Lake Wales carried on husband’s meth business after he went to jail

LAKE WALES, FL – The Real Methwives of Lake Wales, Florida isn’t a television show yet, but one of the stars of the show, if produced would be 47 year old Maria Rocio Gordillo.   She’s the wife of Otoniel Valdez-Mendoza who was arrested for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine during “Operation Meth Death Peddlers” last year.

Since his incarceration, Gordillo took on the family business.

Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (H.I.D.T.A) Task Force and members of Homeland Security Investigations (H.S.I) Tampa Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection developed information that 47-year-old Maria Rocio Gordillo of Lake Wales was involved in the trafficking of methamphetamine.

“As for Gordillo, she apparently wanted to carry on the business while her husband is in jail,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement today. “Our undercover detectives recently purchased a kilogram of methamphetamine (2.2 pounds) from Gordillo at her residence during one transaction; during the 2nd transaction, Gordillo gave the detectives three, one gallon sized bags (a total of about 3 kilograms or 6.6 pounds) of methamphetamine. Detectives also seized $4,100 U.S currency.”

The investigation is a follow-up from the ongoing “Operation Meth Death Peddlers” investigation where 44 suspects were arrested and 50 pounds of methamphetamine was seized in 2018 and 2019, culminating in numerous arrests in April of 2019. See the Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release here.

Gordillo was the live-in spouse of Otoniel Valdez-Mendoza, one of those arrested for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine during Operation Meth Death Peddlers. He is currently being held on no bond in the Polk County Jail.

“These drug dealers have blood on their hands. They make money off the misery of others. They use violence as a means to enforce their trafficking business.” Grady Judd, Sheriff

Undercover detectives communicated with Gordillo and arranged two separate methamphetamine transactions. The first transaction occurred on December 3rd; detectives purchased a kilogram of methamphetamine (2.2 pounds) from Gordillo at her residence located at 255 Waverly Loop, Lake Wales. The 2nd transaction occurred on December 9th at her residence. Gordillo gave the detectives three, one gallon sized bags that contained a crystal-like substance—a total of about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) that tested positive for methamphetamine. Detectives also seized $4,100 U.S currency.