FLORIDA — An alleged massive drug trafficking organization operating in Florida has reportedly been busted, resulting in 35 arrests and the seizing of more than $8 million in illicit drugs.
Attorney General Ashley Moody, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced dismantling the drug trafficking organization on Thursday.
The 35 defendants are alleged to have made up one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in Florida history, reportedly transporting drugs from Puerto Rico to sell in Florida. The defendants also are accused of trafficking illicit fentanyl, violent crimes, and torture, Moody said.
“This massive drug-trafficking organization moved millions of dollars worth of cocaine from Puerto Rico into the United States. They used torture to intimidate and maintain a stranglehold on the market and supplied Central Florida with so much cocaine that the price of the illicit substance in that area actually dropped,” said Moody.
“I am proud of my Statewide Prosecutors for working with Florida and federal law enforcement to dismantle this dangerous drug-trafficking ring and ensure these suspects face justice.”
The joint investigation by MBI, DEA, and USPIS reportedly seized more than 339 kilograms of cocaine, 71 grams of fentanyl, and 152 grams of heroin—a seizure worth more than $8 million. The investigation also uncovered that the traffickers tortured people who crossed the group and burned a man with an iron on one occasion, Moody said in a statement.
The defendants are charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, traffic in, and conspiracy to be trafficking in cocaine and fentanyl—all first-degree felonies.
Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico will prosecute all 35 defendants.