Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (File)

Florida AG Moody Charge 9 In Massive Drug Trafficking Ring

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (File)
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (File)

The opioid crisis has ravaged communities across the United States, with fentanyl emerging as one of the most deadly and pervasive substances fueling this public health emergency.

In a major victory for law enforcement and public safety, the Florida Office of the Attorney General’s Statewide Prosecution has spearheaded the takedown of a vast fentanyl trafficking ring operating in Polk and Osceola counties.

This coordinated crackdown, led by Attorney General Ashley Moody and her team, has resulted in the arrest of 64 individuals and the charging of 9 key defendants with a range of felony offenses, including racketeering, conspiracy, and fentanyl trafficking.

Related: 62 People Arrested In Lakeland “Operation Rooske, A Family Affair” Fentanyl Ring

The investigation, conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, unveiled the intricate web of the drug trafficking organization.

Headed by Hector Torres, Miguel Castro-Rivera, and Luis Delgado, the group had established a sophisticated distribution network, utilizing two legitimate businesses – a fish-and-bait shop and a motorcycle shop – as fronts for their illicit activities.


Through these fronts, the conspirators sold fentanyl and other narcotics, including cocaine, methamphetamine, and oxycodone, throughout the targeted regions.

“Florida leads the nation in fentanyl seizures, and this case is yet another example of how Sheriff Grady Judd and his deputies are leaders in helping us remove deadly drugs from our streets. Working with Polk County deputies and FDLE, we were able to seize 742 grams of fentanyl in two counties. That is enough poison to kill 371,000 Floridians, and I have no doubt that this drug-interdiction operation saved lives,” said Moody.

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The scale of the operation was staggering. Over the course of the investigation, authorities were able to seize a staggering 742 grams of fentanyl – enough to potentially kill a staggering 371,000 Floridians. In addition to the fentanyl, law enforcement also confiscated substantial quantities of other illicit substances, including more than 3,500 grams of cocaine, 13 grams of methamphetamine, 57 grams of oxycodone, and over 228 grams of marijuana.

The drug trafficking ring employed a range of sophisticated tactics to evade law enforcement detection. These included the use of counter-surveillance techniques, such as installing cameras outside their residences and businesses, utilizing multiple cell phones, and constantly changing the locations of their drug deals to stay one step ahead of the authorities.

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution has taken the lead in prosecuting the nine key defendants charged in this case.

Torres, Castro-Rivera, and Delgado, along with their co-conspirators Pilar Rivera, Wilma Fuentes Laureano, Norberto Otero, Jr., Luis Lopez Torres, Abel Flores, and Jeimylee Rivera, face a range of serious felony charges, including racketeering (RICO), conspiracy to commit RICO, and fentanyl trafficking.

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