Yulee, Fla. (April 11, 2013) – The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Florida Sheriffs Task Force, has concluded a five week operation aimed at protecting youth in Florida. Operation Dry Spring focused on preventing underage youth from purchasing and using alcohol, tobacco and various forms of synthetic drugs. This operation was timed to coincide with the Spring Break season, when many youth experiment with drugs and alcohol.
From March 4 to April 7 Nassau County Sheriff’s Deputies targeted underage youth in possession of alcohol, tobacco or synthetic drugs as well as businesses selling these substances to underage youth. This operation resulted in 27 arrests and was responsible for the seizure of 5 grams of illegal narcotics.
At the heart of Operation Dry Spring was the goal of preventing potential emergency-related incidents linked to alcohol and drug use. In 2010, nearly 190,000 individuals under the age of 21 visited an emergency room for injuries or conditions connected to underage drinking. In addition, the use of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and spice is on the rise with more than 7,000 reported incidents in 2011, compared to some 3,000 in 2010.
“Through Operation Dry Spring, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Sheriffs Task force has addressed an important issue in our state; the safety of our youth,” said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper.
The Florida Sheriffs Task Force pools resources from the 67 Sheriffs’ Offices to address specific areas of concern. The Florida Sheriffs Task Force also is the point of contact for statewide initiatives, including helping to staff the State Emergency Operations Center and coordinating Sheriffs’ offices responses to storm-ravaged communities during hurricanes and other disasters.