Four Arrested in Major Drug Seizure in Springfield

by Jonathan Minuse
Photo by Colin Davis on Unsplash Photo by Colin Davis on Unsplash

SPRINGFIELD, FL- In a significant breakthrough against drug trafficking, Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford announced the arrest of four individuals following a comprehensive investigation into a fentanyl trafficking operation. The arrests were made on June 18, 2024, when the Special Investigations Division (SID) executed a search warrant at a residence located at 112 Marin Lake Drive, Springfield, Florida.

The investigation reached a critical point when Bay County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) investigators approached the residence, identifying themselves as law enforcement officers. In a dramatic turn of events, Elias Barela, 30, a resident of the home, attempted to escape by jumping out of a rear window. However, investigators strategically positioned at the back of the house prevented his escape, leading to his swift apprehension.

Entering the residence, investigators found three additional adults: Tyree Jones, 30, Angel Godinez, 32, and Janice Soney, 33. A thorough search of the home resulted in the seizure of a substantial quantity of illegal substances, highlighting the magnitude of the operation. The confiscated items included over 7.3 pounds of fentanyl, approximately 7.8 ounces of methamphetamine, six pounds of synthetic drugs known as “tunechi,” two pounds of marijuana, three handguns, and over $27,000 in cash.

Jones and Godinez face charges including Trafficking in Fentanyl (more than 28 grams), Trafficking in Methamphetamine (more than 200 grams), Trafficking in Synthetic Drugs (more than 1,000 grams), Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Failure to Register as a Convicted Felon, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Barela, faces similar charges excluding the failure to register. Soney, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. All suspects are currently held in Bay County Jail.

This successful operation was made possible by the State Assistance for Fentanyl Eradication (S.A.F.E.) program. Established by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature in 2023, S.A.F.E. supports investigations aimed at combating illegal fentanyl activities. The program provides financial reimbursement for approved fentanyl-related operations, covering expenses such as overtime, travel costs, investigative supplies, equipment, and training.

Sheriff Tommy Ford commended on the SID's efforts, emphasizing the critical role of such operations in dismantling drug trafficking networks.