Mount Dora

Pair of Accused Robbers Facing More Charges, One Suspected of Tavares Murder, Police Say

MOUNT DORA, Florida—The duo accused of robbing a Clermont gas station last week are facing more charges in connection with robberies in the City of Mount Dora and unincorporated Mount Dora and Tavares Police say one of the men is a suspect in a murder.

Dustin “Chico” Perdue, 27, of Tavares and Patrick “YG” Brown, 22, were arrested early Aug. 5 after an Astatula traffic stop led to evidence in a robbery of a Clermont gas station just 23 minutes before the stop.   

In that case, Perdue and Brown stand accused of pointing guns at a store clerk at Circle K, 190 U.S. Highway 27, Clermont, and demanding money just before 11 p.m. Aug. 3. The clerk opened two registers and the suspects stole cash and change, some of it rolled, totaling $134 according to an arrest affidavit.

The red Volkswagen Beetle they were riding in was pulled over for an equipment violation by Astatula Police Department and a gun was spotted in plain view. Upon searching the car, police found a second gun, clothes and rolled change consistent with the robbery. The pair were arrested and held in the Lake County Jail on $101,000 bond. Inside Lake is not naming the driver of the car because she has not been charged with a crime. She is cooperating with law enforcement, according to affidavits in the case.

On Tuesday, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office added an armed robbery to charge to the pair, stemming from a robbery in unincorporated Mount Dora Aug. 2. LCSO responded to Triangle Food Mart, 3865 North Highway 19A on a report of an armed robbery.

The victim told deputies two black males wearing masks, hoodies and gloves entered the store, brandished handguns and made threats. They took $200 worth of Newport cigarettes, $40 and one of the victim’s cell phones. They fled the store and got into a red Volkswagen Beetle.  

Patrick Brown, left; Dustin Perdue PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Also on Tuesday, Mount Dora Police Department charged the pair in connection with a robbery in its city. According to that affidavit, on July 30, Perdue and Brown robbed Little Sammy’s, 446 North Highland Street. In that case, the pair is alleged to have entered the store armed with their faces covered and demanded money from the two clerks. They took cash from the registers and several cartons of Newport cigarettes and demanded the clerks open the safe. The clerks said they had no way to open the safe and one of the robbers jiggled the handle with his bare hand, according to the affidavit. MDPD collected DNA evidence from the handle and are awaiting results from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Both suspects saw one of the clerks attempt to push the panic button on his belt and they fled the store. As they ran out, one of them, later identified as Perdue, struck the victim across the face with his gun. The entire incident was captured on the store’s video surveillance system.  One suspect was wearing a pair of black Nikes with red soles and the shoes were later tied to Brown.

In the case, Perdue and Brown are each facing an additional armed robbery charge and Perdue is also facing a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Detectives with MDPD, LCSO and Tavares Police Department interviewed the driver of the Beetle earlier this week and she admitted to being the driver in five armed robberies with Perdue and Brown—three in Tavares, in addition to both robberies in Mount Dora. She said she never profited from the crimes and was only the driver. She also gave detectives details about the crimes and identified Brown’s shoes, according to the affidavit. She is being treated as a witness at this time, but may be charged later, detectives told her.

Image of some of Dustin Perdue’s tattoos. PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Perdue soon may have a much more serious charge to face. TPD Lt. Sarah Coursey told Inside Lake he is a suspect in double shooting that killed a man in April. Alejandro “Alex” Garcia Jr., 29, was killed around 8 p.m. April 8 at Caroline Court Apartments, 1000 East Caroline Street. Another man was shot multiple times and survived his wounds.  

Garcia’s murder was just two months after Perdue was released from state prison after serving nearly 10 years for burglary and theft charges.  

Brown also recently served time in state prison; he was released just over three months ago after serving just under two years for burglary and grand theft charges out of Polk County. He was released after Garcia’s murder and is not a suspect.

Perdue and Brown are both being held in LCJ on no bond. If you have any information on Garcia’s murder or any of the robberies, call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.  

Our coverage on Perdue and Brown’s arrests last week. https://insidelake.com/2022/08/05/pair-of-armed-robbers-suspected-in-multiple-crimes-arrested-police-say/

Altercation in Mount Dora Parking Lot Lands “Pastor Pete” in Jail  

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Tavares man known as “Pastor Pete” was arrested Thursday after a man he got into several arguments with accused him of throwing a box cutter through the man’s open SUV window, injuring his ear, according to an arrest affidavit.

