A former employee with Florida Department of Children and Families is now behind bars for allegedly selling drugs out of her own home on Starlight Point Drive in Mulberry.
"Those kinds of things are happening a couple houses down, yeah, it's a huge concern," said Hector Martinez.
Laymeshia Hicks worked as a child protective investigator for the Department of Children and Families since late 2015. She was fired after DCF learned the Polk County Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for her arrest.
"She was letting her own 3-year-old child live in the house where they were dealing drugs out of house," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Monday. "Are you kidding me? Come on girl, what is wrong with you?"
Polk County investigators found 200 grams of cocaine and 28 grams of heroin inside the couple's home after responding to an armed home invasion robbery Friday.
According to PCSO, two armed men barged into the home, forcing two teens inside to the ground while they ransacked the place.
"When you see guns and drug dealings, you see home invasion robberies and burglaries," said Sheriff Judd.
Hicks' fiance´, Xzaiveous Scott, allowed investigators to search the home after Friday's home invasion, but snuck out and hasn't been seen since.
"At that time, we thought he was just a victim of a home invasion," said Sheriff Judd. "Turns out, he ran because he knew we were going to find drugs in the house."
PCSO deputies continue their search for Scott and the two home invasion suspects.
Hicks turned herself in Monday afternoon and faces several charges including trafficking in heroin, trafficking in cocaine, and maintaining a structure for drug use.
A DCF communications director sent this statement regarding Hicks' employment:
The alleged actions of this individual are completely reprehensible and do not in any way reflect the values of the department. We are charged with protecting the state’s most vulnerable individuals and we have extremely high standards for those tasked with carrying out this mission. Ms. Hicks was employed by the department in late 2015 as a child protective investigator after passing a level two background screening, and immediately upon learning of these charges we began taking steps to terminate her employment. We will continue to assist law enforcement in any way possible.
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