The people who ran A-1 Quality Services on Dairy Road in Auburndale claimed to be in the septic tank business. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says the real business done behind their gates was much more sinister.
"We executed a search warrant because we heard that the people here were trading dope for guns," said Judd. "What we ended up with was a chop shop. We have stolen vehicles that have been chopped into pieces, we have many televisions – flat-screen televisions -- that have been stolen. The thing that was most frightening to us was when we saw this: Guns, lots of guns."
Judd said his detectives have found nearly 50 guns on the property and said many of them are stolen.
"There are semi-automatic, shotguns, handguns. We have found a suppressor, which in and of itself is illegal," continued Judd.
The owner of the business, 59-year-old Aleta Burgett has been arrested, along with her son Brent Burgett.
Investigators say Brent Burgett is a convicted felon
Deputies also arrested Alexander Bove, whom they describe as an associate.
Judd says at this point in the investigation it appears they were taking stolen property for drugs. He said a small amount of meth was found.
Neighbors say they had a feeling something illegal was going on.
"During the day, it's just calm. But at nighttime, when it turns dark, that's when they start bringing the stuff in," said neighbor Laurie New. "It was boats, it was cars, it was trucks. And they was all like brand new stuff coming in and out of here."
Judd says it will take days for his detectives to process the scene and expect they'll find more stolen property.
But Judd says the good news is the guns they have found are off the streets and out of the hands of the bad guys.
"I can tell you this, these guns will never be used by a felon to commit a crime against a law enforcement officer or anybody else," he added.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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