In an intensive statewide enforcement effort, state and local law enforcement officials arrested 1,219 people, busted 14 methamphetamine labs, seized more than 100 kilos of cocaine, 1,000 pounds of marijuana, 180,000 Ecstasy pills, more than 3,000 doses of Hydrocodone and Oxycotone, and $7.5 million in currency. The arrests and seizures came during a recent month long period as part of a proactive, national sweep to fight drugs and drug-related crime, FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey announced today.
"This effort is a model for how the state's law enforcement can collectively use resources to crack down on illegal drugs," Commissioner Bailey said. "I hope this will send the message that Florida has zero-tolerance for drug activity."
FDLE coordinated the state's blitz through its seven Regional Operations Centers, partnering with the Florida Highway Patrol, the Department of Transportation Office of Motor Carrier Compliance, the Department of Agriculture's Division of Law Enforcement and local law enforcement agencies across the state. Teams and task forces statewide rounded up drug traffickers, conducted highway interdictions, executed search warrants, and dismantled methamphetamine labs during the multi-faceted operation.
"Ridding illegal drugs and their destructive effects from communities in our state is a top priority for the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol," said Col. Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. "The results of this nationwide narcotics operation demonstrate our collective resolve to continue serious efforts of interdiction to interrupt the supply of drugs and apprehend those who deal in this illicit market in America."
"The fine work of all participating agencies reflects the high level of commitment of Florida's law enforcement officers in reducing the use of our highway infrastructure for illicit purposes and ridding our communities of the scourge of illegal drugs and their associated crimes," said Col. Graham W. Fountain, Director of the FDOT Office of Motor Carrier Compliance.
Twenty-six other states participated in the nation-wide effort which was led by the National Alliance of State Drug Enforcement Agencies (NASDEA). The event was designed to highlight the effectiveness of concentrated drug enforcement and to recognize the importance of federally-funded Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Program grants in the day-to-day operations of drug enforcement. FDLE Assistant Commissioner Ken Tucker serves as the NASDEA President.
The following is a brief overview of the state of Florida's results:
Search warrants served: 72
Guns seized: 53
Meth labs busted: 14
Drug endangered children encountered: 20
Vehicle seized: 28
Some of the drugs and amounts seized:
1,158 lbs. of marijuana
101 kg of cocaine
1.5 kg of crack cocaine
1,278 doses of prescription drugs
1.8 kg of methamphetamines
2,563 pills of Hydrocodone
880 marijuana plants
540 pills of Oxycotone
180,463 pills of Ecstasy
19 kg of Heroin, and
Small amounts of Oxycodone, Valium, Sinsimelia, crack cocaine rocks, Xanax and counterfeit cocaine
Currency seized: $7,527,565