Calling it the largest seizure of heroin and fentanyl in Okaloosa County’s history, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office today outlined a ten month undercover investigation dubbed “Operation PayDirt” that led to fifteen arrests on charges ranging from trafficking in heroin to sale of heroin.
The investigation began in August 2017 and led to the execution of two search warrants in February 2018 at 118 Lake Street and 698 McDonald Street in Crestview.
The Lake Street search warrant turned up 3.5 kilograms of heroin, with an estimated street value of more than a million dollars. Investigators also found 766 grams of fentanyl with an estimated street value of six-million dollars, along with a pill press, hundreds of diet pills, 45 grams of MDMA and a loaded Tec 9 handgun.
At the McDonald Street address investigators seized a kilogram of cocaine worth an estimated $100,000, heroin, and two loaded handguns.
The head of the local operation, 33-year old Kevin Powell Jr., is charged with trafficking in heroin, trafficking in cocaine, and more.
Other major players in the drug trafficking operation are: 45-year old Anthony Porter of Mary Esther, 29-year old Gill McGee of Crestview, 40-year old Keithen Brown of Crestview, 33-year old Aaron Johnson of Fort Walton Beach, and 33-year old Jamaal Hunt of Fort Walton Beach.
Another nine individuals face charges ranging from possession of a controlled substance to illegal use of a two way communication device to facilitate a felony.
The OCSO was assisted by the State Attorney’s Office, DEA, FDLE, Fort Walton Beach Police Department and Crestview Police Department.