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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.

Dec 7, 2023

Documented gang member arrested in Waverly drive-by shooting

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman, Administrator

The Polk County Violent Gang Investigative Task Force arrested 23-year-old Daquan Carey, who is a documented gang member in Winter Haven, for numerous felonies related to a drive-by shooting on November 22, 2023, in the Waverly area of Lake Wales.

That morning around 3:20 a.m. detectives responded to 3rd Street in Waverly, where the two victims reported they were sitting in their vehicle parked in front of a residence when a dark-colored SUV slowly approached from the east. As the SUV turned onto Hodge Street, the victims heard gunfire. After hearing gunfire, the victims fled. None of the victims were struck by bullets. The vehicle they were in was struck by at least one round. Numerous shell casings were found around the residence where the victims' vehicle was parked. No other homes or people were hit.

Daquan Carey social mediaDuring the investigation, Daquan Carey was identified as the drive-by shooting suspect. Detectives learned he is a documented gang member who has an active felony warrant for failure to appear, with original charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of narcotics, and fleeing to elude.

Detectives obtained more warrants, for attempted first degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

On December 6, 2023, detectives following up on leads regarding Carey's whereabouts responded to the Della Vita apartment complex in Winter Haven, and located Carey behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry in the parking lot. As detectives were taking him into custody, he physically fought with them in an attempt to flee. Once they gained control of him and searched him they found a loaded Ruger handgun, narcotics, and marijuana in his pockets.

Carey was booked into the Polk County Jail with the following charges:

  • Attempted first degree murder (FL)
  • Shooting into an occupied vehicle (F2)
  • 2 counts Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (F2)
  • Possession of ammunition by a convicted felon (F2)
  • Carrying a concealed firearm (F3)
  • Battery on a law enforcement officer (F3)
  • Resisting arrest with violence (F3)
  • Resisting arrest while armed (F3)
  • Possession of oxycodone (F3)
  • Possession of prescription drugs without a prescription (M2)
  • Resisting arrest without violence (M1)
  • Possession of marijuana (M1)
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia (M1)
  • Failure to appear warrant (F3)

His criminal history dates back to 2014 (when he was 13 years old) and includes 20 previous felonies, 19 previous misdemeanors, and four felony convictions.

"This dangerous convicted felon and documented gang member has demonstrated that he has no regard for human life, and no respect for the law or law enforcement. He's proven that he will shoot anyone, anywhere, and fight with law enforcement if approached. We hope he remains locked up in prison for a long, long time." - Grady Judd, Sheriff