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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 3/19/2014 

 Joint Investigation Leads to Breakup of Major Methamphetamine Distribution Network 


As a result of an investigation begun in October, 2013, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Polk County Sheriff’s Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Task Force detectives, along with members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Orlando District Office, Florida Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution, and Lake County Sheriff’s Office detectives, identified 25 suspects involved in an organized drug trafficking enterprise. 

Through their investigation, detectives and agents learned the organized methamphetamine crime ring was responsible for the distribution of large amounts of methamphetamine in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole Counties.   

Investigators identified the organization’s source of methamphetamine supply as Javier Flores, aka: “El Don.”  Flores resides in southern California and managed large scale methamphetamine shipments to Lakeland, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Las Vegas, Nevada through southern California from Mexico.  The organization included a network of couriers, managers, distributors and customers.  In February, detectives intercepted a $200,170 cash delivery meant to pay for methamphetamine from a courier.   

Investigators also learned Lopez and Flores consulted a Voodoo priest who would provide predictions, prophecies and readings regarding the organization’s decisions and welfare. 

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, investigators intercepted 44 pounds of methamphetamine at Love’s Truck Stop, 1800 Florida 559, in Polk City.  The “uncut” street value of this amount is approximately $2 million.  Also, on Tuesday, March 18th, detectives arrested 13 suspects, seized tens of thousands of dollars, seven vehicles, approximately 100 weapons, bullet-proof vests, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.  Two children, ages 1 and 3, were removed from a residence and placed into DCF custody. 

Out of 25 suspects in the organization, 11 are currently receiving Federal/public assistance, and one has been deported, is back in the country illegally, and is currently receiving Federal/public assistance (Ma-Concepcion Lopez).   

During the course of the investigation, detectives and agents learned two of those involved in the methamphetamine network were Josh Widdows, DOB 08/01/1983, 5339 Meadow Grove Trail, Lakeland, and TJ Scott DOB 03/22/1989, 7708 Glen Meadow Drive, Lakeland. 

Widdows and Scott were known to associate with Matthew Tutt, the man responsible for shooting and severely injuring two PCSO deputies in June 2010.    At approximately 2:30 am, Friday, June 25, 2010, Deputies Mike Braswell and Paul Fairbanks were patrolling in the area of Plateau Avenue and Josephine Street in the Wabash area of unincorporated Polk County near Lakeland.  There had been a number of burglaries in the area.  During their encounter, Tutt pulled a gun from under his shirt and shot at both deputies.  Tutt was killed when deputies returned fire.  Now retired, Deputy Paul Fairbanks was shot three times, and Deputy Mike Braswell was shot four times.  Both deputies recovered.  Widdows and Scott bought Meth from Rojas and in turn were selling the meth on the streets of Polk County. 

 Detectives with served search warrants at the following addresses:

2322 View Way, Lakeland (Lopez & Rojas’ residence)

10910 Sportsman Trail, Lakeland (Lopez & Rojas’ residence)

402 Wildlife Trail, Lakeland (Lopez & Rojas’ residence)

3604 Glenoak Drive South, Lakeland – Joshua Widdows’ residence

3839 NW 1st NW Street, Lakeland – Tyler Scott’s residence

2015 Adair Road, Davenport – Rios residence 

Arrested were: 

Jose Luis Rios, DOB 08/06/1966, 2322 View Way, Lakeland: Rios is charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine over 200 Grams – first degree felony mandating a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.  Criminal arrest history: 1992-DUI; 2005-cocaine trafficking; 2006-amphetamine or meth 14 grams or over; possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana over 20 grams, keep a public structure for burglary activity, paraphernalia.  

Ma-Concepcion Lopez, DOB 12/08/1975, 2322 View Way, Lakeland: claims she is married to Rojas: Lopez is charged with Engaging in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, a life felony; Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Unlawful Transportation of Currency, $100,000 or more, first degree felony; Possession of a Place or Structure used for Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, a second degree felony.  *Prior conviction of Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine in 2006 - served 3 years in prison and then was deported.  Currently receiving Federal/assistance-previously deported and back in U.S. illegally. 

Luis Villafuerte Rojas, DOB 08/04/1974, 2322 View Way, Lakeland: Rojas is charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Unlawful Transportation of Currency $100,000 or more, Possession of a Structure Used for Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime, a third degree felony.  *Prior convictions of: Assault on an Officer or Firefighter-1999.  Criminal arrest history: DUI-2000, DWLSR-2007, False name to a LEO- 2003, 2007.  Rojas was in the process of obtaining his U.S. citizenship. Currently receiving Federal/public assistance(Villafuerte Rojos was arrested at Love’s Truck Stop during the interception of the 44 pounds of Methamphetamine on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.)

Joel Tapia, DOB 11/14/1983, 2015 Adair Road, Davenport: Tapia is charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine over 14 grams, a first degree felony, mandating a three year minimum mandatory sentence; Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 14 grams; Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.  *Prior convictions of: Resist Officer W/O Violence- 2010.  Criminal Arrest History: 2003-Burglary; Grand Theft; Criminal Mischief, Theft of Fire Extinguisher, Burglary Conveyance, Shoplifting; 2003-Felony Criminal Mischief; 2004- Felony Criminal Mischief.  Joel Tapia is currently receiving Federal/public assistance.

Debra Tapia, DOB 12/27/1964, 2015 Adair Road, Davenport: Debra Tapia is charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine over 14 grams; Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 14 grams; Possession of a Structure Used for Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.  Criminal Arrest History: Traffic Amphetamine, possession with intent, possession over 20 grams, keep structure for drug activity, possession of drugs-equipment.  Debra Tapia is currently receiving Federal/public assistance. 

