Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents reportedly arrested nearly 300 people and seized about 600 pounds of drugs in Florida this week as part of a “surge operation” across the state.
DEA agents reportedly searched and shut down a dozen Florida pharmacies this week as part of “Operation Cazador,” seizing roughly 200,000 opioids and other pills, more than 35 weapons and about $3.3 million in assets, NBC News reported Friday.
Agents arrested the manager of a convenience store in central Florida who has been charged with selling heroin and cocaine linked to multiple fatal overdoses, NBC News reported. They also tracked down a pharmacist in Ormond Beach who was reportedly stripped of her license and awaiting trial but had reopened her pharmacy and started selling again.
More than a dozen people were reportedly arrested in Winter Garden in connection with a convenience store that agents say was connected to a major drug ring linked to multiple fatal overdoses.
NBC News reported that agents carried out roughly 50 search warrants on pharmacies, 25 interviews with physicians, and a small number of USPS and FedEx package interdictions.
The news comes amid a nationwide crackdown on opioids, with the operation targeting physicians and pharmacists who have exacerbated the overdose crisis, according to law enforcement officials.
“The pharmacy could be anywhere in our communities through the country,” Marcus Anderson, assistant special agent in charge of the Miami DEA field division, told NBC News.
The Department of Justice said Wednesday that it charged 41 people in nine indictments for their alleged involvement in “pill mill” clinics and pharmacies that have distributed more than 23 million oxycodone, hydrocodone and carisoprodol pills across the country.