Strike force stops human smuggling, seizes drugs in Sumter County

Law enforcement agencies intercept 15 undocumented aliens, seize over 4 pounds of fentanyl

Florida law enforcement agencies seized over 4 pounds of fentanyl during a weeklong operation in Sumter County, officials said Wednesday. (Florida Highway Patrol)

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. – Florida law enforcement agencies intercepted 15 undocumented aliens and seized over 4 pounds of fentanyl during a weeklong operation in Sumter County at the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, officials said Wednesday.

Florida Highway Patrol, in partnership with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and U.S. Border Patrol agents, also found and confiscated 39 pounds of methamphetamine, over 30 pounds of marijuana and more than $22,000 in currency and other illicit contraband, including cocaine, heroin and suboxone.

DeSantis had ordered the strike force to crack down on human and drug smuggling and trafficking. Authorities said the operation resulted in four charges of human smuggling.

“FHP is committed to ensuring safer Florida communities by apprehending individuals who are smuggling undocumented aliens and trafficking dangerous narcotics into our neighborhoods,” Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Dave Kerner said in a news release. “The outcome of this operation speaks for itself; law enforcement officers statewide are dedicated to remaining a law-and-order state.”

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FHP patrols over 49,500,000 miles of roadway throughout the state.

“Our troopers are responsible for the safety and welfare of millions of Florida citizens and visitors. To us, safety means many things and includes not only a response to a crash or a speed violation, but it also incorporates what may be inside those vehicles,” Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, director of FHP, said in a statement. “When our roadways are patrolled and laws enforced, criminals cannot bring their illicit practices into our state.”

The full results of the strike force’s operation can be found here.

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About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.