On Saturday morning, August 14, the Columbia County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force arrested two men following an intensive 8 month long, multi-agency investigation.
This investigation which began in December of 2015, involved identifying subjects who were actively delivering and distributing crystal meth or “ice” to Columbia County.
Task Force Detectives along with personnel from Suwannee, Gilchrist and Colquitt County Ga. Sheriff’s Offices have arrested Leroy Valdez, 36 and Leroy Haynes, 38 both from Georgia on multiple drug related charges. Valdez is believed to be a major supplier of crystal meth to the county and was arrested at 1a.m. following a traffic stop on the vehicle in which he was a passenger at US 90 and SW Commerce Dr.
Valdez ran from the vehicle and was captured a block away in the Steak and Shake parking lot. During the short foot pursuit, detectives watched Valdez try to destroy the meth he was carrying by opening the bag and throwing it on the ground. Detectives recovered 556 grams of meth with a street value of over $25,000.
Valdez was arrested for trafficking in amphetamine, $300,000 bond, tampering with evidence $10,000 bond, possession of drug equipment $5000 bond, using 2 way communication devices to facilitate a felony $5000 bond, and obstruction $1000 bond. Haynes, the driver was arrested on a felony warrant out of Colquitt County Ga for drug charges. Both were booked into the Columbia County Detention Facility
The Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force is comprised of law enforcement personnel from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Lake City Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“This is a great example of the fine work done every day by the Drug Task Force to rid our county of illegal drugs.” Sheriff Mark Hunter said, “I’m especially grateful for the cooperation with Suwannee, Gilchrist, and Colquitt County Ga’s Sheriff’s Offices that joined us in this effort.”