DeSantis Promises To Hunt Down Fentanyl Traffickers In Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said this week that he will go after fentanyl traffickers in Florida.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, “Fentanyl flowing over our southern border is a direct result of the Biden Border Crisis and in Florida, we will not allow it to take the lives of innocent people.”

“In Florida, we will hunt down anyone who brings fentanyl into our communities and puts lives at risk. I am thankful to the officers who continue to put the safety of their communities first and apprehend these criminals,” he added.

DeSantis made the promise in reaction to the seizure of 15,000 fentanyl pills disguised as OxyContin in his state on Thursday. The drug bust occurred in Osceola County where the Florida Highway Patrol Criminal Interdiction Unit apprehended a suspect.

According to officials, the suspect had been driving recklessly in a white Mercedes, prompting officers to pursue it. In an attempt to evade authorities, the suspect, later identified as Jonathan Nicola, sped as much as 100 miles an hour, and hit other vehicles while driving on the wrong side of the highway.

He was eventually arrested when he crashed. But officers only had him for traffic violations. They only came upon the drugs while they were conducting a search of the vehicle. Along with the drugs, officers also found drug paraphernalia and a loaded handgun.

Nicola was then charged with not only vehicle violations but drug trafficking and possession as well as weapons violations.

Just a day before that bust, officials found 41.93 grams of fentanyl alongside other illegal narcotics and paraphernalia in a home in Central Florida. According to authorities, the fentanyl found in the home is enough to kill almost 21,000 people.

Fentanyl, a very deadly opioid, is usually manufactured in Mexico and smuggled into the U.S., usually through the southern border, where Border Patrol agents have their hands full with the increasing number of illegal migrants trying to get into the country.

Reacting to Thursday’s arrest, Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Dave Kerner issued a statement, saying, “Despite the unabated flow of Fentanyl flowing into our nation through the open southern border, State Troopers wake up every day willingly putting themselves in high-risk situations like this, so that they can put evil people behind bars.”

“Despite the advantages the drug cartels reap from the open border, the Florida Highway Patrol will never back down from the mission Governor DeSantis has assigned us; keep our communities safe, and fight back against the cartel driven devastation,” he added.