Polk County deputies seize large quantities of illicit drugs
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office just announced the fruits of a weeks-long, coordinated investigation that uncovered a significant amount of illicit drugs destined for central Florida. The Sheriff’s Office said that three people were arrested this week in connection with the bust. The three were linked to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, one of the largest criminal drug smuggling organizations in North America. The three suspects are alleged to have facilitated the shipment of drugs from Compton, California to Florida.
The investigation began in September when undercover detectives began following the movements of three men who lived in Hillsborough County. Two of the three are believed to be Mexican nationals who entered the United States illegally. Two of the men are also believed to be father and son. During the investigation, detectives made several controlled purchases of drugs from one of the three men.
Detectives tracked the three men from Compton, California to central Florida, where they were arrested by deputies of the Florida Highway Patrol. The total purchases amounted to 10 kilograms, enough to kill an estimated 5 million people.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times the strength of morphine. Fentanyl comes in two forms: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illegally manufactured fentanyl. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is used to treat severe pain, and illegal fentanyl comes in many forms and is often mixed with heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Experts estimate that 150 people per day die from synthetic opioids.
The three defendants in this case are facing very serious criminal charges that, upon conviction, could result in a lengthy prison sentence or a significant fine.