Date: May 2, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Donna Wood, (863) 534-0980 
OR 820-0418, PAGER 
Ecstasy Bust

On Thursday, May 3, 2001, members of the Polk County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, and Officers from Lakeland and Winter Haven Police Departments, disrupted and dismantled one of the largest MDMA (Ecstasy) rings in Polk County. Nine suspects were arrested in the joint effort.

Two individuals involved in the MDMA (Ecstasy) ring were arrested at the Pepper Tree Apartments on 321 Imperial Boulevard, #D-43, in Lakeland, Florida. The other seven people were arrested at various locations in Lakeland. Items seized included 574 MDMA (Ecstasy) pills, weighing approximately 130 grams; a vehicle and currency.

The month long investigation began March 29, 2001, and extended from North Lakeland to Winter Haven. The investigation involved under cover purchases of Ecstasy by Detectives which led to a Search Warrant at the Pepper Tree Apartments. The drug activity was being conducted out of the apartment by various members of the organization. The Search Warrant enabled the Agencies, in a joint effort, to infiltrate the MDMA (Ecstasy) ring. 

Among the nine suspects arrested, a juvenile, Maribel Santos, age 17, was arrested for Trafficking in MDMA (Ecstasy).  Also involved in the organization was Lance Williamson charged with the Sale of MDMA (Ecstasy) and Possession of Ecstasy with Intent to Sell, Brian Anderson charged with two counts of Trafficking in MDMA and two counts of Conspiracy to Traffic, Michael McElveen charged with Sale of Ecstasy, Possession of Ecstasy with Intent to Sell, Trafficking in Ecstasy, Conspiracy to Traffic and two counts of Conspiracy to Sell Ecstasy, John Kraft charged with the Sale of Ecstasy and Possession of Ecstasy with the Intent to Sell, Shannon Baxley charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Ecstasy, Christopher Zambrano charged with Trafficking in Ecstasy and Conspiracy to Traffic, and Krista Willard, age 19, was charged with Trafficking in Ecstasy and Conspiracy to Traffic.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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