Organization activities

AG Moody: Florida law enforcement shut down major drug trafficking organization affiliated with Mexican cartels | Florida

(The Center Square) – Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Statewide Prosecution Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shut down a major drug trafficking operation run by gang members affiliated with Mexican cartels, the office announced Wednesday. from Moody’s.

So far, 25 people have been charged, including members of the SUR-13 (Sureños) gang who already have several counts related to drug trafficking, violent criminal acts and conspiracy. They were arrested on 64 counts of first degree felony. Many of those involved were already incarcerated in jails in several Florida counties.

Authorities also seized more than 50 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill more than 11 million Floridians, or about half Florida’s population.

As a result of this and other operations over the past few months, Florida law enforcement seized nearly 85 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill nearly everyone in Florida.

“In just a few months, authorities have seized enough fentanyl to wipe out the combined populations of 66 of Florida’s 67 counties, or more than 19 million people,” Moody said in a statement. “The prevalence of this dangerous substance poses a critical threat not only to the well-being of the citizens of our state but also to our nation. to the president [Joe] Biden is taking action to address the border crisis that is encouraging Mexican drug cartels to smuggle record amounts of these dangerous substances across the border, fentanyl will continue to kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

According to authorities, incarcerated SUR-13 leaders operated a drug trafficking scheme in Florida prisons by working with members of two gangs MS-13 and Latin Kings. La Mesa, the criminal network’s governing body, authorized the execution of inmates and the distribution of drugs from Mexico and California, investigators have found. Using contraband cell phones, members of the SUR-13 gang communicated with each other from different jails in Brevard, Charlotte, Holmes, and Miami-Dade counties. They also stayed in communication with drug traffickers outside the prisons to ensure drug shipments and deliveries.

In total, authorities seized more than 50 pounds of fentanyl, 380 pounds of methamphetamines, approximately five pounds of cocaine, one pound of oxycodone, one pound of black tar heroin and half a pound of morphine.

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden, whose staff were involved in the operation, said while his team may be smaller than others, his “narcotics unit is exceptionally adept at targeting the When you combine that with the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office, we become a powerful force in the fight against drug traffickers, as evidenced by this operation that began in Hendry County.

He also warned gang and cartel members, “if they move into Hendry County, we will find them and eliminate them.”

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon said the arrests “underscore the dangers of cellphones 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.

Last month, Moody and 17 other attorneys general called the Biden administration to declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction.

“We must not sit idly by until a terrorist chooses to inflict harm using this substance on a large group of Americans – our countrymen are already dying from this poison,” they wrote to the president. . “We cannot wait for tragedy to strike when proactive steps can be taken now to preserve American lives. We urge you to take immediate and decisive action and declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction.

They continued, “We are aware of scenarios that various federal and state agencies have considered using and causing mass casualty events. Only two milligrams of fentanyl are needed to kill an adult, and it can easily be placed in other substances. … In addition to various government agencies looking into fentanyl-related scenarios, fentanyl has been used as a weapon before – the Russian military used it to end a hostage crisis two decades ago, killing more than 120 hostages in the process.

Two milligrams of fentanyl, the weight of a mosquito, is deadly. One teaspoon contains about 5,000 milligrams, enough to kill 2,500 people. One pound of fentanyl, or 453,592 milligrams, could kill 226,796 people.

In the two fiscal years so far, US Customs and Border Protection agents have confiscated enough fentanyl at the southern border from Mexico to kill nearly 5 billion people.

Texas DPS agents working under Operation Lone Star confiscated enough lethal doses of fentanyl at the Texas-Mexico border to kill everyone in the United States.