POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (H.I.D.T.A) Task Force and members of Homeland Security Investigations (H.S.I) Tampa Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection developed information that 47-year-old Maria Rocio Gordillo of Lake Wales was involved in the trafficking of methamphetamine.
The investigation was a follow-up from the ongoing “Operation Meth Death Peddlers” investigation where 44 suspects were arrested and 50 pounds of methamphetamine was seized in 2018 and 2019, culminating in numerous arrests in April of 2019.
Gordillo was the live-in spouse of Otoniel Valdez-Mendoza, one of those arrested for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine during Operation Meth Death Peddlers. He is currently being held on no bond in the Polk County Jail.
“These drug dealers have blood on their hands. They make money off the misery of others. They use violence as a means to enforce their trafficking business,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
Undercover detectives communicated with Gordillo and arranged two separate methamphetamine transactions. The first transaction occurred on December 3rd; detectives purchased a kilogram of methamphetamine (2.2 pounds) from Gordillo at her residence located at 255 Waverly Loop, Lake Wales. The 2nd transaction occurred on December 9th at her residence. Gordillo gave the detectives three, one gallon sized bags that contained a crystal like substance—a total of about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) that tested positive for methamphetamine. Detectives also seized $4,100 U.S currency.
Detectives took Gordillo into custody and she was booked into the Polk County Jail on December 9th. She is being held on $71,000 bond. She is charged with 2 counts each of:
- Trafficking in Methamphetamine; 893.135 (1)(F)1; F1
- Possession of a structure/conveyance used to traffic a controlled substance; 893.1351(2); F2
- Possession of drug paraphernalia; 893.147 (1); M1