Statewide Drug Sweep Nets 757 Arrests, Major Drug Seizures

In an intensive statewide enforcement effort, local, state, and federal law enforcement officials arrested 757 people and seized more than 4.7 kilos of cocaine, 156 pounds of marijuana, 856 marijuana plants, 670 grams of methamphetamine, 908 grams of crack, hundreds of prescription pills and $1.16 million in currency. The arrests and seizures came during a one-day proactive, national sweep to fight drugs and drug-related crime, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey announced today.

“This is a snapshot of the type and scope of activity that goes on every day in Florida,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “Our law enforcement agencies are constantly and tirelessly working to take down drug traffickers and keep narcotics out of communities.”

FDLE coordinated the state’s blitz through its Regional Operations Centers, partnering with 72 other local and state law enforcement agencies. Teams and task forces statewide rounded up drug traffickers, conducted highway interdictions, executed search warrants, and dismantled methamphetamine labs during the multi-faceted operation.

“This operation reinforces what law enforcement can do using task forces to take dangerous drugs off our streets and out of our communities,” said Florida Sheriffs Association President Joey Dobson, of the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. “This should also serve as a wake-up call to our representatives in Congress that this power tool, the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, is needed to keep our communities safe. We need the active support of our Congress to take the funding back to the recommended level.”

“This is just another good example of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies working together to address the illegal narcotics problem in our state. Through these combined efforts we continue to strive to make an impact on the fight against illegal drugs and drug-related crimes,” said Florida Police Chiefs Association President Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark, II, of the Juno Beach Police Department.

The nation-wide effort 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 previously served as the NASDEA President.

The omnibus FY 2008 appropriations bill signed into law in December 2007 reflects a 67 percent decrease in Byrne-JAG program funding for the coming year. In Florida, Byrne-JAG funds support drug task forces, drug treatment and counseling to incarcerated offenders, DNA processing, domestic violence initiatives, criminal history improvements, and community policing programs. Earlier this week, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum joined with 55 other state attorneys general to call on Congressional leaders to restore funding for Byrne-JAG grants.

The following is a brief overview of the state of Florida’s results:

* Arrests: 757
* Search warrants served: 30
* Guns seized: 31
* Drug endangered children encountered: 18
* Vehicles seized: 19
* Some of the drugs and amounts seized:
o 156.75 lbs. of marijuana
o 856 marijuana plants
o 4.71 kg of cocaine
o 908.5 g of crack cocaine
o 670.69 g of methamphetamines
o 143.1 g of Heroin
o 19.3 g Oxycodone
o 6 grams Ecstasy; and
o assorted quantities of prescription drugs
* Currency seized: $1.16 million

For Regional Information Contact:

Phil Kiracofe – (850) 410-7506

Trena Reddick – (813) 878-7239

Mike Morrison – (850) 595-2117

Susie Murphy – (407) 540-3805

Paige Patterson-Hughes – (786) 336-1052

Michael O’Neal – (904) 360-7100

Ft. Myers
Larry Long – (239) 272-7080 ext. 137

For more information, contact:

Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Public Information Office
(850) 410-7001