LakeWalesNews.net - Keeping You Informed About the Important News of Lake Wales

19 from Lake Wales Included in Operation Bell Gang Drug Arrests

Task Force Seizes Drugs, Guns

 

Last updated 7/29/2021 at 11:58am

Following a 16-month undercover investigation, Polk County Sheriff's Office undercover Narcotics detectives and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force made 29 arrests in the Lake Wales area and obtained three arrest warrants related to the trafficking, sale, and possession of illegal narcotics. The operation was dubbed the "Bell Gang Blues."

Seventeen of the suspects and two still at large were from Lake Wales.

During the investigation, detectives and agents executed search warrants at eight locations in southeast Polk County, one at 636 Hopson Road in Frostproof, and the rest in Lake Wales at 114 Lincoln Ave., 506 Crescent Circle, 514 Crescent Circle, 15208 Quail Circle, 219 D St., 116 E Northside Dr. #3, and 627 Washington Ave.

Detectives filed 301 total felony and 134 total misdemeanor charges against the suspects during the investigation. Altogether, the suspects have 645 previous charges, including 314 prior felonies and 331 prior misdemeanors.

"It amazes me that some people still think drug traffickers are somehow low-level, non-violent criminals. In this instance, 11 guns were in the hands of these felons – two of which were stolen," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "Illegal drugs ruin lives, destroy families, drive up property crime, and wreck neighborhoods. Our community is safer because of the outstanding work by our detectives."

Lake Wales Police detectives worked with the sheriff's office on the investigation. Police Chief Chris Velasquez said the investigation was “extremely tedious” listening to phone calls, but working together the detectives “took some really bad stuff off the street.” Velasquez said the investigators used the same technology – phones, texting and social media - as the suspects.

“Every type of technology that’s available we used just as much as the criminals, we used those tools as well,” Velasquez said, noting “there’s no reservation to say or do anything under the protection of social media. Young folks will put anything out there.”

Investigation Summary:

*11 firearms seized (2 were reported as stolen)

*Approximately 22.4 pounds of marijuana seized (street value: approximately $100,000)

*Approximately 4.3 pounds of methamphetamine seized (street value: approximately $97,950)

*Approximately 1.7 pounds of cocaine seized (street value: approximately $81,000)

*Approximately 36.3 grams of Ecstasy (street value: approximately $3,630)

*Approximately 32 bags of THC candy (street value: approximately $640)

*Approximately 2.5 grams of heroin (street value: approximately $500)

*Approximately 5 grams of oxycodone seized (street value: approximately $100)

Those arrested from Lake Wales include:

Jerald Anderson, DOB 5/4/1986 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to sell marijuana (21 Counts)

Conspiracy to sell cocaine (8 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase cocaine (2 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1count)

Unlawful use of two-way communication device (1 count)

Possession of cannabis over 20 grams (1count)

Possession of cannabis with intent to sell (1count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1count)

Maintaining a vehicle for drugs (1count)

Driving with a suspended license (1count)

Fenel Celestin, DOB 02/28/1988 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Trafficking in methamphetamine (1 count)

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (1 count)

Possession of Xanax (1 count)

Possession of ammunition by a convicted felon (1 count)

Possession of cocaine with intent to sell (1 count)

Possessing a structure to traffic drugs (1 count)

possession of marijuana with intent to sell (1 count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Ashauntea Dias, DOB 11/7/2000 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Possession of heroin (1 count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Possession of a firearm by a delinquent (1 count)

Patrick Fields, DOB 2/6/1987 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Trafficking in methamphetamine 28 grams or more (1 counts)

Conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine 28 grams or more (1 count)

Conspiracy to sell cocaine (2 counts)

Conspiracy to sell marijuana (3 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1 count)

Conspiracy to traffic cocaine 28 grams or more (1 count)

Unlawful use of two-way communication device (1 count)

Possession of marijuana over 20 grams

Possession of MDMA (Ecstasy)

Possession of drug paraphernalia

Maintaining a residence for drugs

Silvia Gonzalez, DOB 7/9/1980 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (5 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase cocaine (8 counts)

Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Johnny Hamilton, DOB 02/14/1966 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (1 count)

Resisting an officer without violence (1 count)

Possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell (1 count)

Possession of codeine with intent to sell (1 count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Terrance Hamilton, DOB 06/15/1973 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Possession of ammunition by a convicted felon

Jackquez Irving, DOB 2/4/1993 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (2 counts)

Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

Jose Lopez-Ortiz, DOB 11/5/1994 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (8 counts)

Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

James McClain, DOB 2/15/1987 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to sell marijuana (21 Counts)

Conspiracy to sell cocaine (8 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase cocaine (2 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1count)

Unlawful use of two-way communication device (1 count)

Possession of marijuana over 20 grams (1count)

Possession of marijuana with intent to sell (1count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1count)

Maintaining a vehicle for drugs (1count)

Driving with a suspended license (1count)

His criminal history includes 15 felonies and 26 misdemeanors.

Maurice Owens, DOB 9/15/1979 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (11 counts)

Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Tremaine Parker, DOB 4/19/1992 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1 counts)

Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

Letisha Kaye Pride, DOB 7/26/1974 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Possession of marijuana over 20 grams (1 count)

Possession of marijuana with intent to sell (1 count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Armed trafficking in cocaine over 400 grams (1 count)

Maintaining a residence for drug sales (1 count)

Conspiracy to traffic cocaine 28 grams or more (1 count)

Conspiracy to sell/purchase cocaine (15 counts)

Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

Uquasha Pride, DOB 8/26/2001 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Possession of heroin (1 count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Dennis Richmond, DOB 8/3/1961 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to purchase cocaine (4 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase cannabis (1 count)

Unlawful use of a two way device (1count)

Earl Thomas, DOB 3/9/1954 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to sell (1 count)

Conspiracy to sell marijuana (3 counts)

Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Vincent Thomas, DOB 9/28/1985 of Lake Wales was arrested for:

Trafficking in Cocaine 400 grams or more (1 count)

Possession of marijuana with intent to sell (1 count)

Conspiracy to traffic cocaine 28 grams or more (4 counts)

Conspiracy to sell cocaine (9 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase cocaine (1 count)

Conspiracy to sell marijuana ( 141 counts)

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana ( 5 counts)

Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

Possession of marijuana over 20 grams (1 count)

Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Possession of oxycodone (1 count)

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (1 count)

Possession of prescription medication without a prescription (1 count)

Maintaining a structure to sell drugs (1 count)

His criminal history includes 173 felonies and 16 misdemeanors.

Still at large are:

Angela Dunklebarger, DOB 11/22/1971 of Lake Wales is wanted for:

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1 counts)

Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

Tavoris Jones, DOB 11/17/1983 of Lake Wales is wanted for:

Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (15 counts)

Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Also arrested were Kelvin Eads and Heidi Sutton from Frostproof; George Ashe from Bartow; William Byrd and Julie Howell from Lakeland, Shantavis Handford, Ta'Quasia Primus, Ni'aisia Ross and Clifford Hart from Winter Haven, Kerry Johnson from Orlando, Adrienne Kinsler from Plant City; and Mitchell Ware from Coral Springs. Reginald Phillips of Dundee is still at large.

Additional information is available at polksheriff.org.

 

Reader Comments(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021

Rendered 10/16/2021 18:31