Two men connected to a methamphetamine ring with ties to a California supplier who sought help from a Voodoo priest were arrested Friday night in Plant City, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.
Tyler Scott, 25, and Josh Widdows, 30, both from Lakeland, were arrested at a residence on Shelby Brook Drive after detectives and U.S. Marshals task force members received information Widdows might be at the home.
The arrests were part of an ongoing effort labeled Operation Hoodoo Voodoo, which is targeting a crime group accused of distributing large amounts of methamphetamine in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties.
Deputies say Scott, Widdows and others received their supply of methamphetamine from a southern California man named Javier “El Don” Flores, who is accused of shipping methamphetamine from Mexico through California to Lakeland, Atlanta, Ga. and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Investigators learned Flores consulted a Voodoo priest who would provide predictions, prophecies and readings regarding the organization’s decisions and welfare, deputies said.
Widdows and Scott have both been charged with multiple crimes including trafficking in MDMA, possession of meth with intent to sell, unlawful use of a two-way device and weapons possession charges.
Deputies also said Scott and Widdows were associated with Matthew Tutt, a suspect who shot two Polk County deputies in June 2010. Tutt was shot and killed by one of the wounded deputies during the shooting.
Operation Hoodoo Voodoo, a joint effort between the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals and the Drug Enforcement Administration has now netted a total of at least 16 arrests.
On Tuesday, task force investigators intercepted 44 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $2 million at Love’s Truck Stop, 1800 Florida 559, in Polk City and arrested 13 suspects at various addresses around Lakeland, deputies said. During those arrests detectives seized tens of thousands of dollars, seven vehicles, approximately 100 weapons, bullet proof vests and thousands of rounds of ammunition, deputies said.