TAMPA, Fla. — Federal prosecutors have indcited 11 people on drug trafficking charges after a two-year investigation.

The suspected drug traffickers have been arrested and accused of targeting Tampa Bay and Central Florida.

According to federal prosecutors, the traffickers pushed heroin and the deadly synthetic drug fentanyl into the region, causing at least one death.

What You Need To Know

  • 11 charged in drug bust headed by FBI and Dept. of Justice

  • Authorities said trafficking took place in Tampa, Kissimmee

  • At least one person died of an overdose and others were sickened

The 11 defendants each face federal charges of conspiracy and drug distribution. They could face penalties ranging from five years up to life in prison.

Authorities did not release much information because they said more arrests and indictments could be coming and they didn’t want to compromise this case.

"Their distribution of these deadly drugs heroin and fentanyl resulted in the overdose and deaths of one individual and serious bodily injury of another individual," said Michael Sinacore, Asst. US Attorney. 

The investigation lasted two years and it was a joint investigation between the FBI, The Department of Justice, Tampa Police and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The heroin and fentanyl was trafficked throughout Tampa and Kissimmee, officials said. This started as early as 2016 and continued well into August of this year. Indictments were handed down last month and the arrests were made this week.

"Today’s announcement is a resounding message," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. "We are committed to protecting Hillsborough County. We will continue to go after people who choose to deal poison in our community."