WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Winter Haven men face several charges after allegedly selling fentanyl to a man who later died of an overdose.
According to a release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, deputies first encountered the 52-year-old victim when he was found unresponsive at William G. Roe Park on Nov. 6, 2022. The man was hospitalized and treated for a fentanyl overdose.
Deputies said the man died in Volusia County on Nov. 24, just weeks after leaving the hospital, due to another suspected drug overdose.
Investigators learned the man bought fentanyl from a man known as “BJ.” Deputies said they identified the alleged dealer as 23-year-old Brandon Jones, along with a second suspect, 32-year-old Joeffren Padilla III. Both men are from Winter Haven.
The sheriff’s office used undercover detectives to investigate, reportedly making multiple drug purchases over the course of two months. Detectives alleged Padilla sold them about 58 grams of fentanyl during one purchase. Jones allegedly warned a detective to not “take too much (methamphetamine) because it’s really strong.”
Detectives served a search warrant at Jones’ home, which allegedly turned up over four ounces of fentanyl, over four ounces of meth, and over one pound of marijuana. Deputies said the street value of the drugs exceeds $30,000.
“It’s no secret drug dealers are killing people in our community. Through this investigation we learned that Brandon Jones sold illegal drugs to a man who overdosed in Polk County, and then later, he overdosed again in Volusia County where he died,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “This investigation is ongoing, but let me make it clear, we will bring homicide charges against drug dealers when we find out they have sold drugs to people who in turn are killed from those drugs. We will hold these killers accountable.”
Neither Jones nor Padilla were charged with homicide, however.
Jones was arrested on the following charges:
• Trafficking in Fentanyl (5 counts)
• Trafficking in Methamphetamine
• Possession of Methamphetamine
• Use of a 2-Way Device to Commit a Felony
• Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell
• Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams
• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (5 counts)
• Resisting Without Violence
Padilla was arrested on the following charges:
• Trafficking in Fentanyl
• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
• Failure to Appear (Petit Theft)
Both men were booked into the Polk County Jail, where they are being held without bond.