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Special operation leads to seizure of fentanyl quantity enough to kill every person in Tampa four times over

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Operation Overdrive: Dozens Arrested in Tampa Drug Trafficking Operation on National Fentanyl Awareness Day

Law enforcement in Tampa, Florida, made a significant impact in the fight against drug trafficking with the announcement of dozens of arrests in Operation Overdrive. This operation, which coincided with National Fentanyl Awareness Day, targeted the trafficking of fentanyl and other drugs in the area.

Led by the DEA Tampa District Office, Operation Overdrive utilized a data-driven approach to identify hot spots of drug-related violence and overdose deaths across the country. The operation began in October 2022 and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of more than a dozen alleged drug traffickers in three separate investigations.

Over the course of the operation, investigators seized a substantial amount of drugs, including 2.1 kilograms of cocaine, 4.07 kilograms of fentanyl, 0.82 grams of heroin, 3.82 kilograms of meth, 0.05 kilograms of oxycodone, and 0.65 kilograms of marijuana. These seizures have undoubtedly made a significant impact on the drug trade in the Tampa area.

One of the key figures in the operation was Edward Verdi Bruno, who used a carwash in Palmetto Beach to traffic drugs, including fentanyl, between Puerto Rico and Tampa. Bruno is now serving more than 20 years in prison for his involvement in the drug trafficking organization.

United States Attorney Roger Handberg highlighted the impact of the operation, stating that roughly 21,000 deadly doses of fentanyl and 9,500 deadly doses of meth have been removed from the streets of Tampa. Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw also praised the efforts of law enforcement, noting that the arrests have undoubtedly saved lives in the community.

Overall, Operation Overdrive has been a success in targeting drug trafficking and violent crime in Hillsborough County. With multiple investigations leading to the arrests of dozens of suspects, law enforcement officials are continuing their efforts to combat the drug trade and keep the community safe.

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