135 Arrested in Prescription Drug Trafficking Investigation | News

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135 Arrested in Prescription Drug Trafficking Investigation
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Forty-two people from the First Coast are among the 135 arrested in a multi-agency operation to eliminate drug trafficking.

For 14 weeks, agents throughout north Florida investigated prescription drug trafficking as part of Operation Growing Pains.

Phase one of the operation resulted in the 135 arrests and the dismantling of large-scale organizations.

The initial intent was to identify, disrupt and dismantle any such criminal enterprises.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), another phase is in the works to continue fighting the prescription drug problem.

"Clearly the increase in illegal use of pharmaceutical drugs is attacking many Florida communities," said FDLE Jacksonville Special Agent in Charge Dominick Pape.  "Only by a coordinated team approach like this can law enforcement continue to combat this ever increasing threat."

Medical examiners across the state have determined that more than 1,200 people have died as a result of prescription drug overdose in a 6-month period this year, an average of seven per day.

Along with the arrests, agents were able to seize nearly 17,000 pills and more than $3.6 million.

Recent pain clinic raids in Jacksonville are connected to these investigations.

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