Date: October 18, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
13 Arrested Following Investigation Into Business Selling Drug Paraphernalia

Following an undercover operation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office Bureau of Special Investigations Tactical Drug Unit, 13 suspects were arrested yesterday (Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001) on paraphernalia and narcotics charges. As a result of the investigation, approximately 2000 items of paraphernalia, two firearms, 27 grams of Methamphetamine, and a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix were seized.

Detectives executed a search warrant on Wednesday at the Purple Ringer located at 5216 Highway 98 North in Lakeland.  The search warrant was issued after undercover detectives purchased paraphernalia at the store during a month-long investigation into reports that the business was selling drug paraphernalia. The business claims to be a tobacco pipe shop, but the undercover investigation revealed the store was selling the items for illegal cannabis/narcotics use.

The manager of the Purple Ringer, Robert Joseph Cromwell, DOB 11/24/54, of Kissimmee, was arrested and charged with Delivery of Paraphernalia (four counts) and Possession of Paraphernalia with Intent to Deliver (five counts).

During the search warrant and ongoing investigation, Sheriff's Office K-9 alerted to the scent of narcotics in the vehicles of numerous Purple Ringer customers, resulting in the arrest of 12 suspects on the following charges:

Ryan R. Sack, DOB 3/9/80, of 4688 Semander in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Jessica Forrester, DOB 1/27/82, of 7220 Pinedale Drive in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Justin Brauner, DOB 5/8/77, of 5322 Serena Drive in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Michael James Kushmider, DOB 8/30/79, of 2256 Nottingham Road in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Kyle Briggeman, DOB 5/15/74, of 8535 Matthews Road #28 in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Michael Winter, DOB 1/30/73, of 3941 Strickland Manor in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Jonathan Robertson, DOB 8/26/81, of 2500 Flanders Station Drive in Polk City, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Steven Lucido, DOB 6/24/64, of 3737 Dale Street in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Colinda Armstrong, DOB 8/24/73, of 1501 Shepherd Road Apt. 105 in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Paraphernalia.
William Wendel, DOB 5/13/69, of 508 El Camino Real in Lakeland, charged with Armed Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Brian Kinch, DOB8/6/79, of 1920 Banana Road in Lakeland, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Possession of Clonzepam (pills).
William Griffin, DOB 4/27/74, of Plant City, charged with Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Paraphernalia.

XXX

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

Star News Releases
News Room
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Home Page