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11 indicted after joint drug trafficking operation in Hillsborough County

Posted at 10:33 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 10:39:04-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A joint drug trafficking operation, dubbed "Operation Pocket Dial," between several local law enforcement agencies resulted in 11 indictments, authorities announced on Thursday.

The operation involved the FBI Tampa Field Division, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Tampa Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol.

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said several of the street-level dealers were identified after a series of overdoses in Town ‘N’ Country in late 2019. Chronister said the traffickers were lacing heroin with fentanyl.

"These traffickers showed no regard for human life when they laced heroin, a very dangerous and illegal drug in itself, with fentanyl — one of the deadliest synthetic narcotics the world has ever seen," Chronister said.

According to the sheriff, at least one fatal overdose and more than a dozen non-fatal overdoses are linked to the laced drugs.

Specific details on the arrests and drug seizures are not being released at this time.