TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Governor Ron DeSantis announced the results of a successful first year of strike force efforts to interdict human smuggling and trafficking and seize illegal weapons and illicit narcotics throughout the state.
Over the last year, strike force interdiction efforts have resulted in thousands of felony charges, more than 40 human smuggling charges, over 150 drug charges and the seizure of $2.7 million worth of illicit drugs.
AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS
“The Biden administration is asleep at the wheel and Florida will not sit idly by while drugs continue to pour across the open southern border and into our communities,” said Governor DeSantis. “The overwhelming success of our interdiction strike force serves as a blueprint for states across the nation to uphold the rule of law and protect their communities from the Biden Border Crisis.”
The strike force, formed at the direction of Governor DeSantis in June of 2022, includes members of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and local sheriff’s offices. Together, the agencies conduct operations focused on counteracting the effects of the southern border crisis, which has resulted in an influx of drug and human trafficking and human smuggling along Florida’s major roadways.
“In the past year, these interdiction operations have been proactive and successful in helping to keep Florida citizens safe,” said FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass. “Because of these operations, FDLE Agents and FHP Troopers have been able to identify and prevent some violent offenders from landing in our communities. I thank our FDLE team who are committed to these operations and the safety of Florida.”
From June 2022 through July 2023, the Strike Force completed ten operations and collected the following:
- Fentanyl – 8 pounds
- Methamphetamine – 5.4 pounds
- MDMA – 178 grams
- Mushrooms (psilocybin) – 60 grams
- Cocaine – 3.4 pounds
- Heroin – 2.6 pounds
- Marijuana – 85.4 pounds
- Assorted prescription pills – 402
- Human smuggling charges – 42
- Fugitives captured – 38
- Total felony charges – 10,569
- Currency seized - $334,968
- Guns recovered or seized – 30
- Vehicles seized - 11
- Stolen vehicles recovered – 9
- Drug charges – 158
The above arrests and totals reflect strike force activity but do not encompass the entirety of every arrest, interdiction or seizure across the state.