St. Lucie County Deputies Make Largest Heroin Bust In County History
According to CBS12 and other local reports, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara announced that deputies from his Special Investigation Unit made one of the biggest heroin busts in county history on Tuesday night.
The warrant was served in the 2400 block of South 13th Street in Fort Pierce, and deputies arrested one man, 31. He is currently being held in the St. Lucie County Jail on charges of heroin trafficking, as well as possession of drug equipment, marijuana, and a firearm by a convicted felon.
Over one pound of heroin and fentanyl was confiscated – a street value of over $300,000. A shotgun and loaded handgun were also found in the home.
Mascara noted that the heroin and fentanyl drug combination is related to many overdoses and deaths that have occurred recently in St. Lucie County.
Fentanyl is a painkiller similar in effect to heroin, but much more powerful – up to 50 times more potent. It is the drug responsible for the artist Prince’s death in April of last year. It is often preferred by dealers because it is inexpensive to make and a little bit goes a long way.
As a means to increase profits, fentanyl is often cut into heroin or substituted outright for it, unbeknownst to the user. The consequences are often deadly.
“I committed that our agency would track, search out, and dismantle the heroin operations wreaking havoc throughout our county. should send a message to all those who may still be out there selling – we will find you and we will stop you.”
About the Epidemic
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015 more than 33,000 people died from overdoses related to opioids in the United States. These deaths include those related to both prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.
In Florida, between 2014-2015 drug overdose deaths rates rose by nearly 23%, one of the largest increases in the nation.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology