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Central Florida HIDTA Task Force concludes multi-agency two-year-long undercover drug trafficking investigation

Detectives with the Central Florida HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) task force, working together with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies across the country, conducted a two-year-long undercover drug trafficking investigation that resulted in 85 suspects being arrested, and three other suspects charged via warrants. 

“I’m so very proud of our detectives and the agents and law enforcement officers who partnered with us to get these dangerous drugs and felons off the street. This is the single largest seizure of drugs and arrests made in the history of Polk County during an undercover wiretap investigation. We will continue to follow up leads and make more arrests, so those who think they got away from us – think again.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff 

The partnering agencies are: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE); Office of the State Attorney for the 10thJudicial Circuit, Brian Haas; U.S Border Patrol; U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Tampa International Airport Police Department; Winter Haven Police Department; Orlando Police Department; Osceola County Sheriff’s Office (FL); St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office (FL); Fresno Police Department (CA); and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (TN).

The investigation was initiated in September 2020 when detectives executed a search warrant in Winter Haven and seized a pound of methamphetamine. From that point forward detectives continued to make undercover narcotics purchases from dealers in the Winter Haven area, and learned that large amounts of methamphetamine were being smuggled from California to Florida in checked luggage on domestic flights. In February 2022, detectives began a wiretap investigation, during which court-order intercept of communications between suspects within the criminal drug trafficking organization were initiated and monitored.

As a result of the investigation, 85 suspects were arrested and charged with a total of 355 felonies and 93 misdemeanors. The suspects’ previous criminal histories include 690 previous felonies, 712 previous misdemeanors, and 194 felony convictions.

Detectives served 14 search warrants in Auburndale, Davenport, Polk City, Lake Wales, Winter Haven, and Riverview, FL, as well as in Fresno, California.

Illegal drugs, firearms, and currency seized:

·        268 pounds of Methamphetamine / 112,563 grams ($9,725,040 street value)

·        31 pounds of Cocaine / 14,055.17 grams ($1,405,337 street value)

·        180 pounds of Cannabis / 81,417.89 grams ($1,628,357 street value)

·        3.4 pounds of MDMA (Ecstasy) / 1,692.02 grams ($84,601 street value)

·        6.8 ounces of Fentanyl / 192.77 grams ($26,880 street value)

·        68 Alprazolam (Xanax) pills              

·        173 Oxycodone pills                         

·        49 firearms

·        3 non-active grenades

·        2 bulletproof vests 

·        1 stolen motorcycle 

·        $235,000 cash

The total street value of the drugs confiscated is over $12.8 Million. The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests and charges are pending.

The six ring leaders of the organization are:

Demarcus Terrell Jefferson, DOB 10/19/1989. On September 13, 2020, Demarcus crashed his 2015 Kia Optima into the Marathon gas station on Havendale Blvd in Winter Haven, killing a male customer inside. He has been charged with DUI Manslaughter and his criminal case is still pending. Detectives received information that Demarcus and other family members were involved in smuggling large amounts of methamphetamine through the airlines in checked luggage on domestic flights from California. Detectives made multiple undercover drug purchases at his home, 2073 9th Lane NE in Winter Haven. During the investigation, detectives also learned that one of Demarcus’ brothers, Devontae, died as a result of an overdose of Fentanyl and Xanax at that same house on March 24, 2020. Drugs continued to be sold by family members after his death.

Dwayne Kenneth Stackhouse, Sr., DOB 12/2/1982. Stackhouse was identified as a large scale cocaine supplier in the central Florida area. On April 20, 2022, detectives conducted a traffic stop on US Hwy 27 in Davenport as Stackhouse was traveling from Orlando. They seized one kilogram of cocaine that was concealed inside a leather zippered Bible case. Detectives also executed a search warrant at his residence, 160 Serenity Blvd. Apt #202 in Lake Wales, where they found another pound of cocaine, marijuana, $13,000 cash, and a firearm. He was charged with trafficking in cocaine (F1), possession of a vehicle for drug trafficking (F2), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (F2), and possession of drug paraphernalia (M1). They arrested his partner, Vicente Carranza-Basanta, the same day. Stackhouse was released from jail on May 31, 2022, after posting bond in the amount of $116,250, and a GPS ankle monitor was placed on him.

Abadosh McKenzie, DOB 5/8/1981. McKenzie was identified as a counterfeit Fentanyl pill supplier, as well as a supplier of methamphetamine, MDMA, and marijuana. He lives in Riverview but conducts undercover drug sales in Winter Haven. On September 14, 2021, McKenzie attempted to flee from undercover detectives but crashed his vehicle. He was taken into custody but released from jail two days later after posting bond. He was re-arrested on warrants on September 20, 2021. During this investigation, he was arrested on June 1, 2022, and charged with trafficking in Fentanyl.

