16 arrested after drug trafficking ring busted at Orange County bar, deputies say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Local, state and federal investigators said they broke up a drug trafficking organization and arrested 16 people.

Law enforcement officials said the suspects moved those drugs through a troubled bar, called the Happy Place Sports Bar, on which WFTV News has done several stories.

At a press conference Friday, deputies said drugs weren't the only crimes the organization had going on.


Officials gave details about how they dismantled a powerful drug trafficking organization that is linked to a carjacking, shootings and homicides.

Officials with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the16 suspects were part of a robust drug organization.

Investigators said the group was moving one to two kilos of heroin and cocaine a week through Orange County.

WFTV has reported extensively about the issues at the now-closed Happy Place Sports Bar, including a murder that happened there in October.

Investigators said the organization is connected to that murder and the other issues that were happening at the bar and all over Orange County.

"We believe that these individuals and their associates are involved in a lot of violence in our community,” said Orange County Sherriff John Mina. “And we're continuing to work hard to put them all behind bars.”

Officials said they seized more than $180,000 in cash, 1/2 kilo of heroin, 38 guns, including AK-47s, 2 kilos of cocaine and 4 pounds of marijuana.

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