Click Here for ADA Accessible Format

Polk County Sheriff’s Phone# 863-298-6200

If in an emergency Dial 911

Polk County Sheriff Facebook Polk County Sheriff Twitter Polk County Sheriff Instagram Polk County Sheriff Youtube

Hit enter to search or ESC to close

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.

Jan 17, 2024

Operation Pop-Top: Convenience store clerk arrested for sale of Kratom to juvenile

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman

The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a convenience store clerk on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, after she illegally sold Kratom to someone under 21 years of age, during an undercover "Operation Pop Top" investigation.

"These operations are carried out frequently at different locations throughout the county, to ensure that the stores and employees are compliant with state laws, and to serve as a warning for others to heed. Those who sell alcoholic beverages or Kratom to juveniles will be held accountable." - Grady Judd, Sheriff

The person who purchased the Kratom is a 17-year-old member of the PCSO Explorers program which consists of students who are interested in a career in law enforcement.

The Explorer visited 12 stores in the southeast Polk County, from Dundee to Lake Hamilton to Lake Wales, and he was denied the purchase of alcohol or Kratom at 11 of the stores.

Deputies arrested 23-year-old Gina Rossi at the J's Smoke Shop and Vapes at 429 Eagle Ridge Drive in Lake Wales and charged her with Selling Kratom to a Person Under the Age of 21 (a misdemeanor).