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FDLE agents arrest 24 people as part of Operation 13 Tiers | News, Sports, Jobs

By on October 12, 2022 0

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TAMPA – FDLE officers have arrested 24 OF 13 suspected gang members charged with various crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder, directing the activities of a criminal gang, conspiracy to commit assault and battery offenses against a detainee, racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and the trafficking of numerous controlled persons. substances such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and morphine. The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, and the State Prosecution Office of Attorney General Ashley Moody have partnered with the FDLE in this case.

Moody said, “This complex, multi-agency investigation has led to the dismantling of an extensive fentanyl trafficking network linked to Mexican drug cartels. I am confident that the actions taken by the courageous law enforcement officers involved in the The investigation and execution of this operation saved lives, and now my statewide prosecutors will ensure that all 25 defendants are brought to justice for their roles in trafficking massive amounts of deadly fentanyl.

FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass said: “These suspects have been arrested on 64 combined first degree counts. Violence was often used to protect and prosecute their vast drug smuggling operation in Southwest Florida. Investigators seized nearly 50 pounds of fentanyl, thousands of fentanyl pills and hundreds of pounds of methamphetamines. There is no doubt that lives have been saved in Florida because of this case.

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said: “We may be a smaller agency than some, but we have staff that I will support alongside any large agency and have confidence in their abilities. My narcotics unit is exceptionally adept at targeting major drug traffickers. When you combine this with the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Office of Attorney General Ashley Moody, we become a powerful force in the fight against drug traffickers, as evidenced by this operation that began in Hendry County. The criminal element must include; if they move into Hendry County, we will find them and eliminate them.

Tampa Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent John Condon said: “Transnational gang activity involving violence and the smuggling of dangerous narcotics such as fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamines is a terminal societal disease that is turning America’s streets into war zones. It is destroying the fabric of law and order if left unchecked. Gang violence endangers communities across the country and cannot be tolerated. Along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we We will not sit idly by or turn a blind eye to the atrocities these bullies are committing in our communities, putting innocent citizens in the crossfire.

Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Tampa Division, David Walker, said: “This investigation highlights the multi-agency teamwork that is needed to dismantle the violent gangs that prey on our communities. Our communities are safer today thanks to the hard work and commitment of state, local, and federal law enforcement to protect and serve.

FDC Secretary Ricky Dixon said: “These arrests underscore the dangers of cell phones in prison. Cell phones, like the ones used in this operation, open the door to a multitude of criminal enterprises and compromise the security of our communities and facilities. The FDC has thousands of dedicated professional employees who are committed to disrupting these criminal networks and working in conjunction with law enforcement to protect Floridians.

The two-year investigation began after FDLE officers began receiving information about SUR 13 gang activity and drug trafficking in southwest Florida. Agents uncovered a complex criminal network responsible for trafficking large amounts of illegal drugs and weapons across Florida and beyond. Additionally, gang members would commit violent crimes to enforce the gang’s stronghold in the state.

The investigation identified the leader of the Florida gang as Carlos Martinez, a Florida prison inmate. From inside the prison, Martinez and his co-conspirators gave instructions to other gang members who were able to move large shipments of narcotics across the United States for distribution in Florida. During the investigation, FDLE officers, Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputies, HSI and FBI agents seized large shipments of drugs and weapons, including:

• Over 380 pounds of methamphetamine-based drugs

• 48 pounds of fentanyl

• 15,000 fentanyl tablets

• 1 pound of heroin

• 1/2 pound of morphine

• 45 guns

$150,000 US currency

One suspected member of the gang remains at large, Efren Berumen, 39, of Kissimmee. If you have Berumen’s whereabouts information, please contact FDLE Ft. Myers at 800-407-4880.

Additional agencies assisting FDLE in this investigation include Fort Myers and Wauchula Police Departments, Lee, Highlands, Polk and Hardee Counties Sheriff’s Offices and the Florida Department of Corrections.

Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case.

The SUR 13 gang, also known as the Surenos, began as a prison gang in Southern California and grew into an international criminal organization with members operating both inside and outside of the prison.