Tara Tapia, DOB 10/10/1984, 2015 Adair Road, Davenport: Tara Tapia is charged with Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 28 grams, first degree felony mandating a 7 year minimum mandatory sentence; Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 28 grams, first degree felony mandating a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence; and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.  Criminal Arrest History: 2003-Burglary; Grand Theft; Criminal Mischief, Theft of Fire Extinguisher, Burglary Conveyance, Shoplifting; 2003-Felony Criminal Mischief; 2004- Felony Criminal Mischief.  Tara Tapia is currently receiving Federal/public assistance.  

Maria Lopez Ontiveros, aka Mariana Alvear, DOB 01/04/1981, 2322 View Way, Lakeland: Alvear is being detained for deportation.  

Dioscelina Galaraza-Ozorio, DOB 10/30/1980, 2322 View Way, Lakeland: Galaraza-Ozorio was charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine over 200 grams; Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 200 grams; Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.  Criminal Arrest History: Assault; Battery on LEO; Resisting without Violence and Deprive Officer of Weapon – 2004: Cocaine possession w/intent to sell; Purchase Narcotics – 2007.  

Alfredo Ortiz-Hernandez, DOB 03/21/1988, 750 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, California: Ortiz-Hernandez was charged with Conspiracy to Traffic in Meth over 200 grams; Trafficking in Meth over 200 grams.  Criminal Arrest History: DUI – 2013.  (Ortiz-Hernandez was the currier hauling the 44 pounds of meth – he was arrested at Love’s Truck Stop on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.)   

Maria Widdows, DOB 02/02/1985, 3604 Glenoak Drive South, Lakeland: M. Widdows was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.   

Joseph Workman, DOB 03/17/1962, 18 West Bass Street Orlando, Workman was arrested in Osceola County and charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine over 14 grams, Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 14 grams, Unlawful use of  Two-Way Communication Device. (Workman has an extensive criminal arrest history to include 9 felony arrests, 19 misdemeanor arrests, 22 unknown level charge arrests, 1 failure to appear, and has been in state prison twice; charges range from Loitering, to Exploitation of Elderly, Shoplifting, Trespassing, and numerous drug related arrests.)

Joseph Angelo Rinaldi, DOB 05/21/1979, 10811 Sienna Drive Clermont.  Rinaldi was arrested in Osceola and charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine over 28 grams, and Unlawful use of Two-Way Communication.  Rinaldi is currently receiving Federal/public assistance.  Criminal Arrest History: August 16, 1995, arrest for Retail Theft, by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office; November 20, 1995, arrest for Aggravated Battery and Retail Theft, by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office; July 27, 1997, arrest for Failure to Appear, and Operation of a Motor Vehicle without a License, by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office; May 28, 2003, arrest for Battery, by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office; July 17, 2006, arrest for Trafficking Methamphetamine over 14 Grams, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving While License Suspended, by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office; May 29, 209, Criminal Registration, by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office; October 3, 2013, Trafficking Methamphetamine Over 14 Grams, Child Neglect, Possession of a Cannabis and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.   

Eugenia Lopez, DOB 07/04/1984, 402 Wildlife Trail Lakeland; Lopez was charged with Possession of a Place or Structure being Used for the Sale of a Controlled Substance. 

Wanted Suspects: 

Javier Flores, unknown DOB, between 35-40 years of age, California; Flores is wanted for Engaging in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Unlawful Transportation of Currency $100,000 or More, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.  

Hugo Lopez Esquivel, DOB 03/21/1981, 54 Pinetree Road Lawrencevill, GA.  Lopez is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Unlawful Transportation of Currency, $50,000 or More, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.

Eliezer Rodriguez Merced, 03/21/1981, 54 Pinetree Road Lawrencevill, GA, Merced is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 200 grams, Unlawful Transportation of Currency, $50,000 or More, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.

Joshua Widdows is currently receiving Federal/public assistance.  Widdows is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 14 grams, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime.

Tyler Scott is wanted for Possession of Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, and Own or Rent Structure for Knowingly Selling Drugs. 

Demasco Candid Lugo, DOB 08/30/1983, 908 Ruth Avenue, Lakeland; Lugo is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 28 grams, and Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 28 grams.

Melinda Baker-Ruiz, DOB 09/03/1979, 908 Ruth Avenue Lakeland; Baker-Ruiz is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 28 grams, and Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 28 grams.

Danielle Campbell DOB 10/29/1987, 9555 Kingsbury Court, Windermere; Campbell is currently receiving Federal/public assistance and is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 28 grams, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime. 

Hector Sanyustiz, DOB 08/16/1974, ,1254 Westside Drive, Winter Garden, Sanyustiz is currently receiving Federal/public assistance and is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 28 grams, Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 28 grams, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime. 

Laura Caton, DOB 05/17/1978, 2718 Sample Street, Kissimmee, Caton is currently receiving Federal/public assistance, and is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 14 grams, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device to Facilitate the Commission of a Crime. 

Jose Godoy, DOB 10/18/1991, 1108 Powerline Road, Davenport; Godoy is currently receiving Federal/public assistance, and is wanted for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine over 14 grams. 

Bryan Cumberbatch, DOB 06/25/1982, 1541 Goodyear Avenue, Lakeland, Cumberbatch is wanted for Possession of Methamphetamine; Sell Methamphetamine; Own or Rent Structure/Vehicle Known to Sell Drugs, a second degree felony; and Possession/Use Narcotic Paraphernalia.