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85 Arrested In Takedown Of International Drug Smuggling Ring In Florida

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85 Arrested In Takedown Of International Drug Smuggling Ring In Polk County, Florida , $12.8 Million In Drugs & Guns Seized

85 Arrested In Takedown Of International Drug Smuggling Ring In Polk County, Florida , $12.8 Million In Drugs & Guns Seized

Authorities say 85 people were arrested after they dismantled an international drug trafficking ring that was operating out of Winter Haven.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation began in Sept. 2020. Around the same time, deputies said one of the suspects, Demarcus Terrell Jefferson crashed his vehicle into a gas station and killed a person inside.

While investigating the crash, authorities got word Jefferson and some of his family members had helped smuggle large amounts of meth through airports in checked luggage. Undercover detectives made multiple drug purchases at his home, and learned one of his brothers’ died of a Fentanyl and Xanax overdose at the residence.

“Drugs continued to be sold by family members after his death,” the sheriff’s office said. Sheriff Grady Judd said his detectives continued making undercover narcotics purchases from dealers in the Winter Haven area and began working with local, state and federal agencies across the country, they received authorization to conduct a wiretap investigation so they could monitor the activity of suspects in the ring. While intercepting a call

Investigators said the ring smuggled large amounts of illegal narcotics from Mexico into Los Angeles, and then transported the drugs via domestic flights from Memphis, Tennessee to Orlando, Florida. The drugs were then taken to Polk County by ground.

Detectives served 14 search warrants in Auburndale, Davenport, Polk City, Lake Wales, Winter Haven, and Riverview, as well as in Fresno, California and seized the following drugs and items:

268 pounds of Methamphetamine / 112,563 grams ($9,725,040 street value)

31 pounds of Cocaine / 14,055.17 grams ($1,405,337 street value)

180 pounds of Cannabis / 81,417.89 grams ($1,628,357 street value)

3.4 pounds of MDMA (Ecstasy) / 1,692.02 grams ($84,601 street value)

6.8 ounces of Fentanyl / 192.77 grams ($26,880 street value)

68 Alprazolam (Xanax) pills

173 Oxycodone pills

49 firearms

3 non-active grenades

2 bulletproof vests

1 stolen motorcycle

$235,000 cash

The total street value of the drugs is more than $12.8 Million. Judd said the amount of fentanyl seized could have killed up to 96,000 people.

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