135 Arrested in Oxycodone Bust
According to an article in Ocala.com, authorities arrested 135 people and seized more than $150,000 in drugs in a nearly four-month crackdown on the trafficking of prescription pills in North Florida. Fifty-eight of those arrested were nabbed in Marion County during the effort, which was dubbed “Operation Growing Pains.”
It began Sept. 1 and concluded Dec. 15 and involved law enforcement officials from the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. HIDTA, as it’s known, is made up of counties stretching from Jacksonville to Ocala.
The operation targeted illegal sales of prescription pills, pill mills, doctor-shopping and prescription drug frauds throughout North Florida. In all, agents seized 16,978 pills with a street value of $152,823 and made 135 arrests. The total value of pills, assets and currency seized was $4,337,977.08.
The 58 people arrested in Marion County face 132 felony and 18 misdemeanor charges, including sale and possession and trafficking of oxycodone and other brand name pills. Some also face gun charges. Also in Marion County, authorities seized 2,346 pills, almost half of which were oxycodone, followed by roxicodone and hydrocodone.
“This operation shows the quantity and effects of how legal prescription pills are becoming one of the most abused drugs today,” said Donnie Winston, a supervisor with the local HIDTA Unit.
“The pills are the fastest growing drug problem that we’ve seen in recent years,” said Capt. Lee Sullivan, head of MADE. He compared the problem to the crack cocaine problem of the 1980s and 1990s.
“It’s a serious threat to Marion County’s quality of life and measures are being put in place to combat this new epidemic in 2011,” said Capt. Eric Rawls, head of the local HIDTA unit, who would not elaborate on their strategy, adding, “we’re not done by any means.”
Oxycodone Trafficking Defense
Oxycodone charges can vary anywhere from possession of Oxycodone, to drug trafficking, to racketeering and prescription fraud. Any of these charges can cost you three years mandatory imprisonment, in addition to fines and a steep criminal record.
If you have been charged with Oxycodone possession or trafficking, you need a criminal defense lawyer who knows what he’s going. The law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., has been involved in many high profile criminal cases throughout Florida. A criminal defense lawyer’s job is to be proactive and try to resolve your case in your favor.