A big bust in Pasco County put dozens of people in jail and has slowed down the sale of illegal pills in at least three states.
Two indictments charge 31 people of selling Oxycodone in two separate drug rings, and agents with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office say it all connects to Florida.
"It has been the black eye for the Oxycodone epidemic, and I'd like to feel that we're making a dent," said Sgt. William Davis.
Pill by pill, they sold Oycodone illegally in Florida and beyond, making up to $30 for one 30 mg pill.
"When you mix greed with addiction it's a very, very bad combination. That will always fuel the drug problem," said James DiCaprio.
But how did they get tens of thousands of pills? An undercover agent who could not reveal her name for security reasons reports that she saw a lot of doctor shopping and fraudulent injuries being reported.
"Taking someone to the doctor, paying for the visit. Then you have the addict who will go in, use their name and use their ID at a pharmacy, whatever the case may be," she said.
The intel on this bust began last October as part of a national effort called "Pill Nation Two." It involved undercover agents who've been in the trenches dumpster diving for evidence, getting to know the pill pushers and tracking the info they needed to arrest more than two dozen people in the last 24 hours.
The accused dealers sold to
addicts, in Florida, Tennessee,
Arkansas and New York, authorities said.
"These aren't millionaires that are just taking oxy, roxy, Xanax. These are people that are addicted. They've lost their houses, families, everything," said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco.
The arrests may mark a dent in the supply, but it won't mark the end of illegal drug sales in Pasco County.
"We know they're still out there pushing it. They're still out there selling it. In some aspects, they're happy that we arrest someone else, because now they may have more of a profit share. So that's why we keep going after them and we keep going after people. We keep sending the message we're going to keep coming," Nocco said.
The sheriff's office says seven people a day die here in Florida from prescription pill abuse.
A lot of other crimes, from car break in and home robberies to copper thefts, are motivated by addicts with no money to buy their next fix.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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