Over 200 pounds of crystal meth were recovered in Volusia County over the past year.
A methamphetamine and pill distribution led from a Georgia prison cell was dismantled by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, Volusia Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Attorney General's Office, announced at a press conference on Monday, Nov. 11.
The organization is believed to be responsible for distributing over 200 pounds of crystal meth in Volusia over the past year, according to a press release. The dismantling is a result of a VBI and the FBI investigation called "Operation Extended Stay," which began in December 2018.
The ringleader of the organization was identified as 42-year-old Jeffery White, who is currently incarcerated in the Washington State Prison in Washington County, Georgia. White is serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault. He ran the organization by using a contraband cell phone, VCSO reported. Other upper and mid-level organization members where operating out of cities including DeLand, Edgewater and Crescent City.
VBI and FBI task force members executed search warrants in these locations on Friday, Nov. 8, and that, combined with previous searches, resulted in the recovery of about 20 pounds of crystal meth, 327 pressed fentanyl pills, 64 Dilaudids, other assorted pills, marijuana, five guns (one of which was stolen) and about $41,000 in cash.
“Our job here isn’t done, but thanks to months of hard work by everyone involved in this operation, today there’s a little less crystal meth and fentanyl out on the street and a few more drug dealers behind bars," Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.“ I call that a good day. We’re going to keep after it, and if you’re dealing drugs in Volusia County, one day you’re going to hear us knocking on the door.”
The task force issued about 40 arrest warrants and four search warrants by Nov. 8. As of Monday, Nov. 11, 27 members — including four from the Ormond Beach area — had been arrested.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is prosecuting the cases.
“Methamphetamine use destroys lives and rips families apart, and we will not allow traffickers to terrorize our communities by selling these extremely dangerous drugs on Florida streets,” Moody said. “Today’s arrests should send a strong message to anyone trying to cook or sell meth in our state that our Statewide Prosecutors and law enforcement partners are determined to seek you out and lock you up.”