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Heroin organization dismantled in Osceola County, authorities say

Heroin, cocaine, vehicles, guns, phones taken into evidence

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A two-year investigation by several agencies resulted in the arrest of drug dealers involved in trafficking large amounts of heroin through central Florida.

Authorities began an investigation after learning heroin was being sold at Discount Beer and Cigarettes at 1910 W. Vine St. in May 2013.

Officials said the owner of the store, Edwin Cofresi, 49, was found to be the main dealer, shipping heroin from Puerto Rico and selling them through central Florida. They found and identified several other suspects and businesses involved in the operation, too.

Agents said they determined that the drug dealers were selling several pounds of heroin a week with a street value of $120,000.

"Law enforcement is aggressively attacking the resurgence of heroin in central Florida," Sheriff Bob Hansell said. "This operation resulted in the arrest of major drug traffickers and reduced high volumes of heroin being sold on the streets of our community."

Several agencies executed four search warrants at four homes and took into evidence heroin, cocaine, three vehicles, four loaded guns and 14 cellphones.

"This was a complex international drug trafficking ring bringing large amounts of heroin into Florida, but thanks to my Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the drug trafficking operation has been shut down and the defendants are in police custody," said Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Those arrested and charged include:

  • Edwin Cofresi, charged with conspiracy to traffic heroin over 28 grams, possession of a place of structure being used for the sale of a controlled substance, trafficking in heroin over four grams and four counts of trafficking in heroin over 28 grams.
  • Zulma Lagares, 48, charged with conspiracy to traffic in heroin over 28 grams, possession of a place of structure being used for the sale of a controlled substance and trafficking in heroin over 28 grams.
  • Cristhian Morales Berrios, 21, charged with conspiracy to traffic in heroin over 28 grams, nine counts of trafficking in heroin over four grams, three counts of trafficking in heroin over 14 grams and five counts of trafficking in heroin over 28 grams.
  • Victor Morales-Berrios, 26, charged with conspiracy to traffic heroin over 28 grams, three counts of trafficking in heroin over four grams, trafficking in heroin over 28 grams and trafficking in hydrocodone over 28 grams
  • Jorge Cofresi, 52, charged with nine counts of driving while license is suspended.