Sarasota PD reveal results of two-year drug operation - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota PD reveal results of two-year drug operation

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The Sarasota Police Department has wrapped up a two-year operation to shut down local drug cartels called Operation SRQ Cartel II.

The undercover work led to numerous arrests and lots of confiscated cocaine.

Sarasota police had to team up with numerous local agencies. They did undercover work and surveillance over the course of nearly two years, and they say it put a big dent on the local drug trade.

For some time now, officials from numerous agencies have been tracking illegal drug sales in the area and they pinpointed some of the chief suppliers behind the sales.

Over the course of a two year investigation, officials used surveillance and wiretaps and eventually made some big arrests.

In all, 33 people were arrested and investigators collected 14 kilos of cocaine with a street value of more than $530,000.

Officials also seized five vehicles and seven weapons.

Sarasota police Lt. Pat Ledwith said, “Our neighborhoods are held hostage by individuals like this who deal drugs on their street corners day in and day out. There's also a lot of other crimes that are attributed to drug sales such as violent crimes, there's robberies, a lot of our shootings, burglaries, are all associated with drug sales.”

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the DEA and the State Attorney's office also played critical roles in this operation.

Officials say they were able to shut down an entire local organization but it's not clear at this time where all the drugs came from.

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