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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.

PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Mar 28, 2023

PCSO arrests two sales clerks for illegal alcohol sales

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested two convenience store clerks on Monday, March 27, 2023 for illegal alcohol sales.

The arrests were the latest in the PCSO's ongoing Operation Pop-Top, a campaign carried out across the county designed to ensure stores and clerks are being compliant with state laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age.

"Stores and clerks are fully aware that we do these checks; we make no secret about it. It's our hope that every store we check is compliant by checking IDs and refusing to sell to those under age." - Grady Judd, Sheriff

Aiding deputies in each of these checks is a member of the PCSO's Explorers--a program for high schoolers interested in a career in law enforcement. 

The deputies and the Explorer visited five convenience stores along US 27, and two sales clerk sold alcohol to the underage girl, and were arrested.

48-year old Tonya Streeter from Smith's Grocery (829 SR 17N) in Lake Hamilton, and 46-year old Fredrica Hall from Center Food Mart (301 Center Street) in Dundee were both charged with Selling Alcohol to a Person Under 21 (M). 

The stores that refused to sell alcohol to the Explorer were:
- RaceTrac, 32866 US 27, Haines City
- EZ Foods, 20105 US 27, Lake Hamilton
- Shell, 207 SR 17, Lake Hamilton