Davenport man accused of importing $600,000 worth of ‘meth paste’ in glass vases

Omar Palencia jail booking photo and evidence photo.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Davenport suspect’s elaborate plan to deal meth ended in disaster when detectives discovered he had pottery shipped to Florida that was covered with $600,000 worth of meth paste.

Hidden off a dirt road in Auburndale, a vacant mobile home looked like the perfect place to cook meth.

The accused meth importer thought he’d found the perfect person to help him.

Except, that person is an undercover deputy.

Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office say Omar Palencia, 30, had the pottery shipped to him and intended to cook the meth out of the pottery, and then sell the meth.

The meth came in the mail in 3 beautiful vases, covered with pieces of red, white and mirrored tiles. But, under the shiny facade, something far less pretty.

Detectives say Palencia told him the meth paste would have cooked out to 10 kilos, with a street value of $600,000.

“In Mexico, they were dipped in liquid methamphetamine and carefully, they placed small glass squares on the vase to make it appear to be this beautiful pottery,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

“He was, Omar, was looking for someone to convert it out of its current form into a sell-able form, and that’s where our undercover agents came in play,” said the Sheriff.

Neighbor, Retha Pare saw the deputies working at the empty mobile home.

“I was standing on my back porch and he was right here, and I asked him what was going on, and I saw ’em put the surveillance cameras up in the back, and I thought ‘oh no,’” said Pare.

Wired for sound and pictures, cops said they captured Palencia go inside with duffel bags containing the pottery.

“He’s in the country illegally, and he’s supplying methamphetamine, which ultimately will end up in the hands of kids and young adults,” said Sheriff Judd.

When detectives arrested Palencia, they say he had two pieces of broken pottery in his pocket that had meth paste on them. He allegedly told detectives the paste was for his personal use and he had smoked meth that morning. That amount of meth totaled 101 grams.

“You can see the lengths drug dealers go to, to get their illegal product out on the street. Omar Palencia will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and thanks to minimum mandatory sentencing laws, he should be out of the drug dealing business for quite some time,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Palencia was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of trafficking in meth over 400 grams , trafficking in meth 28-200 grams, two counts of possession of a vehicle used to traffic drugs, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He is being held without bond. Palencia is facing 22 years if convicted under mandatory sentencing guidelines. Sheriff Judd wants those guidelines to remain unchanged, and is trying to convince lawmakers to stop their efforts to lessen their severity.

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