Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 16-100

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • March 11, 2016
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Operation Hydro Hustlers

    HCSO in conjunction with the State Attorney's Office dismantle a Cuban drug trafficking organization.
    • Thursday
    • March 10, 2016
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • Hillsborough County, Citrus County, Hernando County, Pasco County,
    • Polk County and Suwannee County

    News Conference:




    18 Subjects Arrested by HCSO:

    • Julio Alvarez, DOB: 10/13/73 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Yunier Calero, DOB: 12/29/91 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Paver Alvarez Cuellar, DOB: 12/19/78 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Taira Rodriguez Morales, DOB: 08/07/90 – Possession Cocaine, Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell
    • Jose Chang Leon, DOB: 09/01/81 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Manufacture Cannabis (x2), Trafficking Cannabis (x2), Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell (x2), Own/Lease/Rent for the Purpose of Trafficking (x2), Possession Drug Paraphernalia (x2), Grand Theft 3rd Degree (x2)
    • Alaim Chang Garcia, DOB: 04/11/78 – Manufacturing Cannabis, Trafficking Cannabis, Own/Lease/Rent for Purpose of Trafficking, Possession Drug Paraphernalia
    • Lister Castro Albelo, DOB: 06/05/82 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Elido Rodriguez, DOB: 12/19/73 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Jorge Gutierrez Echeverria, DOB: 07/24/88 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Hugo Soler Pomares, DOB: 04/09/70 – Manufacturing Cannabis, Trafficking Cannabis, Grand Theft 3rd Degree
    • Manual Suardi, DOB: 04/03/83 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Yosveidy Rodriguez Lleo, DOB: 09/23/77 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Possession Cannabis with Intent to Sell/Deliver
    • Yosaris Perez Vargas, DOB: 11/03/87 – Possession Cannabis with Intent to Sell/Deliver
    • Yunior Viciedo, DOB: 08/11/91 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Manufacturing Cannabis, Trafficking Cannabis, Own/Lease/Rent for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Grand Theft 3rd Degree, 2 counts VOP re. Sale/Manufacture/Deliver Cannabis and Possession Drug Paraphernalia (Collier County)
    • Jose Perez Echemendia, DOB: 05/02/83 – Manufacturing Cannabis, Trafficking Cannabis, Possession of Cannabis, Possession of Cannabis for Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Grand Theft 3rd Degree
    • Julio Figueroa Molina, DOB: 05/08/74 - Manufacturing Cannabis, Trafficking Cannabis, Possession of Cannabis, Own/Lease/Rent for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Grand Theft 3rd Degree
    • Yusleidys Perez, DOB: 04/11/91 – Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Jesus Game Reyes, DOB: 02/11/68 – Manufacturing Cannabis, Trafficking Cannabis, Own/Lease/Rent for Purpose of Trafficking, Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Grand Theft 3rd Degree

    4 Subjects Were Arrested Outside of Hillsborough County:

    • Juan Espinosa Jimenez DOB: 8/28/86 Arrested in Citrus County re. Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Jorge Tellez DOB: 10/26/71 Arrested in Polk County re. Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Madeline Rosa DOB: 12/29/72 Arrested in Polk County re. Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy
    • Ariel Delgado DOB: 11/01/76 Arrested in Suwannee County re. Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Manufacturing Cannabis, Trafficking Cannabis, Own/Lease/Rent for Purpose of Trafficking, Grand Theft 3rd Degree

    Outstanding Arrest Warrants:

    Five subjects within this drug trafficking organization remain at large. The following subjects are wanted on Racketeering and Racketeering Conspiracy charges:
    • Raul Delgado Romero DOB: 10/18/88
    • Jorge Rivero Perez DOB: 3/04/83
    • Angel Espineira Vazquez DOB: 6/23/67
    • Julio Viamonte Pino DOB: 5/08/75
    • Elcides Porcegue DOB: 9/26/67
    Total 22 Subjects arrested during this operation
    80 Felony Charges
    8 Misdemeanor Charges

    Details:

    The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, in conjunction with the State Attorney's Office, began Operation Hydro Hustlers in March of 2015. As a result of the investigation, we have identified a Cuban drug trafficking organization, led by Julio Alvarez, consisting of individuals that have been cultivating and harvesting marijuana in several grow houses all around Hillsborough County and into other counties, including Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Polk and Suwannee.

    Search Warrants – 15
    12 in Hillsborough County and 3 out of county

    Grow Houses – 10
    8 in Hillsborough County and 2 out of county

    Investigations in Other Counties
    Citrus
    Hernando
    Pasco
    Polk
    Suwannee

    Grow Houses Dismantled
    2013 – 17
    2014 – 19
    2015 – 24
    2016 – 15 (10 this investigation, 5 prior to this operation)

    Items Seized From Search Warrants
    Number of Plants – 591
    Plant Weight – 872 pounds
    Packaged/Processed Marijuana – 46.67 pounds
    Value - $2.3 million

    Currency Seized - $126,061
    Vehicles – 21 cars, 2 trailers, 1 boat, 2 zero turn mowers (estimated value over $400,000)
    Estimated TECO loss - $35,000

    Grow Houses Dismantled 3/08/16 and 3/09/16 (In Hillsborough County)

    19221 Gunn Highway
    19223 Gunn Highway
    13312 Pulitzer Avenue
    7222 North Hubert Avenue
    14512 Knoll Ridge Drive
    207 Belfort Place
    1429 Clarion Drive
    3820 Cypress Meadow Road

    Subject Highlights
    • Jorge Echeverria and Elcides Porcegue are pending trial in Hernando County for a 2014 marijuana grow operation.
    • Jorge Tellez is on probation for Aggravated Assault w/Deadly Weapon (Polk County Case).
    • Yunior Viciedo is on probation for Trafficking Marijuana, Possession Drug Paraphernalia (Arrested in Collier County with clones in vehicle).
    • Manuel Suardi – Five Felony convictions. Arrests include: Robbery, Aggravated Battery, Burglary, Grand Theft and Aggravated Assault.

    Hydroponic Store
    Garden Hydro Empire, Inc.
    2167 South Combee Road, Lakeland
    (Associated to arrestees Jorge Tellez and Madeline Rosa)
  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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