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At least 70 people charged in Polk County drug investigation

Deputies conducted a months-long investigation after several gang-related home invasions and the death of Shay Collins of Dundee.
Credit: WTSP
FILE: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — More than 70 people have been charged in what the Polk County Sheriff's Office said was a nine-months-long drug trafficking investigation.

Sheriff Grady Judd said 74 people are being charged with 711 felonies and 11 misdemeanors.

Out of those 74 people who are charged, 68 have been arrested and six others have warrants out for their arrest, Judd said.

Judd said this investigation was the first time Polk County Sheriff's Office had conducted a street-level wire intercept for a drug trafficking investigation. From Dec. 3, 2019, through March 16, 2020, seven different phones and two extensions were wiretapped and gathered thousands of messages and calls, the sheriff said.

The people charged in this investigation have a combined total of 1,320 previous arrests, Juss said.

Judd said two of the people involved are in the U.S. illegally and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has been notified. 

The sheriff's office in a news release said its investigation began in 2019 after several gang-related armed home invasions and the death of a Dundee woman named Shay Collins on June 27.

In addition to more than 70 people being charged, deputies seized more than $50,000, guns and narcotics including cocaine, heroin, meth and fentanyl.

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