FORT MYERS, Fla. – It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Southwest Florida narcotics officers.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said on Thursday that two people were arrested in a narcotics operation nicknamed “Operation Narco Navidad,” The Fort Myers News-Press reported.
More than $1.1 million in cash was seized, along with 2 kilograms of cocaine and a gun, the sheriff’s office announced in a Facebook post.
Lee County commissioners Kevin Ruane and Mike Greenwell joined Marceno as he announced the arrests of Roberto Enrique Navarro Rivera, 48, of North Fort Myers; and Anibal Pagan, 49, of Cape Coral.
“Our residents’ safety is really important to me as county commissioner,” Ruane said during a news conference. “I put my head on the pillow every night. It’s really a great investment to support.”
Last month, the U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service alerted the sheriff’s office of suspicious packages coming from Puerto Rico, Marceno told reporters at the news conference.
An investigation led deputies to a storage unit in North Fort Myers that contained drugs, money and the gun, the Miami Herald reported.
“When all these pieces were put together, all signs pointed to a massive amount of narcotics on its way to Lee County, Florida,” Marceno told reporters. “My tactical narcotics team took the lead investigation and immediately went to work.”
Deputies arrested the two suspects after they picked up a package of cocaine, WFLA-TV reported. Marceno said the package also contained fentanyl. The unit was allegedly owned by Navarro Rivera, according to the News-Press.
“The residents of Lee County can rest easy,” as both suspects will be “spending the holidays in the Marceno Motel,” the sheriff’s office said, referring to Marceno’s description of the county jail.
“Christmas is canceled for these two drug dealers,” Marceno said in a TikTok video released by the sheriff’s office.
Navarro Rivera and Pagan will appear in court on Jan. 9, the News-Press reported.
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