Twenty-one members of the Latin Kings criminal gang, including two of its leaders, were arrested and also seized large amounts of fentanyl and other drugs in southern Hillsborough County, on the west coast of Florida, the sheriff’s office reported Monday. .
The three-month police operation called “Checkmate” managed to dismantle “a violent gang” that distributed “deadly narcotics” in the state and the aforementioned county, where the coastal city of Tampa is located, said the sheriff of Hillsborough, Chad Chronister.
Operation “Checkmate” led to the arrest of 21 people, “including two prominent gang leaders” and the seizure of drugs with a combined street value of nearly $1 million and “other valuable items purchased with illicit money.”
Those arrested in the operation include Omar Bravo, 32, and Fidencio Robles, 30.
The Chronister said that Robles is “one of the five highest-ranking Latin Kings gang members in Florida” and that Bravo is the “main supplier of narcotics to the gang for the entire state.”
The Prosecutor’s Office, the DEA and the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office stressed in a statement that the Latin Kings are “one of the most prominent gangs in the world”, a gang that “does not value human life” and “aggressively traffics massive amounts of narcotics”.
“In a game of chess, checkmate is a term used when the king cannot escape,” and in this operation “the Latin Kings and their criminal cronies did not escape and are under arrest. It’s game over for them,” Chronister said.
Bravo, Robles and the 19 other arrested gang members “raised hundreds of thousands of dollars a month selling their poison for profit.”
The investigation and operation was carried out by agents of the DEA in Tampa and the Police Department of that county, who entered last week with a search warrant in five houses in the Wimauma area, places used by the Latin Kings as point of storage and distribution of narcotics.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said today after the news conference that investigators estimate that these criminal operations generated between $300,000 and $500,000 per month.
In the search and search, agents found nearly $1 million worth of drugs, including five kilograms of fentanyl, two kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine, one kilogram of heroin and amounts of marijuana, in addition to seizing 15 firearms and vehicles. high-end, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“How many overdoses and lives lost, right here in Tampa, can be attributed to the large amounts of fentanyl that they have already distributed and sold?” Chronister wondered, adding that the amount of fentanyl seized “is enough to kill everyone.” here in Hillsborough County twice”