A series of raids in Florida led to the arrest of over 20 people on March 13, 2018, after they were accused of a number of drug crimes related to the distribution of heroin and fentanyl in Volusia County. Police said that the raids, which they labeled Operation Heavyweight, included executing search warrants in multiple locations. They identified the supplier of the drugs as living in Orlando, while other people arrested were based in Deltona.
A 43-year-old man was seized from his home in Deltona; police accused him of being the “ringleader” of the drug distribution ring. A 41-year-old man arrested in Orlando was accused of being the primary supplier of the drugs. In addition to the arrests, police said that they seized 1.5 kilos of heroin and fentanyl during the raids, which have a street value of $150,000. The arrests came after an ongoing police investigation for the previous year. Police claimed that they had surveilled the homes of the 43-year-old man, the 41-year-old man and other suspects during that time, as well as carrying out undercover drug purchases.
There are an additional five people living in Deltona and DeLand that have also been identified accused of drug crimes but not yet arrested. Heroin and fentanyl have become a larger priority in the area alongside the national opioid crisis; there were over 100 fatal overdoses in Volusia County in 2016.
The people arrested in these raids will be charged with a series of drug crimes. In Florida, drug charges can have serious consequences for people accused, even when their own involvement was minimal. Drug possession and distribution charges can carry mandatory minimum prison sentences and leave people with felony criminal records. For people who are facing drug charges, it may be wise to consult a criminal defense attorney who may be able to challenge police evidence and investigative procedures.