A massive interagency drug bust in Brevard County has seized up to 17 pounds of fentanyl and arrested more than 470 people, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Thursday.
Operation United Front — a multi-month effort led by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement — involved 55 pounds of cocaine, 10 pounds of methamphetamine, hundreds of pounds of illegal marijuana and other drugs, 53 firearms and more than 500,000 led to the seizure of Cash, said Ivy.
The operation began in September and involved up to 20 local, state and federal agencies.
Ivey said the amount of fentanyl seized was lethal enough to kill up to 4 million people. Synthetic opioids are up to 50 times more potent than heroin, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“As we all know, fentanyl is one of the most significant and terrifying issues affecting our community,” FDLE Resident Agent Jason Kriegsman told Ivey and 12 others at a press conference in Viera on Thursday. I stood with representatives of the institutions of
“We’ve taken a lot of drugs off the streets,” Kriegsman said. “This will save lives.
He praised the police officers involved in a series of coordinated investigations, which he said resulted in the arrest of 477 people on charges ranging from felony drug trafficking to simple possession.
The task force included the FDLE, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and 11 local police departments, along with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Florida Highway Patrol.
Ivey said Thursday that Brevard has seen 172 overdose deaths in the past two years, but state health statistics suggest the number could be higher. According to the Department of Health, Brevard County will record 304 drug overdose deaths in 2021, including 262 opioid-related deaths.
Brevard’s opioid overdose mortality rate has been among the highest in the state for years, health department data shows.
Ivey said he could not explain the county’s serious drug problem, but said the sheriff’s office and other agencies in Brevard were “aggressive” in cracking down.
“We are working on all fronts, being aggressive on the part of law enforcement, being aggressive on the prosecution side, being aggressive on the perception side, and trying to help people with addictions.” said Ivey. “We will continue to do that and ideally we will see not only numbers going down, but numbers going down and lives being saved across the country.”
He again called on county judges to impose maximum restraint and sentencing to keep people suspected of illegal drug activity off the streets.
State Attorney Phil Archer, who also spoke at the press conference, promised his prosecutors would continue to pursue first-degree murder charges against dealers who may have sold the drug that later led to the overdose death.
Eric Rogers is a watchdog reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Rogers at 321-242-3717 or email@example.com.
http://rssfeeds.floridatoday.com/~/736456592/0/brevard/news~Massive-Brevard-drug-bust-operation-lands-lbs-of-fentanyl-hundreds-of-arrests/ 17 pounds of fentanyl landed in Brevard drug bust, over 400 arrested