Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco drug sweep nets 63 suspects

NEW PORT RICHEY — A Pasco County crackdown on street-level drug dealing has led to the arrest of 63 suspects, officials said Tuesday.

The arrests were made Saturday and Monday after a six-month investigation by Sheriff's Office vice and narcotics detectives. About 80 percent of the cases involve the illegal use or sale of prescription drugs, said Lt. Chuck Balderstone.

"That's a fairly alarming trend," Balderstone said.

Balderstone said the prescription drugs can be highly addictive, and people who get hooked on them develop a tolerance and need more to get high. He likened those addicts to "the modern day heroin junkie."

Officials say the seizure of prescription narcotics sold and obtained illegally in Pasco County increased by about 20 percent from the previous year.

"These drugs just happen to be the fuel that drives our crime," said Pasco Sheriff Bob White.

So far this year, more than 11,200 pills have been seized with a street value of $150,000, officials say. Detectives also seized more than $3 million in cash and 68 kilos of cocaine this year. Charges from this week's sweep include trafficking in a controlled substance, sale and possession of a controlled substance, sale and possession of marijuana, sale and possession of crack cocaine, doctor shopping and illegally having a firearm.

Not included in the latest sweep are 681 people who have been arrested this year on drug charges.

The Sheriff's Office worked with the New Port Richey Police Department in this latest sweep, but White declined to say how many deputies were involved.

"It's like telling the enemy how many soldiers you have," he said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Pasco drug sweep nets 63 suspects 11/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 8:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.