The Lake County sheriff’s undercover narcotics detectives, in conjunction with the Clermont, Leesburg, and Eustis Police Departments, just concluded two simultaneous operations this week that targeted high-level traffickers responsible for distributing methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, and cocaine throughout Central Florida. Dubbed Operation Pull the Plug and Operation C.E.L.L. Block, the two investigations lasted approximately 6 months and resulted in detectives’ obtaining 67 arrest warrants.
During Operation Cell Block, detectives identified Jy’kez Jackson as being responsible for distributing trafficking amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl in South Lake County. As the investigation progressed, it was determined that Mr. Jackson was not only distributing methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl, but he was also responsible for distributing marijuana and homemade marijuana edibles, which were manufactured from marijuana, THC oil, and cereal. During the course of the investigation, Alphonsa Williams was also identified as a high-level methamphetamine trafficker and supplier who was operating out of Wildwood, Florida.
During Operation Pull The Plug, agents identified Valentino Knowles and learned he was responsible for distributing trafficking amounts of cocaine throughout the Leesburg area of Lake County. As the investigation progressed, detectives were also able to identify Omar Aviles-Lopez and Julio Gonzalez-Pabon, both of whom reside in Osceola County and were supplying Mr. Knowles with trafficking amounts of cocaine.
As both operations unfolded, undercover detectives were also able to conduct several undercover drug purchases from individuals distributing methamphetamine, crack cocaine, and other narcotics related to the aforementioned operation areas.
As a result of the operations, 67 arrest warrants were obtained for criminal charges including racketeering, trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in heroin/fentanyl, trafficking in methamphetamine, sale of cocaine, sale methamphetamine, sale of marijuana, and solicitation to purchase illegal narcotics.
Detectives served six search warrants, seized five vehicles, and confiscated over $10,000 dollars of U.S. Currency. They also seized approximately a half a kilo of cocaine (worth approximately $20,000), a kilo of methamphetamine (worth approximately $10,000), two ounces of heroin/fentanyl (worth approximately $4,000), multiple pounds of marijuana in several different forms, including leaf, edible, and oil.
Detectives arrested 44 subjects on the arrest warrants obtained from these operations during a two-day sweep on Wednesday and Thursday, many of whom have extensive criminal histories for narcotics sales, weapons violations, and violent crimes. Joseph Kramer, for instance, was arrested for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and was out on bond for Armed Robbery and Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon at the time of his arrest.
There were 3 additional subjects arrested on unrelated charges, for a total of 47 arrests so far, with 23 still wanted. One subject detectives obtained a warrant for, Cliff Johnson, is currently out on bond for a Lake County homicide and is one of the subjects still at large.
“I would like to thank the Clermont, Eustis, and Leesburg Police Departments for their hard work and assistance during these operations. We will continue to work hard together to keep drug dealers off the streets and out of our communities. As I’ve said before, if you’re pushing this poison onto our streets, we’re coming for you.” -Lake Sheriff Peyton Grinnell