News


Drug Agents Dismantle Narcotics Distribution Ring

10/26/2007
 
Law enforcement officers from throughout Volusia and Lake counties capped off an undercover investigation today with a series of coordinated raids that dismantled a major cocaine and marijuana distribution ring. Dubbed “Operation Don Juan,” the approximately year-long investigation spearheaded by the Volusia Bureau of Investigation (VBI) resulted in the seizure of nearly 100 pounds of marijuana and more than three kilos of cocaine from a drug trafficking network based primarily in the Deltona area. Friday’s raids yielded eight arrests, including the reputed head of the organization, 44-year-old Heriberto Banuelos Jumenez of DeBary, Fla.


Jumenez was arrested during a raid of his home, Agents also searched two three homes in Deltona, two homes in DeBary and one in Lake County. In addition, agents also checked out about a dozen additional locations in Volusia, Lake, Hillsborough and Orange counties on Friday as they searched for more drugs and attempted to round up additional associates connected to the trafficking organization. Investigators have been working since November 2006 to infiltrate the organization. Undercover agents made drug buys during the investigation that resulted in the seizure of 86 pounds of marijuana and about two kilos of cocaine prior to Friday’s raids. So far, Friday’s operation has netted an additional 12 pounds of marijuana and 1¼ kilos of cocaine, along with cash and six guns.

Investigators believe the drugs were being imported from Mexico, smuggled across the Texas border and then transported by couriers to Florida. Once the drugs reached local distributors in West Volusia, they were packaged and sold, both in Volusia County as well as surrounding counties in the Central Florida area. Search warrants were executed Friday at the following six locations:

• 338 Hickory Springs Court, DeBary
• 1198 Hemingway Drive, Deltona
• 672 N. Hartley Circle, Deltona
• 128 Angeles Road, DeBary
• 1223 Whitewood Drive, Deltona
• 32842 S.R. 44, Lake County

While the operation is still ongoing, a total of eight people have been arrested so far. Agents are still searching for at least two others with open warrants. The names, charges and bond amounts on the defendants arrested on Friday are as follows:

• Sonia Caro, 38, 32120 Velvet Run, Eustis. Conspiracy to traffic in cocaine over 400 grams, trafficking in cocaine over 400 grams, $800,000 bond.
• Gabriel Garcia, 35, 32842 S. R. 44, Lake County. Conspiracy to traffic in cocaine over 400 grams, $400,000 bond.
• Heriberto Banuelos Jumenez, 44, 338 Hickory Spring Court, DeBary. Conspiracy to traffic in cocaine over 400 grams, trafficking in cocaine over 28 grams, conspiracy to deliver marijuana over 20 grams, delivery of marijuana over 20 grams, unlawful use of two-way communication device, $695,000 bond.
• Chris Lasanta, 38, 672 N. Hartley Circle, Deltona. Conspiracy to traffic in cocaine over 200 grams, $400,000 bond.
• Salvador Lopez, 41, 128 Angeles Road, DeBary. Conspiracy to deliver marijuana over 20 grams, $15,000 bond.
• Alexander Marrero, 22, 533 Tyler Avenue, Deltona. Conspiracy to traffic in cocaine over 400 grams, conspiracy to deliver marijuana over 20 grams, $415,000 bond.
• Roberto Ovalle Jr., 28, 1198 Hemingway Drive, Deltona. Conspiracy to traffic in cocaine over 400 grams, $400,000 bond.
• Marco Torres, 35, 32120 Velvet Run, Eustis. Conspiracy to traffic in cocaine over 400 grams, trafficking in cocaine over 400 grams, unlawful use of two-way communication device, $815,000 bond.

The Volusia Bureau of Investigation is a multi-agency task force that pools resources from eight local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to target mid- and upper-level narcotics traffickers as well as racketeering and organized crime. Participating agencies include the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Attorney’s General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Daytona Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety, DeLand Police Department, Port Orange Police Department, New Smyrna Beach Police Department and the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The defendants are being prosecuted by Attorney General Bill McCollum’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
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For more information, contact:
Gary Davidson
PIO, Volusia County Sheriff's Office
(386) 736-5989

Sharon Gogerty
Public Information Officer
FDLE - Orlando
(904) 360-7100