November 18, 2004 Sanford, Fl – LAWFUEL – Law, criminal law, legal news – The Central Florida HIDTA Task Force today announced the arrests of several individuals in two separate organizations that were allegedly distributing heroin in the Orlando area. Early this morning federal special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), special agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Deputies from the Orange County and Lake County Sheriff’s Offices, and officers from the Winter Springs, Winter Park, Apopka, Orlando, and Oviedo Police Departments rounded up eighteen (18) individuals on both state and federal drug charges. The two separate investigations began back in June of this year.
The first investigation involves the federal indictment of seven (7) individuals on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. Joel Rodriguez, age 25, is believed to be the leader of one organization and he allegedly directed the heroin trafficking organization while he was in custody in the Orange County Jail. Rodriguez relied upon his girlfriend, Ashley Prom, to handle the daily operation of the heroin business. The heroin was allegedly sold “La Mision”, a barber shop located at 533 N. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, Florida. Assistant United States Attorney Tanya Davis Wilson of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida will prosecute those indicted and arrested in this investigation.
The second investigation involves the arrest of eleven (11) individuals on state drug charges and they will be prosecuted by the Office of The Statewide Prosecutor. This case involves the dismantling of a heroin distribution organization allegedly headed by Julio Enrique Gonzalez, 32, of Orlando. Investigators learned that approximately a kilogram and a half of heroin a month was being brought up from Miami to the Orlando area for distribution.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
For further information please contact:
Steve Cole, Public Affairs U. S. Attorney’s Office-cell 813-376-1401