LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida sheriff is getting mixed reviews after sharing a video on his department’s Facebook page in which he, flanked by Kevlar-clad, masked deputies, warned heroin dealers that their time dealing is coming to an end.
Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell’s video has been viewed more than 602,000 times in the three days since it was posted. More than 11,000 people have shared it.
The video, which lasted about a minute and 30 seconds, opened with ominous music as Grinnell stood at a podium, four deputies standing at his side. Grinnell said in the video that, over the past month, his office has received multiple calls from residents concerned about the growing number of heroin overdoses in the community.
He asked residents to call the Sheriff’s Office with any knowledge of heroin dealers in Lake County, assuring them that they could remain anonymous.
Then Grinnell began his threats to the drug dealers.
“To the dealers that are pushing this poison, I have a message for you: We’re coming for you,” Grinnell said. “As a matter of fact, our undercover agents have already bought heroin from a number of you.”
He said those dealers’ arrests were awaiting finalization of arrest warrants.
“So, to the dealers I say: Enjoy looking over your shoulders, constantly wondering if today's the day we come for you,” he said. “Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight's the night our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges. We are coming for you.”
Grinnell said that anyone found to have dealt heroin that lead to a fatal overdose would be charged with murder.
“We are coming for you. Run,” the sheriff said.
The ominous video received more than 1,000 comments, some in favor of the message it sent.
“You go, sheriff,” Jim Thomas of Morgantown, West Virginia, wrote. “Take them all out!”
“About time!” another commenter, Delilah Fogel, wrote.
Others found the video “disgusting” and accused Grinnell of “overcompensating.”
“Is there any reason why sheriff’s deputies, who are public servants paid from the public coffers, have decided to wear balaclavas as if they are some terrorist cell?” wrote Matthew Baron of Brooklyn.
Felipe Pierce of Vero Beach, Florida wrote that the problem with law enforcement is more serious than the one with heroin.
“This is how the clowns act when you give them weapons of war,” Pierce wrote.
Several people compared the video to an ISIS video.
“I’m waiting for the part where he saws some dude’s head off with a dull knife,” wrote John Carrison of Mesa, Arizona.
Cox Media Group