BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Nearly 40 people in Bay County were arrested after multiple agencies concluded a large scale 3-month operation against a local heroin distribution ring.
Earlier this week, ten Bay County residents were indicted on federal drug charges. Several dozen more people are now facing state drug charges.
Authorities began investigating the suspects in April, and by July they had enough evidence to take to prosecutors.
"It's just a good cooperative effort and will really make an impact on our heroin situation here in Bay County," said Bay Co. Sheriff Tommy Ford.
The Bay, Walton, and Jackson County Sheriff's office were part of the investigation, along with Panama City Beach Police, the Florida department of law enforcement, DEA, ATF, ICE and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Ford says stopping heroin has become everyone's top priority.
"Heroin has been such a deadly epidemic and our community throughout the state and nation so it's been one of our top priorities to address those that are distributing," said Ford.
The U.S. Attorney's office is handling the prosecutions for 15 of the defendants. The other 24 will go through state courts, and there could be more.
"There's still two or three that we're looking for and if anybody has any information on their whereabouts, we appreciate that information," said Ford.
Authorities are still looking for Philip Daniel Pippen, Raymond Pete Holley, and Nicole Marie Dempsey.
If you have any information, please call your nearest law enforcement agency.
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