Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
This week, working with local, state and federal law enforcement, we dismantled a criminal enterprise distributing synthetic drugs in Florida. As part of the multiagency investigation, authorities served warrants for the arrests of 13 members of the organization and search warrants at three Smoker’s Video store locations in Jacksonville.
This investigation demonstrates the challenges of busting synthetic drug dealers who change the chemical compounds of their products, then falsely claim they are legal. I want to personally thank Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and all of the other officers involved in this case for their hard work and dedication, as well as State Attorney Angela Corey for her steadfast support and assistance. This case is yet another example of our local, state and federal law enforcements’ unique ability to work together as a team in order to keep Floridians safe.
To watch the full press conference, click here.
In an effort to aid law enforcement with constantly changing new and harmful compounds, this legislative session we passed a bill categorically outlawing seven different categories of synthetic drugs in Florida. In years past, state crime lab technicians needed to test a synthetic drug to determine whether or not its chemical makeup was illegal. This new law will help officers quickly classify novel substances as illegal; and therefore, aid in the arrest of the criminals selling this poison.
Synthetic drugs often come in bright, colorful packaging. They are sold in pill form as well as a powder and some products look like marijuana. The substances can cause delusions, hallucinations and even seizures. Know the signs, and as school lets out for summer, parents and mentors please talk to students about the dangers posed by synthetic drugs — and let them know that using just once can kill.
Man Arrested for Abuse of a Disabled Adult
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Miami-Dade Police Department arrested a man for abuse of a disabled adult. Helio Vinent, 54, is a former employee of the Association for the Development of the Exceptional, Inc., a training service provider for developmentally disabled adults. While employed at the training service provider, Vinent allegedly punched a patient in the face.
Vinent is charged with one count of abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, a third-degree felony. If convicted, Vinent faces up to five years in prison. The State Attorney’s Office for the 11th Judicial Circuit is prosecuting the case.
Attorney General Pam Bondi with Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Shannon Macgillis, State Attorney Angela Corey and Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and staff in Jacksonville to announce the shutdown of a criminal enterprise distributing synthetic drugs.