I’ve been accused of being boring in my column.
Mister, you don’t know the half of it. Boring is good, my man. I’ve worked really hard to get to the point of a boring life. You want to hear something not boring?
You got it.
There is a slimy little man in Milton, who was a big drug dealer and brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in prescription drugs onto the streets of Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties for years.
He did this by finding vulnerable, weak people and manipulating them. At one point, he had many, many people driving down to south Florida with him, visiting the “doctor” and coming back with what probably amounted to thousands of oxycodone, xanax, loritabs, and other addictive prescription drugs with a street value. He paid for the trip, the doctor, even the prescriptions. He indentured the people who went with him by paying for the medications they either needed for real pain they suffered, or pills they became addicted to – and then keeping most of the pills to “pay him back”. He took the majority of their pills from them, let them keep enough to make sure they stayed addicted, and then charged them $20 a pill – or more – to satisfy their need and buy their own pills back from him. On a higher level, he sold large amounts of pills to suppliers who sold them to dealers, and so on.
The first man, he’s called a sponsor.
In 2010, when I first learned of this man and his activities, I called the local law enforcement narcotics unit. I gave them every bit of information I had. And I had a lot. No arrests were made. The slimy little man kept right on doing what he does.
It’s been four years since my first phone call to the narcotics unit. To this day, he is still operating, but at a much lower level because FDLE and the DEA shut down the pill mill doctors in our area, and across Florida. That was about a year and a half ago. The first reaction on the street was the price of the pills that were already in the hands of the drug dealers, doubled. Then they began to run out of the pills. With doctors being held accountable and being arrested, and pharmacies under the microscope, prescription drugs became harder to find on the streets in Santa Rosa County.
I have been told the slimy little man is still doing some sort of doctor shopping, but I don’t have details anymore. I do know his “friends” have scattered to the wind and there are no more trips to South Florida. If there are pill mill doctors to be found, getting the prescriptions filled in Florida has become very difficult and people who are doing this type of thing are going to other nearby states to fill the prescriptions.
I contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about this man and his activities around 2011. I repeatedly called the narcotics unit. Still, he goes about his daily life, a free man, doing what he does.
I gave the police enough information to catch this man if someone had conducted I dunno, an investigation.
In early 2012, I ran into the drug dealer in the parking lot of a local department store. He knew my face. I knew his. I approached him and told him what I thought of him and his enterprise. I told him he was ruining lives, not only of individuals, but of families – including small, innocent children whose daddies and mommies are buying pills to ease their addictions, instead of keeping the power turned on or buying food.
He blamed everyone but himself.
The drug culture is a dirty little secret in Santa Rosa County. No one wants to see it as we go about our lives, but it is right in front of us, as it is in most communities.
You’ve seen the dirty little babies with unkempt mothers who have no self respect, driving run down cars with red tape over the tail light because nobody in the house has a few bucks to replace it properly. If there is a structure they call home, nobody cooks, nobody cleans, nobody cares because their minds are just not on their lives. It’s on their drug.
We want to stare at them and think we are different than them. But we aren’t. We all know people who are one bad decision away from becoming them at some level. I saw it happen. I had a front row seat and it was ugly to behold.
Take a look at the Sheriff’s reports, at the faces of the people who have been caught up in drug abuse. Look into their eyes and you’ll see crack, meth, Spice, prescription pills, and alcohol staring back right off the page. Sometimes you’ll see shame.
People try to fill the voids in their life and escape the pain – whether it be physical or mental - with quick fixes. Those fixes cost.
And those who sell drugs count on it.
As far as the slimy little man goes, I can’t speak to why the narcotics cops can’t get a man like this off the street when he’s handed over to them on a silver platter and leaves a paper trail longer than the lies he tells.
Maybe we should ask them.