Captain Carlos Espinosa - Section Commander
While the proponents of legalizing narcotics would argue that drug use is a victimless crime, those who are sworn to serve and protect a community know from their daily experiences that drugs are unquestionably the catalyst for the lion’s share of criminal activity that occurs in their jurisdiction. Prostitution, robbery, burglary, home invasion, carjacking, and even homicides more often than not have a connection with the use, sale, or purchase of illegal narcotics.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Section remains committed to combating street level narcotics and vice-related crimes. The section enjoyed great success during 2012 by targeting specific areas of the county based on trends and information gleaned from the agency’s bi-weekly Coordinated Crime Control meetings.
The Tips Squad continued to perform at an exceedingly high level throughout 2012. Agents were assigned 1,376 new tips in 2012. These tips originated from various sources; however, the majority originated from CrimeLine. Other sources consisted of emails, mail, and telephone tips. Agents closed 848 tips from conducting “Knock and Talks”. Many of the Knock and Talks evolved into the execution of search warrants while agents were on scene.
The Street Drug Unit was responsible for 86% of the total arrests for the Narcotics Section, making 173 vice arrests and seizing $256,879 in currency. Seventy-five firearms were recovered, which reflected a 50% increase from the prior year.
The Parcel Interception Team was also instrumental in the seizure of narcotics and cash. The team was responsible for 40% of the cash seizures ($102,303) and 98% of cannabis seizures (1,856 pounds) for the entire Narcotics Section, with total narcotics seizures valued over $4,747,000.
The Narcotics Section reported a total of 1617 arrests. Seizures of 3718 grams of powder cocaine, 602 grams of crack cocaine, 1910 pounds of cannabis, and 1039 cannabis plants were reported for the year.
DEA Task Force and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) agents had a productive year as well. Agents from various agencies worked on several significant cases as a group which had a direct impact on Orange County and Central Florida. The investigations ranged from local to international cases and resulted in over $8,000,000 in asset seizures.
Drug Information/Parent Resources