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15 busted in Jacksonville drug sting

Screenshot 2023-01-04 175534.jpg
News4Jax
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The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office seized these drugs in a 4-month-long investigation known as Operation DeCrypted.

A 4-month-long Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigation seized $2 million worth of illegal fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine, the sheriff said.

A four-month narcotics investigation led to 15 arrests and confiscated illegal drugs valued at more than $2 million dollars, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

And among those arrested was a California drug supplier with ties to the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel in the areas around Tijuana, Mexico, as well as the equivalent of 2 million lethal doses of fentanyl, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said.

The sheriff said Operation DeCrypted seized:

  • 4 kilograms of fentanyl with a street value of $800,000.
  • 10 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $600,000.
  • 76 kilograms of methamphetamine with a $500,000 street value.

Law enforcement also seized 116 pounds of marijuana, seven guns, two vehicles used in drug trafficking and $30,000 in cash, Waters said.

"We would never, ever be able to quantify the lives that were saved by removing this poison and those who profited from this poison from our streets," Waters said.

The investigation was developed to target some of the largest known sources and suppliers of fentanyl in Jacksonville, with help from the Drug Enforcement Administration and other area law enforcement agencies, Waters said.

Although rooted in Jacksonville, Operation DeCrypted ended up connecting law enforcement with drug trafficking sources as far as Georgia, California, Jamaica and Mexico, Waters said.

The majority of the arrests were suspects from the Jacksonville area, with the drug trafficking operation stretching into other parts of Florida, South Carolina and Virginia, police said.

Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years as a radio, television and print reporter in the Jacksonville area, as well as years of broadcast work in the Northeast. You can reach Dan at dscanlan@wjct.org, (904) 607-2770 or on Twitter at @scanlan_dan.