Three people were arrested recently after agents from the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team were tipped off about a possible drug sale involving heroin, Fentanyl and crystal methamphetamine.
The agents were told that the drug deal would be taking place May 18 at a residence located in the 8900 block of SW 33rd Terr. in Ocala. Based on their preliminary investigation, UDEST agents determined that the target residence, a fifth-wheel mobile home, was under the control of 40-year-old Jeffery Vincent Woods. He was suspected of selling/distributing illicit drugs and records showed that three drug overdoses had occurred at his residence, two of which resulted in deaths, a report states.
UDEST agents, assisted by Marion County sheriff’s deputies, attempted to stop a vehicle leaving Woods’ residence. The driver, later identified as 41-year-old Joseph Alan Wade, of Ocklawaha, fled from the officers. After a lengthy pursuit and the use of a successful maneuver to stop the vehicle, Wade and his passenger, 37-year-old Dawn Marie Smith, also of Ocklawaha, were arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail.
Wade was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding with injury or damage, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, driving with license suspended or revoked (habitual offender) and violation of a domestic violence protection injunction. He also faces previous charges of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of drug equipment and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was being held on no bond on the new charges and $4,000 bond on the past charges and is due in court June 16 and June 23 to answer to the charges.
Smith was charged with possession of heroin and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer. She also is facing past charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug equipment. She was being held on $6,000 bond and is due in court June 9 and June 23.
On the night of May 18, UDEST agents and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team executed a search warrant at Woods’ residence. They seized illicit drugs/contraband that included Fentanyl, heroin, crystal methamphetamine, illegally diverted pharmaceutical drugs, assorted drug paraphernalia (digital scales, hypodermic needles, packaging materials, etc.) and one loaded .22-caliber firearm and ammunitions, the report says.
Woods was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged possession of Fentanyl with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance (Diazapam), possession of a controlled substance (Buprenorphine Hydrochloride), possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a structure/conveyance for sale of controlled substances. He was being held on $90,000 bond and is due in court June 23 at 9 a.m.
The investigation, named Operation Life Saver, was part of UDEST’s commitment to rid the Ocala/Marion County community of dangerous armed drug traffickers distributing deadly opioids. The operation has a two-fold purpose – to educate and protect.
Specifically, UDEST wants to help educate by sparking a movement to give people the knowledge necessary to avoid falling victim to substance use disorder, while also helping those suffering from opioid addiction get rehabilitative treatment.
UDEST is an initiative of the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. It is comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement from the Ocala Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Homeland Security.