BUNNELL, FL – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office recently received a $100,000 grant from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) as part of the State Financial Assistance for Fentanyl Eradication (SAFE) program.

The 2023 legislature established the SAFE in Florida program which provides $20 million dollars for reimbursements to agencies for eligible costs to combat Fentanyl. These funds help support investigative methods including the purchase of Fentanyl testing kits, software and investigative costs related to the reduction of Fentanyl within Flagler County.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Special Investigations Unit’s (SIU) primary focus is to identify, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations (DTO) that are trafficking the lethal drug of Fentanyl into Flagler County. SIU utilizes a multitude of advanced investigative methods to target drug trafficking organizations including controlled purchases, buy-bust operations, and interdiction traffic stops to arrest members of these drug trafficking organizations that are responsible for the supply and distribution of Fentanyl in Flagler County and surrounding counties.

While working these investigations, Narcotics detectives in 2023 seized 22 firearms, and over 1 kilogram of Fentanyl, in addition to 508 grams of Cocaine and 258 grams of Methamphetamine. The seized Fentanyl had the potential to kill over 583,000 people, or roughly the entire population of Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam Counties combined.

“Fentanyl is deadly, and as long as poison peddlers continue to lace their illegal drugs with this life-ending poison, we will work to shut them down and put them behind bars,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “We have already closed down one DTO that had its roots in a Mexican Cartel and stretched from Los Angeles, CA, to Phoenix, AZ, to Flagler County. This SAFE grant gets us one step closer to quickly identifying, tracking and closing down DTO’s and their poison peddler operations.”