Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
DELTONA HEROIN DEALERS INDICTED FOR MURDER
Sheriff Chitwood: ‘If you’re selling death to addicts, you can expect to be charged with murder’
A grand jury today returned murder indictments for two Volusia County heroin dealers responsible for fatal overdoses of heroin users in 2018. Both suspects have been in custody since the completion of a 2018 Volusia County Sheriff’s Office operation that dismantled a significant heroin distribution ring.
“As promised, if you’re a drug dealer handing out poison to your customers in Volusia County, we’re not just coming after you with a drug charge or two,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Monday as the grand jury announced the indictments. “If you’re selling death to addicts, you can expect to be charged with murder.”
The VCSO homicide investigations into the 2018 overdose deaths of 34-year-old Joshua Lacy and 51-year-old Heather McCurdy identified the following two dealers:
Both Perez and Cunningham were arrested in VCSO’s October 2018 “Operation Geronimo,” the result of a 7-month investigation that identified the pair as the ringleaders of a heroin distribution organization. Also arrested during the operation were the supplier, Roberto Segarra-Garcia of St. Cloud, and several street-level dealers. (The 2018 news release is provided below.) That case is being prosecuted by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
“Opioids are killing 17 people a day in Florida,” A.G. Moody said Monday. “To end this crisis, we must hold fully responsible anyone selling this poison to Floridians. I want to thank Sheriff Chitwood and State Attorney Larizza for pursuing these charges and working with our office to end the opioid crisis.”
After those arrests, with Perez and Cunningham remaining behind bars, the VCSO investigations into the deaths of Lacy and McCurdy continued.
Lacy was found dead in his bedroom in his father’s home in Deltona on the morning of April 13, 2018. The phone in his pocket contained text messages and a record of calls with contacts who could provide him heroin. Detectives determined he had purchased heroin the night before his death, and the investigation led to Perez and Cunningham. An autopsy determined Lacy’s cause of death was heroin toxicity.
McCurdy was found dead in her vehicle the afternoon of June 22, 2018, in a parking lot near a Deltona Winn-Dixie. The last text messages on the phone in her purse were exchange with a contact identified as “Melanie.” Detectives determined McCurdy bought heroin from Cunningham around 3 p.m. in Deltona, drove straight to the parking lot and overdosed there around 3:16 p.m. An autopsy determined her cause of death was fentanyl toxicity.
The indictments are the third and fourth murder indictments in overdose deaths investigated by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office since 2017. In June 2018, a grand jury indicted 31-year-old Steve Montilla (DOB 5/15/1986) of Sanford in the October 2017 fatal heroin overdose of 34-year-old Jacqueline Griggs of Deltona. In September 2018, a grand jury indicted 24-year-old Hunter Romaine of DeBary in the February 2018 overdose death of 33-year-old Ashley Barrett, who died with a combination of cocaine and fentanyl in her system.
“Every drug overdose death in Volusia County is going to be investigated as a homicide, and every dealer responsible is going to receive the full attention of our deputies and detectives,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “The victims in these cases are not just the addicts – they’re the families, and sometimes the young children, who are left behind. I want to thank our detectives, the State Attorney’s Office and the members of the grand jury for all their work in helping remove these merchants of death from our streets.”
The Perez and Cunningham cases are being prosecuted by the office of State Attorney R.J. Larizza, who stated: “We at the Seventh Circuit State Attorney’s Office are proud to be a part of the tri-agency partnership with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Attorney General’s Office in making our communities better and safer for our families, friends, and neighbors.”
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate several other fatal drug overdose cases where murder charges are possible.
Oct. 2, 2018
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
VOLUSIA HEROIN RING DISMANTLED IN ‘OPERATION GERONIMO’
A 7-month joint investigation into heroin trafficking in Volusia County culminated in a series of arrests and drug seizures Tuesday, leaving the ringleaders and the supplier behind bars as drug task force agents dismantled an organization whose heroin is suspected in several overdose deaths.
The ringleaders and several members of the organization, which operated primarily in the Deltona and Orange City areas, were locked up Tuesday morning, facing charges ranging from conspiracy to traffic heroin to solicitation to deliver a controlled substance.
The ringleaders, 42-year-old Sergio Perez and 27-year-old Melanie Cunningham, both of Deltona, had each been arrested recently – together, after a late-night traffic stop last week (Tuesday, Sept. 25) in Orange City. The traffic stop revealed Cunningham was in possession of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, Suboxone, cannabis and cannabis oil. Perez was also charged with possession of cannabis oil and booked into jail, where he remained held without bond Tuesday on several probation violations related to burglary and grand theft, and where he received his new charges Tuesday.
Cunningham had bailed out of jail since that arrest, but was back in there again Tuesday on her new charges.
Detectives also identified the organization’s source of supply: 44-year-old Roberto Segarra-Garcia of St. Cloud, who was already in custody Tuesday.
Agents with the Volusia Bureau of Investigation, Deltona Narcotics Enforcement Team and VCSO Major Case Unit conducted the extensive undercover investigation.
The following defendants were in custody as of 9:50 a.m. Tuesday. Additional arrests are pending.
Roberto Segarra-Garcia (DOB 1/27/1974), supplier, 3724 Rambler Ave., St. Cloud, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
Sergio Perez (DOB 4/24/1976), ringleader, 2661 Beal St., Deltona, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
Melanie Cunningham (DOB 5/23/1991), ringleader, 2031 Roseway Ave., Deltona, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
Travis Carter (DOB 11/5/1988), 3435 Faircrest Road, Deltona, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
Christopher Cuillo (DOB 11/17/1985), 1460 Summit Hill Drive, Deltona, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
Adam Sullivan (DOB 3/11/1980), 2030 Keyes Drive, Deltona, solicitation to deliver a controlled substance
Tina Montgomery (DOB 2/21/1975), 2270 Alton Road, Deltona, solicitation to deliver a controlled substance
Keri Boucher (DOB 4/10/1990), 3165 Clewiston St., Deltona, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
Kimberly Barker (DOB 7/14/1976), 1235 17th St., Orange City, solicitation to deliver a controlled substance
Kenneth Angel (DOB 12/15/1969), 1235 17th St., Orange City, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance