Police in Florida issued arrest warrants for over 100 members of a suspected drug gang on Wednesday and seized enough fentanyl to wipe out a large county. Dozens of them were taken into custody and bused to prison, including the six alleged ringleaders.
The 104 arrest warrants concluded a months-long investigation by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office into an organization suspected of "distributing kilogram quantities" of heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl -- a synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, police said.
The amount of opiates seized were "enough to kill every single resident of Brevard County," which has an estimated population of about 590,000 people, according to police.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the bust marked the biggest drug seizure in the county's history.
“We cannot allow these drugs and the criminals who peddle them to poison our communities and destroy lives," DeSantis said in a statement Wednesday. "We must have strict enforcement for these dealers and treatment for those who have become addicted.”
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said investigators uncovered 75 firearms, 9 pounds of methamphetamine, 3 pounds of fentanyl and an undisclosed amount of heroin. The drugs had an estimated street value of at least $181,000, according to the office.
Fentanyl, often used to lace other drugs, is considered the deadliest drug in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ingesting as little as 0.25 milligrams can be fatal.
Detectives said the organization was obtaining large quantities of drugs from overseas and distributing them throughout Brevard County, which is about 50 miles east of Orlando.
"Arrest warrants were issued for each of the 100 suspects who have been identified throughout the course of the investigation as sources or distributors of these deadly drugs," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "Several of the suspects arrested today were arrested previously in this investigation for drug related charges and were released after posting lowered bonds."
The three alleged organizational leaders were identified as Brandon Huff, 35, and Jonathan Walker, 42, both of Cocoa, and Megan Wilborn, 31, of Merritt Island. Huff is being held on $2.5 million bond, while both Walker and Wilborn are being held on just over $900,000 bond.
The suspects could face multiple charges ranging from conspiracy and trafficking to racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO).