Local women charged in 'significant' Florida meth bust

Judd

BARTOW, FLORIDA — Three Southwest Georgia women are charged with trafficking in large amounts of methamphetamine, along with other offenses, in Central Florida.

On Aug. 5, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force and Polk County Sheriff's Office undercover detectives received a tip about a suspected drug trafficker from Georgia who was coming to Polk County to sell methamphetamine. 

During the investigation, an undercover Polk sheriff’s office detective agreed to buy two kilograms of methamphetamine from 43-year-old Jennifer Lynn McGrotha of Ochlocknee, Georgia.

McGrotha arrived in Polk County with passengers Amber Nicole Godinez, 34, and Shelli Hilton Borrows, 38, both of Cairo, Georgia, according to a press release issued by the Polk County Sheriff's Office (PCSO).

The release states that McGrotha got out of her vehicle and approached the undercover detective to conduct the transaction.

She attempted to sell the undercover detective one kilogram of methamphetamine and told the undercover detective “that she only brought one kilogram and was not able to get the second kilogram due to not having the money to pay for the second kilogram," the release states.

A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.

During a search of the vehicle, detectives discovered another 55.71 grams of methamphetamine. The total combined weight of all the methamphetamine was 1,131.31 grams — about 2.5 pounds with a street value of about $70,000.

"During interviews, each of the woman admitted to knowing about the methamphetamine transaction. McGrotha told detectives that Borrows and Godinez asked her to obtain the methamphetamine she brought to Polk County, Florida. McGrotha said she got the meth from a drug dealer in Atlanta. McGrotha stated that Borrows owes her money and this was a way she was going to clear her debt with her. McGrotha stated that Godinez was expecting to receive a vehicle and money in exchange of doing the transaction. Borrows and Godinez confirmed their involvement," the release states.

“Methamphetamine is a disgusting, life-destroying drug. These drug dealers traveled from Georgia to peddle this poison in our community. I am thankful our HIDTA Task Force detectives got them and their drugs off our streets,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

"It's a significant amount. You consider the amount of damage this amount of drugs can do," said Alicia Monautou, PCSO public information officer.

McGrotha, who was released on $106,000 bond, is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine more than 200 grams, conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine more than 200 grams, possession of a vehicle to traffic in drugs, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Godinez is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine more than 200 grams, conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine more than 200 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. In lieu of a $1,000 bond, Godinez is being held at the Polk County Central County Jail in Bartow.

Borrows is being held at the facility in lieu of a $101,000 bond. She is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine more than 200 grams, conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine more than 200 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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