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Big Sweep of Small-Time Pill Pushers Nets 78 Arrests in Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns

| July 11, 2012

Jakob Johnsen as he was being arrested this morning in front of his home in Palm Coast, on a charge of selling hydrocodone. He bonded out within hours. (© FlaglerLive)

It’s 6:38 a.m. The two Flagler County Sheriff’s SUVs, one marked, one unmarked, weave their way deep into Palm Coast’s E Section. The neighborhood is as still as the air. On Edwards Drive, the two vehicles park along an empty lot. A Captain and a lieutenant step out of one car, two deputies step out of the other. They walk down two lots to 72 Edwards. They take positions around the house. The two-level structure looks as bedraggled as the five vehicles in the driveway–three cars, one of them spreading an oil leak on the driveway, two pick-up trucks, one of them a fugitive from a wrecking yard.

Two minutes of studying the house’s perimeter, peeking through a wooden fence, eying windows, then the knock at the front door. “Sheriff’s Office.” A long wait. One minute. Two minutes. Almost three minutes.

Dawn briefing breaks up at the county’s Emergency Operations Center this morning just before the sweep begins. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Then an appearance. The man is in his 20s, stocky, dressed in a dark t-shirt and shorts. There’s a short conversation. Something about this not being his house, something about him checking with the homeowner. He goes back inside. Another long wait. At the far more manicured house next door, a woman walks out, picks up a paper, walks back in, then back out for a walk in the neighborhood. She walks hurriedly by No. 72, where the man has come back out with his identification papers. The man the cops were looking for isn’t here. Or so the tenant says. Capt. Paul Bovino, the SWAT Team commander and supervisor on this particular arrest warrant, had predicted it would go this way. “You get a lot of ‘he’s not here’ or ‘they’re not here’ type of thing,”  he’d said on the way.

The man at the door claims the suspect the cops are looking for really isn’t here, something about driving around in a red Impala, dropping off girls, maybe coming back soon. He’s a combination of nervous and obsequious, clasping his hands, crossing his arms, dropping them again, shifting on his feet. “So if he comes back,” he says, “should I have him give you a call? Do you have a card?” The man even apologizes for the suspect’s absence.

Back in their SUV, Bovino and Lt. Gerald Ditolla are obviously disappointed. They’re convinced the man is lying, that the suspect is hiding in the house. The other SUV drives off. Bovino, in an unmarked, black Tahoe, stays in the neighborhood. He thinks–he knows–something is up. He can’t go in the house. It’s an arrest warrant, not a search warrant, and absent reasonable suspicion that the man is in the house, there’s no going in. As Ditolla puts it, not without a hint of irony, “everyone has the right to be secure in their own home.”

The house on Edwards. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Bovino drives, turns around, returns to 72 Edwards, eyes the house again, drives on a small distance. And waits. Voices on the police radio chime in from time to time, hints of other similar operations across the city. If Bovino’s instinct were a radio frequency, it’d be crackling.

At 7:05, he sees it. The red Impala. And the look of the man at the wheel, who has no idea who’s in the black SUV. The Impala drives by, Bovino immediately follows closely, activates his lights. The Impala’s turn signal comes on in front of 72 Edwards. The man stops the car in front of the crowded driveway. Bovino and Ditolla jump out this time, and almost immediately cuff the man who, in his Nike sneakers, black Air Jordan shirt and Kenny G hair, is all daze. The two other deputies hadn’t been far. They return, seize the man, search him, place him in the marked SUV as Bovino and Ditolla search the car.

“That’s how you do it, right? It pays to have patience,” Bovino says, warrant served and suspect in custody.

The man is Jakob Johnsen, formerly of Bunnell, who got out of prison in March 2011 after an 11-month stint on a heroin sale and manufacturing conviction. He’d been in Flagler’s jail in 2008 for burglary and dealing in stolen property. He was charged with selling hydrocodone.

At 7:46 a.m., Johnsen is brought into a makeshift booking room at the Emergency Operation Center in Bunnell, where several other people have been arrested and were being processed before heading for the jail, all on similar charges: illegally selling, dealing or possessing prescription drugs. Some of them sat in the makeshift booking room, in hand and leg cuffs, waiting their turn with a deputy who booked them through a laptop, placing their effects in big brown bags and sending them on their way to the jail. As they waited—on small armchairs often used by local politicians and their audiences during government meetings—they chatted among themselves, one of them cried, most of them sat silently, staring ahead, leaning, yawning, bearing  almost identically the drained, captive look of people in intensive care waiting rooms.

