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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 2/20/2013 

 HIDTA Detectives Arrest Seven, Seize 50 Pounds of Meth, Cars, Money, and Weapons 


On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, members of the Polk County HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force, conducting an investigation about the sale of Meth in Polk County, arrested seven suspects, and seized: over 50 lbs of methamphetamine (Meth), three vehicles (a Ford Expedition, a Chrysler 300, and a Nissan Murano), three motorcycles, $13,300 cash, and three firearms.

Undercover detectives purchased Meth and/or observed others purchasing Meth from a street level drug dealer, identified as 38-year-old Lydia Santiago (DOB 3/18/1974) of 1820 Kissingen Avenue in Bartow, over an approximately 11-month time period.

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, Detectives conducted a traffic stop on Santiago's vehicle, and located over 3 lbs. of Meth in her SUV, along with $8,000 cash. Santiago's three children were also in the SUV.  Santiago was arrested, along with her front-seat passenger, 20-year-old Daquon Gunter-Santel (DOB 5/2/1992), of 2433 Blaire Circle South in Lakeland, who is currently on probation.  The children were all turned over to DCF.  See the list of all suspects' charges below. 

Detectives then responded to Santiago's residence, where they found a firearm and approximately .5 lb of Marijuana.  23-year-old Jorge Morales-Vallejo (DOB 7/17/1989) was inside the residence at the time, and was arrested.  While detectives were there, 22-year-old Arturo Sanchez (DOB 3/2/1990) and 24-year-old Angel Castro (5/17/1988) arrived, and detectives found 2 lbs. of Meth in their vehicle.  See the list of all suspects' charges below.

Detectives then responded to 201 24th Court SW in Winter Haven.  A search of that residence resulted in the seizure of a small amount of Meth and paraphernalia, and $5,300 cash.  35-year-old Jose Torres (DOB 9/12/1977) who lives at that address was arrested.  See the list of all suspects' charges below.


During the investigation, a search warrant was conducted at 540 Avenue L SE in Winter Haven.  This residence was being used as a "stash house" by Arturo Sanchez and Angel Castro.  There detectives seized 46 lbs. of Meth and two firearms.  One of the firearms was confirmed stolen out of Brevard County.  

Detectives also responded to 1510 East Georgia Street, lot 308, in Bartow.  There, detectives arrested 61-year-old Edwin Hall (DOB 08/29/1951) for being in possession of over one ounce of Meth. See the list of all suspects' charges below.  

Suspects arrested: 

Lydia Santiago, DOB 3/18/1974, of 1820 Kissingen Avenue in Bartow; charges: Trafficking in Meth Over 200 Grams; Maintaining Vehicle for Drug Use with Minors Present; Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams 

Daquon Gunter-Santel, DOB 5/2/1992, of 2433 Blaire Circle South in Lakeland; charges: VOP (Robbery with Firearm) 

Jorge Morales-Vallejo, DOB 7/17/1989, of 1510 East Georgia Street, lot 314, in Bartow; charges: Battery on LEO; Resisiting Arrest With Violence; Possession of Paraphernalia 

Arturo Sanchez, DOB 3/2/1990, of 201 24th Court SW in Winter Haven; charges: Trafficking in Meth Over 200 Grams 

Angel Castro, DOB 5/17/1988, of 201 24th Court SW in Winter Haven; charges: Trafficking in Meth Over 200 Grams 

Jose Torres, DOB 9/12/1977, of 201 24th Court SW in Winter Haven; charges: Possession of Meth; Possession of Paraphernalia

Edwin Hall, DOB 8/29/1951, of 1510 East Georgia Street, lot 308, in Bartow; charges: Trafficking in Meth Over 28 Grams; Maintaining Dwelling for Drug Trafficking; Possession of Paraphernalia