Pedro “Pastor Pete” Custodio, 52, of Tavares, was identified by the victim as the man he argued with in the parking lot of Lowe’s, 18795 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday. The victim told police Custodio argued with him in the parking lot and approached his vehicle. At one point someone from Custodio’s vehicle threw something at the victim’s grey SUV and it shattered the back window, according to the affidavit.

Custodio continued arguing with the victim, he told police, and Custodio threw a box cutter through the victim’s open driver’s side window, and it injured his left ear, the affidavit states. Custodio returned to his vehicle and the victim followed his vehicle to get license plate information, he told police. Another altercation ensued, and Custodio is alleged to have punched the victim’s SUV near the headlight; the victim told Mount Dora Police he feared for his life, called for help and continued to follow Custodio’s vehicle.

The first altercation was captured on Lowe’s video surveillance, but the second one was obscured by trees, according to the affidavit.

The victim lost Custodio in Eustis and MDPD caught up with the victim on Old Mount Dora Road. They stopped at a nearby dealership and Custodio was identified by Eustis Police Department, according to the affidavit. Custodio admitted throwing the box cutter through the window and he was arrested for throwing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $15,000 bond.

In June 2020, Custodio was arrested for battery on a disabled adult and driving while license suspended. In that incident he was accused of battering a resident of the “quasi group home” he ran in Tavares. He claimed self defense and when Tavares Police officers asked why he did not call 9-1-1, he reportedly said, “(Expletive) you, if I hit you, you’d shoot me because that’s all cops do.”

The charge was dropped later that year after the victim could not be located, according to an announcement of no information document filed in the case.

Leesburg Man Found Sleeping in Stolen Car in Mount Dora Facing Multiple Charges

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Leesburg man found sleeping in a stolen vehicle is facing 10 charges after running from Mount Dora Police early Monday morning, and police say he needed three doses of Narcan after becoming unresponsive following the foot chase.

MDPD responded to 2785 West Old U.S. Highway 441, near Spin City Laundry just after 2:30 a.m. Monday to investigate a suspicious vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit.

They found a man, later identified as Andrew Ray Begeot, 29, of Leesburg sleeping in the driver seat with a syringe filled with brown liquid on the passenger seat. Begeot identified himself by a name later determined to be false and officers asked Begeot to get out of the vehicle. He exited the vehicle and began running, the affidavit states.

After a brief chase, Begeot was apprehended and became unresponsive; officers requested EMS and administered three doses of Narcan to Begeot while they waited. At some point Begeot told officers he took methamphetamine and heroin. Lake EMS responded to the scene, and they took over care of Begeot, and an officer followed when Lake EMS transported him to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares. Officers on the scene found the license plate on the vehicle was stolen from Altamonte Springs and the vehicle was stolen from Orange County, according to the affidavit.

MDPD began to inventory the car and found the syringe on the passenger seat contained Fentanyl, in addition to finding a plastic pen with residue on it, a marijuana grinder and six cell phones.

MDPD dispatch later advised the name Begeot used had a Marion County warrant for grand theft. He was medically cleared and arrested for two counts of dealing in stolen property, grand theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a Fentanyl, possession of burglary tools, attaching license plate not assigned, driving with an expired license, resisting without violence and possession of drug equipment. Around 2:30 p.m. Begeot admitted his real name and he was also charged with false name to law enforcement. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $9,000 bond.

This is Begeot’s fourth arrest in 2022; in February he was arrested by Eustis Police Department for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Those charges were dropped in April. Also in April, MDPD arrested him twice, once for trespassing and a second time for resisting without violence and possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded no contest in May to all three charges and was sentenced to time served.

Back to School Events Around Lake County

LAKE COUNTY, Florida—The first day of school, scheduled for Aug. 10 for Lake County Schools, is fast approaching and with increased prices for gas, food and many other essential items, many families are in need of back-to-school supplies or some fun to have with the kiddos before they hit the books.

We have compiled of list of events around Lake County that include supply giveaways and fun and informative events for the kids. Cities are listed in alphabetical order, scroll down until you find an event near you.

Clermont

Saturday, July 30, 9 a.m. to noon. Project Kid Connect presented by Lake County Sheriff’s Office Charities. Backpack and school supply giveaway, food, drinks, rock climb, dunk-a-deputy and more. Location: South Lake District Office,15855 State Road 50, Clermont.

