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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.

PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Sep 9, 2022

PCSO arrests Lakeland sales clerk for illegal alcohol sale to 17-year old

27-year old Ailemarg Reyes was arrested by deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, September 8, 2022, after he sold an alcoholic beverage to a minor who was aiding in the PCSO's Operation Pop Top campaign.

The sale occurred at the 7-Eleven store at 3031 US 98 North in Lakeland.

"If you sell alcohol to someone under the age of 21, and we catch you doing it, you're going to be arrested. We're going to hold people accountable when they fail to abide by the state's alcohol sales law." - Grady Judd, Sheriff

Operation Pop Top is an ongoing PCSO effort in which they visit stores across the county, with the help of a PCSO Explorer who attempts to purchase the alcoholic beverages. The Explorers program consists of high schoolers who are interested in a career in law enforcement.

On Thursday, a total of nine Lakeland stores were visited by deputies and the Explorer, with only one of them not being compliant with state law, by selling alcohol to someone under 21 years of age.