Polk County officials make arrests, seize 40 lbs. of meth, 100 weapons



POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 has learned authorities made 16 arrests, confiscated 40 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 100 weapons during a bust in Polk County on Wednesday.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said they believe the meth has a street value of about $8 million and 16 suspects have been arrested.

Local authorities were working with the DEA and got wire taps that led them to the ring they said was running drugs all over the country.  Crews were then able to intercept drugs that were delivered at a truck stop, officials said.

"We're talking about 106 weapons we seized, 40 semiautomatic rifles, silencers and a grenade launcher," said DEA Special Agent Mark Trouville. "Folks, that's more long arms than most police departments have in the U.S."

Deputies said the operation began last year when authorities busted an international drug trafficking ring that was importing meth from Mexico.

The Sheriff's Office said the operation dubbed Hoodoo Voodoo began when the DEA asked them to help keep tabs on Luis Rojas.

Deputies got a wiretap and said Rujas' conversations helped them arrest the other members of his group and intercept the meth.

"We begin to round up everyone when the mother load of dope arrived from Atlanta," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Officials said they still have people they're looking for connected to the bust, which is one of the biggest they've ever made. Officers said 12 others are being sought.

"It's about drugs and money and guns," said Judd.

Two children were taken into custody during the raid, authorities said.

"They're victims," said Judd. "We had to call DCF in order to turn the children over to the state, because all over their relatives were either arrested or implicated in this drug operation."

The operation name came after deputies said they learned ring leaders would seek out advice from a voodoo witch doctor.