PCSO: 2 arrested in ‘ambush’ murder of motorcyclist in Bartow

Booking images for Wesley Vazquez Andino and Adriana Oyola Del Valle (provided by PCSO)

A man and a woman have been arrested in connection to the shooting death of a motorcyclist in Polk County.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 34-year-old Benjamin Mason III was "ambushed" while riding a motorcycle in the unincorporated area of Bartow on March 26. 

First responders responding to reports of a dirt bike crash on Wheeler Street, northeast of Bartow shortly before 2:10 p.m. found the victim suffering from a single gunshot wound. 

He was taken to an area hospital where he passed away.

According to an autopsy, a bullet entered the victim’s lower right back and traveled through his kidney, diaphragm, and lung. Witnesses told detectives they heard at least one gunshot in the area.

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On Monday, Polk County deputies identified the suspects as 28-year-old Wesley Vazquez Andino and 26-year-old Adriana Oyola Del Valle. Investigators said they learned they share a home on Chestnut Woods Drive in Lakeland, but discovered the couple fled the area.

Detectives tracked them down to a home belong to a relative of Oyola Del Valle, they said. Both were booked into county jail on Monday.

During an interview, Oyola Del Valle said the couple attempted to purchase a dirt bike on Facebook Marketplace and paid a $100 deposit, according to the sheriff's office.

"After paying the deposit, she said the seller hung up on them when they called him again, then blocked their number. The couple went to find the seller of the dirt bike in Gordon Heights," according to a news release from the agency. "They saw Mason on the same dirt bike and yelled out to him, but Mason drove past them and drove away. Oyola Del Valle said that is when Vazquez Andino fired one shot at Mason, and then they fled from the scene."

Officials said her three children were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

"Witnesses weren’t able to give much information, but what they did provide was just enough that the PCSO homicide detectives were able to get on the right path toward solving this senseless murder," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "It was exceptional work by the detectives, but it also illustrates how even the smallest tip can help solve a crime."