A Georgia prison inmate has been charged as the ringleader of a methamphetamine and pill distribution ring that was broken up last week after a yearlong investigation in Volusia County, Florida.
Jeffery White, 42, is incarcerated in the Washington State Prison in Davisboro, Ga., where he is serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said White was able to run the organization from inside the prison by using a smuggled cellphone.
Police accuse White and his associates of distributing more than 220 pounds of crystal meth in Volusia County during the last year.
Police learned White, who is not from Volusia County, used two Florida women as contacts, including one with whom he had a relationship, Chitwood said.
Florida law enforcement officials and the FBI initiated “Operation Extended Stay” nearly a year ago, after a traffic stop in December 2018.
“Based on that car stop and really good police work by that officer, this whole thing, this investigation begins,” Chitwood said during a news conference.
As the investigation unfolded, police learned that members of the organization were dealing the illegal drugs in several cities near Daytona Beach. Police say most of the drugs were peddled from a home in Crescent City, where more than 13 pounds of meth was found Friday.
The task force executed 40 search warrants that day and made 28 arrests. At the time, some of the defendants were already in custody at the Volusia County Jail, but at least 10 suspects remain at large.
During Friday's raids, officers seized 20 pounds of crystal meth, 327 pressed fentanyl pills, 64 Dilaudids, assorted other pills, marijuana, five guns (one stolen) and nearly $41,000 cash.
“Today’s arrests should send a strong message to anyone trying to cook or sell meth in our state that our Statewide Prosecutors and law enforcement partners are determined to seek you out and lock you up,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a news release.
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