LAKE COUNTY, FL – The Lake County Sheriff’s Office initiated Operation Basic Training during recent months, which was a joint investigation into a drug-trafficking organization operating throughout Central Florida.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Clermont Police Department (FL), Leesburg Police Department, and Eustis Police Departments all worked together to investigate narcotics-related crimes committed by mid- to high-level dealers associated with the organization. The Special Investigations Bureau concluded Operation Basic Training on April 28, 2021 with the execution of two residential search warrants within the city limits of Leesburg and thirteen arrest warrants for individuals charged in connection with their involvement with dangerous drugs.
Detectives executed search warrants for one storage unit, one passenger car, and four residences. The long-term investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately $13,000 in U.S. currency and trafficking amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine. Detectives also seized several pounds of marijuana, cocaine-laced marijuana, and a small quantity of Oxycodone. The street value of the seized narcotics is estimated to be more than $50,000 dollars. Ten assorted firearms were recovered during the search warrants, four of which were reported stolen from other jurisdictions throughout Central Florida.
Twenty-two individuals were charged with a variety of drug-related crimes throughout the investigation. These charges range from trafficking in cocaine and trafficking in methamphetamine to sale of heroin/fentanyl within a thousand feet of a church.
Many of the arrestees were charged with multiple felony drug offenses. This operation was a concerted effort to target and combat the heroin and opioid epidemic, as overdoses throughout the state and beyond continue to rise. “This is a fight we have to fight together, and we will keep fighting to put these dealers out of work here in our county,” said Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell.
“We are thankful for the strong partnerships we have here with our fellow law enforcement agencies, as well as our citizens, and will continue working together with them to keep Lake County safe.”Leesburg Police Chief Rob Hicks added, “The Leesburg Police Department is very pleased with the outcome of this investigation, and the ongoing investigative efforts by all involved agencies. Cooperative investigations, such as this, enhance the quality of life for our citizens and improve the overall safety of our children and communities alike.”