Kimberly Lacy. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Kimberly Lacy was an exception. The 44-year-old resident of Hymon Circle in Bunnell cracked jokes from the moment she arrived with whoever was near. “Watcha got handcuffs on me for? I’m COP, what the hell,” she said as she was brought into the booking room. COP is the acronym for community policing patrols usually conducted by volunteers. She was twice jailed locally in 2010, for writing worthless checks and for domestic violence. Today she was booked on a charge of selling Oxycontin.

She and the rest of the congregation were the prize in “Operation Pill Management,” the latest in a series of similar operations local and state law enforcement agencies carry out periodically to put a spotlight on the drug flavor of the moment.

The Flagler County Sherff’s Office conducted a 31-warrant at 30 locations sweep this morning. Other police agencies did the same in Putnam and St. Johns, serving 103 warrants and netting 78 arrests, 23 of them in Flagler County.

But the sum total of pills seized was 1,541, not much more than the number of pills that could be found in medicine cabinets. Officials did not have a total street value for the seizure.

“We were supposed to do this two or three weeks ago, but Neil Perry got sick,” Flagler County Sheriff Don Fleming said, referring to the long-time St. Johns County sheriff who died in late June. “This has been a concentrated effort by the Tri-County Task Force,” he said, describing investigations that included numerous under-cover buys of pills, with involvement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, U.S. Marshals, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the sheriff’s offices in St. Johns and Putnam. The local sheriff’s office invited media–the Palm Coast Observer, the News-Journal, FlaglerLive–to ride along with deputies on a few arrests once the sweep began after a 6 a.m. briefing at the EOC.

The booking room for the day. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

And at 2:30 this afternoon, those agencies and a few more arrayed some of their top brass, including Fleming, R.J. Larizza, the state attorney for the 7th district, and Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy, all three of whom are running for re-election in 34 days. They gathered around a briefing room at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office before cameras and microphones for an extended round of back-patting and big declarations about the “epidemic” of prescription pills sweeping the state and the country–and free air play on local television stations that their rivals could not match.

As usual in such affairs, none of the rank-and-file who did the work–the investigations, the under-cover buys, the arrests–and put themselves in danger spoke, or even appeared at the front of the room.

It’s unclear how today’s operation fits in the context of the prescription drug problem. Officials at this afternoon’s media event said the drugs are causing a rise in crime. But crime has, in fact, been dropping most years, locally and nationally, and men like Fleming have been taking credit for the drop on their watch. He was asked about the contradiction.

“It’s decreased four out of five years in the total FDLE-UCR crime report,” Fleming said. “Yes. Has drugs increased? Drugs are always there, but no. Drugs have not increased in this county as we have looked at in the past. But drugs are the number one epidemic that leads to other crimes that would be committed. When we get a house burglary, when St. Johns gets a drug store held up or when Putnam County gets a car broken into, I’m going to eventually say that most of that is going to be drug-related.”

Fleming said he would welcome doing similar operations “again and again and again.”

‘To try and say this is a choreographed political stunt, I take offense to it,’ says R.J. Larizza. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Dominick Pape of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reprised almost identical words he spoke in December 2010, when much of the same group held a similar media event following a sweep then called “Operation Growing Pains” (135 arrests, 11,267 pills seized in a 10-county area), “Clearly,” he said, “our job is still ongoing. This investigation demonstrates that this illegal drug use will impact our communities every day. If you look at the 103 subjects charged during this operation, they come from all walks of life, economic backgrounds and several different age groups, the oldest being 71, and the youngest being 17.”

But most would, as they have in the past, bond out and eventually serve small sentences, if any. And while one official spoke of the “organized” nature of prescription-drug dealing, none of the arrests are the result of organized crime charges, underscoring the low level type of dealer or user rounded up today. Larizza conceded as much.

