminal activity will face enhanced criminal penalties. Considering all of the criminal offenses the individuals arrested in the case above are accused of committing, it is possible many of them will face decades if not life in prison if convicted.

If you have been arrested for distributing drugs or even possessing meth, cocaine, heroin, or another controlled substance, take action to protect your freedom and future immediately. Contact a highly capable and aggressive Michigan drug crime defense attorney.

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