SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office is working to get drugs off the street and prevent more overdoses.
- 'Operation Sundown' takes down 2 networks distributing heroin
- Authorities seized more than 22,000 small bags of heroin laced w/ fentanyl
- So far in 2018, 54 people in Seminole Co. have died due to drug overdose
A five-month investigation by the Sheriff's Office and City County Investigative Bureau ended with more than a dozen Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and felony arrests.
The investigation, known as "Operation Sundown," took down two different networks that were distributing 750 bags of heroin laced with fentanyl every day.
Following leads from residents in Seminole County, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, Volusia County Sheriff’s SWAT team, and the Sanford Police Department’s Neighborhood Response Unit seized more than 22,000 small bags of heroin laced with fentanyl, as well as smaller amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
“If you are out there and engaged in this type of criminal activity, we are going to find you," said Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma "We are going to arrest you and be swift with the penalty phases of that.”
Last year in Seminole County, 34 deaths occurred due to drug overdose. So far in 2018, 54 people have died due to drug overdose, and that is a record.
The drugs seized in Operation Sundown came from Longwood, Sanford, Lake Mary, and parts of Geneva.
“A lot of the people who are users and buyers were going over and over again," Lemma explained. "Quite literally this is a life or death situation.”
A nearby neighbor of one of the homes that was part of the investigation says he thought they were an ordinary family that moved in a couple doors down.
“I’m glad they got them," said Michael Denmark. "I don’t know how they found them, and I’m glad they have them off the street, to tell you the truth.”
Lemma asks if you see suspicious activity, let his department know so that it can hopefully lead to more arrests down the road.
Operation Sundown took nearly $300,000 worth of drugs off the streets, and most of the drugs seized are believed to be from the states.