Police search for suspect in drug trafficking investigation

Published: Updated:
MGN Online


COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding a man wanted in connection with a long-term narcotics investigation that has netted 14 people so far and spanned decades in South Florida.

43-year-old Rafael Lesende is wanted for conspiracy to traffic cocaine 400 grams or more. His bond has been set at $500,000.

Lesende’s last known address is 311 3rd St. S.W. in Golden Gate.

Detectives say he is known to frequent the Naples Manor area in East Naples, where he has family living on Gilchrist Street and Floridian Avenue. He is also known to frequent Everglades City and Isles of Capri, where his vessel, “Sea Note,” is docked at Capri Fisheries, 218 Kon Tiki Drive.

Lesende is known to drive a black GMC Denali with Florida license plate number S531TM.

Anyone with information on Lesende’s whereabouts is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

On Nov. 13, CCSO, in cooperation with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Drug Enforcement Administration, rounded up 13 suspects whom detectives say conspired to traffic more than $1 million worth of cocaine. A 14th suspect turned himself in later.

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