Suspected drug kingpin arrested in Manatee Co.

- Manatee County deputies believe they brought down one of the biggest contributors to the county's drug problems - Robert "Tito" Reyes. 

"He dealt in everything. You are talking heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, pills.; you name it, he did it," said Dave Bristow with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The take-down began almost a year ago after someone called deputies with a tip. Detectives launched  a massive investigation into Tito's dealings, which led to his arrest and the seizure of more than $700,000 in drugs, plus $400,000 cash, 33 guns and 42 mistreated and malnourished dogs.

"The way that he operated was, he didn't use a lot of people in his operation, just his family... It's quite unusual to run into something like this," said Bristow.

Deputies also arrested his wife, Elizabeth Reyes for trafficking narcotics and possession with intent to sell narcotics. Court documents show Elizabeth would go with Tito to drug deals.

Tito's sister, Olga Reyes was arrested for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

"He was a control freak and wanted to control every angle of the business," said Bristow. 

Deputies said Tito would use multiple addresses across Manatee County for his drug activities, including his own business. "Tito" owned an auto repair business right across from the Manatee County Public Works Department. No one seemed to catch onto his doings, including Jim Samuels of Approved Roofing.

"It is pretty wild that it would be right next door to our office. We had no idea of it... Until the police actually showed up on our property we never knew anything was going on," said Jim Samuels. "I noticed there wasn't much going on, but I figured he was storing them there and was fixing to start repairing them."

Anyone with information on the Reyes case is asked to call the MCSO at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

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