Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced the sentencing of a heroin trafficker arrested during a massive drug bust in 2016. A Bradenton jury today found Michael Brian Brooks guilty of conspiracy to traffic heroin, 28 grams or more. The Honorable Stephen Dakan, Senior Judge for the 20th Judicial Circuit, sentenced Brooks to 25 years in prison and ordered Brooks to pay a $500,000 fine. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution prosecuted Brooks and is prosecuting the remaining defendants connected to the investigation.
“Our nation is in the grip of a national opioid epidemic that is claiming the lives of Floridians—and we will not tolerate anyone selling heroin or any other illicit drugs in our state,” said Attorney General Bondi. “I want to thank my Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Drug Enforcement Administration and our local law enforcement partners for the great teamwork that lead to today’s prosecution and sentencing.”
The massive drug sweep that led to the arrest of Brooks and 14 other defendants took place in February of 2016, and targeted heroin trafficking in the Tampa Bay region. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the DEA, the Bradenton Police Department, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office for the 12th Circuit conducted the yearlong joint investigation.
During the investigation, font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;”> law enforcement font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;”> seized large amounts of cocaine, fentanyl and heroin. The heroin seized has an estimated wholesale value of more than $250,000. The cocaine is valued at more than $100,000. Investigators also seized firearms, a hundred hydromorphone pills and more than $320,000 in cash and assets. The defendants are from Manatee, Hillsborough, Orange, Pasco and Pinellas Counties.
For more information on the joint investigation, click here.
Brooks is the first of the 15 defendants to take the case to trial. Four other defendants involved in the drug trafficking ring previously entered pleas and have been sentenced. Several other defendants have entered pleas and are awaiting sentencing.