Crime

One member of this drug ring watched people overdose on heroin. Another has been murdered

Police warn against potent opioids: Fentanyl and Carfentanil

The Miami-Dade Police Department released a video warning parents about the dangers of the potent opioids fentanyl and carfentanil.
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The Miami-Dade Police Department released a video warning parents about the dangers of the potent opioids fentanyl and carfentanil.

Eleven members of a drug trafficking ring that operated in and around Manatee and Pasco counties and conspired to distribute and sell heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and other fentanyl analogues, have pleaded guilty to federal drug charges, according to the U. S. Attorney’s Office.

Ten of the men faces at least 10 years in federal prison when they are sentenced. The 11th man, Jerome Miller, was murdered last month, according to authorities.

One of the men, known as the “Grim Reaper,” caused an overdose that left one person dead in June 2017.

Homar Guerrero-Hernandez sold the victim carfentanil at a 7-Eleven store in Bradenton and watched as he injected it. The victim’s eyes had rolled back before Guerrero-Hernandez left the scene.

Guerrero-Hernandez admitted to setting up the deal, according to officials.

Guerrero-Hernandez’s admissions were first made to a confidential informant who recorded the conversation for law enforcement, and later to Drug Enforcement Administration agents and a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy. He admitted to making “all of his ‘junkies’ inject opiods in front of him.”

Guerrero-Hernandez also admitted to the informant that he had watched seven people overdose before, according to the affidavit.

Law enforcement first began building a case against Miller, Rafael Sanchez, James McClinton and Jose Venegas in July 2018 after learning they intended to turn 20 ounces of heroin or fentanyl into a 40-ounce supply by cutting it with an unknown substances they bought at The Vitamin Shoppe, according to the criminal complaint affidavit.

The group conspired to get the heroin from a Mexican transnational criminal organization. Miller, Sanchez, McClinton and Venegas were arrested while they were cutting the heroin in a Dade City home. Law enforcement seized a kilogram of heroin; various amounts of fentanyl, carfentanil and other fentanyl analogues; firearms; and cash.

Miller was killed last month while his case was still pending, but officials said he had already accepted a plea agreement.

Detectives believe Miller may have been followed or chased before he was shot and crashed his car into the Rooms To Go store at the intersection of Cortez Road and 14th Street West in Bradenton early on April 6. Miller had been at The Hall nightclub in Palmetto and headed to the Waffle House on Cortez Road in Bradenton to meet family he had been at the club with, his family told detectives and the Bradenton Herald.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has not made any arrests in the case or named any suspects or persons of interest.

Law enforcement arrived at Rooms To Go on Cortez Road around 3:46 a.m. They found Jerome Miller in the driver seat of a white SUV that had bullet holes in the driver's side, and had crashed near the furniture store’s entrance. Miller later died.

The drug ring was found to have with ties to other criminal organizations in Georgia and elsewhere, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The case was a multi-agency effort by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Manatee, Pasco and Hardee county sheriff’s offices with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The 11 men pleaded as follows to federal charges:

  • Rafael “Chico Jay” Sanchez, 30, of Palmetto, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute, possess with the intent to distribute, manufacture, and possess with the intent to manufacture at least one kilogram of heroin. He faces between 15 years and life in federal prison.

  • Jerome “Madball” Miller, 30, of Bradenton, pleaded guilty to one of conspiracy to distribute, possess with the intent to distribute, manufacture, and possess with the intent to manufacture at least one kilogram of heroin. Before his death, he was facing between 10 years and life in prison.

  • James McClinton, 40, of Dade City, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute, possess with the intent to distribute, manufacture, and possess with the intent to manufacture at least one kilogram of heroin. He faces between 15 years and life in prison.

  • Jose “Tiny” Venegas, 24, of Dade City, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute, possess with the intent to distribute, manufacture, and possess with the intent to manufacture at least one kilogram of heroin. He faces between 10 years to life in prison.

  • Bryan Reshaun Wright, 36, of Dade City, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. He faces between 15 years and life in prison.

  • Robert Lee Nealey, 38, of Dade City, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

  • Eduardo “Lalo” Sanchez-Lara, 42, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin. He faces between 10 years and life in prison.

  • Demetrius “Pearl” Cherilus Morancy, 26, of Bradenton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin, at least 40 grams of fentanyl, and other controlled substances. He faces between 10 years and life in prison.

  • Homar Guerrero-Hernandez, 25, of Bradenton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin, at least 40 grams of fentanyl, and carfentanil resulting in death and one count of distribution of carfentanil resulting in death. He faces between 20 years and life in prison.

  • Wilson “Jackboi” Peter Revange, 26, of Bradenton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and other controlled substances. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

  • Aljan Blanchard, 27, of Bradenton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

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