Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow joined Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells, DEA Associate Special Agent in Charge Jaime Camacho, and Frank Allen from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to highlight the results of “Operation Hot Batch.” This joint law enforcement effort began in November 2016 to target drug trafficking organizations engaged in the illicit distribution of fentantyl, carfentanil, and other controlled substances. To date, federal charges have been filed against 34 individuals. See press release for additional details.
During the press conference, Acting U.S. Attorney Muldrow stated, “Criminal prosecution is but one component of what we can do to protect our communities. It’s going to take a committed effort from our law enforcement, treatment providers, and communities to combat the opioid epidemic.”
Agencies working together as part of this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation include the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, DEA, ATF, FBI, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bradenton Police Department, and the Sarasota Police Department. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.