Dozens of meth dealers responsible for 80 percent of the meth distributed in Bay County are now behind bars. Bay County sheriff's officials have been working with federal drug agents since April of 2002 to bring down the loose drug ring.
Sheriff's officials began working with federal agents because they realized meth dealers prosecuted at the state level were receiving lower prison sentences or nothing at all.
Prosecution at the federal level ensures those arrested will get the highest punishment possible.
"Going federal means saving time, which saves money. It also means a much harsher punishment. There's trafficking charges in state and trafficking charges in the federal level, but it seems the federal charges are more severe," says Bay County Sheriff, Frank McKeithen.
In 2003, 14 people were charged at the federal level for trafficking methamphetamine.