Pill Mill Strike Force Operation Nets 20 Arrests

By: Release
By: Release

Tallahassee, Florida - March 28, 2012 -

The Region 2 Drug Enforcement Strike Force conducted a multi county operation in a continuing effort to stem the fraudulent obtainment and transportation of prescription and other illegal narcotics in the State of Florida. Governor Scott created 7 Regional Drug Enforcement Strike Forces as part of Florida’s Pill Mill initiative to combat the growing prescription medication abuse in Florida.

Operation Gateway 2012 was conducted from March 21 – March 23, 2012. The operation focused on the Interstate and highway corridors in Northern Florida. Passenger bus services were also a focus of Operation Gateway 2012. Collectively, several law enforcement agencies partnered together for this operation to include:

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office
Tallahassee Police Department
Florida Highway Patrol
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
North Florida HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas)

Operation Gateway resulted in the following statistics:

Arrests: 20
Handguns Seized: 5 (2 Stolen)
Marijuana Seized: 48 pounds
Synthetic Cannabis: 12 grams
Cocaine Seized: 1 gram
Methamphetamine Seized: 9 grams
Psilocybin (mushrooms) Seized: 116 grams
Prescription Medications Seized: 627 pills
Anabolic Steroids Seized: 10cc
Heroin Seized: 4 grams

In addition to the narcotics seizures, the Strike Force seized $9,740.00 in currency. A 2002 Buick was also seized during the operation. One arrest was made for Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs. Investigations based on the seizures are continuing and additional arrests are possible as a result.

The illicit drug trade does not know geographical boundaries. Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid and Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron worked closely with Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter, along with the Florida Highway Patrol, Tallahassee Police Department, North Florida HIDTA and the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement to ensure that the necessary personnel and assets were made available for Operation Gateway 2012.

“A collaborative, inter agency approach has shown that a major impact can be made to stem the flow of illegal narcotics in the State of Florida and make our communities a safer place to live” says Sheriff Mark Hunter.

