SUMTER COUNTY, FL — What would you expect to find if you raided a Florida retirement community? Bingo cards, pudding cups, and hard candies would be a good guess. Well, five people have been arrested after cops raided one of Florida’s most famous retirement communities — and found hard drugs and a golf-cart chop shop.
Kenneth Ray Padgett, 53; Charlotte L. Gajewsky, 45; William Anthony Wade Romska, 38; Kathleen Unrath, 43; and 63-year-old Michael Edward Witkowski were arrested last Wednesday at The Villages, a retirement community that bills itself as “Florida’s friendliest.”
The arrest came after a Sumter County Sheriff’s Office SWAT raid turned up a cache of drugs and stolen property, including golf-cart parts, at the complex, which is located about 45 miles northwest of Orlando. Golf carts are the most popular mode of transportation in The Villages, which has a population of around 100,000.
The five suspects were hit with a string of charges including possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and keeping or maintaining a drug shop and possession of heroin, according to CBS News.
Nearby residents and deputies had referred to the residence, which is reportedly owned by Unrath’s uncle, as a “problem location” that many residents complained about due to the fact that people were constantly coming and going from the property. Police say that Unrath’s uncle is in poor health and is not believed to have been involved in the illegal activities.
After an informant helped orchestrate three drug purchases, deputies were able to obtain a search warrant. Along with the drugs, police also found an entire attic full of golf-cart parts and other stolen items, which led them to believe the location was used as a golf cart chop-shop.
Main photo: Footage of raid at The Villages [Villages-News.com / YouTube (screenshot)]