BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – Keeping prescription drugs off the streets is always a major challenge for police and sheriff's officers, but the Bradford County Sheriff's Office had a breakthrough recently in a major drug bust they called "Operation Pill Flush."
Detectives with the Sheriff's Office arrested 13 different people after originally finding Robert "Bobbie" Odom was selling prescription medications out of his work van during service calls.
"Once the drug unit started trailing (Odom), we were able to make some drug purchases from him. (We) put him in jail, then we were able to make many more arrests, including the main supplier down in the south end of Bradford County," said Capt. Brad Smith.
Investigators said Odom operated Leon's Plumbing and would drive around in his van from call to call selling a variety of prescription drugs including Oxycontin and Lortab. Investigators also said the dozen other arrests were buyers who purchased the drugs from Odom.
"The impact we're seeing on other crimes, we're seeing throughout Bradford County, to include thefts and burglaries, where the drug users are breaking into homes to supply their drug habits. We've seen a major decrease in that," Smith said.
News4Jax went to the home where Leon's plumbing was listed as operating and no one answered the door.
People around the county who knew Odom said it was his parent's business and Odom took it over after his dad passed away.
One man who asked to conceal his identity said he knew Odom for years. He said he hopes the arrest will stop, or at least cripple, any illegal sales of prescription drugs around the county.
"If they get about 40 or 50 more they'd make a dent in it. I texted the sheriff myself today, told him how I liked how they had that on there: 'operation pill flush.' That was a great idea."
As of now the case is closed. But the sheriff's office said it's possible more arrests could be made from intelligence they gathered during the investigation.
David Silcox was also arrested. He was the alleged supplier who sold to a lot of people in the south end of the county, according to the Bradford County Sheriff's Office.
"With the cooperation of law enforcement agencies throughout our region, we will continue to fight the scourge of drugs in our community. We have already seen a positive impact from our efforts and as long as I am sheriff we will not relent," Smith said.