Sarasota police: 33 arrested after two-year narcotics investigation

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on May 7, 2014 

SARASOTA -- Thirty-three people have been arrested as the result of a two-year investigation "targeting the hierarchy of drug dealers in the Sarasota area," Sarasota police said Wednesday.

Sarasota police, with the help of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, made 24 of the arrests last month, as part of the second phase of an operation dubbed "Sarasota Cartel II," according to a news release.

"The arrests were made as a result of surveillance, search warrants and future investigation of phone records as a result of a T-3 state wiretap," the release states.

In all, authorities have arrested 33 people, recovered 14 kilograms of cocaine and seized seven firearms and five automobiles. Nine search warrants were executed, police said.

Five of those arrested have been indicted in federal court.

The investigation started in May 2012.

Other agencies participating in "Sarasota Cartel II," included the 12th Judicial District State Attorney's Office, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Bradenton Police Department.

Sarasota police said officials will offer more details of the investigation at a news conference Friday morning in Sarasota.

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