Drugs, guns, cars, cash seized in special police operation in Bradenton. Over 50 arrested

Local law enforcement netted illegal drugs, guns, cars and cash during a four-month operation in Bradenton.

More than 50 people were arrested, and the count is likely to climb as pending warrants are carried out, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

The department’s Special Operations Section began the operation targeting narcotics and vice crimes in Bradenton in October 2018.

The Special Operations Section is made up of two units. The vice and narcotics unit addresses issues related to the opioid epidemic as well as prostitution, liquor law violations and illegal gambling. The special investigations unit works violent crime patterns, gang issues and repeat criminal offenders.

Detectives with the units employed undercover tactics and more direct methods to make the arrests. Locations with a history of individuals possessing or selling narcotics were some of the primary targets of the operation, according to the police department.

So far, 58 people have been arrested as a result of the undertaking. They racked up 81 felony charges and 75 misdemeanor charges.

Officers seized 151.4 grams of heroin/fentanyl, 101.8 grams of methamphetamine/MDMA, 54.3 grams of cocaine, 171.7 grams of pills, 239.5 grams of synthetic marijuana and 315 grams of marijuana.

Officers also obtained 12 firearms, 12 vehicles and $12,120.

“We would like to thank our partners with the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms [and Explosives], the 12th Judicial State Attorney’s Office, the Multi Agency Gang Task Force, and federal, local and juvenile probation officers for their overwhelming assistance in this operation,” the police department said in a press release.

Anyone with information on vice or drug-related crimes in the community is asked to call the special operations section of the Bradenton Police Department at 941-932-9300 or email Alternatively, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-8477 to remain anonymous and to be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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