On Dec. 6, Florida authorities arrested 21 people for allegedly participating in a drug trafficking ring that distributed prescription painkillers over a large swathe of the state. The investigation into the ring was dubbed "Operation Crazy 8."
Local media reports indicate that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was tipped off to the ring while investigating another drug ring operating out of Okaloosa County. That ring was allegedly obtaining large shipments of illegal prescription drugs from a ring in South Florida and distributing those drugs in Okaloosa and Walton counties.
Of the 21 defendants taken into custody, nine are from Crestview, six are from Miami and two are from Destin. The others are residents of Cantonment, Defuniak Springs, Panama City Beach and Pensacola. One defendant is from Bainbridge, Ga. They range between 27 and 74 in age and face various drug charges, including drug trafficking, delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and illegal use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony. Some of them have also been slapped with firearms charges. Four suspects remain at large. The FDLE was assisted in the investigation by the Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriff's Offices, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the North Florida High-Intensity Drug Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
A defendant accused of drug crimes could help their situation by retaining a criminal defense attorney to represent them in court. The attorney could protect the defendant's rights throughout the legal process and help develop a defense strategy against the allegations. In some circumstances, this could help get the charges reduced or dismissed.