POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Seven people were arrested in what authorities are calling the “largest seizure of heroin” by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
According to a news release, it all started when deputies learned someone was sending methamphetamine to Polk County by mail from southern California.
Detectives began working with a task force in Bloomington, California and had undercover detectives buy 100 pounds of “Mexican methamphetamine” from a supplier based in California.
The detectives met 34-year-old Albaro Armando Carillo Jr. and 30-year-old Jose Juan Tafolla-Navarrete at an undisclosed location in Bloomington.
Authorities said the men had 100 pounds of Methamphetamine in boxes and bags in their vehicle. Three of the boxes contained 100 plastic containers, each holding one pound of methamphetamine.
The men were arrested for trafficking in methamphetamine and booked into the San Bernardino County Jail.
Authorities said their arrest led to information about other traffickers across the country, including 38-year-old Francisco Reyna-Duran, a distributor based out of Chicago.
An undercover detective arranged for Reyna-Duran to fly out to Polk County, where they met to discuss a multi-kilogram shipment of heroin.
Days later, Reyna-Duran and a woman, later identified as 25-year-old Susana Salgado-Solis, arrived at a location in Winter Haven with 3.25 kilos of suspected pure heroin.
Both were arrested and charged with trafficking in heroin.
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Salgado-Solis told deputies that she left her two children behind at a hotel while she delivered the heroin. Deputies found the children with 41-year-old Armando Fernandez. They said he was uncooperative and belligerent when interviewed by detectives and called 911 to report one of the children was having a medical episode and needed immediate attention, although both children were in good health. He was arrested for misuse of 911.
That week, deputies also arranged a heroin transaction with a source from Houston, Texas.
Julio Cesar Don Juan, 34, drove to Lakeland and met detectives at an undisclosed location in unincorporated Polk County. His brother, 32-year-old Rene Don Juan-Gonzalez, was also there.
There, deputies recovered approximately 1.25 kilograms worth of heroin.
The Don Juan brothers were both arrested and charged with trafficking in Heroin and booked into the Polk County Jail.
The sheriff’s office said Julio Don Juan was found to be in possession of approximately $1,800 in US currency which was also processed for forfeiture.
A total of 5 ½ kilos of heroin worth an estimated $4.9 million were seized during the investigation, which was dubbed “Operation Trifecta.”
“This is the largest seizure ever of heroin by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office,” an agency spokesperson, Scott Wilder, said in a news release.
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