“We were dealing with street-level and mid-level dealers who were selling these prescription drugs on the street,” Larizza said. “Now, some of them they may have been their own prescriptions, they may have gotten the pills from somebody else, and then resold them. But these were the street-level folks that you find—there were crack cocaine epidemics and you had the street-level open-air markets. Now you’ve got folks that we’re focusing on now that are on the street level, in the community, selling these prescription drugs, whether they get them from their own prescriptions or from somebody else. They’re not the racketeering type of scenario, where you may have had the pain clinics who banded together and had an actual conspiracy and worked together to monopolize the particular market and had an organization or structure. Most of these folks are individuals that are selling the drugs for individual reasons. But they’re out there, they’re corrupting the community, and we can’t ignore those folks.” (Pape said today’s arrests would help build cases for arrests further up the chain of drug-dealing command.)

Even as most will bond out, Fleming said: “We’ve got to hope that when they go back in front of the judge this time they get some time.”

Larisa and Fleming, of course, dismissed suggestions that the sweep was timed for media effect before an election involving them both.

“Quite frankly,” Larizza said, “to try and say this is a choreographed political stunt, I take offense to it.”

By then, Jakob Johnsen had already bonded out.

"Operation Pain Management"

NameAgeCity of ResidenceAgencyCharge(s)
Agan, David63St AugustineSJSOSale of Schedule Iv (Diazepam)
Atteberry, Joshua25St AugustineSJSOSale of Oxycodone
Barber, Christopher35PalatkaPCSOTrafficking in Hydrocodone
Barber, Darren47PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II
Barber, Barber24PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II
Bellamy, John54PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II (Roxicodone) x 3
Bickerton, Charles40JacksonvilleSJSOObtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud
Biernacki, Michelle27PalatkaPCSOSale of Oxycodone, Schedule II
Bolton, Nicole35Palm CoastFCSOTrafficking in controlled substance (Hydrocodone)
Brewer, Samantha24OrlandoFCSOTrafficking in Oxycodone
Brown, Eddie33PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone (4 charges)
Bruyette, Stanley45BunnellFCSOTrafficking Schedule II controlled substance
Burke, Domonick 20PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone; Sale of Schedule 2 within 1000 feet of a convenience store
Burney, Devon19PalatkaPPDSale of Counterfeit Substance
Callahan, James30SatsumaPPDTrafficking in Oxycodone
Canty, Michael54PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Carlson, Brad29St AugustineSJSOSale of Oxycodone within 1000 ft of a place of Worship x 2
Collins, Mark51East PalatkaPPDTrafficking in Oxycodone
Conner, Gerald32InterlachenPCSOSale of Schedule II
Coston, Judy36Crescent CityPCSOSale of Schedule II x 2
Curry, Cedric30PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Davis, Ulysee 25PalatkaPPDSale of Counterfeit Substance
Deering, Tony26East PalatkaPCSOSale 1000' of Church
Evins, Wilbert21PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Gilyard, Alfred44San MateoPCSOSale of Schedule II
Gilyard, Eric47San MateoPCSOSale of Schedule II
Girton, Shannon28PalatkaPPDPrinciple to Sale of Oxycodone
Glisson, Lacy27PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II
Gordon, Jimmie45Palm CoastFCSOSale of Alprazolam
Grant, Elbert21PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone; Sale of Schedule 2 within 1000 feet of a convenience store
Green, Matthew24Daytona BeachFCSOPrinciple to Sale (Oxycodone)
Greene, Julie47InterlachenPPDTrafficking in Hydrocodone 2 Tier; Sale of Hydrocodone; Trafficking in Oxycodone
Grice, Wendy37OrlandoPCSOSale of Oxycodone, Schedule II
Hagans, Ebony29PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Harrison, Ricky25BunnellFCSOSale of a controlled substance (Oxycodone)
Heard, Judith48Palm CoastFCSOSale of new Legend Drug / Sale of Oxycodone
Herbert, Tichia 49HollisterPCSOSale of Schedule II
Higgenbotham, Harold48BunnellFCSOSale of controlled substance (Oxycodone)
Higgins, Cleo29BunnellFCSOTrafficking in Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone)
