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Monday, September 1, 2008

Police officer, 18 others arrested in Polk drug bust

The Orland Sun-Sentinel by Vincent Bradshaw - August 13, 2008

Nineteen people, including one police officer, have been arrested in a drug bust in Polk County, deputies from the Sheriff's Office said today. Lake Wales Police Officer Keenan Colson, 50, of Bartow, was among those arrested in the investigation into the county's marijuana-distribution networks. Colson, who was arrested and fired today, was identified as an information source for Clayton Hoerler, a key player in distribution scene, deputies said. He and William "Big June" Cade, the boss of a "tight-knit" criminal group in Polk County, also were arrested this week, deputies said. The multi-agency investigation known as "Operation Cast Cade" began last December, and detectives started listening to Hoerler's cell phone conversations in May. In one conversation, Colson allegedly gave Hoerler the name of an undercover detective who was monitoring the case. At one point, Hoerler promised to buy Colson's dinner to thank him for his help. From May to August, deputies used wire taps and surveillance to gather evidence leading to the arrest of several people in connection with the drug transactions. On Monday, detectives searched Cade's Haines City residence and found 35 cannabis plants, $2,000, and six firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle Cade referred to as the "chopper." He and several of his associates were arrested. The investigation led detectives to $60,000 and 20 pounds of marijuana. Detectives said Cade considered himself part of the "gangsta" criminal culture. He told detectives that he had been in the drug trade since age 16 and that "dealing was all he knew how to do," a report shows. Cade idolized the Al Pacino character in Scarface, they said. He had a large portrait of the fictional drug kingpin in his home. Five marijuana growing locations were also closed.

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