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Marion County: Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Agents Seized Record Number of Illegal Drugs; 228 Charged With Sale, Possession, Trafficking

UDEST is an initiative of the North Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement professionals from the Ocala Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations.

OCALA, FL – In 2021, the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST), which is an initiative of the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), seized a record number of various illegal drugs. Throughout the year, UDEST agents investigated several Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) responsible for bringing illegal drugs into Marion County. As a result of these investigations, 228 individuals were arrested with charges ranging from sale and possession of cocaine to trafficking in fentanyl. 

In 2021, UDEST seized over $4,500,000 in illegal drugs including but not limited to the following:

Java Burn 1 Fentanyl: 33 poundsCrystal Meth “Ice”: over 69 poundsCocaine: over 24 poundsHeroin: over 3 pounds$395,000+ in cash, assets, 60 guns including assault rifles, shotguns, handguns, and ammunition.

The influx of Fentanyl contributed to the increased numbers of overdoses and continues to be a focus of UDEST. Fentanyl is a highly addictive and extremely lethal substance that is contributing to the rise in overdose deaths not only in Marion County but also across the country. This substance is being broken down and mixed with other drugs to include marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The tremendous amount of work that the agents of UDEST exhibited in the seizures of Fentanyl is significant in that they potentially saved thousands of lives.

SPONSOR: UNITED PATRIOT
United Patriot

As a result of these investigations, 228 individuals were arrested with charges ranging from sale and possession of cocaine to trafficking in fentanyl. In recognition of their outstanding work, UDEST was awarded the 2021 Statewide Drug Unit of the Year by the Florida Narcotics Officers Association.

UDEST is an initiative of the North Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement professionals from the Ocala Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations.

In recognition of their outstanding work, UDEST was awarded the 2021 Statewide Drug Unit of the Year by the Florida Narcotics Officers Association.

The influx of Fentanyl contributed to the increased numbers of overdoses and continues to be a focus of UDEST. Fentanyl is a highly addictive and extremely lethal substance that is contributing to the rise in overdose deaths not only in Marion County but also across the country.

The influx of Fentanyl contributed to the increased numbers of overdoses and continues to be a focus of UDEST. Fentanyl is a highly addictive and extremely lethal substance that is contributing to the rise in overdose deaths not only in Marion County but also across the country.

UDEST is an initiative of the North Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement professionals from the Ocala Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Homeland Security Investigations (ICE).

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