Hills, Rashad19PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Hubbert, Enos41BunnellFCSOTrafficking in Oxycodone
Johnsen, Jakob22Palm CoastFCSOSale of Schedule II substance (Hydromorphone)
Johnson, Samuel46Crescent CityPCSOSale of a Schedule II
Johnson, Samuel E.49Palm CoastFCSOSale of Oxycodone
Jones, Brandon20Palm CoastFCSOSale of Oxycodone / Trafficking in Oxycodone 14-28 grams
Jones, Cozy18Palm CoastFCSOSale of Oxycodone
Kaufman, Wendy42InterlachenPCSOSale of Legend Drug
Knever, Kyle26GeorgetownPCSOSale of Schedule II
Koehler, Jonathan 36HastingsSJSOSale of Schedule II (Fentanyl patches & bottle of liquid Morphine)
Lacy, Kimberly 44BunnellFCSOSale of Oxycodone
Lalomia, Corey20Palm CoastFCSOSale of controlled substance
Lemelle, Stephen36Crescent CityPCSOSale of Schedule II
London, Willie29OrlandoFCSOSale of schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone)
Mack, Travis30PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Martin, Tommy56Flagler BeachFCSOSale of Hydromorphine & Xanax
Massett, Austin20St AugustineSJSOSale of Schedule I or II-Opium or Deriv
McCoy, Larry60PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II
Miller, J.C.33PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Miller, Joshua23PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II
Mitchell, Terrance 40St AugustinePCSOSynth Narcotic-Sell Schedule I or II x 2
Mobley, Arthur41BunnellFCSOTrafficking Oxycodone
Molica, Angela36Palm CoastFCSOSale of Oxycodone
Morris, Morgan21PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Mullin, Janetlee 50St AugustineSJSOSale of Oxycodone
Murphy, Edward53PalatkaPCSOSale of Oxycodone, Schedule II
Nixon, Ruby72Crescent CityPPDSale of Morphine
Nixon, Tykey20Crescent CityPPDSale of Hydrocodone
Ostrovskiy, Andrey 26Palm CoastFCSOSale of Shed II Controlled Substance (Hydromorphone)
Panczykowski, Rachel 26Ponte Vedra BchSJSOAttempting to obtain controlled substance by fraud
Phillips, Charles24BunnellFCSOSale of schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone)
Price, Forrest 29Palm CoastFCSOSale of schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone)
Read, David44St AugustineSJSOSale of Schedule IV (Clonazapam)
Rigdon, Tonya36East PalatkaPPDTrafficking in Oxycodone
Robinson, Shannon17PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule 2 within 1000 feet of church
Rodriguez, Alex20St AugustineSJSOPossession with Intent to Sale of Legend Drug w/o prescription
Rodriguez, Nestor21PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II (twice??)
Rodriguez, Samuel 33InterlachenPCSOSale of Oxycodone, Schedule II x 2
Rogers, Charles21Palm CoastFCSOSale of Schedule IV controlled substance (Alprazolam)
Roscoe, Ronald43Palm CoastFCSOTrafficking oxycodone / Sale of new legend drug
Ross, Arnesto26PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Sampson, Leroy23Ft LauderdaleFCSOPrinciple to Sale (Oxycodone) / Sale of Oxycodone
Sanders, Cavious 25PalatkaPPDSale of Counterfeit Substance
Schmidt, Christopher26PalatkaPPDTrafficking in Hydromorphine
Scorsone, Christine40Palm CoastFCSOTrafficking in Hydrocodone
Session, Rashard 23PalatkaPPDSale of Schedule II / Sale of Hydromorphon
Simmions, Rashard 27San MateoPCSOSynth Narcotic-Sell Schedule I or II x 2
Smith, Brittni 19BunnellFCSOSale of Schedule IV controlled substance (Alprazolam)
Smith, Tyran 25BunnellFCSOTrafficking Oxycodone
Stewart, Ashley 26PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Stout, Amanda 29WebsterPCSOSale of Schedule II x 2
Syroid, Michael 51Daytona BeachSJSOSale of Schedule I or II-Opium or Deriv (Roxicodone & Conerta)
Thomas, Christopher 26PalatkaPCSOSale of Oxycodone, Schedule II
Thomas, Da'Vonte 18PalatkaPCSOSale of Schedule II w/1000 feet of church
Thomas, George 37Palm CoastFCSOSale of Schedule II controlled substance
Thorp, Simon 32Palm CoastFCSOSale of Schedule II substance (Hydromorphone)
Tronoski, Melissa 24Ponte Vedra BchSJSOSale of Schedule I or II-Opium or Deriv (Roxicodone & Conerta)
VanEpps, Randall 48St AugustineSJSOSale of Schedule IV within 1000 ft of a Place of Worship (Diazepam)
Walker, Anthony 27Crescent CityPCSOSale of a Schedule II
Wells, Donielle 26PalatkaPPDSale of Oxycodone
Whaley, Diane 31St AugustineSJSOSale of Hydrocodone
White, Franklin 30InterlachenPPDSale of Counterfeit Substance
Williams, Dennis 23BostwickPCSOSale of Oxycodone, Schedule II
Williams, Tony 22JacksonvillePCSOSale of Schedule 2
Note: 78 of the 103 suspects above were arrested on July 10.

