Friday, Dec 19, 2014

2 arrested in undercover sting

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Published:   |   Updated: July 25, 2014 at 09:10 PM

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— Two people are in jail on charges related to selling heroin, cocaine and other substances after a monthslong undercover sting operation by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Pedro Maisonet Gonzalez, 40, and Isabel Jasso, 34, were arrested Thursday after detectives obtained search warrants for several properties and a mail package. Gonzalez faces four charges relating to trafficking or conspiring to traffic heroin and cocaine, and he was being held on $800,000 bail in the Pinellas County Jail. Jasso was charged with conspiracy to traffic heroin and was held on $50,000 bail.

The bust was the result of an extensive undercover investigation between April 28 and June 16. An undercover officer purchased heroin and cocaine in varying quantities numerous times, according to court documents. At a Pinellas Park McDonald’s, court documents state, an officer met a dealer whom Gonzalez supplied several times, and Gonzalez increasingly became involved with the transactions.

A judge authorized the sheriff’s office to tap the dealer’s and Gonzalez’s telephones and other electronic communications starting June 16. The following day, documents say, the undercover officer bought 14 grams of heroin from the dealer for $3,200, and Gonzalez helped count the money.

Jasso was observed traveling extensively with Gonzalez, and through intercepted telephone calls detectives determined she “actively participated in and assisted (Gonzalez) in the distribution of controlled substances.”

On June 20, the U.S. Postal Service intercepted a package addressed to Gonzalez’s house, and federal officials obtained a warrant to search it. They found “several vials containing small amounts of cocaine, and a larger quantity of white powdery substance that is used to ‘cut’ cocaine for the purpose of packaging and distribution.” A nearly 50-gram shipment of heroin bound for the residences of Gonzalez’s and Jasso’s alleged co-conspirators in Tampa also had been intercepted. The two co-conspirators, Maribel Diaz-Ortiz and Carlos Collazo, were arrested Wednesday in Tampa, documents say.

Search warrants were issued for Gonzales’ apartment at 6300 78th Ave. N., Pinellas Park, which is also listed as Jasso’s residence, as well as two St. Petersburg homes believed to be serving as store houses, one at 7259 33rd St. N. and the other at 10636 Gandy Blvd.

No controlled substances were found at the Pinellas Park address. At the 33rd Street address, detectives found an open safe containing 119.7 grams of cocaine, 14.4 grams of oxycodone, more than 200 grams of marijuana and several firearms. At the Gandy address, they found three safes containing a firearm, a holster, ammunition, cellphones, documents and an unspecified weight of a chalky white powder.

Jasso pleaded not guilty and was assigned counsel from the Public Defender’s Office. As of Friday afternoon, court records have not indicated whether Gonzalez has entered a plea.

A sheriff’s spokeswoman said Friday that Thursday’s arrests were part of an ongoing investigation but declined to elaborate.

kbradshaw@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-7999

Twitter: @kbradshawTBO

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