Lenard Henderson, DOB 1/7/1980. He was identified as a ring leader in the drug trafficking organization, as a large-scale cocaine supplier. Several suspects who were arrested obtained their narcotics from Henderson. He was arrested on August 16, 2022, and charged with 25 counts conspiracy to sell cocaine, conspiracy to sell marijuana, conspiracy to purchase marijuana, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony. He was released from jail after posting $24,500 bond.

Javarius Samuel, DOB 2/14/1991. On August 5, 2022, detectives in Fresno served a search warrant on his residence there, and seized 68 pounds of marijuana, 109 grams of Fentanyl, 14 grams of cocaine, 3 firearms, and $45,000 cash. The same day, detectives conducted a traffic stop and arrested Samuel on his two active warrants here in Florida – he has been using a forged Georgia driver’s license, with which he used to evade law enforcement and travel back and forth from Florida to California. They served a search warrant at his Davenport address (928 Brooklet Drive) and seized two loaded black AK-47 pistols, which were out in plain view and in a home with six children. He was arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic in Fentanyl, conspiracy to traffic in heroin, conspiracy to sell marijuana, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a fictitious driver’s license, felony battery, use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony, and three counts of probation violation. He is being held on no bond.

Darmonte Munson, AKA D-Money, AKA Money, DOB 9/4/1991. A luggage that was intercepted was slated for Munson’s residence, 514 Lake Dexter Blvd in Winter Haven. On August 16, 2022, detectives served a search warrant at 2245 5th Street NE in Winter Haven, one of his known residences. Large amounts of illegal narcotics were seized, along with scales and paraphernalia, and two firearms – a 12-gauge shotgun and a 9mm handgun. The drugs seized were: 551 MDMA pills; 86 grams of methamphetamine; 6 hydrocodone pills; 51.97 grams of cocaine; 2,492 grams of marijuana; and 53 Oxycodone pills. He was taken into custody and charged with trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in MDMA, possession of marijuana over 20 grams, possession of marijuana resin, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of methamphetamine, possession of oxycodone, possession of hydrocodone, maintaining a structure for drug trafficking, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released from jail on August 18, 2022, after posting bond in the amount of $119,500.

Other notable arrests:

Antonio Deandre Jefferson (Demarcus’ brother), DOB 6/15/1991. On April 21, 2021, HIDTA task force detectives arranged to purchase a large amount of methamphetamine from Antonio in Winter Haven. Detectives placed Antonio under arrest and searched his vehicle, seizing 168.45 grams of meth, a pound of marijuana, and a loaded 9mm Taurus handgun. He was charged with armed trafficking in meth over 28 grams (FL), possessing a vehicle for drug trafficking (F2), possession of marijuana over 20 grams (F3) and possession of paraphernalia (M1). He was released on April 28, 2021, after posting a bond amount of $56,500, and had a GPS ankle monitor placed on him. While out on bond and with an ankle monitor, Antonio continued to distribute trafficking amounts of meth, and detectives intercepted communications between Antonio and his brother, Demarcus, as they conducted drug deals. Antonio was arrested again on August 16, 2022, and charged with trafficking in methamphetamine (F1), use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony (F3), and possessing a structure or vehicle for drug trafficking (F2). He’s being held in the jail under Parker v. State.

Vicente Carranza-Basanta, DOB 7/5/1982. On April 20, 2022, detectives arranged to purchase a kilogram of cocaine from Vicente in Lake Wales. He delivered 1012 grams zipped inside a black leather Bible cover. The amount is over twice the trafficking amount, which is 400 grams. Vicente was immediately taken into custody and charged with trafficking in cocaine (F1), conspiracy to traffic in cocaine (F1), possession of a vehicle for drug trafficking (F2), and possession of drug paraphernalia. He told detectives that he was in the country seeking political asylum from Venezuela. He was booked into the Polk County Jail, but released on May 25, 2022, after posting bond in the amount of $105,500, and a GPS ankle monitor was placed on him.

Cley Bryan, DOB 11/20/1990. On July 24, 2021, two juveniles stole Bryan’s vehicle from the Racetrac in Eagle Lake, which contained a pound of methamphetamine. They drove the stolen car and drugs to another juvenile’s house, who planned to sell the drugs and split the profits three ways. As detectives were following up with the car theft victim, Bryan, they found a cooler containing 24 pounds of methamphetamine in his home. The juveniles were all charged with possession of meth, and two of the juveniles were charged with grand theft auto. Bryan was arrested for trafficking in meth, possessing a vehicle for drug trafficking, and possession of paraphernalia. He was arrested again in April 2022 for violating his pre-trial release conditions on those charges. He was released from jail on May 20, 2022, and had a GPS ankle monitor placed on him. 

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