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  • by Amazed on Mar 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM
    Gosh, there must not be a huge drug problem in the area if this is all they were able to do after a year. I think the docs that are prescribing ought to have to fund rehab for the addicts they have created.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 at 08:24 AM
    "No one who has a legitimate medical reason for obtaining pain meds is unable to get a doctor to prescribe them" ... OK, that just ain't true. And your brother was a dummy. And no, we do NOT have a choice, that is why they call it a ban. Sheesh!
    • reply
      by nlk on Mar 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM in reply to
      you're right, people that need the pain relief can't get it anymore. Like chronic kidney pain. Where you want to die because the pain is so bad. But oxycodone was really meant for those who are terminal. Luckily, those patients can still get it.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 at 09:35 PM in reply to nlk
        Yeah, I caught a small kidney stone recently -- truly AMAZING pain, but not chronic, obviously. And yes, it makes you realize that the fact that your body can die is actually a great blessing. Injectable NSAID took it right out, though -- but is very expensive relief, and stops working quick.
  • by sheesh on Mar 29, 2012 at 07:59 AM
    A year and this is all they got? Pill mill? Where have they busted a pill mill? Instead of trying to toot their horns they should be hanging their heads in shame.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Mar 29, 2012 at 06:38 AM
    What do you idiots not understand?If you are in pain and get the pills legally,then you are not breaking the law and will not be arrested.You act like they are rounding up people who have these pills legally.You are a bunch of idiots.They are only arresting the ones who are breaking the law.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 at 09:42 PM in reply to GV
      Uh-huh. If you get the pills, indeed... Lots of doctors are afraid to prescribe these days is what I hear.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 at 04:29 AM
    I have been in several motorcycle accidents, been beaten beyond recognition,almost every bone in my body has been broken and have only ever taken 1 prescripton pain pill.I took a Tylenol 3 w/codeine and it was awful.... I see people everyday (good People) become addicted to pain pills. It is worse than the crack epidemic....UN-believable....I had a broken collarbone once and smoked some really good Marijuana and it WORKS! I promise you.... it allowed me to relax and sleep. I believe if pot were legal it just might get used by someone instead of pain pills....I am saddened by the pain pill epidemic. Robby Clark
  • by litobit on Mar 28, 2012 at 08:32 PM
    No one who has a legitimate medical reason for obtaining pain meds is unable to get a doctor to prescribe them.I am thankful that they make me sick unless I take the absolute smallest amount and only for unbearable pain. Pharmacies only sell drugs prescribed by doctors so you can't hold them responsible for this problem. The biggest problem is the ones getting them and selling them to those addicted so they can make money! So the pushers should be held accountable first and foremost. No one makes a person take pain pills. My brother recently died a painful death, but refused to take any type of addictive pain medicine. Everyone has a choice, make it wisely!
    • reply
      by LegalWatcher on Mar 29, 2012 at 07:26 AM in reply to litobit
      Unfortunately, this is not true. Try finding a doctor in Tallahassee who will prescribe narcotics for chronic pain management. There is one - and he has a waiting list of 6-12 months for an appointment. The other pain management doctors will do procedures (injections of steroids), but will not prescribe pain pills because of the new state laws.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 at 08:20 AM in reply to litobit
      Long as you have the money to go to the doctor, and he will give you what need, then you can get what you need -- if you have any money left. The problem for those with chronic pain is that many doctors are simply afraid to prescribe.
    • reply
      by OhGoody on Mar 29, 2012 at 10:29 AM in reply to litobit
      Well ain't you just perfect. Yes pharmacies are responsible. They are mandated by law to report certain prescribing habits. Yes the doctors are to blame. They're in it for the money. It's quick and easy. Have a patient bring in an MRI and they can justify the prescription. Get wise.
  • by izitjustme? Location: Accounting Dept. on Mar 28, 2012 at 06:31 PM
    7 LEAs and that's all they could interdict? cancel that grant due to either lack of interest,or Trooper Kolves(or one of his compatriots) escorted them to the state line. It's been done before by FHP Troopers,TSA personnel,Law Enforcement Officers in each and every dept. in this country has at least one that succumbs to the money. May not have gotten caught,yet, but the money is too good. So, congratulation on your effort to justify your budgets,and getting less than stellar return on my tax dollars. Please, Stop wasting our tax dollars on a War,that Walter Cronkite declared lost decades ago,against US citizens.
  • by the irony on Mar 28, 2012 at 03:40 PM
    Government allows drugs to be made in massive quantities [FDA]. Pharmacy sells drugs. Government arrest people who get hooked on them and provide 0 rehabilitation, only punishment. "Do as I say, not as a I do"... BS.
  • by Patriot Location: USA on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM
    I greee. 7 departments involved, and only a little over 600 pills? Complete bunk! Should have been somewhere nearer 600,000 pills to even make a dent. Get off the cannibus (marijuana) train and concentrate on the really harmful stuff! But it is much easier to just pull folks over and search their cars.
    • reply
      by GV on Mar 29, 2012 at 06:34 AM in reply to Patriot
      Busting pills is not the cannibus train,idiot.Cannibus is pot,not pills.Are you that ignorant?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 at 08:22 AM in reply to GV
        48 lbs pot, only 600-700 pills. Sounds like tha cannabis train to me...
  • by TheTruth on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM
    This is complete crapola. Congrats for completing successful road blocks. However, to insinuate that you cracked down on the actual "pill mills" by pulling over a bunch of junkies, who peddle the pills you seek, is completely misleading. Until all of these leo's, government agencies, and task forces bust the doors down on the actual doctor's offices and in-house pharmacies who supply the losers they busted they have done NOTHING to divert "pill mills".
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 28, 2012 at 01:37 PM in reply to TheTruth
      Very likely, sooner or later, you will be in real pain. Then your attitude will change like night into day. "Why are these things so hard to get?", you will say.
      • reply
        by anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 at 06:46 AM in reply to
        Been there and am suffering consequences of this crapola right now. I wonder how the upstanding, ethical (sarcasm) Dr.s would feel if it were them or their loved one suffering and were treated like junkies or pill-seekers and sent away in pain. One could only hope...
      • reply
        by yep on Mar 29, 2012 at 07:57 AM in reply to
        Very true. The docs are worried about prescribing even to those that need the medication for pain. I know. I suffer from chronic pain with acute break through pain. I have done everything from chiropractic, acupuncture, surgeries, physical therapy. No relief.
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