Illegal Immigrants Arrested in Polk County Meth Bust

Polk County undercover detectives have arrested 11 suspects, seized two vehicles, and seven firearms all in connection to a Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization, during a seven-month long investigation.

During the spring of 2015, PCSO detectives received information about a drug trafficking organization operating in central Florida with ties to Mexico. Detectives learned large amounts of methamphetamine were being moved from Mexico to the United States, often through Houston Texas and Atlanta Georgia, and then to central Florida, with trafficking amounts being supplied to customers of the organization in Polk County.

Guadalupe Aguirre, 45, of Indian Bluff, Winter Haven, was identified as head of the illegal trafficking organization here in Florida.  Detectives learned Aguirre would receive meth shipments directly from Mexico, then employed several other people to distribute the drugs.  Those people were: Cruz Vergara-Cavillo, 37, of Martin Luther King Jr. Place in Palmetto, Jfelix Hilario-Escobar, 60, of Hutchins Road in Fort Meade and Melanie Bengoa-Torres, 20, of Sterling University Land in Orlando.

During the spring of 2015, PCSO detectives received information about a drug trafficking organization operating in central Florida with ties to Mexico.  Detectives learned large amounts of methamphetamine were being moved from Mexico to the United States, often through Houston Texas and Atlanta Georgia, and then to central Florida, with trafficking amounts being supplied to customers of the organization in Polk County.

In early July 2015, Central Florida HIDTA detectives and DEA agents seized 20 pounds of meth from a Bradenton residence.  The drug was disguised as commercially packaged Mexican candy with pieces individually wrapped in the form of colorful suckers and hard candy pieces.

Detectives and agents arrested 41-year-old Jesus Casteyano-Andrade (aka Castellano-Andrade).  Casteyano was charged with Conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of 500 grams of Methamphetamine by the US Attorney’s Office, Middle District.  Andrade was a courier for the organization.

In July, detectives working on a tip, intercepted a shipment of meth and arrested Marcos Acuna, 26 and Gelacio Albarran, 23, both of Baker Dairy Road in Haines City. They were charged with trafficking in meth and possession of paraphernalia.

More arrests followed on August 14, and September 16.

In Sumter County, Mirna DeCastillo, of Norcross, Georgia, a meth courier was arrested on August 14, as she traveled with 2.5 pounds of meth from Atlanta to Central Florida.  Executing a search warrant on a residence in Lake Wales, detectives arrested, Gilberto Cuevas Hernandez, 27 and Rachel Rodriguez, 31. Inside the home was 25.5 pounds of meth.

Detectives say, Hernandez was known as the “cook.”  He was converting the drug from liquid to meth into crystal form. Children were found in the home where the “cooking” process was being done, detectives also say.

On September 1, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Hilario-Escobar’s Fort Meade residence where a pound of meth and $15,390 in cash was located. Escobar was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Unlawful Use of a Two-WayCommunications Device.

Detectives learned Escobar was expecting a delivery and detectives were able to intercept Guadalupe Aguirre as he was traveling to Fort Meade to make the transaction.  Detectives discovered 13.5 pounds of meth concealed in a blue five gallon bucket in the bed of Aguirre’s truck. Aguirre was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 200 Grams, Conspiracy to Traffic over 200 Grams, andUnlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device.

On September 16, 2015, detectives arrested Cruz Bergara-Cavillo 37, of Martin Luther King Jr. Place, Palmetto, charging him withTrafficking in Methamphetamine over 200 Grams, Conspiracy to Traffic over 200 Grams, andUnlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device.

Others arrested:

Melanie Bengoa-Torres, 20, of Sterling University Lane, Orlando, charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 200 Grams, Conspiracy to Traffic over 200 Grams, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device.

Dustin Scott Pineda, 24, Rooks Road, Davenport, charged withTrafficking in Methamphetamine over 200 Grams, Conspiracy to Traffic over 200 Grams, and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device.  Pineda is an associate of Bengoa-Torres.

Additional information:

  • Aguirre is a resident alien and receives federal assistance and is unemployed – he has been in the Polk County jail three times previously. His previous criminal arrests include DWLSR, two separate DUI arrests, Conceal Firearm, and Disorderly Intoxication.  Detectives located four rifles and two handguns at Aguirre’s residence.
  • Vergara-Cavillo is in the US illegally and is unemployed.  He has one prior arrest; No Valid Driver License.
  • Hilario-Escobar is in the US illegally and is unemployed.
  • Bengoa-Torres is unemployed.
  • Caseyano is in the US illegally and is unemployed – he has six previous felony charges of Aggravated Battery with Motor Vehicle, and four misdemeanors arrest charges.  His arrests were not in Polk County.
  • Acuna is in the US illegally and is unemployed.
  • Albarran is in the US illegally and is unemployed.
  • Morales-DeCastillo is in the US illegally and is unemployed.
  • Hernandez is in the US illegally and is unemployed. Detectives located a rifle at this residence.
  • Rodriguez receives federal assistance and is unemployed.  She has been in the Polk County jail four times previously.  Her arrest charges include Operating a Vehicle without a License, False info to LEO, Larceny, Grand Theft Auto, Petit Theft, and VOP.
  • Pineda is unemployed.  He has been in the Polk County jail five times previously.  His arrest charges include Criminal Mischief, Resisting LEO, Disorderly Intoxication, Possession of Hydrocodone (2 counts), and multiple drug related arrests to include Felony Possession of Cannabis, and Possession with Intent to Sell, DUI, Disorderly Conduct, and DWLSR.
*The street value of 65 pounds of meth is approximately $5,000,000.

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