Authorities in Florida this week announced the takedown of a large-scale drug trafficking ring allegedly headed by a former state correctional officer. Christina Michelle Guess, 44, an ex-prison guard with the Florida Department of Corrections, was taken into custody along with her alleged supplier and several underlings and charged with a slew of felonies, including trafficking in 200 grams or more of methamphetamine and conspiracy.
According to a press release from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Volusia Bureau of Investigation (VBI) and FBI in March 2021 opened a multi-jurisdictinal investigation into a drug trafficking ring believed to be led by Guess and supplied by 26-year-old Reshard Maurice Campbell. The duo’s organization is said to have “been responsible for distributing kilogram amounts of methamphetamine” on a monthly basis and is believed to have “trafficked up to 24 pounds of uncut methamphetamine over a one-year period,” the press release states.
“That 24 pounds when it gets to the street level is being diluted or cut multiple times over so that could be upwards of 80 to 100 pounds that being distributed in our community,” VSO Chief Deputy Brian Henderson explained during a Tuesday morning press conference that also included members of the FBI and DeLand, Ormond Beach, and Ocala police departments.
The investigation into the alleged drug organization included covert surveillance, search warrants, phone taps, and other intelligence gathering methods. After several months, VBI agents “were able to infiltrate and dismantle the Christina Guess drug trafficking organization,” the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said that a joint task force comprised of deputies from the Volusia and Marion County Sheriff’s Offices as well as the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST) and Ocala Police SWAT executed a search warrant on a home located in the 400 block of NE 27th Avenue in Ocala. The address was believed to be “where the methamphetamine source of supply” resided.
Simultaneous to the search warrant in Ocala, VBI agents executed a search warrant at Guess’ residence located in the 200 block of Salisbury Ave. in Deland. The two executed search warrants led to authorities recovering approximately 1.4 pounds of methamphetamine, 348 grams of cocaine, and 11 pills of Hydrocodone.
In addition to the trafficking and conspiracy charges, Guess also faces three counts of trafficking 28 grams or more of meth, three counts of trafficking 14 grams or more of meth, selling meth within 1,000 feet of a childcare facility, possession of a structure for the purpose of sale/traffic of a controlled substance, and unlawful use of a two-way communications device to facilitate the commission of a felony.
Jail records show that Guess, who worked for the state of Florida for 12 years, was arrested in January 2019 on meth trafficking and marijuana charges. She was convicted on three possession counts and spent just over six months in jail before being released in July 2019, according to court records.
“We know that there are many other organizations just like this, and/or larger, and we know a lot of who they are,” Henderson said in a statement. “The men and women on our task force as a team, this is their mission. This is their passion. They love doing this type of work, and I assure you that if you’re out there trafficking drugs in our communities, it’s only a matter of time before we’re kicking in your front door, and you’re going to jail.”
One of Guess’ alleged co-conspirators who was also arrested in connection with the drug ring investigation is 34-year-old Andrea Ilean Dunmire. Henderson said that Dunmire was already under an active investigation stemming from the death of her infant, who died in December 2021 after ingesting a lethal dose of methamphetamine.
“We don’t believe it was an intentional act but likely through neglect,” Henderson said, adding that investigators are working with the State Attorney’s Office to bring charges against Dunmire. “We’re not sure exactly how it got into baby’s system. But ultimately, that parent is responsible for the care of that child and that it occurred in this situation, so we’re going to hold somebody accountable for it.”
Watch the full press conference below:
[images via Volusia County Sheriff’s Office]
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