Eustis

Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Back to School Bash presented by the City of Eustis. Free food, school supplies and boy’s haircuts while supplies and spaces last. Free pool admission, bounce house and firetrucks and police cars on scene. Battle of the Badges Blood Drive, donors receive $20 eGift card and first responder t-shirt. Location: Ferran Park, 250 Ferran Park Drive, Eustis

Fruitland Park

Friday, July 29, 10 a.m. to noon. Back to School Bash presented by Fruitland Park Library. Free hot dog lunches, school supplies, bicycle helmets and face painting, while supplies last. Free vision and hearing screenings also available. Location: Fruitland Park Library, 604 W. Berckman Street, Fruitland Park.

Groveland

Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. Back 2 School Backpack Bash presented by the City of Groveland. Free backpacks for grades K-8, adult and child must be present to receive a backpack while supplies last, vendors and a kids zone. Location: Nathaniel Community Gymnasium, 13806 State Road 33, Groveland.

Minneola

Thursday, July 28, 6:30 p.m. Back-to-School Safety Meet-and-Greet with speakers, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, Lake County Schools Superintendent Diane Kornegay and Lake County Schools Supervisor of Safety and Security Joseph Mabry. Speakers will discuss how LCSO and LCS are keeping students safe. Location: Minneola City Hall, 800 North Highway 27, Minneola.

Mount Dora

Sunday, Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Whimsy Market’s Back to School Market Mount Dora. More than 30 vendors, character meet and greet with Elsa, sweet treats and food trucks. Location: Essential Therapies Spa, 1518 North Donnelly Street, Mount Dora.

Umatilla

Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Whimsy Market’s Back to School Market Umatilla. More than 40 vendors, character meet and greet with Elsa, carnival games, live music, bounce houses and food trucks. Location: Sunsational Farms, 40541 Roger Giles Road, Umatilla.

Tavares Police Train for the Worst Case Scenario

TAVARES, Florida—While a lot of people are out enjoying the Florida summer, law enforcement agencies around Lake County have been training and preparing for the “what if?”

Tavares Police Department invited Inside Lake to join them in active shooter training this week at Tavares Elementary School. They trained two days, for eight hours each, in the blazing July sun.

“We do this once a year,” TPD Lt. Sarah Coursey said Thursday, “Each sworn officer goes through the training.”

Tavares Police officers approach the entrance of Tavares Elementary School Thursday during the department’s annual active shooter training. PHOTO: Marilyn M. Aciego/Inside Lake

TPD invited other local agencies to join them in the training, including Astatula Police Department, Eustis Police Department, Howey-in-the-Hills Police Department and Mount Dora Police Department. Lake County Schools Supervisor of Safety and Security Joseph Mabry also participated, and on Thursday, he portrayed the “bad guy” during several scenarios.

 Mabry, who is also a school guardian, told Inside Lake, the safety of the children is paramount, “It’s the most important thing we do,” he said. “We want our parents to feel safe; ultimately, it’s our responsibility.”

Coursey said TPD invited other local agencies to join them because if they were faced with an active shooter situation, many different law enforcement agencies would not hesitate to go to the scene and help, she said.

“They would all respond,” Coursey said. “It just goes to show what kind of law enforcement we have in Lake County.”  

Officers from MDPD participated in the scenarios and an EPD captain stopped by during training, Coursey said. Eustis Police Department and Leesburg Police Department also held their own active shooter trainings this month.

Led by TPD firearms instructors Sgt. Jason Mahaney and Officer Ben Carter, officers participated in the scenarios to prepare for multiple situations that could arise. Mahaney and Carter critiqued each officer’s response; telling each one what they did right, and what they did wrong.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” Mahaney said. “When it comes to stuff like this, there is no absolute. Any time we can change our view of certain things, we can improve. Nobody is going to get it right every time.”

Tavares Police Department officers participating in TPD’s annual active shooter training, July 2022. VIDEO: Marilyn M. Aciego/Inside Lake

Mahaney, who portrayed the active shooter for most of Thursday, explained what they teach officers to look for; stimuli and indicators to assess the situation immediately. Stimuli can be many things, like screams or the sound of shots and an indicator could be shell casings.

“In the presence of those indicators, you can at least get a path (to the shooter,)” he said.

