Sheriff: 85 arrests in California-Florida drug flight scheme


Barto, Fla. , Sixty-five people have been arrested and illicit drugs worth millions of dollars confiscated in a smuggling operation that used checked bags on commercial flights from California. Floridainvestigators said on Friday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told a news conference that drugs were hidden in luggage on flights from Los Angeles to Orlando over a two-year period. He said one of the seizures contained six items, which contained nothing but drugs.

“He didn’t even put on a pair of underwear to hide it,” Judd told reporters.

Officials said the 85 arrests involved 355 combined offenses and 93 misdemeanors in a case focused on drug trafficking in the area around Winter Haven, Florida.

The street value was estimated at approximately $12.8 million for the seizure of drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine. Marijuana, Fentanyl, Oxycodone and Xanax. Forty-nine guns and $235,000 in cash were also confiscated.

Judd said it was the largest wiretap-related investigation in Polk County history.

“It’s anything but low-level and nonviolent,” the sheriff said. “The whole time they were poisoning your kids.”


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