NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2006
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer 
(850) 651-7420


The Okaloosa County Sheriff ’s Office has started a round-up of known narcotics violators that will rank as one of the largest, if not THE largest drug sweep, in the agency’s history. Okaloosa Sheriff Charlie Morris says the undercover operation began in July 2005.  To date there are 68 warrants issued for forty separate individuals who range in age from 15 to 60.  Virtually all charges revolve around the sale of cocaine.

  In an effort to target street-level dealers, investigators used undercover agents – who were able to openly purchase crack cocaine at all times of the day and night in the Cypress Street area of Sylvania Heights . The operation also targeted the Heatherington area off Racetrack Road and the Carson Drive vicinity in Fort Walton Beach .  

  Sheriff Morris says the goal of this large operation is to clean-up hot spots of drug activity, so that law-abiding residents can work alongside deputies to try to recapture their neighborhoods.

  He credits the agency’s Problem-Oriented Policing Squad, Multi-Agency Drug Task Force, and K-9 Unit for months of hard work – but says the agency is also grateful for the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), State Attorney’s Office, Niceville Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the U.S. Marshals Service.