Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dozens Arrested in Heroin, Sex Trafficking Ring

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Agents call it a “sophisticated organization” run by heroin dealers who targeted at least twenty sex trafficking victims, including a child. Photo: Florida Office of the Attorney General.";s:

An investigation into a heroin and sex trafficking ring has ended with the arrest of more than two dozen people. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement today after a two-year investigation.

The dealers used force, fraud, and coercion to make their money, according to Sergeant Dave Allmond of the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, one of the agencies involved in the bust.

“They not only profit off selling the drugs,” he said. “They profit off stringing out the prostitutes and earning money from them. This was a very sophisticated, complicated organization that involved a lot of people.”

He said many of the defendants are repeating drug offenders who made hundreds of dollars a day off the sex workers. Agents discovered $10,000 when they busted the operation.

Allmond said they have rescued at least twenty sex trafficking victims so far, including a child.

“Like any long-term investigation, we’ve still got a lot of work to do because now we’re going to identify some of the people that were arrested. Actually, once we debrief them, they could actually be victims,” he added.

The defendants face felony charges including drug charges, racketeering, and human trafficking.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will continue the investigation in hopes of targeting traffickers and finding more victims.