Major pill, cocaine ring busted in Marion Co.



MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators in Marion County said the streets are safer tonight now that a major drug operation has been busted.

Deputies arrested more than 30 people and seized a half-dozen guns, and said the suspects were buying and selling cocaine and prescription pills.

From Marion County over to Citrus County and back again, along with more than two dozen suspects, investigators seized more than 300 hardcore prescription pills and $140,000 in cash.

Marion County sheriff's investigators have taken apart a large drug ring with undercover officers cracking the case.

"Operation Untouchables, it was dubbed that because our investigators working with Citrus County were trying to infiltrate this particular drug ring, this suspected drug ring," said Judge Cochran with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Suspects on both sides of the county line were picked up by deputies and Ocala police around the clock on Wednesday. Most of those arrested involved in the illegal sale of prescription drugs or cocaine.

"The illegal activity, the drug activity, was going into Citrus County, from Citrus into Marion County," explained Cochran. "And that's why it was important to join forces with the sheriff's office in Citrus County so we could combine our units and arrest at least 30 people."

A total of 31 people were arrested. All of them are now in the Marion or Citrus County jail.

Detectives believe most of these suspects knew one another, and many of them worked together. Now, their network has been shut down.

"Certainly, when you can take that number of guns off the streets, that cash; that helps them fund these operations, the number of pills they were able to get off the streets. And then, the number of individuals," said Cochran.

The sheriff's office is still looking for five more suspects they said are involved in this drug ring. Authorities are not releasing their names yet, because they know where they live and expect to find them.