BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is aggressively pursuing drug traffickers because of the rise in overdose deaths.

More than 50 grams of fentanyl and nearly 250 grams of methamphetamine were taken off the streets after a recent investigation by the sheriff’s office.

Graylin Patterson

Thirty-year-old Graylin J. Patterson was arrested twice on drug trafficking charges: once on May 23, 2022 and then again on June 13, 2022.

“Not the first time we’ve arrested him for tracking fentanyl,” Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said. “Hopefully it’ll be the last and we can get him sent off to prison.”

Patterson has been in jail since the 13th, but authorities were able to connect Patterson to two separate locations where 53.4 grams of fentanyl and 248.1 grams of meth were being stored. He was hit with more charges on Monday.

Sheriff Ford said the fentanyl epidemic gravely concerns the agency.

“We respond to overdoses all the time, almost a daily occurrence,” he said. “[Fentanyl is a] very deadly substance, much more deadly than heroin and morphine.”

The sheriff also said he feels there’s a common denominator in the rise of fentanyl and meth in the area.

Drugs seized by BCSO

“It’s flowing over the southwest border,” Ford said. “No other way to say it. That’s the only other place it’s coming from.”

Sheriff Ford said he’s like to see a more secure southern United States border.

“I’d like to see the federal government do their job and enforce the laws at the border,” he said.

Patterson is being charged with trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking in methamphetamine and unlawful use of a two-way device to facilitate a felony.