The Lee County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference Thursday morning regarding a recent drug bust operation called Operation Checkmate.
Sheriff Carmine Marceno outlined the details of the operation that happened over the course of seven months.
The LCSO narcotics team took down multiple drug dealers connected to the Latin King Gang.
“Narcotics detectives wrapped up a several months-long investigation known as Operation Checkmate, targeting drug dealers that are operating in south Fort Myers and Bonita Springs,” Marceno said.
They were able to infiltrate the organization, seizing illegal narcotics like methamphetamine, heroin and crack cocaine.
That included 390 grams of fentanyl — enough to kill the entirety of those living in Fort Myers, Naples and Port Charlotte, or close to 170,000 people. The drug is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
“It’s literally poison on our streets and when you take it off it saves lives,” Marceno said.
They arrested 18 people, many who face charges of selling or buying drugs. Four others are still on the run.
“If you continue to push drugs on the streets of my county, we’re coming for you,” Marceno said.
The four suspects still on the run are Emily Duron, 19, Amber Anderson, 31, Yaquan Stewart, 25 and Robert Goldberg, 34, all of Fort Myers.
The 18 already arrested are named as follows:
- Fernando Reyes, 27
- Victor Tianga, 50
- Felipe Costa, 32
- Orlando Avalos, 29
- Alyssa Bostwick, 26
- Salvatore Guiffrida, 32
- Clayton Michael Meeker, 37
- Daniel Benzor, 26
- Wesley Gutierrez, 39
- Priscilla Ortiz, 35
- Gabriel Mata, 34
- Jorge Hernandez, 39
- Rachael Ryan, 32
- David Santana, 32
- Rigoberto Cisneros, 26
- Joel Lopez, 40
- Angelique Bond, 50
You can watch the full news conference below or click here.