Leader Of Hillsborough Drug Trafficking Organization And His Wife Sentenced To Federal Prison For Conspiracy And Distribution Of Heroin And Fentanyl
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced William Franqui (37, Tampa) to 14 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl. Franqui’s wife, Marie Rodriguez (41, Tampa), was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in federal prison for distribution of heroin and fentanyl. Franqui and Rodriguez had both pleaded guilty on May 31, 2022.
According to court documents, beginning no later than September 1, 2017, and continuing through August 27, 2020, Franqui and others, including his wife and codefendants Kevin Darnell Diaz Tirado, Edgardo Colon Rosado, and Orlando Muniz Escalera, conspired to distribute heroin and fentanyl in in the Middle District of Florida. Franqui, who was the leader of his drug trafficking organization, used “runners” to field calls from customers and fulfill orders. The runners distributed the heroin to users in plastic baggies for $10 per bag. Well over a kilogram of heroin was distributed through the runner network alone. Franqui also distributed larger quantities of heroin and fentanyl to other drug dealers.
On three occasions between June 17 and August 14, 2020, Franqui and Rodriguez arranged transactions and sold heroin to a confidential source (CS). Franqui and Rodriguez provided the CS with more than 83 grams of heroin. In one of the distributions, fentanyl was mixed with the heroin.
Kevin Darnell Diaz Tirado, Edgardo Colon Rosado, and Orlando Muniz Escalera, who were all part of Franqui’s runner network, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and were sentenced in previous hearings. Diaz Tirado was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, Muniz Escalera was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, and Colon Rosado was sentenced to six years and six months in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore.
This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
Updated April 13, 2023