A 7-month-long investigation leads to 2 drug trafficking arrests

Reporter: Annette Montgomery Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

From Mexico to Southwest Florida, deputies busted a drug smuggling operation that crossed the border.

The investigation started seven months ago. Detectives say two men are responsible for trafficking kilograms of cocaine into Lee County.

The help of a confidential informant tipped detectives off to Juan Manuel Lopez, known on the street as “Pac-man.”

“We’re going to treat the Mexican drug cartels as the threat that they are. They are responsible for coming into our country and killing tens of thousands of Americans,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Lopez and Bandolero Alanis Jr. are now in the Lee County Jail after detectives say they were informed of their plan to transport two kilograms of cocaine from Mexico into Southwest Florida.

Surveillance showed Lopez talking with Alanis at Miami International Airport on Sept. 21. A short traffic stop later is what led detectives to find the cocaine in the semi-truck belonging to Alanis.
A truck law enforcement believes was frequently used to run large amounts of narcotics from Texas to Lee County.

“Every time you take poison off the streets, you’re talking about saving lives everywhere,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

Both men are now charged with trafficking cocaine.

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