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Bradenton Police Crack Down on Drug Trafficking: Multiple Arrests and Significant Drug Seizures in Undercover Operation

In Bradenton, Florida, a significant undercover investigation by the Bradenton Police Department (BPD), in collaboration with Homeland Security Investigations, the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area-Gulf Coast Task Force, and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, has resulted in the arrest of five individuals involved in a drug-trafficking operation, with warrants issued for three more.

Bradenton Drug Seizure

The operation, which spanned five months, led to the seizure of 121.6 grams of fentanyl, 924.4 grams of methamphetamine, and four firearms. The investigation began in August 2023, focusing on Pedro Garcia, a documented gang member and convicted felon, who was allegedly distributing drugs in Bradenton and Manatee County. Undercover detectives purchased fentanyl from Garcia, and a wiretap warrant on his phone was authorized. A subsequent traffic stop and search warrants led to the discovery of the drugs, firearms, and ammunition.

Key arrests include Pedro Garcia, charged with multiple counts of trafficking and conspiracy related to fentanyl and methamphetamine, as well as firearm possession as a gang-related convicted felon; Rocky Jimenez, facing charges for trafficking in fentanyl and related offenses; Ernestina Gutierrez and Cynthia Gutierrez-Mendez, both charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; and Gerardo Casiano, charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance near a church.

Authorities are seeking information on the whereabouts of Pablo Adrian Estrada, Francisco Flores III, and Laquinton Trevon Hart, all wanted on related charges.

Bradenton Police urge anyone with information to contact Detective Brandon Kells or submit anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers.

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