NAPLES, Fla.- Sixteen people are under arrest following a raid in which guns, drugs and cash were seized from a Golden Gate Estates home.
Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk says a year-long investigation ended a conspiracy to bring more than $2 million of heroin to Southwest Florida.
Two suspects were arrested early Wednesday morning. Jeffrey Brookbank was taken into custody in a parking lot near NCH Healthcare and Paul Ontano was arrested at a home in Bonita Shores.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office then served a search warrant at a home on 18th Avenue Northwest, off Wilson Boulevard. SWAT, firefighters and HAZMAT crews swarmed the home and the bomb squad was called in as a precaution while authorities entered the home.
Deputies seized $120,00 worth of heroin, pills, cash, firearms, ammunition, and vehicles.
Several neighbors say they often saw cars coming and going from the home and suspected it was linked to drug activity.
“To remove those individuals selling drugs to the residents of our community, our county and all of south Florida, because it’s posing other crime-related problems, as well all know with drug and substance abuse,” said Rambosk.
In December 2014, detectives started investigating because of a growing trend of heroin in the area as EMS saw a 25 percent increase in overdoses.
“During our investigation, we did have people in our county overdose and die from heroin,” said Capt. Harold Minch.
All 16 suspects are facing charges of either trafficking heroin or conspiracy to traffick heroin or cocaine. The sheriff’s office says the investigation continues as they search for more suspects.