53 Responses for “Big Sweep of Small-Time Pill Pushers Nets 78 Arrests in Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns”

  1. Laura says:

    “You know, I’ve seen a lot of people
    walkin’ ’round with tombstones in their eyes,
    But I know the pusher don’t care
    ah, if you live or if you die.”
    ~Hoyt Axton

    Don’t ignore the white coated, greedy prescribers of Big Pharma in this county.
    They too ought to be drug into this fray.

    Addiction knows no bounds.

    {{* *}}

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      To your very point Laura, this story in today’s Times illustrates who the more serious drug pushers are:

      “When a pharmacy sells the heartburn drug Zantac, each pill costs about 35 cents. But doctors dispensing it to patients in their offices have charged nearly 10 times that price, or $3.25 a pill. The same goes for a popular muscle relaxant known as Soma, insurers say. From a pharmacy, the per-pill price is 60 cents. Sold by a doctor, it can cost more than five times that, or $3.33. At a time of soaring health care bills, experts say that doctors, middlemen and drug distributors are adding hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the costs borne by taxpayers, insurance companies and employers through the practice of physician dispensing.” The full story here.

      • Ben Dover says:

        That`s because the politicians keep taking kickbacks from the drug companies allowing them to charge whatever they want in the united states, they don t cost that much in Canada or Europe

      • Elana Lee says:

        The problem does not stem from the pharmacy or the physician, per se. It is from the insurance company. First from the insurance company reimbursing the physician office pharmacy. Second, workers comp Insurance. Think for a moment to the late ’70’s early 80’s. A doctor’s office visit was around $20 and a prescription for most anything was never submitted to insurance. But when insurance initiated the “co-pay”, prices skyrocketed. Why? Because they could. The solution is not “universal health insurance”. The problem is insurance.

    • Anonymous says:

      amen…..arrest these licensed drug doctors~ dealers

  2. Wigwam says:

    Good job to all involved! Doesn’t sound like “small time” to me…..bunch of thugs off the streets is Big Time in my book!

  3. PJ says:

    Get rid of these people and the crime issues go away. Nice work by our police.

  4. snapperhead says:

    Larizza and Fleming, of course, dismissed suggestions that the sweep was timed for media effect before an election involving them both.

    “Quite frankly,” Larizza said, “to try and say this is a choreographed political stunt, I take offense to it.”

    of course they take offense.It’s so blatant it didn’t need to be said…otherwise why invite the media along?

    • Anonymous says:

      FDLE started, ended, and funded this entire operation. Detectives and task force agents in these local agencies did all the leg-work along with FDLE.

      The timing of this operation may be close to election time, but local agencies had absolutely no control over it.

    • Wigwam says:

      I doubt the guys who did the leg work are up for re-election. KUDO’S to the guys who made it happen and hope to see more dirtbags in jail regardless of who is in a political position.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. A judge sets bond amounts, law enforcement has no control over that. They may bond out, but they will still have to answer to these charges. Why is there such an emphasis in this article on Jakob Johnsen bonding out so rapidly? This is normal procedure in the justice system all around the United States, as it has been for many, many years.

    Thank you to all the undercover officers who actually did the leg work, making the undercover buys and building the cases against these drug dealers over the last 10 months. They are the most deserving of recognition. THANK YOU!

  6. Deep South says:

    G**damm the Pusher Man……… Jimi Hendrix

  7. Think first, act second says:

    I know RJ personally and he is a very reputable, honest person. If he said it was not a political stunt, I will bet my house on it, he is that honest IMO. A great job has been done under his leadership, over 140,000 cases settled in the 3 1/2 years he has been in office. Great job RJ and all deputies for keeping everyone safe and unharmed, white hats and black hats alike.

