You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Operation Pocket Dial Results In Eleven Drug Traffickers Charged For Conspiring To Distribute Heroin

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, along with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, announces several recent arrests in “Operation Pocket Dial” – a joint investigation targeting heroin and fentanyl distribution networks in Tampa and Kissimmee.

Three indictments were unsealed this week charging a total of 11 members of drug trafficking organizations with offenses related to the distribution of heroin and fentanyl. (See chart for details).

In December 2019, two additional defendants, Eric Manuel Robles Rivera (45/Orlando) and Eddie Quinones Santiago (38, Kissimmee), were charged as part of this investigation. Robles Rivera previously pleaded guilty to possessing heroin with the intent to distribute it and, in July 2020, he was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison. Quinones Santiago is scheduled for trial in October 2020.

According to the indictments just unsealed, between January 1, 2016, and continuing through August 27, 2020, the defendants conspired to distribute heroin and fentanyl in the Middle District of Florida. The defendants distributed heroin and fentanyl on multiple occasions, and the use of the heroin and fentanyl resulted in death and serious bodily injury.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This investigation is the result of a partnership between the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore.

This investigation is the result of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program. 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 illegal drug supply.

 

Name

(Age, Residence)

Charges

Maximum Penalties

William Franqui,

a/k/a “Gordo”

(35, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting is serious bodily injury

Distribution of heroin (two counts)

Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                    

Mandatory minimum 20 years, up to life, in federal prison

20 years in federal prison (per count)

Marie Rodriguez

(39, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of heroin (two counts)

Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                     

20 years in federal prison (per count)

Kevin Darnell Diaz Tirado

(27, Clearwater)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of heroin (two counts)

Mandatory minimum 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                           

20 years in federal prison (per count)

Edgardo Colon Rosado

(28, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of heroin (two counts)

Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                     

20 years in federal prison (per count)

Jose Miriel Morales Sanchez

(29, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison

 

Orlando Muniz Escalera

(26, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of heroin

Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                           

20 years in federal prison (per count)

Leslie Pagan

(39, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting in death

Distribution of heroin and fentanyl (eight counts)

Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                                   

Mandatory minimum of 20 years, up to life, in federal prison

20 years in federal prison (per count)

Jackylin Bonifacio

(36, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting in death

Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                                

Mandatory minimum of 20 years, up to life, in federal prison

Steven Echevarria, a/k/a “Unca”

(34, Tampa)

Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute,  one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl

Distribution of fentanyl

Mandatory minimum of 15 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                            

30 years in federal prison

Nathaniel Quiles, a/k/a “Chuleta”

(35, Kissimmee)

Conspiracy to distribute  one hundred grams or more of heroin

Distribution of heroin

Mandatory minimum of 5 years, up to 40 years, in federal prison

20 years in federal prison

Kiara Marie Rivera Serrano

(29, Kissimmee)

Conspiracy to distribute  one hundred grams or more of heroin

Distribution of heroin

Mandatory minimum of 5 years, up to 40 years, in federal prison

20 years in federal prison

 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated September 3, 2020