Carter, a former Navy combat medic, watched officers as they entered the school, sometimes just a single officer, and some in groups. Officers faced different issues as they entered and made their way through the school. The issues were discussed, and solutions were created to prevent those issues from happening in an actual situation.

Tavares Police Sgt. Jason Mahaney, right, critiques Det. Dana Scola’s response during active shooter training at Tavares Elementary School Thursday, while Lt. Jon Hall and Lt. Sarah Coursey listen in. Officers participated in different scenarios this week and were critiqued by TPD firearms instructors Mahaney and Officer Ben Carter. PHOTO: Marilyn M. Aciego/Inside Lake

Inside Lake is not providing tactical details about the scenarios in this story to ensure the safety of officers.

“We have to put ourselves in a position for the best possible outcome,” Carter explained.

Coursey, who was recently appointed TPD chief and assumes the position next month, said this training is one of the most important things they do each year.

“The large majority of us (TPD) are parents, it’s our promise to Lake County that we are going to protect your children and ours.”

Teenager Who Shot at Cops Transferred to Lake County Jail, Volusia Sheriff Says Missing Dad’s Body Found  

Editor’s Note: A YouTube link to dash cams and body cams released by LCSO is available at the bottom of the story. Due to its policies, YouTube has restricted the video to viewers aged 18 and up.

TAVARES, Florida—The teenager accused of shooting at Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Mount Dora Police officers Monday was transferred to the Lake County Jail Thursday—the same day his father’s body was found.

Jonny Ze Guiseppe Santiago, 18, is being held in LCJ on no bond on three charges of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding and discharging a firearm from a vehicle stemming from an incident in Lake County Monday.

On Sunday, Volusia Sheriff’s Office (VSO) began investigating after receiving a call from Santiago’s mother, who was in New York, shortly after 11 p.m. The woman said she was on the phone with her husband, Juan Santiago, 52, when she heard him arguing with Jonny. She heard a loud noise and the phone disconnected.

VSO responded to the home at 899 East Lehigh Drive, Deltona and found no one was home and the white Ford F-150 Jonny was known to drive was also missing. VSO deputies spotted the truck in nearby DeBary, but it fled, in addition to fleeing from Sanford Police after the truck left Volusia County.

VSO issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) for the truck Monday and LCSO Lt. John Herrell told Inside Lake LCSO received information the truck may be headed to Lake County.

LCSO utilized its helicopter, Eagle One, in the search and found the truck near the corner of U.S. Highway 441 and Eudora Road. Deputies attempted to pull him over around 4:45 p.m. and he fled south on U.S. Highway 441 to Limit Avenue and fired at pursuing deputies and Mount Dora Police officers on Donnelly Street, near downtown Mount Dora. The truck fled south on Donnelly Street before crashing into Traditional Congregation of Mount Dora, a synagogue located at 848 North Donnelly Street, where he opened fire again at deputies and officers. Two deputies and one MDPD officer returned fire, LCSO Lt. John Herrell said earlier this week.

Jonny Santiago PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Dash cam and body cam released Wednesday showed Santiago firing at law enforcement several blocks before he crashed and then firing multiple shots at them through his driver’s side window after he crashed. Two deputies and one MDPD officer fired back, striking Santiago multiple times. He crawled out of the truck and deputies immediately began rendering aid to the teenager.

Early Thursday afternoon, LCSO Sheriff Peyton Grinnell released video on the LCSO Facebook page because he felt several media organizations did not tell the whole story. This story is the first time Inside Lake published the videos and we chose to publish the videos in their entirety.

“When the video footage was aired on the different news stations, a few of the news stations, whether intentional or not, omitted or inaccurately narrated what was actually happening on the video. So, to make sure the citizens we proudly serve have the rest of the story, I’m providing you the same video released to the media outlets,” Grinnell said in the Facebook post.

“My deputies stayed in the fight with this armed individual to ensure he was taken off the street. The quick life-saving measures such as the application of tourniquets and pressure bandages applied by law enforcement officers after the suspect throws his gun out of the vehicle, may have helped save his life,” Grinnell said.

Late Thursday afternoon, VSO Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced the body of Juan Santiago was found in a lake in Orange County.

“A body that is believed to be missing father Juan Santiago has been located in Lake Avalon in Orange County. Our Major Case detectives are en route. Interesting note: Our suspect’s sister found the body while searching that lake,” Chitwood stated in a Facebook post.

