On May 9, 2014, the Sarasota Police Department held a news conference to discuss the conclusion of SRQ Cartel II. Video of the news conference can be viewed at http://youtu.be/F9fT3kVSIfE
In May 2012, the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigation Division began ‘Operation Sarasota Cartel II,’ targeting the hierarchy of drug dealers in the Sarasota area. This was a joint investigation between the Sarasota Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the State Attorney’s Office for the 12th Judicial District.
In January 2014, the investigation culminated with a series of search warrants. This was able to be completed by the Sarasota Police Department with the help of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the State Attorney’s Office for the 12th Judicial District, and the DEA Tampa District Office which included members from the Bradenton Police Department and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sarasota Police Department, with the assistance of the DEA and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, completed Phase II of SRQ Cartel II ending in April 2014. Phase II resulted in the arrests of 24 individuals stemming from a long term investigation. The arrests were made as a result of surveillance, search warrants and future investigation of phone records as a result of a T-3 State wiretap.
SRQ Cartel II Investigation Facts (Total over two years):
• 33 individuals arrested
• 5 individuals arrested were federally indicted by the DEA
• 14 Kilos of Cocaine recovered (Street value more than $532,000 – based on average of $38,000 / kilo)
• 5 automobiles seized under Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act
• 9 Search warrants executed
• 7 Firearms seized