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:
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.