PCSO detectives are investigating the shooting death of 50-year-old Raidel Armas Gonzalez of Mulberry at a house in Wahneta (unincorporated Winter Haven). Sheriff’s deputies responded to 441 Fernandez Street in Wahneta Wednesday night, December 18, 2019 at approximately 8:45 p.m. and discovered Mr. Gonzalez in the yard of the residence deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. Deputies also discovered the residence was an active marijuana grow-house with approximately 162 pounds of marijuana inside drying.
“This is another example demonstrating the connection between drugs, violence, and death. Illegal marijuana cultivation is a large, dangerous, and violent business. The myth that the manufacture and trafficking of illegal drugs, including marijuana, is somehow a non-violent, non-lethal, not serious crime, is a lie. Try telling Mr. Gonzalez’ family, or the innocent people who live in this neighborhood, that the manufacture, sale, and use of illegal drugs are not serious, dangerous, and deadly.” –Grady Judd, Sheriff
The house is owned by 49-year-old Marcos Gutierrez who was there at the time of the shooting. He told deputies that he was inside the house when Gonzalez was shot outside. Gutierrez also has a home in Mulberry.
The death investigation ongoing, as is the investigation related to the illegal grow house. If anyone has information about the shooting, about the marijuana grow house, or about anything they saw last night on Fernandez Street off of Rifle Range Road and surrounding streets, including Gretna Lane, Columbo Street, Adriel Avenue, Tifton Street or Tifton Road (a residential area off of Riffle Range Road), please call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200 (answered 24 hours). Or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to an arrest, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers - call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477), visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on "Submit A Tip," or download the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet.
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