The father of HaLeigh Ann-Marie Cummings, the 5-year-old Putnam County girl who has been missing nearly a year, and his ex-wife were arrested late Wednesday on drug trafficking charges after a monthlong undercover investigation, police said.
Ronald Lemyles Cummings, 26, is facing three counts of trafficking prescription medications, and his bond was set at $500,000, while Misty Janette Croslin, 18, is facing six counts of the same charge and was being jailed on $950,000 bond.
On Feb. 10, Croslin, then Cummings’ live-in girlfriend, called police to report HaLeigh missing.
Lt. Johnny Greenwood, a spokesman for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, said Thursday that the disappearance and the drug cases are completely separate.
“It was totally unrelated,” Greenwood said. “It’s really ironic how it happened.”
About a month ago, investigators got an anonymous tip Croslin and Cummings were involved in a prescription drug ring, he said.
The detective assigned to HaLeigh’s case was not involved in the drug investigation and, he said, wasn’t even told about it until Wednesday.
In addition to Croslin and Cummings, three others were charged: Croslin’s brother, Hank Thomas “Tommy” Croslin Jr., 23, of Satsuma; Cummings’ cousin, Hope A. Sykes, 18, of Satsuma; and Donna Michelle Brock, 44, of Orlando.
The three were each charged with one count of trafficking prescription medication, though their bonds varied.
Hank Croslin’s was set at $100,000, Sykes’ at $150,000 and Brock’s at $250,000.
While Putnam County police led the investigation, some of the alleged transactions were in St. Johns County, meaning some suspects would be prosecuted in St. Johns, said Sgt. Chuck Mulligan, a spokesman for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
The Croslins and Brock were being held at the St. Johns County jail, while Sykes was being held in Putnam County.
Cummings was at the Flagler County jail because police wanted to keep him and his ex-wife separated.
The Sheriff’s Office said that, on seven occasions, undercover investigators purchased the painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone from the suspects and estimated the “street value” of the drugs at $3,900.
On Wednesday, according to a news release, Cummings and Croslin “purchased trafficking amounts of prescription medications from undercover investigators” and were immediately arrested.
During each alleged drug deal, Misty Croslin was involved, Greenwood said.
“The only common denominator in all of them was Misty.”
While there were seven transactions, Croslin was charged in six. However, Greenwood said it was likely she would be charged in the seventh as well.
Croslin, Cummings and Brock would face a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted.
Hank Croslin and Sykes are facing 15 years in prison.
Misty Croslin told County Judge Charles J. Tinlin at her first appearance in court Thursday that she had an attorney, Robert Fields, and had been in touch with him Wednesday.
He had represented her in the past, he said, and might be her attorney again.
“For right now, I am (representing Croslin), but I haven’t formally filed a notice of appearance yet,” Fields said Thursday afternoon.
Fields said he would try to visit Croslin at the jail either today or over the weekend.
St. Augustine attorney Terry Shoemaker worked with Ronald Cummings as the search for HaLeigh developed but knew very little Thursday about the latest charges.
“I’m not sure if we represent him on this or not,” said Shoemaker. “I have to make an appointment to see him, and that won’t be before (today).”
Shoemaker and partner Dan Mowrey were set to visit Cummings when they got a call from the jail Thursday.
They were told all the times had been booked up in the jail’s only two conference rooms, so they scheduled time for today.
While Greenwood said the cases were unrelated, Cummings’ mother, Teresa Neves, told reporters she believes Croslin’s bail was set purposely high to keep her locked up.
Cummings and his former wife had been seeing each other occasionally and were to meet Wednesday about 5 p.m. after he finished working at a tree-trimming job, Neves said.
She said she believes her son was staying in contact with Croslin in hopes of learning what happened to HaLeigh and hoped the arrest of her former daughter-in-law could mean a break.
“Maybe she’ll flip and tell us where HaLeigh is,” she said. “That is the only [good] thing that can come out of this.”
Greenwood said that while police have no reason to connect the alleged drug ring with HaLeigh’s disappearance, detectives hope to re-interview the suspects.
“As many times as we get to, we’re going to until we get a resolution in this case,” Greenwood said.
— Morris News Service contributed to this report.