WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — If you noticed a heavier police presence in Walton County over the last few days, that’s because they have been wrapping up a drug trafficking investigation.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office said 25 suspects were involved in trafficking cocaine in Walton and Okaloosa County.
They will each face federal and state charges.
“This has been a culmination of a very long and intensive investigation that has brought the partnership of these multiple agencies together,” Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson said. “And I think that’s one thing that we’re particularly proud of here is that we work together and we produce a professional product because, you know, making an arrest is half the battle.”
“Operation Hans Gruber” began in March 2021 when deputies started investigating five suspects and 20 co-conspirators allegedly involved in the purchase and sale of large amounts of cocaine.
“It is important to know that I think this is going to take a major hit for the trafficking of cocaine here in Walton County,” Adkinson said.
More than 3,000 grams of cocaine were seized during the investigation.
Deputies also seized four firearms, more than $22,000, 50 grams of crack cocaine, and 2,500 grams of marijuana.
“As the sheriff indicated, these investigations take time and the citizens should know that it’s not a matter of how quickly or how expeditiously an arrest is made, but that any prosecutions are built in such a way where the community is safer as a result of the monumental effort undertaken,” United States Attorney for Northern District of Florida Jason Coody said.
On Wednesday and Thursday, federal and state law enforcement officers arrested twelve of the suspects.
“You know, we’ve got a methamphetamine problem, we have a cocaine problem, we have a heroin problem, so all of these are proximal issues. What’s the root issue? It’s addiction. And the sheriff’s office is never going to cure the addiction issue,” Adkinson said. “But what we are going to do as relentlessly as we can is to bring those individuals who sell this to justice.”
Sheriff Adkinson said they expect to make more arrests.
Four suspects that have outstanding warrants are still at large.
Visit this link to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office website to view mugshots and a list of charges of those involved.