POINCIANA, Fla. - Two men face federal drug charges after Polk County deputies made what they are calling the biggest meth bust in the county's history.
Investigators seized more than 110 pounds of pure meth, worth as much as $10 million.
It started with a typical traffic stop last Thursday in the Frostproof area. Deputies discovered the driver, Scott Eargood, had a suspended license and a warrant out for his arrest.
Inside the jeep, they found $3,400 in cash bundled in rubber bands, and even more interesting, a professionally installed hydraulic trap door that could only be opened through a secret button on the dashboard.
Investigators found a half-pound of meth in the secret compartment.
"So we figured, well, if there's a half pound of dope in his car, maybe there's dope in his house," Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters on Wednesday.
Drug-sniffing dogs were sent inside the Poinciana home rented by Eargood and his passenger, Santos Zamora-Escobar.
Judd said they found roughly 110 pounds of pure meth stashed away in the walls between the bedroom and bathroom.
"I'm really surprised. I am. I can't believe we didn't see nothing!" Said Cheryl Shollenberger, who owns the home with her husband, Harry.
The couple started renting out the home to Eargood back in February. She said the two men seemed drama-free.
"He didn't smoke, he said. I never saw him smoking. He didn't drink," she said.
Cheryl said she even visited the men a few days prior, to drop off an old bedroom set.
"They invited me inside," she said. "It looked decent. It looked clean!"
Investigators believe the drugs came from Mexico through "underground highways" and eventually stored in the suspects' so-called stash house.
Judd said the pure bricks of meth would have been distributed to wholesalers and eventually mixed in with other ingredients to get the most value. It's believed the drugs would have ended up on the streets all over the Southeast United States.
"This is a pretty good size operation. These folks knew what they were doing," Judd said. "And some place in Mexico, they've got heartburn today."
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