WINTER HAVEN, FL -- Undercover detectives in Polk County, Florida, discovered what they say was a multi-state drug with ties to Mexico, leading to seven arrests.
Polk sheriff Grady Judd says his investigators determined that someone was selling methamphetamine out of southern California. They conducted several deals by mail and set up a transaction in person with the help of the Inland Crackdown Allied Taskforce (INCA). One of his detectives agreed to purchase 100 lbs. of meth from a supplier in Bloomington, CA, leading to the August 1st arrest of 34-year-old Albaro Armando Carillo Jr. and 30-year-old Jose Tafolla-Navarrete, both in the U.S. illegally and both living in Compton.
Judd complained that California authorities released Tafolla-Navarrete from the San Bernardino County Jail, and Carillo is not on an ICE hold.
"We're going to report him to ICE from here... that in itself, is a trainwreck. California is a trainwreck. If you want to see how not to deal with criminals, go to California," Judd said.
Polk detectives also busted heroin operations based in the Chicago area and Texas. They arrested 38-year-old Francisco Reyna-Duran, a Mexican citizen in the country without permission, who they say flew to Florida to seal the deal. They also arrested 25-year-old Susana Salgado-Solis and took her two children, ages 5 and 6, into DCF custody. Another man was arrested for misuse of 911 when he called to complain that the children needed medical attention.
In the other heroin bust, detectives arrested two brothers, 34-year-old Julio Cesar Don Juan and 32-year-old Rene Don Juan-Gonzalez, saying they drove to Florida and sold about a kilo of heroin to detectives in Lakeland. Detectives say the older brother entered the country illegally.
“These are extraordinarily dangerous illegal drugs, and, as we have seen, the Mexican drug trade is extremely violent and deadly," Judd said. "Without question, lives have been saved as a result of this investigation.”