LONGWOOD, Fla. - Police seized hundreds of illegal prescription pills and arrested more than 30 people in a major drug operation they said was being run out of a woman's Longwood home.
Police said Jennie McCown, also known as the "Queen of Longwood," has been dethroned. McCown was on house arrest for a previous drug conviction, but authorities said that didn't stop her from peddling even more prescription pills out of her home.
Wednesday dozens of people were handcuffed and hauled off to jail, all of them according to investigators, either alleged customers or associated of McCown.
According to arrest reports, McCown was making up to $10,000 a month illegally, selling oxycodone, morphine and Xanax.
Police said she would get the drugs from a team of nine associates, who would travel the state obtaining real prescriptions. They would ten sell their pills to McCown, investigators said, who in turn would illegally resell the narcotics to dozens of customers.
"Their activities and organizations like them severely inhibit our health care system from being able to provide legitimate medicines to legitimate patients," Jeff Walsh with the DEA said.
McCown said she knows nothing about the operation.
"I don't know what happened, honestly," she said.
However, some of her alleged customers said they have genuine medical problems.
"These people are hurt, I'm hurt," Kristin Walters said. "We have surgeries. We're past the age of 50, most of us, and need those narcotics."
Police arrested more than 30 people Wednesday, but said others tied to the drug operation are likely still out there.
"Chances are, in the future, we'll be coming to arrest you too," Longwood Police Chief Troy Hickson said.
In some cases, investigators said people would drive up to McCown's home with their kids in their car trying to buy drugs. Many of them were unemployed, so detectives said they would pay for the pills using government food stamps.
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