  8. appreciated says:

    These people are killing our youth with this crap!!

  9. topheavy says:

    Lets see in the first picture you show a captain and a Lt. who combined make make over $160,000.00 a year arresting a single person. In the second picture you show 5 officers who combined make over $250,000.00 a year (the chief deputy over $100,000.00 himself), in the 5th picture you show 5 supervisors and 5 officers who make combined over $450,000.00 a year. No way this is a show. 8 supervisors and 8 officers. Thats a 1 to 1 ratio. WOW!

    • The Truth says:

      This was a huge sting across multiple counties and took a lot of time and effort to accomplish. It’s not as easy as just walking up to a house and saying “You’re under arrest” and that’s it. Apparently, you have no grasp on what it takes to make things happen. Instead of being happy that justice will be served to these losers, you find something to complain about.

    • Bridgetender179 says:

      Thats the norm for the FCSO ! more chiefs than indians,had one tell me at a crash he was real busy but there was 4 supervisors working not helping. But he handled the situation for me, and went on his way.

  10. K says:

    I know that house on Edward. It’s obviously a drug house and it’s about time the FCSO did something about it.

    • The Truth says:

      It looks like Jakob’s mother owns it. I wonder how she feels about all of this.

    • Anonymous says:

      this is complet bullshit ! the johnsen’s are great people all with legit jobs . ms.johnsen is a great women and a damn hard worker , along with all of her sons . i have personaly known this family for 13 years . all of the cars in their dirve way are working and used for work. its a damn shame to see people speak illy of this family when none of you know any thing about them .

  11. Ben Dover says:

    While I agree its great they got all the drug dealers off the street , they`ve also made it very very hard for people like myself who actually need the medication to get it. I`ve got two crushed disks in my neck , a torn rotator cuff ,and herniated disks in my lower back, my Dr is legit , does urine test everytime you go , have to sign paperwork to the fact your not seeing any other Dr`s for pain. He does complete check ups , does physical therapy, and steroid injections to reduce pain , but not one pharmacy will fill my scripts , because the DEA has been harassing them , its been two weeks now , my limbs are starting to go numb again, which wouldn t be that bad, if it was an I can t feel it numb , but its a burning stinging numb , like when you hit your funny bone, its excruciating trying to stand up after Ive been sitting awhile or laying down, I need surgery on both my neck and my shoulder, but no insurance to get them fixed , the pain medication is all that makes my life semi normal , my spinal cord is being bent almost in half ,so all of the pain does not go away , but enough to where I don t think about hanging myself like I do now from being in constant pain Great Job Guys

  12. Robert Lewis says:

    The idea of this being a politically motivated operation is absolutely the case.
    Both Sheriff Fleming and RJ are up for reelection and face stiff competition. The only ones who should be insulted is the citizens.

    Why weren’t operations like this conducted more frequently and through out the years. Why was this conducted 30 days before the primary election? It seems when election season comes around the activity increases. I find it funny that the Sheriff admits our weak system will allow more then half those arrested to be back out on the street. I wonder how many are repeat offenders. So did we really catch the bad guys or did we just round up those who they knew were obvious law breakers? It’s like going fishing in a fish tank, you’re bound to catch something in a restricted environment.

    I think it is time for change. We need a Sheriff who is going to be proactive for the entire 4 years of his term in office, not when it’s election season. I guess all of a sudden we are going to start seeing strict traffic enforcement and DUI check points – both operations that have been absent for many many years.

  13. Think first, act second says:

    palmcoaster, where would you now house these vacationers since the jail is full. Look for Judge Zamb. to do what he says he has to do, release some to make room for these fine citizens. Still think the jail is under served and the court judges are lazy? Aren’t you glad they were not doing this in your neighborhood, would that have changed you attitude, I doubt it?

    • Deep South says:

      I think they should put up some makeshift tents like the ones Sheriff Joe has in Arizona. These folks deserve nothing more.

  14. Lefty Loon says:

    The reality is, the jail is a revolving door. Kinda like sweeping up dirt and dumping it right back on the floor. The only one who benefits is the sweeper since he is paid to do what he is told. Insane.

