Enough fentanyl seized to kill half of Florida; 'massive' bust linked to a Mexican drug cartel: AG

ByGail Paschall-Brown, WESH, CNNWire
Friday, October 14, 2022
Enough fentanyl seized in 'massive' bust to kill half of Florida: AG
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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrest of a massive violent gang operation in Florida linked to a Mexican drug cartel.

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. -- A traffic stop involving James Forbes Jr. happened just before 9 p.m. Tuesday night while riding a bike on Palm Avenue in Bunnell.

The situation changed dramatically as Forbes tried to run away after a deputy found a suspicious package during a pat down.

Forbes, who's been arrested multiple times, was charged with, among other things, possession of methamphetamine and trafficking eight grams of fentanyl.

"We have seen our seizures in Flagler County is up over 500 percent so far this year compared to all of last year," Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said.

On Wednesday, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrest of a massive violent gang operation in Florida linked to a Mexican drug cartel, WESH reported.

Agents seized 48 pounds of fentanyl and more than 350 pounds of methamphetamines.

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"It is enough to kill 66 out of the 67 counties' population here in Florida," Moody said at the Tampa Bay Regional Operational Center alongside Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents.

"Twenty-four suspects were arrested but one gang member remains at large: 39-year-old Efren Berumen from Kissimmee, Florida. If you have any information about Berumen and if you know of his whereabouts, please call FDLE," Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson said.

"I been to the border twice, so I saw how it's coming in. What we're seeing, for example, just two months ago, we ceased purple fentanyl. So the cartels in Mexico are very good about marketing," Staly said.

Dealers are also disguising the drugs to look like candy.

"They're also making counterfeit pills that, they're multiple colors laced with fentanyl, so they're marketing to younger and younger people," Staly said.

Now is the time to talk to your loved ones, especially children.

The attorney general says cartels only care about profit and power.

RELATED: Deadly dupes: Nationwide spike in mass-overdoses, teen deaths due to fentanyl-laced drugs, DEA says

Staly said in Flagler, the age of overdoses range from 18 to 60. Staly adds there are a lot of undercover operations in the county and you will eventually get caught.

"But if you are a poison peddler, and you kill someone in Flagler County, we are going to investigate you for first-degree murder, and we already have four people sitting in state prison for killing someone for selling the lethal dose," Staly said.

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