GIFFORD — A man was charged after deputies seized more than 100 grams of narcotics – including ecstasy and bath salts – from his residence.
Deputies said Willis Renaurd Walker, 38, previously sold the drugs to a confidential information earlier this year during an undercover probe. Walker was seen selling ecstasy and bath salts to various people dozens of times from his home.
Deputies arrested Walker, of the 4500 block of 35th Avenue, Gifford, on a variety of charges including two counts of trafficking a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. Walker was also arrested on several warrants including two counts of sale of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and two counts of trafficking a controlled substance.
Walker was held Monday at the Indian River County Jail on $570,000 bond.
Walker’s arrest was part of a year-long drug trafficking investigation deemed “Operation Synthetic Shutdown” that concluded on Monday. Deputies initiated the probe after they noticed an influx of the synthetic drug eutylone, or bath salts, in the county.
The drugs often are linked to cardiac-related deaths, deputies said. Deputies arrested 36 people, including Walker, during the investigation.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit conducted a drug search at Walker’s home about midnight Friday. Deputies arrested Walker, who was found outside of the residence.
Deputies said Walker had two ecstasy tabs in his possession. Law enforcement officers searched Walker’s property and found illegal drugs in a hidden area in his backyard, reports show.
It is the same area deputies said Walker was seen walking to for his past drug deals.
Deputies found 110 grams of MDMA, or ecstasy, and 10 grams of MDVP, or bath salts, officials said. The ecstasy – in powder form and tab form – was found in two bags, reports show.
Deputies took Walker to the county jail for booking. Walker has an arraignment at 8:45 a.m. Dec. 29, court records show.