    This type of operation will not end the drug problem or solve anything for the taxpaying law abiding people in the community. It never has and it never will. People should be demanding a solution. Synthetic heroine has become an urban from of terrorism. The same people over and over again.

  15. Umm says:

    Why is it that all of these individuals have sale charges, but on the mugshot photos the majority of charges is only possession of controlled substance, and not sale of.? Did the charges mysteriously get reduced?

    • Anonymous says:


      Booking put the wrong charges on the some of the defendants when imputting them in their booking system. The state attorneys office has the REAL charges in hand.

    • Wigwam says:

      Look them up on flagler clerks site….. they’re all sale or trafficking.

  16. Dadgum says:

    This is a waste of taxpayers money. Small time petty crime in a small time town. It’s like shoveling the tide back out but it keeps coming back. Nothing more than a publicity stunt. “Look at us Voters” and please do vote for us too. Go to Miami and fight real crime. Lock these Dr’s up for dispensing pain pills. Wonder if Gov Scott made his millions like this?

  17. Gia says:

    The police do their job, but the system of justice sucks. It’s money talk pay the fine, nothing else.

  18. crystal torres says:

    THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT!!!!!!! none of you personaly know the johnsen’s , how dare anyone bad mouth any of them.. every car in that drive way is working and used for their respective jobs , that i might add are legit and on a payroll. this is a personal attack on jakob , and noone should speak this way about ms.johnsen’s home or family . ive personally known this family for 13 years and take a high offense to all of the insulting things everyone has said! they are a very hard working family, do not deserve to be publicly humiliated like this . very sad that people have nothign better to do then speak illy of some thing they know nothing about !!

    • Anonymous says:

      @ Crystal….

      How long has Jakob been out of prison since his last Sale of narcotics conviction where he served over a year in prison???

  19. Binkey says:

    I wish we could have an ordinance in PC that requires crime free rentals. It would say something like if your convicted of certain crimes within the last so many years no rental for you. If you commit a crime and are convicted during your lease lease is terminated and you can move on.

    Probably can’t have an ordinance like that though.

  20. Laura says:

    The nauseating truth of an article, Pierre.
    When doctors hawk wares
    they cease to care.

    Hippocrates turns in his grave.

    {{* *}}

  21. palmcoaster says:

    @think first; Geez didn’t know you care so much about my comments. I am glad that Deep South and Lefty Loon kind of answer you on my behalf. Sure tents and also partition the Justice palace and house the less violent there…Regarding Judge Zambrano? good move to another district, let him back up the jail over there.

  22. kitara says:

    I am all for cleaning up the streets when needed and have the right people arrested and processed but I have to truly question the lengths that have been taken to make this kid the fall guy here.
    To be able accuse a house as a “drug house” because there is more than 2 cars in the driveway or because of the way somebody is dressed is very scary.

  23. anonymous says:

    Great job, let’s just hope and pray that the adduced show up for their court date and take their punishment, part of it should be mandated that they get help for their addiction…this is not a habit they can quit cold turkey, these people need help to get off these drugs, its such a nasty life taking addiction that controls their every thought, its so widespread across this country, pill addiction is like the new crack,,,its very very sad

    • Wigwam says:

      Funny how everyone blames addiction and no help for the addicts. These pills dont fall out of trees or come in cereal boxes. At one point in their lives they decided to experiment with this nast stuff, regardless of how many pill related deaths they know of or hear of through the media. It all starts with gateway drugs such as marijuanna that evergone wants to legalize. Besides, these charges are all SALE or TRAFFICKING charges. They weren’t caught consuming, snorting, or injecting these drugs,they were distributing them. No pity for the enablers who blame others for nog treating them. At the end of the day it was good work by all law enforcement involved.

  24. Melissa says:

    I think they all did a great job in their operation,however,,most of these people have already bonded out,some of them withing a couple hours of being arrested, and I can guarantee you that when they left the first thing they did was either,take more pills,sell more pills,or find where to get more pills…The help that these people need is not just by serving them a warrant and hoping they cant bond,dont get granted bond,or hope that after they do bond that they also show up for their court date and take their punishment,,,ok these people that are addicted to these pills need immediate treatment to get off of them, yes they need to be punished but our laws are not tough enough to keep them from doing what they are doing,,,kinda like when you get to a piont in your own life that whatever youre doing isnt working and you have to change something before it can get any better,,,if the laws dont change they wont change. These pills are like the new crack of America, its so so sad what is happening,,,ask any officer what the worst drug issue is and any of them will tell you its these prescription drugs. Its not just the crooked pain clinics, or the pharmacies, its every individual out there and most whom you would least think it is. It’s everywhere and there needs to be treatment available and mandatory right away for them, something has to change, we keep arresting them and keep recovering some pills,,,but we need to first get people off of them

