A week-long, multi-agency operation was carried out in Florida last week. A collaborative effort by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Florida National Guard Counterdrug Taskforce, Columbia County Sheriff's Office, and agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has resulted in 42 arrests and a whopping total of 350 felony charges — as well as the seizure of over half a million dollars in assets.
"This operation and others taking place in Florida and Texas aim at keeping narcotics, weapons, and criminals off our streets and away from our communities," said FHP Colonel Gary Howze II. "Time and time again, these operations highlight the amount of illegal material transported daily into and throughout our State. We are dedicated to stopping this by aggressively pursuing our mission of providing a safer Florida."
Formed at the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis to intercept human smuggling, trafficking, and illegal weapons seizures throughout the state, the strike force completed 286 traffic stops over the course of the week, the release states.
Their collaborative efforts uncovered a number of illegal activities, including the smuggling of thousands of grams of drugs, including fentanyl, cocaine, meth, marijuana, and heroin, possession of illegal firearms, and the discovery of 8 undocumented aliens.
The full list of the results of the 286 traffic stops according to the press release are as follows:
"The Florida Highway Patrol is committed to battling the illicit flow of deadly drugs entering our state and damaging our communities," said FLHSMV Executive Director Dave Kerner. "We will always work to disable the criminal cartels that take advantage of the open border. Thanks to Governor DeSantis we are empowered to fight back full force, and these interdiction operations are just one way we continue to keep Floridians safe and hold criminals accountable."
According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner, Mark Glass, these multi-agency interceptions will continue to take felons, guns, drugs, and unlawful criminals out of Florida's streets and communities, and hopes that the show of successful strike force missions can serve as a role model for other states.
Article by Rachael Volpe