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Florida Attorney General announces arrest of 64 suspects to crack down on fentanyl trafficking network

Florida Attorney General announces arrest of 64 suspects to crack down on fentanyl trafficking network

Polk County Sheriff’s Office and FDLE Team Up to Dismantle Fentanyl Trafficking Ring

Florida Attorney General announces arrest of 64 suspects to crack down on fentanyl trafficking network
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Statewide Prosecution Office announced last week the takedown of a fentanyl trafficking ring.

POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA – Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution announced last week the takedown of a fentanyl trafficking ring.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested 64 people involved in the trafficking organization and Attorney General Moody’s state prosecutors are charging nine of the defendants with felony counts of corrupt and organized crime-influenced organizations, conspiracy to commit RICO and fentanyl trafficking, among other charges.

The group, led by Hector Torres, Miguel Castro-Rivera and Luis Delgado, sold fentanyl in Polk and Osceola counties.

The investigation found that the majority of the transactions originated from two businesses, a fishing and bait shop and a motorcycle shop, owned by two of the ring’s conspirators. Over the course of the investigation, authorities seized 742 grams of fentanyl, enough to kill 371,000 Floridians.

“Florida leads the nation in fentanyl seizures, and this case is yet another example of how Sheriff Grady Judd and his deputies are leading the way in helping us remove deadly drugs from our streets,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“Working with Polk County deputies and FDLE, we were able to seize 742 grams of fentanyl across two counties. That’s enough poison to kill 371,000 Floridians, and I have no doubt that this drug interdiction operation saved lives.”

According to the PCSO investigation, Torres, Castro-Rivera and Delgado, and co-conspirators Pilar Rivera, Wilma Fuentes Laureano, Norberto Otero, Jr., Luis Lopez Torres, Abel Flores and Jeimylee Rivera, sold fentanyl in Polk and Osceola counties.

The group typically sold small quantities of the lethal substance in an attempt to avoid detection by authorities.

The trafficking network used counter-surveillance techniques, such as cameras outside residences and businesses, multiple cell phones, and changing the location of drug transactions when possible.

In addition to the 742 grams of fentanyl, authorities seized more than 3,500 grams of cocaine, 13 grams of methamphetamine, 57 grams of oxycodone and more than 228 grams of marijuana.

Attorney General Moody’s state prosecutors charged Torres, Castro-Rivera and Delgado with RICO, a first-degree felony. All of the defendants except Flores are charged with RICO conspiracy, a first-degree felony.

Rivera, Delgado and Fuentes are also charged with trafficking fentanyl, a first-degree felony. Flores is charged with selling fentanyl, a second-degree felony.

Attorney General Moody’s OSP will prosecute the cases of all nine defendants. The remaining single judicial circuit cases will be handled by the local state attorney.