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Aside arrow Heroin Distribution Ring Dismantled Today In 'Operation Heavyweight'
March 13, 2018 4:01 pm

Andrew Gant
Public Information Office


A heroin trafficking organization responsible for distributing significant amounts of heroin in Volusia County was dismantled on Tuesday as members of the Volusia Bureau of Investigation and the Deltona Narcotics Enforcement Team fanned out to arrest the ringleader, his supplier and close to 20 other members identified over the course of a nearly yearlong investigation.

Additional arrests are expected as others on the list are located. As of Tuesday afternoon, the multiple arrests during "Operation Heavyweight" put the majority of the organization's membership behind bars.

"These peddlers of death are responsible for the overwhelming amount of heroin sold in Deltona," Sheriff Mike Chitwood told reporters gathered for a news conference announcing the arrests Tuesday afternoon. He added later: "Today wasn't a good day to be a heroin dealer in Volusia County."

Ringleader Henry Guilfu "Gordo" Bermudez, 43 (DOB 12/16/1974), was arrested at his home on Champlain Drive in Deltona, sharing an address with three other suspects. Bermudez's supplier, 41-year-old Salvador Cancel Castillo (DOB 4/11/1976), was arrested at his home on Candlewyck Drive in Orlando.

Detectives built their case through interviews with confidential sources, controlled drug purchases, trash analysis and surveillance on the homes of Bermudez and Castillo. Detectives also obtained wire intercepts that helped establish the identities of all 23 members.

Four search warrants were issued as a result of the investigation: At the Deltona home of Bermudez and the Orlando home of Castillo, as well as the Lake Drive, DeBary home of suspect Josuel Garcia and the Roland Drive, Deltona home of suspect Mariano Perez. Those search warrants resulted in the seizure of $150,000 in heroin (about a kilo and a half), some mixed with fentanyl, in addition to an undetermined amount of cash. The heroin was enough for an estimated 15,000 doses.

Deltona City Commissioner Anita Bradford also attended Tuesday's news conference and delivered a message to dealers: "Get your drugs out of my town and go somewhere else."

Arrested Tuesday:

Henry Bermudez (Ringleader)
402 Champlain Drive, Deltona

Salvador Castillo (Supplier)
1536 Candlewyck Drive, Orlando

Luis Santiago Jr.
402 Champlain Drive, Deltona

Jose Medina Nieves
402 Champlain Drive, Deltona

Josuel Garcia
57 Lake Drive, Debary

Mariano Perez
3222 Roland Drive, Deltona

Jose Gomez
2457 S. Huron Drive, Deltona

Raymond Morales
537 Leland Drive, Deltona

Richard Ortiz
100 Seabreeze Blvd. #503, Daytona Beach

Luis Casellas
1533 Keeling Drive, Deltona

Katie “Scarlett” Allison
602 Sullivan St., Deltona

Taylor Schell
1743 Oak St., Deland

Fernando Izquierdo
1470 Quintara Ave., Deltona 

Christopher Munoz
649 Alexander Drive, Deltona

Carlos Vazquez Romero
2913 Delby Drive, Deltona

Ryan Gazda
3250 Elkcam Blvd., Deltona

Charie Matos
165 Highland Dr, Deltona

Already in custody:

Jessica Blackwell
3220 Cadehill Drive, Deltona

Unrelated warrant arrest at 402 Champlain:

Tamera Pena Lopez

Outstanding suspects as of Tuesday afternoon:

Ryan Robles
2714 E Waco Drive, Deltona

Jessica Jerald
Transient, DeLand

David Slabodnik
140 Orchid Woods Court #1A, Deltona

Christine Smith
1001 Rosetta Drive, Deltona

Angel Garcia
1328 Star Court, Deltona

VBI is a multi-agency task force that pools resources from 10 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to target mid- and upper-level narcotics traffickers as well as racketeering and organized crime. Participating agencies include the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Attorney’s General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Daytona Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety, DeLand Police Department, Edgewater Police Department, New Smyrna Beach Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

VBI also is part of the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, which is a multi-agency task force established by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy to combat drug trafficking along the seven-county area hugging Central Florida’s I-4 corridor.

Also assisting in Tuesday's arrests and search warrants were members of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, Orange County Sheriff's Office and Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352

Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151