Recently in one of the largest drug busts in the history of Hernando County, Florida, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized about 5,500 packages of heroin, some of which featured the face of President Donald Trump.
In early February, authorities arrested 46-year-old Kelvin Scott Johnson for allegedly driving to an unnamed city in the northeast to procure the heroin packets and mailing them on a large scale to a location in the Tampa Bay Area, Spring Hill.
The local law enforcement authorities claim that they were tipped off about Johnson’s alleged involvement in the racket after postal workers intercepted a package containing 550 doses of heroin. According to Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, the recent bust was the outcome of a six-to-eight-month long investigation into the heroin sales activities in the county.
Besides the new president’s face, some of the packets bore the images of infamous drug lords like Mexican cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. Nevertheless, police officers were unable to understand why the different bags bore images of different personalities, as most drug dealers tend to mark their consignments with street brand names.
The accused, Johnson, is said to have a long criminal history and faces charges for possession and trafficking of heroin and other drugs. He is currently in jail with a bond set at more than $60,000.
“He has made a big mistake by putting the president’s picture on the bags,” said Pamela Bondi, the current Attorney General of Florida, expressing anguish on the use of Trump’s image to brand the drugs. “Because he is going to be our most fierce advocate in taking this junk off of our streets.”
Due to the ease of availability of heroin, addiction to the drug is destroying communities all across the United States, particularly in the state of Florida. The drug is not just confined to the poor neighborhoods, instead, its use is rampant even in the suburbs and the affluent areas causing a skyrocketing surge in overdose-related fatalities in the recent years.
Experts feel that the national and state-level crackdown on pill manufacturing mills has made it even tougher for addicts to lay hands on prescription opioids such as fentanyl, OxyContin, and Vicodin without a valid prescription. Therefore, the need for a similar-effect drug with identical chemical structure and euphoria-inducing properties has been fulfilled by small-time drug dealers on the streets who smuggle heroin, a pocket-friendly and deadly opiate, into the state.
For many heroin addicts, the decision to switch over from prescription drug abuse to heroin use, seems to be a cheaper and viable option. In terms of cost, opioids could cost about $1 per milligram, i.e., $60 for a single 60 milligram pill. On the other hand, an equivalent amount of heroin is worth far less, and is readily available at approximately $10 per bag. Moreover, heroin can be easily bought on the streets, without any valid medical prescription.
Recent years have seen a surge in overdoses due to heroin laced with fentanyl scaling new heights. Last year, it sent many uninformed victims to their graves in several cities across Florida such as Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami and Orlando. In fact, nationwide, the heroin-related death toll rivals the number of young Americans who lost their lives at the height of Vietnam War.
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to heroin or any other drug, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to learn about the best substance abuse treatment centers. Call our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 to speak to one of our certified representatives or navigate to live chat to know about various state-of-art drug addiction rehab centers across different locations in the United States.