12 arrested for shipping drugs and weapons through U.S. Mail - FOX 35 News Orlando

12 arrested for shipping drugs and weapons through U.S. Mail

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OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) -

Marion County Sheriff's deputies have seized about 100 pounds of cocaine, weed, synthetic pot and prescription pills, in a month-long sting targeting the daily mail.

The operation ran from mid-January to mid-February and involved numerous law enforcement agencies throughout Central Florida. 

"We realize the drug trade fuels a lot of our crime, our burglary, our theft, are all fueled by drugs. And we've got to combat it every which way we possibly can," said Lt. Brian Spivey, "It's easier for someone in California to send a box than it is for someone in Florida to drive all the way to California and back."

During the operation, Marion County deputies teamed up with United States Postal Service inspectors.  Tactical teams spent their mornings in post offices and distribution centers around the county, flagging suspicious packages.

"Once we've narrowed down the boxes we feel are suspicious, we let the K-9 go and take a sniff for us and ultimately confirm for us which ones are narcotics," Lt. Spivey added.

Deputies pulled in three-quarters of a million dollars worth of drugs, plus guns and cash.  Twelve suspects were arrested on various drugs and weapons charges and five firearms were taken as evidence, three of which were stolen.

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