This week, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, the Drug Enforcement Administration and I announced the results of a three-month law enforcement operation to take down a violent gang trafficking massive amounts of deadly fentanyl in Florida.
Operation Checkmate led to the arrest of 21 people, including two top-ranking members of the Latin Kings in the Wimauma area of Hillsborough County. Most of the individuals arrested are repeat offenders and violent felons. Authorities seized huge amounts of illicit substances, including enough fentanyl to kill the entire population of Hillsborough County twice.
The Latin Kings have long been rumored to have ties to the drug cartels and the five kilos of illicit fentanyl seized is almost certainly from Mexico—demonstrating how the chaos at the Southwest Border is fueling crime far beyond states like Arizona and Texas.
Until the federal government takes control, it is up to the states and our law enforcement to deal with the effects of deadly fentanyl being brought into this country. And while this is a daunting task, I will always stand with those brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis.
Many of these law enforcement officers risked their safety to take down this dangerous gang and seize these deadly drugs.
Violent criminals must be removed from our communities, and my Statewide Prosecutors will aggressively prosecute these gang members in order to protect Floridians and help build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Ashley Moody is attorney general of Florida.