SARASOTA, Fla. - On Monday, Sarasota Police announced they broke up a pot operation that raked in almost a million dollars a year.
Chief Bernadette DiPino said this was a significant bust, called "Operation Hammerhead," originating from the Park East neighborhood and said the operation was just one string in a much larger ball of yarn.
"Call us before we get you. We'll help you get into addictions programs, but if you don't you're going to be swept out the same exact way," she said.
Police took in two men on April 23rd, Anthony Snead and Andy Charlton.
Both men have prior convictions on drug charges.
Detectives have been working the case since last September, and said the men were mid-level distributors who then sold to smaller dealers in Sarasota nightclubs.
But Chief DiPino said the haul came to the forefront when an anonymous tip finally allowed police to close their trap.
"We do receive anonymous complaints from citizens, we do encourage them to call, they can remain anonymous, that's how we operate in our police world," she said, reiterating how important the tips are.
Snead and Charlton were picked up with $138,000 in cash and several bags worth at least $5,000 of marijuana with many more empty ones.
Detectives were successfully able to use wiretaps in this case, tracking the workings of the men over several months.
And while it was a big bust, Chief DiPino said they are still working with other law enforcement agencies because this does lead outside of Sarasota county lines.
"We don't believe this was grown in Sarasota, unless you know of any marijuana fields out there. It definitely leaves our city limits and goes to a higher level," DiPino said.
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