He later said Jonny’s mother had an app that tracked Jonny’s location and Jonny’s sister found her father’s body wedged between some bushes in a remote location in Apopka.

It is unclear what additional charges Jonny Santiago is facing in Volusia County. “We’re not in a rush,” Chitwood said.

Body cam and dash cam released by LCSO. Due to its policies, YouTube has restricted the video to viewers aged 18 and up. This is beyond Inside Lake’s control; we appealed the decision and lost. Sensitive material, viewer discretion is advised.

Teenager who Shot at Lake County Law Enforcement a Person of Interest in Father’s Disappearance, Volusia Deputies Say

MOUNT DORA, Florida—The teenager who fled Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Mount Dora Police Officers before firing shots at them on Donnelly Street is a person of interest in the disappearance of his father, according to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office (VSO.)

VSO was searching for Johnny Santiago, 18, after receiving a call from Santiago’s mother, who was in New York, shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday. The woman said she was on the phone with her husband, Juan Santiago, 52, when she heard him arguing with Johnny. She heard a loud noise and the phone disconnected. She has not spoken to him since, VSO said.

VSO responded to the home at 899 East Lehigh Drive, Deltona and found no one was home and the white Ford F-150 Johnny was known to drive was also missing. VSO deputies spotted the truck in nearby DeBary, but it fled, in addition to fleeing from Sanford Police after the truck left Volusia County.

VSO issued nationwide and regional BOLOs (be on the lookout) for the truck; LCSO Lt. John Herrell told Inside Lake LCSO received information the truck may be headed to Lake County and LCSO utilized its helicopter, Eagle One, in the search.

“We were looking for that vehicle,” Herrell said.

Eagle One found the truck near the corner of U.S. Highway 441 and Eudora Road and deputies attempted to pull him over around 4:45 p.m. He fled south on U.S. Highway 441 to Limit Avenue and fired at pursuing deputies and Mount Dora Police officers. The truck fled south on Donnelly Street before crashing into Traditional Congregation of Mount Dora, a synagogue located at 848 North Donnelly Street, where he opened fire on deputies and officers. Two deputies and one MDPD officer returned fire, Herrell said.

Johnny Santiago then exited the vehicle and laid down, where deputies and officers rendered aid to him, Herrell said. He was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center and is expected to survive.

PHOTO: Marilyn M. Aciego/Inside Lake

The shooting in under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the two deputies are on administrative leave, both standard procedures in deputy-involved shootings.

Johnny Santiago is facing numerous charges in Lake County, including three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated fleeing and eluding and shooting from a vehicle. Other charges are possible, Herrell said. He has been booked into the Orange County Jail and is being held on no bond. His mugshot was not available at press time.

Juan Santiago is still missing, and VSO continues to investigate his disappearance.

Wanted Suspect Shot at least once after Opening Fire on Law Enforcement

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A 18-year-old suspect wanted by the Volusia Sheriff’s Office was shot at least once by law enforcement Monday after shooting at them, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect’s truck was spotted by Eagle One, LCSO’s helicopter, after LCSO received information the suspect may be in Lake County, LCSO Lt. John Herrell said.

“We were looking for that vehicle,” Herrell said.

According to a social media post by Volusia Sheriff’s Office, a white Ford F-150 related to a suspicious incident in Deltona fled from both Volusia County and Seminole County deputies Monday morning. The Deltona man is a suspect in a domestic violence incident, Herrell said.

Eagle One, spotted the truck near the corner of U.S. Highway 441 and Eudora Road and deputies attempted to pull him over around 4:45 p.m. He fled south on U.S. Highway 441 to Limit Avenue and fired at least one shot at pursuing deputies and Mount Dora Police officers. The truck fled south on Donnelly Street before crashing into Traditional Congregation of Mount Dora, a synagogue located at 848 North Donnelly Street, where he opened fire at law enforcement. Two deputies and one MDPD officer returned fire, Herrell said.

PHOTO: Marilyn M. Aciego/Inside Lake

The suspect then exited the vehicle and got on the ground, where deputies and officers rendered aid to him, Herrell said. Witnesses told Inside Lake they heard numerous gunshots.

The suspect, whose name is not being released, was shot at least once and airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He is expected to survive, Herrell said.

