Tampa's Major Drug Syndicate Busted, Key Members Behind Bars

Tampa’s Major Drug Syndicate Busted, Key Members Behind Bars

The Bradenton Police Department dealt a significant blow to local drug trafficking by apprehending five members of a drug operation on Thursday. This accomplishment follows a meticulous five-month undercover operation, underscoring law enforcement’s persistent efforts to combat the drug trade.

Focus on Gang Member Pedro Garcia

The operation centered around Pedro Garcia, a documented gang member and convicted felon notorious for distributing drugs in Manatee County. The Bradenton Police Department’s Narcotics Unit, collaborating with Homeland Security Investigations, the Central Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area-Gulf Coast Task Force, and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, led the investigation.

Undercover Operations and Noteworthy Seizures

Undercover agents successfully bought drugs from Garcia and wiretapped his phone, collecting crucial evidence. On December 4, police stopped a vehicle leaving Garcia’s residence, leading to the confiscation of 924.4 grams of methamphetamine.

Subsequent searches on December 21 and 22 at Garcia’s residence and another frequently visited location resulted in the seizure of 72.4 grams of fentanyl, two rifles, and two handguns.

Extensive Charges Against Garcia

Facing multiple charges, 41-year-old Garcia is accused of three counts of trafficking in fentanyl, conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, and conspiracy to sell methamphetamine near public housing.

Additionally, he faces charges related to the possession of firearms and ammunition as a gang-related convicted felon. Notably, Garcia was already on probation and out on bond for two murder charges at the time of his arrest.

Several accomplices have been captured along with Garcia:

1. Rocky Jimenez, 42: Accused of trafficking in fentanyl and associated offenses.
2. Ernestina Gutierrez, 56: Charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
3. Cynthia Gutierrez-Mendez, 26: Alleged involvement in a conspiracy to deliver cocaine near a school and distribute a controlled substance near a church.
4. Gerardo Casiano, 23: Facing charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance near a church.

As the inquiry progresses, law enforcement encourages individuals with any relevant information to reach out to Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477.

This initiative represents a notable advancement in the continual fight against drug trafficking in Tampa, underscoring the dedication of authorities to disband networks that jeopardize the safety and welfare of the community.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.