34 Individuals from St Johns County Arrested for Methamphetamine Production and Distribution
JUNE 13 (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and David B. Short, Sheriff, St. Johns Sheriff’s Office (SJSO), announce the results of an 18 months investigation involving several methamphetamine trafficking organizations in the St. Johns County area. Over the past two days, the DEA and SJSO have arrested 34 individuals on violations for conspiracy to manufacturing methamphetamine and/or conspiracy to unlawfully possess listed chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine under Florida drug laws. There are nine suspects still outstanding, and all efforts are being made to locate and arrest those individuals.
During the investigation, investigators learned that several residences in St Johns County were being used to manufacture methamphetamine using the “One Pot Method.” This method is extremely dangerous and creates a hazardous environment. Unfortunately this is the preferred method for most methamphetamine production because it is the easiest and produces a 90 percent pure product. With the assistance of pharmaceutical logs and other investigative resources, investigators were able to identify over 200 individuals who were buying large amounts of Pseudoephedrine (a key ingredient in the production of methamphetamine) and identify potential meth labs at three locations in St. Johns County (5000 block of Avenue B, 1400 block of San Juline Circle, and 2599 A1A South).
Prior to this week’s arrests, seven individuals were arrested. Three out of the seven were federally indicted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. This is an ongoing investigation, and the DEA and SJSO will continue to identify individuals suspected of producing methamphetamine and meth labs to ensure public health and safety.
This investigation was conducted by the DEA and SJSO, with the assistance of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, St. Augustine Police Department, St. Augustine Beach Police Department, and St. Johns County Fire-Rescue. The 43 defendants are being prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office of the 7th Judicial Circuit.