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BCSO officials say drug busts are down since April’s uptick

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 11:29 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In April, we covered a story on the uptick in major drug busts in Bay County. Law enforcement will tell you it’s quietened down since.

Sheriff’s officials want to reiterate there’s still a strong drug problem here in Bay County. But they say it’s not uncommon to have a down cycle after closing out so many large drug cases around the same time period.

“We have seen a decrease in some areas with the amount of dope coming in, but again that goes back to some of the larger cases we’ve closed over the past four to five months,” Lieutenant Kevin Francis said.

We’re told year to date, there have been nine major drug busts. But only one since April. In all of 2020, they had 12.

“It’s not uncommon to see that cycle when large cases are closed out and we make lots of arrests for things to slow down just a little bit,” said Francis.

Francis, of the Special Investigations Division, said even though things have slowed down, they continue to make a lot of smaller drug busts.

“That doesn’t mean that we’re stopping what we’re doing. We’ll have other people step up and take those positions of the people not doing it anymore,” said Francis.

And they said they’re doing everything they can to get the most problematic drugs off the streets.

“Methamphetamine is probably the most common that we’re seeing, right behind it with heroin and fentanyl mixtures,” said Francis.

Francis said while they haven’t changed the way they go about getting drugs off the streets, they’re now having to get creative with new techniques.

“Because these big cases, oftentimes expose a lot of the ways we do our job,” said Francis.

A job Francis said the division will keep working as hard at as they always have.

Francis said he expects the number of major drug busts to go back up as the year goes on.

Francis said the rate of overdoses going up also shows the drug activity increasing. He said this year to date, there have been 208 overdoses with 18 of those being fatal. Compare that to April, when there was 150 overdoses, with 15 of those being fatal.

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