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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 2/20/2014 

 HIDTA Task Force arrests ten on Cocaine charges 


Members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force, or HIDTA, a multi-agency poly drug task force to include the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Winter Haven Police Department, Bartow Police Department, Haines City Police Department, Lake Wales Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration, completed the month long investigation on Wednesday, February 19, 2104. 

In January, detectives learned William Benjamin Newton was selling large quantities of cocaine in the area of Winter Haven. Working in an undercover capacity, HIDTA detectives identified Newton’s associates and ultimately ten people were arrested and booked into the Polk County jail on a variety of drug trafficking, possession, and other charges.  A total of 22.5 ounces of cocaine were seized. 

Including the arrests and charges from yesterday, the 10 suspects have been arrested 77 times on a total of 54 felonies, 79 misdemeanors, and 15 “other” unclassified charges.  Incredibly, only one (Michelle Lynn Johnson) has served any time in prison. 

“Make no mistake about it, trafficking in Cocaine is a violent crime.  Cocaine ruins families, communities, and individual lives.  Cocaine and other illegal drugs drive property crime up and causes fear in the neighborhoods where it is sold and used.  Working with our law enforcement partners, we have interrupted a significant criminal enterprise & we know we are reducing future crime by removing these drug pushers from our community.”  —Sheriff Grady Judd 

Arrested were:  

William Benjamin Newton, DOB 10/30/86, 503 Avenue D SE, Winter Haven.  Newton is charged with:

·         Trafficking Cocaine (Over 400 Grams)

·         Maintain Vehicle to Traffic Cocaine

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

·         Warrant (Trafficking Cocaine-Over 28 Grams) (2 Counts)

·         Warrant (Sale of Cocaine)

·         Warrant (Possession of Cocaine WITS)

·         Warrant (Maintain Structure for Drug Sales)

·         Warrant (Maintain Vehicle for Drug Sales)

Devante Jones, DOB 3/6/92, 2406 Gerties Road, Bartow.  Jones is charged with:

·         Trafficking Cocaine (Over 28 Grams)

·         Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine (Over 28 Grams)

·         Maintain Vehicle for Trafficking Cocaine

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Lyndsey McGill, DOB 1/15/94, 882 Austin Circle, Bartow.  McGill is charged with:

·         Trafficking Cocaine (Over 28 Grams)

·         Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine (Over 28 Grams)

·         Maintain Vehicle for Trafficking Cocaine

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Michelle Johnson, DOB 5/1/73, 2704 Lake Alfred Rd, Winter Haven.  Johnson is charged with:

·         Possession of Cocaine With Intent To Sell

·         Possession of Cannabis (Less 20 Grams)

·         Maintain a residence for Drug Sales

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Lee Stevens, DOB 2/20/60, 6029 Grand Oaks Drive, Winter Haven.  Stevens is charged with: Resist Arrest W/O Violence

Jeremy Varney, DOB 8/12/89, 551 Georgene Road, Haines City.  Varney is charged with:

·         Possession of Cocaine

·         Tampering with Evidence

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

·         Resist Arrest W/O Violence

Michaela McKeel, DOB 11/14/90, 1844 5th Street SE, Winter Haven.  McKeel is charged with:

·         Possession of Cocaine

·         Tampering with Evidence

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

·         Resist Arrest W/O Violence

Michael Martin, DOB 3/24/54, 320 W Terrace Ave, Lake Alfred.  Martin is charged with: Possession of Cocaine

Michael Hogue, DOB 7/31/59, 1520 S Lake Howard Drive, Winter Haven.  Hogue is charged with:

·         Possession of Cocaine

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Angela Naugle, DOB 3/17/65, 225 W Orange Street, Lake Alfred.  Naugle is charged with:

·         Possession of Cocaine

·         Possession of Drug Paraphernalia