Drugs, guns, vehicles confiscated in undercover Lake County operation



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Lake County deputies seized drugs, vehicles, weapons and cash following a four-month-long drug operation dubbed "Close to Home."

Nearly 2 pounds of marijuana, 7 ounces of cocaine and more than 300 prescription pills with a street value of $140,000 were seized during the operation.

Investigators also confiscated more than 20 weapons, including a grenade launcher, and more than 20 vehicles.

"This is a huge bust, especially here in the south of the county," said Sheriff Gary Borders. "You're talking about a very close-knit ring."

Deputies also issued 74 arrest warrants and have been able to take 67 of those suspects into custody, including Michale Alberto Gonzalas, the alleged ringleader.

Investigators said the group was heavily armed and many of the drug deals would go down in restaurant and grocery store parking lots, a few feet from where families were eating and shopping.

Officials said the community also played a big part in helping get all of the suspects, drugs and guns off the streets.

"We get complaints from time to time, and it was a citizen complaint that brought this guy to our attention, and that's when we started this investigation," said Borders.