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Two Arrested for Drug Sales While Working at Pizza Restaurant

Two employees of a popular Lake Wales pizza outlet found themselves arrested Thursday after police alleged that pizza was not the only thing people were buying at the restaurant.

According to a statement issued by the Lake Wales Police Department, detectives from the department's Crime Suppression Unit launched an undercover investigation after they received a tip that drugs were being sold by an employee of Pizzano's Pizza.

A phone call to restaurant restaurant manager Leon Griffith led to Griffith giving a detective his personal cell phone number and arranging to deliver marijuana to him.

The initial illicit sale was followed by a second transaction a few days later when investigator arranged to purchase more drugs from Griffith after he instructed the detective to come to the restaurant at 1326 East SR 60 in order to make the purchase.

Griffith again exited the restaurant to meet the buyers in the parking lot, where Griffith sold the detective powder cocaine, Xanax and Adderall.

After Griffith was arrested the restaurant was searched and detectives found methamphetamine in a bag belonging to assistant manager Hailee Sullivan hidden in the employee restroom. The police report states that Sullivan admitted the methamphetamine belonged to her. She was also arrested.

Pizzano's store owner Larry Howell was distraught Friday when contacted by Howell has owned the business for several years, frequently donating pies and gift certificates to area causes. He was worried about how the arrests might impact his business.

"These people don't represent me, and they are no longer representing my business," Howell said. "I've had people already coming forward wanting jobs, and I just told them no, I'm not hiring anyone else right now, I'm just going to run it myself until we can get through this."

If you are aware of any establishments that may be violating the law you may contact the Lake Wales Police Department or contact Crime Stoppers. Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477) or from your cell phone, dial **TIPS. You can also visit the website and click on "Submit A Tip," or download the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet to submit a tip.


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