POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The Polk County Sheriff’s Office had a huge win with the largest meth seizure in county history. According to Sheriff Grady Judd, the mastermind of the operation was running the drug ring from inside prison.
In early 2021, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations initiated a joint investigation of a drug trafficking organization with ties to the Juarez Mexican Drug Cartel. The primary drug trafficking broker, said officials, operated from a federal prison in Georgia.
The investigation began on January 14, 2021, when a parcel shipped from Quebec, Canada, containing approximately 2,500 Xanax pills was intercepted by investigators.
PCSO undercover detectives conducted a controlled delivery at 3237 Xerxes Avenue NW in Winter Haven and arrested 37-year-old Amber Cayson of Winter Haven. Also seized at the residence was 24 pounds of THC edibles, 2.4 pounds of marijuana, and a pound of methamphetamine.
As the investigation progressed, PCSO detectives learned of a suspected drug trafficker in Georgia, 37-year-old Brian Stanton, known as “Lil B,” who was arranging for the sale and delivery of methamphetamine in Polk County.
Stanton is currently incarcerated in the United States Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta. The organizations teamed up to prove Stanton’s roll from inside the penitentiary. They say Stanton coordinated a shipment of approximately 26 pounds of methamphetamine from Georgia to Polk County, Florida.
43-year-old Jennifer Meers of Stone Mountain, Georgia, allegedly delivered a suitcase with 12 large clear storage bags containing 26 pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover detective at a hotel in Lakeland. After the delivery, Meers, who is on federal probation for drug trafficking, left the hotel and returned to Georgia.
On March 19, 2021, Stanton, still from within the federal prison, arranged for another 35 pounds of methamphetamine to be delivered by Meers to PCSO undercover detectives.
On March 30, 2021, HSI and PCSO undercover detectives arranged to pick up the drugs from inside Meers’ personally owned truck near her place of employment in Atlanta. When they retrieved the narcotics from Meers’ truck, they found luggage with 16 vacuum sealed bags containing approximately 35 pounds of methamphetamine.
A short time later, Meers was arrested on a Polk County Sheriff’s Office warrant by the Sandy Springs Georgia Police Department during a traffic stop.
During an interview, Meers told detectives that Stanton coordinated the delivery of the methamphetamine and that he pays her $500 for every kilo (2.2 pounds) of methamphetamine she delivers.
Meers’ arrest led investigators to the location of 3 methamphetamine conversion labs in Georgia. HSI agents and local Georgia law enforcement officers served search warrants at 8 locations in Georgia, arrested 3, and seized 1,416 pounds of crystalized and liquid methamphetamine. The subsequent raid of the meth lab also uncovered an illegal rooster fighting ring belonging to 59-year-old Isidoro Palacios.
You can watch Grady Judd’s press conference on the arrest below: