32 charged in Polk County undercover drug trafficking investigation

Detectives in Polk County arrested more than two dozen people in a drug trafficking sting following a 16-month undercover investigation.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said their narcotics detectives and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force made 29 arrests in the Lake Wales area and issued arrest warrants for three suspects related to the trafficking, sale and possession of illegal drugs.

"You can go ahead and turn yourself in or you can go to jail tired from running, but you're gonna go to jail," Sheriff Grady Judd said of the three suspects who are still at large, identified as 49-year-old Angela Dunklebarger of Lake Wales, 37-year-old Tavoris Jones of Lake Wales, and 37-year-old Reginald Phillips of Dundee. 

The 32 suspects face a total of 301 felonies and 134 misdemeanors. Altogether, the suspects have 645 previous charges against them, including 314 prior felonies.

Detectives said three suspects told them they receive government assistance.

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One of the suspects, 34-year-old James McClain, reportedly sold methamphetamine that was dyed blue. When undercover detectives asked about the color, McClain allegedly told them it was dyed blue "in recognition of the Democratic Party."

"Now I'm not sure if the Democrat Party would be proud of that, but that's why it was blue, according to him," Judd said.

The sheriff said investigators seized $88,000 in cash, $89,000 worth of jewelry, and $283,000 worth of narcotics in the bust. He said several of those arrested were rappers and "marketed themselves because they look cool in the community."

"Can y'all make a rap about this?" Judd asked as he donned a large gold chain, one of the pieces of jewelry seized in the investigation. "'We got ya gold, we put ya tail in the county jail.' You can call it the ‘Bell Gang Blues’ rap song."

The sheriff's office announced the arrests in alphabetical order:

Jerald Anderson, 35, 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)

George Ashe, 43, of Bartow was arrested for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase marijuana(2 counts) 
• Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

William Byrd, 29, of Lakeland was arrested for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase cannabis (4 counts)
• Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Fenel Celestin, 33, 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, 20, 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)

Kelvin Eads, 47, of Frostproof was arrested for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (3 counts)
• Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Patrick Fields, 34, 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, 41, 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, 55, 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, 48, of Lake Wales was arrested for: 
• Possession of ammunition by a convicted felon

Shantavis Handford, 19, of Winter Haven was arrested for: 
• Possession of cocaine (1 count)
• Possession of marijuana with intent to sell (1 count)
• Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Clifford Hart, 35, of Winter Haven was arrested for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (3 counts)
• Conspiracy to sell marijuana (30 counts)
• Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Julie Howell, 34, of Lakeland was arrested for: 
• Possession of cocaine (1 count)
• Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)
• Trafficking in methamphetamine (1 count)

Jackquez Irving, 28, of Lake Wales was arrested for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (2 counts)
• Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

Kerry Johnson, 42, of Orlando was arrested in Orange County for a Polk County warrant for: 
• Conspiracy to sell marijuana (3 counts)
• Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

Adrienne Kinsler, 31, of Plant City was arrested for: 
• Possession of cocaine (1 count)
• Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)
• Possession of oxycodone (1 count)
• Possession of marijuana under 20 grams (1 count)
• Possession of prescription medication without a prescription (1 count)

Jose Lopez-Ortiz, 26, of Lake Wales was arrested for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (8 counts)
• Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

James McClain, 34, 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, 41, 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, 29, of Lake Wales was arrested for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1 counts)
• Unlawful use of a two-way device (1 count)

Letisha Kaye Pride, 46, 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, 19, of Lake Wales was arrested for: 
• Possession of heroin (1 count)
• Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Ta’Quasia Primus, 22, of Winter Haven was arrested for: 
• Child abuse (1 count)
• Possession of cocaine
• Possession of drug paraphernalia
• Violation of probation (2 counts)

Dennis Richmond, 59, 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)

Ni’aisia Ross, 20, of Winter Haven was arrested for: 
• Possession of cocaine (1 count)
• Possession of marijuana with intent to sell (1 count)
• Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)

Heidi Sutton, 39, of Frostproof was arrested for: 
• Possession of MDMA (1 count)
• Possession of methamphetamine (1 count)
• Possession of drug paraphernalia (1 count)
• Maintaining a vehicle for drugs (1 count)

Earl Thomas, 67, 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, 35, 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.

Mitchell Ware, 68, of Coral Springs was arrested in Broward County for a Polk County warrant for: 
• Conspiracy to purchase marijuana (1 count)
• Unlawful use of two communication device (1 count)

The following were seized, according to the sheriff's office:

  • 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)
  • Total street value: $283,820.