Seminole Deputies Bust Fentanyl and Heroin Distribution Ring
Police deputies reported that they took down two major distribution rings famous for dealing fentanyl and heroin in the Seminole County, Florida area. The police made 19 felony arrests as they took down two of the deadliest drug trafficking rings in the state. The bust happened at the end of November 2018, but the investigation took more than a year.
Seminole County sheriff, Dennis Lemma, told the media that his office worked alongside other police departments in the cities of Geneva, Lake Mary, Longwood, and Sanford to break apart a pair of drug trafficking rings. He reported that the two groups had been distributing around 750 heroin baggies laced with fentanyl on a daily basis. Lemma said that he and his fellow officers no doubt saved many lives when they arrested the traffickers, preventing more people from getting their hands on the dangerous opioids.
Operation Shutdown in Central Florida
The investigation was dubbed “Operation Sundown.” Initially, police began receiving tips from the public about the groups. The stakeout comprised of help from various area police agencies including:
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- The Seminole County SWAT Team
- The High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
- The Volusia County SWAT team
Lemma said the drugs originated from other areas of Florida and Puerto Rico before being distributed to residents in Geneva, Lake Mary, Sanford and other outside counties. The investigation found and seized over 22,000 packets of the drug mixture. Lemma stated that this amounted only to a one-month supply because the traffickers were trying to get the drugs out on the street immediately.
What Police Found After the Raid
Sheriff Lemma stated that the ring was very well organized and that he and his team confiscated a host of illegal of items, including other drugs and unlicensed firearms, that will help the state put together a strong case against the guilty parties.
One of the officers found a list that included the names of the many of the dealers selling the actual fentanyl-laced baggies. More than just a list of “employees,” Lemma explained that the paper contained a work schedule for employees, like at a regular 9 to 5 job. On top of that, there was a list of tasks that needed to get done and specific duties for certain employees to do during their “work hours.”
The paperwork that the Sheriff’s office picked up also included the two names of the gang’s ringleaders. Lemma says the two men do not know each other well, if at all, but managed to organize well enough to combine forces.
Arrests and Felony Charges for Drug Trafficking in Florida
The first raid gave the police nine suspects, including the leaders. Subsequently, evidence allowed law enforcement to track down and arrest at least ten more people. By the end of 2018, police have 24 people in custody associated with these two drug rings.
Police say that those participating in the illicit activities are no strangers to the Florida legal system. Everyone brought into custody from this case is facing RICO charges, which the police put together thanks to the sting operation that gave them enough evidence to show that the crimes were gang-related.
All in all, there are a variety of charges including trafficking in cocaine and heroin, possession of illegal firearms, and racketeering. In all likelihood, a court case will confirm the RICO charges, which come with a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are involved in drug-related criminal activities and you are facing charges, call The Umansky Law Firm as soon as possible to set-up a free case evaluation. Our seasoned attorneys will discuss the details of your case to find the best path to a fair outcome. With over 100 years of experience in our firm, we know how to protect your rights and reputation in a court of law. Contact us today to have one of our criminal defense lawyers speak with you.