ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The St. Petersburg Police department announced Tuesday its findings into a massive “violent drug ring” that trafficked millions of dollars worth of drugs around the Tampa Bay area.
St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway, in conjunction with several federal, state, and local authorities, arrested 26 individuals connected to the drug ring, who since January 2022, worked to traffic narcotics and other drugs to several bay area counties including Pinellas, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.
“This violent drug ring operated throughout the entire region and law enforcement agencies were more effective working together to bring it down,” Holloway said.
Authorities said the gang acquired the drugs via weekly shipments from California. A tractor-trailer loaded with narcotics would make cross-country trips between one to two times per week to Hillsborough County, where the gang would break the shipment into separate vehicles and transport them to a location in St. Petersburg.
“Wholesale value was about $1.8 million, street value about #3 million,” Holloway said.
Among the shipment were 1,800 lbs of marijuana, 42 grams of crack cocaine, 40 grams of powdered cocaine, 5 grams of meth, 1,054 grams of THC wax, 7 lbs of liquid promethazine, 252 BU Crystals, and $360,000 in cash.
Along with the shipments of drugs, authorities also uncovered 15 firearms, one of which was connected to two shootings in Hillsborough County.
“These guys do not know jurisdictional boundaries, and the good thing is neither do we,” said FDLE Tampa Bay Special Agent in Charge Mark Brutnell. “I can assure the public that this is the first of many. There is more to come.”