  25. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    @crystal torres:

    Do you know what an enabler is? When someone is known to be doing dirt and a blind eye is given or a comfortable place is provided, the person in question gets a false sense of security and will continue to do whatever illegal drug dealing they are doing. Since you care so much, how many interventions have YOU and his family attempted on him? How about ok you want to be a thug while living under my roof pack your bags, take your drug money and bad habits some place else and take care of your own problems. I for one grew up in the crack pandemic in NY in the 80’s and my old Neighborhood still has not recovered. True these local pill pushers are sick and need help, but the police have to start somewhere. These people that were picked up obviously kept surfacing in these investigations, they weren’t just random dealers and users otherwise the number of arrest here would have been in the hundreds. These people were a big part of the circulation of pills organized or not. We can’t blame the local Police, the government has to step in. I first heard about THIS type of pill abuse in the early 2000’s my question is before these pills got to the point of everyday circulation, what were people doing for pain management? It has to go beyond the pill mills and start with manufacturer.

  26. Dadgum says:

    @ Melissa
    You said a lot that we know already. These are nuisance crimes and small time dealers. Why clog the jails with these types of arrests at taxpayer angst. Nothing compares to the heroine addiction of the ’70’s in this country compared to pill popping. People are disillusioned and feel hopeless. There are few jobs especially for the disenfranchised. Money is tight for education and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the cure for many of the down- trodden is they get sick and tired of being sick and tired; they seek help for their addiction; they end up serving a longer sentence for more serious crimes and lastly is the end of the line – death. Unfortunately and ironically, that’s the reality of seeking the almighty high.

  27. Anonymous says:

    There does come a point in ones life to make the decision to either do good or bad for themselves, the legal way or illegal way. Those that choose the illegal way are only reserving a prison cell for themselves in advance. For all that have gotten arrested take time and think about your life and where you want to go and what you want to be. Granted, having a felony record will dismiss many career oppurtunities, but it’s a matter of life, or prison or death. There are still legal career oppurtunities out there, you just have to find them and or be creative. Be thankful your alive, think about your people that are now sick because of you, and make the change in your life for the better. If not, you will be thinking about this post while your sitting in prison, wishing you’d listened to me.

  28. West Sider Knows says:

    @crystal toreros

    I have known this Johnsen family for years. These kids were trouble when they were young and there trouble now. They have gotten away with alot of stuff. The best thing you could do is put it in B for boggie and leave this mess alone. This advice is free.

  29. Anonymous says:

    @ Flaglerlive. Are all these trafficking charges small-time too?? Each trafficking charge carries a MINIMUM of three years in prison, some of these trafficking charges also carry a minimum of 15 years, and others a 25 year minimum prison sentence. How are these considered small time to you??

  30. Wigwam says:

    @ all the liberal enablers

    What your suggestion? Lets the small timers continue to sell? At $1 a milligram, iys $30 for a 30 mg oxy pill, that could kill a small child while the use is passed out. Take a full script of 180 to 240 pills, thats $5400-$7200 street value of an entire script. Do your research…..Small time?????? And its tax free for the dealers

  31. spoton says:

    Politically motivated think not – how come when something happens (good) they always think there is a reason behind it? FCSO does their job and people find a reason as to why it was done when?…It takes more than a day or two to get these stings off the gound – months & months of planning … just be thankfull that it is done instead of wondering why it was done NOW….

  32. Geezer says:

    These drug arrests are like raking leaves during a tornado.
    Like using thimbles to distribute water to thirsty people.
    A BB gun on a bear.
    Marbles for bowling balls.

    It’s all pretty hopeless as it stands.

  33. Yvonne says:

    The worst thing about all this illegal selling of rx drugs on the streets have made it difficult to impossible for people who are in real pain to get treatment!!

  34. concerned says:

    what happens to these (drug trafficers they walk if first time offense right ) this solves the problem?

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