41 members of Sex Money Murder gang charged in racketeering investigation, Polk sheriff says

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The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that 41 people were charged in a yearlong racketeering investigation that spanned Florida and North Carolina.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that 41 people were charged in a yearlong racketeering investigation that spanned Florida and North Carolina.

WINTER HAVEN — Forty-one members of a gang called Sex Money Murder, 31 of whom were from Polk County, were charged in a statewide, multi-agency racketeering investigation the Polk County Sheriff's Office said this week.

"For the first time in the history of Polk County, we did a gang wire-tap," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Wednesday. "We call them T3's, where we listen to social media apps, where we listen to cell phones and their communications through court orders."

Judd said that the PCSO Organized Crime Unit started the investigation in March 2021 with the Florida Department of Corrections, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution, and other Florida law enforcement agencies.

He said investigators identified the ranking structure and members of the gang, operating both inside and outside of prison, the Polk County Jail, and various other areas of Florida and North Carolina.

He said gang members were coordinating crimes, directing gang activities, recruiting new gang members, discussing bond payments and gang financing, including setting and collecting gang dues.

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Sex Money Murder is a subset gang of the United Blood Nation gang started in the 1990s by Peter “Pistol Pete” Rollock, who is currently serving life in prison, Judd said. Officials said Rollock is revered as the “Godfather” of the gang.

Judd said he suspects that the gang has connection to the unsolved 2019 shooting death of Shabreon "Shay" Collins in Dundee and the Winter Haven killing of Alphonsa "Nu Nu" Payne in 2020.

"Those two cases, we haven't made any arrests on," Judd said. "Those were the first two cases in over a decade that our homicide team was not able to solve. Do you know why? No one's talking. They're either gang-related and/or scared to death of the gangsters."

Out of the 41 identified during the investigation, the sheriff's office said 12 are charged with racketeering for directing members in organized criminal activity like illegal drug sales, robberies, introduction of contraband into prisons, conspiracy to commit murder and coordinated attacks on other gang members.

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The racketeering charges are first-degree felonies punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment and significant fines. Gang-related first-degree felonies can result in life in prison.

The RICO Act, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, was designed to prosecute individuals engaging in organized crime, officials said. A person can be charged with racketeering if they engage in a pattern of racketeering, like committing two racketeering activities within a 10-year period.

Two of the suspects are still at large with warrants for their arrests.

Judd said Hernando Thompson Jr., 36, is the leader of the Florida division of the gang. He has a warrant for his arrest in Orlando for racketeering, conspiracy of racketeer and three counts of directing criminal gang activity. Xavier Ulysse, 27, of Lake Wales has a Polk County warrant on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. Judd said, after tapping into the alleged gang suspects' phone and social media conversations, detectives overheard Ulysse planning to kill someone detectives suspect is a gang member.

A string of home invasion robberies and other violent and property crimes associated with members of the Sex Money Murder gang started to rise in 2018, 2019 and 2020 in Polk County and neighboring Florida counties, the Sheriff's Office said in a release.

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Through the wiretapping investigation, detectives said they found that Cerenia Mixon, 22, of Lakeland was the secretary of the Polk County part of the gang. Detectives monitored the communication of Andree Romeus, 30, of Winter Haven, who they said acted as the Polk County leader. The Sheriff's Office said detectives were allowed to monitor the communications associated with the top two ranking Florida gang members, Thompson and James Roundtree, 33, of Lake City because of information found while listening to Romeus' conversations.

Suspected gang associates

Detectives said they arrested four of the suspected gang associates during an undercover operation at 425 Van Fleet Drive East in Bartow in July, where 719 grams of synthetic marijuana was seized. Marcus Mitchell, 19, of Lakeland, Telly Nance and 34, of Bartow and Deondre Powell, 25, of Lakeland were arrested. The Sheriff's Office said a male juvenile was arrested for possession of marijuana during the operation, as well.