The incident closed several blocks Donnelly Street and LCSO and MDPD were on scene looking for shell casings along Donnelly Street near 20th Avenue.

The two deputies are on administrative leave, standard procedure in a deputy-involved shooting, Herrell said.

The suspect is facing numerous charges in Lake County, including three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officers, aggravated fleeing and eluding and shooting from a vehicle. Other charges are possible, Herrell said.

Team Effort in Operation Sneak-A-Peek Nets Largest Fentanyl Haul in County History

TAVARES, Florida—Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell has a message for those dealing drugs in Lake County…to be continued.

Announcing the largest fentanyl haul in Lake County history at a press conference Thursday, Grinnell spoke to members of the media about a 4-month operation that resulted in 27 people facing drug-related charges after detectives with multiple agencies targeted three high-level drug traffickers and their associates across the county.

Cliff “Sneak” Johnson, 40, Andrew “Smurf” Woodruff, 37, and Charles, “Cuz” Carter, 50, who have collectively been arrested 75 times for felonies, were the main targets of “Operation Sneak-A-Peek” Grinnell told reporters Thursday afternoon.

“Mr. Johnson goes by the street name, “Sneak,” and our detectives took a peek and what Mr. Sneak was up to; hence, the name of this operation,” Grinnell said.

Detectives from LCSO, Clermont Police Department, Eustis Police Department, Leesburg Police Department and Mount Dora Police Department, DEA, FBI, Homeland Security and the Fifth Circuit State Attorney’s Office investigated the trio and found that fentanyl was coming from Mexico into California and Texas and making its way to Lake County, either by shipping methods or transported by vehicle, Grinnell said.

“This was truly a team effort,” Grinnell said.

PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

Detectives traveled to Georgia and throughout Florida to crack the case, according to the sheriff.

Detectives recovered a large amount of drugs, including 3.1 pounds of fentanyl, 1.11 ounces of fentanyl pills, 22 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 pounds of cocaine, 1.2 ounces of crack cocaine, 5.7 ounces of heroin, 10 ounces of MDMA and 15 pounds of marijuana. Thirteen guns were recovered, three of which were stolen, in addition to $12,000 in cash, four vehicles and three pill presses. The drugs have a wholesale street value of nearly $300,000 Grinnell said.

Johnson, of Leesburg, is being held in the Sumter County Jail on no bond and is facing 23 charges, including trafficking, conspiracy to commit trafficking, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and possession of numerous different drugs; Woodruff, of Mount Dora, is being held in the Lake County Jail on no bond and is facing four charges, racketeering, conspiracy to commit trafficking in fentanyl  and methamphetamine and, unlawful use of a two-way communication device. Carter, of Leesburg, is charged with conspiracy to commit trafficking in fentanyl and cocaine, and conspiracy to commit racketeering. He is also being held in LCJ on no bond.

The operation also revealed the suspects were dealing Isotonitazene, commonly known as ISO, a synthetic opioid that can be 20 to 100 times more potent than fentanyl, Grinnell said.

Seventeen suspects have been arrested and cops are still looking for nine more.

Grinnell had a message for those he calls “pushers of poison.”

“Operations like these save lives and put the pushers of poison behind bars. So here in Lake County, I say, to be continued.”

State Attorney Bill Gladson said some of the charges carry minimum mandatory prison sentences of at least 15 years.

Several documents in each of the suspects’ cases have been sealed and many details of the undercover operation are not available. 

PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

2 Juveniles Arrested in Downtown Airsoft Shootings, Mount Dora Police Still Working to Identify Suspects in Eudora Road Incident

MOUNT DORA, Florida—Mount Dora Police Department has arrested two juveniles for shooting people downtown with airsoft guns Friday, according to the city’s spokesperson, Vershurn Ford.

The two juveniles were arrested for battery and their names are not being released; the airsoft gun used in the shooting has been recovered, according to Ford.

A second incident on Eudora Road Saturday is still unsolved, Ford said in a press release. In that incident, a pedestrian was walking down Eudora Road when he was struck in the leg and near one of his eyes, Ford said. Police released photos of vehicles used in both incidents and the occupants of the red vehicle have not been identified.

If you have information on the Eudora Road incident, call MDPD’s Criminal Investigations Unit at 352-735-7130. 

Mount Dora Police are working to identify the occupants of this vehicle, suspected in the airsoft shooting on Eudora Road Saturday.

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