Wildwood's 'Goon' Uncovered in Massive Drug Trafficking Ring

Wildwood’s ‘Goon’ Uncovered in Massive Drug Trafficking Ring

A man from Wildwood, known as “Goon,” is allegedly involved in a drug trafficking ring that transported suitcases full of drugs from California to Orlando International Airport.

Melvin Tyrone Patterson Jr., aged 31, is one of 17 individuals who were charged in federal court last week for drug trafficking and money laundering after a joint investigation by multiple agencies.

Over the past six years, the Drug Enforcement Administration has been investigating a drug trafficking organization primarily operating in Lake County, with connections to suppliers and distributors in California, Texas, the eastern United States, and China.

Patterson, specifically, is charged with drug trafficking, money laundering conspiracy, and possession with intent to distribute. He could face a sentence of 10 years to life in federal prison. In a previous incident in 2017, Patterson was arrested by Wildwood police during a traffic stop when his companion tried to use Bud Light beer to quickly clean a marijuana grinder.

The drug trafficking ring, led by Dudzinski Poole, aged 48, from Apopka, has been responsible for trafficking thousands of kilograms of methamphetamine and fentanyl over the past six years. They used commercial planes, trains, and mail for transportation.

The DEA has seized over 250 pounds of drugs, primarily methamphetamine and fentanyl. Couriers would fly from Florida to California with large sums of cash to buy drugs and then return with checked luggage filled with drugs on commercial flights, often between Orlando International Airport and Palm Springs Airport or Los Angeles International Airport in California.

Flight records over two years show more than 350 flights between California and Orlando involving various conspirators.

The ring also used couriers to transport significant quantities of methamphetamine from Orlando to Virginia via train. In April 2022, one courier was arrested at a Virginia train station with around 10 pounds of methamphetamine in a suitcase.

Aside from transporting drugs through commercial flights and trains, Poole and his associates operated multiple stash houses and received hundreds of mailed packages of methamphetamine from California and other drugs, including fentanyl, from China.

Poole’s California supplier would send packages containing one to ten or more pounds of methamphetamine to various addresses, including co-conspirators’ residences. Nearly 400 packages sent from California as part of this conspiracy have been identified from 2021 to 2023.

The ring members were also involved in money laundering, with Poole establishing an entertainment business used to promote concerts with legitimate artists, who were paid with drug proceeds. Poole then mixed the profits from ticket sales with drug money in the same business account.

The investigation involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Secret Service, and various local police departments and sheriff’s offices. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tyrie K. Boyer and Belkis H. Crockett.

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