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30 Arrested in Polk County Drug Bust
Investigators in Polk County arrested 30 people following a 10-month investigation into drug trafficking. The arrests were part of “Operation City Sweep,” a multi-agency effort that involved four search warrants and undercover purchases of drugs and weapons. Investigators included members of the Polk sheriff’s office, Bartow Police Department and Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force.
According to the sheriff’s office, the investigation began in August, related to the sale of crack cocaine. Investigators then followed a trail of information on drug trafficking involving several Bartow residences and ultimately involving almost 40 individuals. 30 were arrested; nine are currently wanted for arrest.
At one Bartown home, deputies seized 81 grams of powder cocaine, 40 grams of crack cocaine and $5,586 cash. Undercover officers also purchased cocaine one suspect, and during at least one such exchange, the suspect had a child in the car with him.
At another residence, detectives allege they seized 120 ecstasy pills, three-fourths of pound of marijuana, cocaine and paraphernalia, along with four food stamp cards and one Visa Turbo Tax card.
Detectives made eight undercover drug buys from a house across the street from a day care facility. Detectives purchased crack cocaine, powdered cocaine and marijuana from the house and the nearby vacant lot.
At another apartment, detectives seized 230 grams of marijuana, 36 grams of ecstasy, a digital scale with cocaine residue and baggies for packaging the narcotics, and $16,361 in cash. A 12-gauge shotgun and .45 caliber handgun, both of which were reported stolen during different incidents, were also seized. A baby was also in the home.
Twenty-eight of those wanted on warrants were receiving some sort of government aid, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.