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Polk Sheriff: 32 charged in $283,000 drug trafficking bust

All 32 people said to be involved in the drug trafficking operation face a total of 301 felonies and 134 misdemeanors.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

LAKE WALES, Fla. — Thirty-two people are facing dozens of charges following a $283,000 drug trafficking bust in Polk County, the sheriff's office said.

In a news conference, Sheriff Grady Judd said drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines and ecstacy were taken from the Lake Wales area.

The sheriff said, during their investigation, deputies discovered there were three key players behind the drug trafficking.

Judd said James McClain, 34, was a major distributor of methamphetamines and marijuana in the Lake Wales area. According to Judd, McClain told investigators he dyed the methamphetamines blue in recognition of the Democratic Party.

Investigators say Vincent Thomas, 35, and Patrick Field, 34, were also considered main distributors in the area. Judd said the two were rappers and liked to show off the guns and jewelry they obtained. Thomas' father, Earl Thomas, 67, was also among those arrested.

"We put your tail in the county jail. You think about that brothers," Judd said after suggesting he'd help the men come up with a new rap song.

Despite 32 people being charged, only 29 have been arrested, according to the sheriff's office. Angela Dunklebarger, 49, Tavoris Jones, 37, and Reginald Phillips, 37, remain at large, according to law enforcement.

All 32 people said to be involved in the drug trafficking operation face a total of 301 felonies and 134 misdemeanors. According to the sheriff's office, the group was attempting to traffic drugs with a total street value of $283,820.

You can watch the full news conference below: 

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