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North Star Drug Task Force strives to combat drug trafficking in region

Task force began in 2019
Posted at 10:22 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 22:22:44-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Wakulla County Sheriff Jared Miller started the North Star Multi Jurisdictional Drug Task Force in 2019.

Since then, 10 other counties have joined in; making it easier to track and crack down on drugs in north Florida.

"I got with my command staff and wanted to see how we could get other Sheriff's together to create a task force that would help combat the drug trafficking organizations in our area," Miller said.

In the first year, the task force was able to do more than 240 investigations.
That led to 169 arrests.

Sheriff Miller says they're working even harder now; as the task force has moved into 10 counties from Gulf to Dixie and added help from FDLE and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"Everyone has the smaller drug dealer. That's a problem, but we are using this information and resources to get to the larger drug trafficking organizations that are infiltrating these local people into the drug world," Miller said.

By taking down larger scale drug traffickers, U.S. Attorney Jason Coody says that means more drug cases on the federal level.

While the task force handles getting drugs off of the street, programs like Anchor Recovery are focused on getting help to the people impacted by those drugs.

"It's difficult because we're watching people go through addiction and recovery," Surina Pillay said.

Pillay is the Executive Director and Substance Abuse Counselor for Anchor Recovery.

Seeing the impact of addiction hits close to home for her.

"I know what people go through. I'm still grieving the loss of my father who died of addiction in September," Pillay said.

So for her to be one step in helping fight drugs in our community is special.

"We're working together as a whole for one common goal. That's to help people."

The task force recently received a grant for $1.5 million to keep the task force afloat for at least the next three years.