LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A months-long drug bust results in dozens of arrests and, law enforcement officials say, saved many more lives here in Southwest Florida.
The state attorney’s office announced this massive operation at a press conference at the Lee County Port Authority on Friday afternoon. State Attorney Amira Fox unveiled the results alongside officials from 15 different law enforcement agencies that were involved.
The state attorney’s office said the resulted in the seizure of two pounds of Fentanyl, 1,000 grams of cocaine worth almost $200,000, and $146,000 in cash.
Known as Operation Woot-De-Woot, State Attorney Fox said this remains an ongoing undercover investigation involving city, county, state and federal officials.
“This investigation initially began in Cape Coral (in early 2021) and was focused on identifying and eradicating major narcotics suppliers and violent offenders within the city of Cape Coral,” Fox said.
Cape Coral Police Department investigators then found drug dealers who were distributing across multiple counties. That led to getting agencies involved from Collier, Lee, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades County, plus Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
Investigators say narcotics sources of supply were identified as far away as Florida’s east coast.
Cape Coral Police Chief Sizemore said working with other agencies was essential since criminals don’t stick to county lines.
“The thing about groups is, they do not observe jurisdictional boundaries in their violent turf war,” Sizemore said. “And we know that we cannot observe jurisdictional boundaries either if we’re going to be effective.”
Twenty seven people have been arrested as part of Operation Woot-De-Woot, and State Attorney Amira Fox said this operation remains active.