Two men brag about being “fugitives,” wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
They proceed to show off hundreds of illegal prescription pills and a pile of cash.
One starts to sing, “Money, I got plenty of money. Say hi to the pills.”
Those images are found on a video recently released by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The footage was seized following a 2009 drug bust in New Port Richey in which three people — Andres Acefado Gomez, 30; Dana Marie Kemper, 25; and Alexander Kevin Cordovi, 24 — were arrested.
The three were charged with trafficking in and possession of controlled substances. Deputies found more than 2,000 pills in their possession at the time of the bust, including Oxycodone, Morphine, Adderall, Hydrocodone and Ritalin.
While the video relates to that specific bust, it illustrates what is happening all over Pasco County on any given day, said Sheriff Chris Nocco.
“It’s very important for us to get this video out there so people realize what is going on in their community and they realize the obstacles we face," Nocco said.
Deputies are dealing with people who only care about money and power, Nocco said.
The video, he said, demonstrates that well. The speaker is “very brazen. He goes on about the FBI can’t take me, the DEA wants me … I can tell you the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office took him down.”
What is especially distrubing, Nocco said, is the apparent lack of concern for anyone affected by prescription drug abuse.
"(The speaker on the video) could care less about the families he’s destroying," Nocco said. "He doesn’t care about the children in school that are taking these pills."
How They're Battling the Problem
In his to Pasco County commissioners, Nocco has asked for money to hire 10 new vice and narcotics detectives and two sergeants to supervise them to deal specifically with the prescription drug problem.
“This is a countywide problem,” Nocco said. “We’re seeing an uptick in violence because of prescription pills.”
According to sheriff’s office statistics, Pinellas and Pasco counties led the state in prescription-pill related deaths in 2010. Pinellas had 249. Pasco had 153. So far in 2011, the Pasco narcotics unit has initiated 1,391 drug-related cases that have resulted in the arrest of 652 people. About 60 percent of the unit’s cases are related to prescription narcotics.
In addition to extra staffing, Nocco is also calling on residents to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. An anonymous tip form is now available on the sheriff’s office website.