Derick Cordero, 32, Orlando, was taken into custody without incident Thursday afternoon by members of the Orange County Sheriff's Office S.W.A.T. Team and is being held on a preliminarily charge of felony possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver, according to Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department spokesman 1st Sgt. Chad D. Hill.
The case started when a Nappanee woman reported to the sheriff's department that she had been contacted by Cordero, who allegedly persuaded her into paying more than $4,000 in fraudulent closing fees for a time-share property in Kissimmee, Fla., according to a news release from Hill.
Detectives tracked the woman's payment to a mailbox in Beverly Hills, Calif. The payment was then forwarded to Orlando, where subpoenaed records allegedly revealed Cordero's signature on the cashed check, according to the news release.
The Kosciusko County Prosecutor Office and sheriff's department contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Cordero's residence was put under surveillance. Before executing the search warrant, undercover officers allegedly saw Cordero conduct a drug transaction at his residence, according to the news release. About 30 Florida officers including K.C.S.D. Detective Sgt. J.D. Ayres, entered Cordero's home, and found about $30,000 in pre-packaged marijuana ready for distribution; the Orange County Sheriff's Office Cyber Crimes Unit also found various documents, computers, and cellular devices owned by Cordero for further analysis of other potential victims, according to the release.
Cordero has an active felony warrant for theft/fraud issued from Kosciusko County.