Report: Group tied to violent drug cartel arrested in Polk meth bust

Updated:

POLK COUNTY, Fla. —

The Central Florida HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force arrested six people and seized about 19 pounds of methamphetamine in the Fort Meade area of Polk County, authorities said Wednesday.

The investigation began earlier this year when detectives received information about the Gabriel Zamarripa Drug Trafficking Organization, operating in Polk County, officers said. The organization has ties to the Gulf Cartel, one of the more violent drug cartels operating in North America and Mexico, Polk County authorities said.

After making several undercover buys of "Ice," which is methamphetamine in its purest form, detectives said they intercepted a package intended for Zamarripa, 47, that contained 4.5 pounds of meth.

On Sept. 30, 2013, authorities said members of the HIDTA Task Force responded to Zamarripa's home on Meadow Lawn Street in Fort Meade, seized an additional 14.5 pounds of meth and $5,790 in cash.

Authorities said they arrested Zamarripa, Gabriel Zamarripa, Jr., 20, Rodolfo Jalomo, 22, Elias Serrano, Jr., 22, Brandy Kemp, 37, and Chester White Jr., 32.

Each person faces several drug trafficking/possession charges.