Four men have been charged with conspiring to distribute more than two kilograms of heroin throughout Manatee County, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
Among those being charged are two from Manatee County: Rafael Sanchez, 30, of Palmetto and Jerome Miller, 29, of Bradenton.
Jose Venegas, 24, of Dade City and James McClinton, 39, of Orlando also were charged.
Prosecutors say Drug Enforcement Administration agents conducted a search warrant at a Dade City home “where the defendants were involved in converting pure heroin for street distribution in Manatee County.”
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The warrant revealed about 1,400 grams of pure heroin and more than 900 grams of cutting agents, which combined for a total of two kilograms of distributable heroin, according to court documents.
A handgun, two ounces of methamphetamine and crack cocaine also were recovered.
The defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and possession with the intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin. If convicted, the charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and up to life in prison.
The indictment is the product of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, which sought to “identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.”
The case was investigated by the DEA, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office.