operation pocket dial tampa

Operation ‘Pocket Dial’ 11-Drug Traffickers Charged Conspiring To Distribute Heroin

September 3, 2020

By: Staff Report

TAMPA, Fla.- 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.

operation pocket dial tampa

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.

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.

“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, and then peddled their lethal mixtures throughout the Town ‘n’ Country area,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “The drugs these traffickers and dealers sold led to more than a dozen non-lethal overdoses and at least one senseless and fatal overdose, and possibly even more.”

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.

In a press conference today, Sheriff Chad Chronister said, ““There are some indictments, we haven’t been able to catch up with a few of the individuals. They will be taken into custody,”

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)ChargesMaximum 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 fentanylDistribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting is serious bodily injuryDistribution of heroin (two counts)Mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison                                                    Mandatory minimum 20 years, up to life, in federal prison20 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 fentanylDistribution 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 fentanylDistribution 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 fentanylDistribution 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 fentanylMandatory 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 fentanylDistribution of heroinMandatory 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 fentanylDistribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting in deathDistribution 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 prison20 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 fentanylDistribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting in deathMandatory 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 fentanylDistribution of fentanylMandatory 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 heroinDistribution of heroinMandatory minimum of 5 years, up to 40 years, in federal prison20 years in federal prison
Kiara Marie Rivera Serrano(29, Kissimmee)Conspiracy to distribute  one hundred grams or more of heroinDistribution of heroinMandatory minimum of 5 years, up to 40 years, in federal prison20 years in federal prison
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