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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, June 30, 2023

Tampa Drug Trafficking Leader Sentenced to More Than 21 Years in Federal Prison

Tampa, FL – United States District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has sentenced Edward Verdi-Bruno, (31, Tampa) to 21 years and 8 months in federal prison for conspiracy and delivery of controlled substances. Verdi-Bruno had pleaded guilty on March 29, 2023.

According to court documents, Verdi-Bruno led a drug trafficking organization operating from a car wash on 22nd Street in Palmetto Beach. During the investigation, agents made controlled purchases of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine from multiple members within the drug trafficking organization. In March 2022, agents seized two kilograms of cocaine sent by Verdi-Bruno from Puerto Rico to the Tampa area. In September 2022, agents intercepted a parcel containing two kilograms of fentanyl concealed in an air fryer mailed by the organization and destined for Puerto Rico. Verdi-Bruno and another co-conspirator were arrested when they attempted to retrieve the seized parcel.

Following Verdi-Bruno’s arrest and detention on a criminal complaint, Verdi-Bruno used the recorded phone system at the Pinellas County jail to direct other members of the organization to deliver fentanyl pills to an undercover officer in October 2022. Verdi-Bruno directed two deliveries from the Pinellas County jail, resulting in the seizure of thousands of pressed fentanyl pills.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samantha Beckman.

This investigation is the result of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

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