Inmate ran Florida meth distribution ring from behind bars, deputies say

Drugs, guns seized in joint operation

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A prison inmate used a contraband cellphone to run a drug ring responsible for distributing more than 200 pounds of crystal meth in Central Florida, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies on Monday announced the results of Operation Extended Stay, which began in December, and involved the Sheriff's Office, the Volusia Bureau of Investigation, FBI and Florida Attorney General’s Office.

Authorities said the drug ring, which has been dismantled, is believed to be responsible for distributing 200 pounds of crystal meth in Volusia County during the past year.

The ringleader of the organization, 42-year-old Jeffery White, was running the drug ring using a contraband cellphone as he served a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault in the Washington State Prison in Georgia, according to a news release.

Deputies said other members of the ring were operating out of DeLand, Edgewater and Crescent City.

As a result of the operation, deputies said they arrested 27 people and seized 20 pounds of crystal meth, 327 pressed fentanyl pills, 64 Dilaudid pills, other assorted other pills, marijuana, five guns and about $41,000 cash. Additional arrests are expected, records show.

“Our job here isn’t done but thanks to months of hard work by everyone involved in this operation, today there’s a little less crystal meth and fentanyl out on the street and a few more drug dealers behind bars," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood. "I call that a good day. We’re going to keep after it, and if you’re dealing drugs in Volusia County, one day you’re going to hear us knocking on the door.”

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