TAVARES, Fla. – A Central Florida sheriff is sending a stern warning to heroin dealers: "We're coming for you. Run!"
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In a video posted Friday to the agency's Facebook page, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell told dealers his undercover agents have already bought heroin from them, adding that officials are "simply waiting for the arrest warrants to be finalized."
Flanked by four agents wearing black hoods and masks, the sheriff told dealers to "enjoy looking over your shoulder and constantly wondering if today is the day we will come for you."
"There are those that may say it was over the top. Well, if the message got out that A., our citizens can call us and remain anonymous, and B., that the drug dealers move out of this county, I'm OK with that," Grinnell said.
Grinnell said a number of citizens have contacted him recently about the number of heroin overdoses in Lake County. He urged more citizens to call in anonymously.
He then taunted the dealers: "Enjoy trying to sleep tonight."
Some Lake County residents said the message was over-the-top and could even be compared to the videos terrorist group ISIS posts online.
"I was a little shocked with the black mask over the face. I mean, come on, these are everyday police men, are they not? I thought it was kind of shocking," Lake County resident Denise Beique said.
On the other hand, others said if it gets the message across, more power to them.
"They have to solve the problem ... I don't see anything wrong with it. It's straight to the point and I guess that's what you have to be," Lake County resident Don Kohlschmidet said.
Grinnell said this was the first video he's done while he's been sheriff.
As of Monday afternoon, the video had garnered close to 800,000 views.
He said he hopes it will build more of a rapport between the community and the sheriff's office.
"My drug agents live that world every day, that dark and dangerous world. They wanted to be a part of that proactive stance in that video because they're undercover -- they have to wear masks. It's a state statute, but I was glad that they wanted to participate in that," Grinnell said.
A message from the Lake County Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Unit.Posted by Lake County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 7, 2017