With a search warrant for 3625 Kathleen Road Lot #7 in Lakeland, the Sheriff's Office seized more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine, 8 grams of alprazolam, 52 grams of oxycodone and 1,712 grams of Promethazine and arrested four suspects in September. Dashawn Bather, 25, of Lakeland, Laconia Blake, 31, of Lakeland, Antoine Cruz, 25, of Winter Haven and Destiny Daniels, 28, of Lakeland were all arrested on charges relating to drugs.

Jonathan Fleming, 33, of Wilson, North Carolina, and Maclindell Hardy, 29, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, were arrested in October while in Flagler County. Officials said Fleming was in Florida at a mandatory national meeting for the Sex Money Murder gang in Osceola County because he's the leader of the North Carolina division.

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Daniel Jackson, 29, of Winter Haven, Crameshia Jackson, 26, of Winter Haven and Dornell Anglin, 26, of Haines City were arrested in October. Deputies said more than 367 grams of methamphetamine, 160 grams of MDMA pills, 15 grams of marijuana and one handgun was seized. In an undercover operation in October at 2000 State Road 60 East in Lake Wales, detectives seized more than 112 grams of methamphetamine, a handgun and $2,790. Jamarr Cole, 37, of Lake Wales was arrested there on six charges.

Officials said Jasmine Weber, 28, of Winter Haven was also arrested in October during an undercover Lakeland operation at 131 Scottsdale Loop.

Detectives said they arrested Carlos Mercado, 24, of Lakeland during an undercover operation at 1035 Reynolds Road in December. They also seized 0.66 grams of fentanyl.

During a January operation near Reynolds Road and Ned Engle Boulevard in Lakeland, deputies seized more than 7 grams of fentanyl, 37 grams of marijuana, and a handgun. Demarrius Faniel, 30, of Lakeland and Anteria Bell, 28, of Lakeland were arrested.

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On a search warrant for 2461 Avenue C SW in Winter Haven, deputies said more than 90 grams of MDMA, 28 grams of mushrooms, 134 grams of promethazine, 3 grams of methamphetamine and 249 grams of marijuana was seized in January. Danyell Coggins, 47, of Winter Haven, John Davis, 40, of Winter Haven and Wandy Noel, 30, of Winter Haven were arrested.

In a Florida Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Services routine probation check at 3655 Peregrine Way in Lakeland, Sheriff's Officials said Horatio Walker, 24, of Lakeland, Raquan Thompson, 22, of Lakeland and Tyreke Thompson, 20, of Lakeland were arrested in January. Kayshia Jenkins, 35, of Lakeland and Kalaysha Wilson, 22, of Lakeland were arrested in February.

A February undercover operation at 1502 Recker Highway in Winter Haven resulted in more than 40 grams of marijuana seized and the arrest of Andree Romeus, 30, of Winter Haven on eight charges including racketeering, conspiracy to racketeer, and three counts of directing gang activity. Leroy Scarlett, 29, of Bartow was also arrested in an operation in March where more than 30 gram of marijuana and $4,000 was seized.

Tonisha Fisher, 36, of Mount Dora was arrested on a search warrant for 416 E. Pine Ave. in Mount Dora in April for racketeering and conspiracy to racketeer. Judd said Fisher was the "first lady" of Florida because of her romantic relationship with Thompson. He also said Fisher booked the national gang meeting and collects member dues.

Donahue Stephenson, 33, Tyreese Cruz, 24, Rodney Street Jr., 25, and Antonio Taylor, 30 were all incarcerated in prison or jail when charged with racketeering in connection to the investigation.

The Sheriff's Office asked anyone with information about the two unsolved murder cases to contact Heartland Crime Stoppers for a $10,000 reward. Call 800-226-8477 or go to www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com. All tips remain anonymous. Judd said anyone with information on the whereabouts of Thompson or Ulysse can contact Crime Stoppers to be considered for a reward.

This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Polk sheriff: 41 Sex Money Murder gang members charged in investigation