The Special Investigations Division (SID) is a part of the Gainesville -Alachua County Drug Task Force (GACDTF). The GACDTF is a collaborative effort between the Gainesville Police Department, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, the University of Florida Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The Drug Task Force targets illegal drug activity at three levels. The Drug Task Force investigates street-level drug crimes that occur throughout the City of Gainesville and Alachua County. Detectives assigned to the street-level Narcotics Squads identify and arrest subjects who are selling drugs in neighborhoods and affecting the quality of life for the residents in the area. Most enforcement of street-level drug crimes is done through undercover drug buys. The drug buys usually result in the arrest of the drug dealer and/or a search warrant being served on the location where the drug activity is occurring.
The Drug Task Force also has detectives assigned to state and federal drug task forces to increase the impact of local drug cases. The Drug Task force recently became part of the Federal HIDTA initiative (High intensity Drug Trafficking Area) and the Drug Task Force is receiving Federal funding to assist in the investigation of narcotic’s cases. The HIDTA Squad investigates mid-level suppliers of the street-level dealers. These mid-level dealers often extend beyond the City of Gainesville into surrounding cities and counties. The DEA Task Force investigates upper-level suppliers of drugs. Many of the upper-level drug investigations extend to other states and countries. Both task forces work toward significant State or Federal prison sentences for serious drug offenders. The investigations of mid- and upper-level suppliers often develop from street-level cases made by the Narcotics Unit when working community problems.
Indoor Cannabis Grows
The GADCTF has seen an increase in the number of large indoor cannabis grows in our area. These grows appear to be operated by two different groups. The first group is comprised of individuals (locals) from our area and the second is comprised of individuals from outside of our area (usually Cuban or Mexican) who establish multiple grow operations usually staffed by individuals who are in this country illegally.
The Gainesville Police Department has been experiencing an increased amount of violence associated with these cannabis operations that range from the growers being robbed to violence being used to protect the cash crop.
In recent years, cocaine and prescription drugs have replaced Ecstasy as the prominent club drugs. The rapid increase and acceptance of the prescription drugs have caused increased concern because when combined with alcohol, many of these drugs resulted in the individuals “blacking out” and having memory loss for extended periods of time. This makes these individuals especially vulnerable to victimization. The prescription drugs are often consumed by individuals who intentionally combine them with alcohol in order to achieve a quick “high” without consuming the calories that drinking alcohol alone would require. This practice can often have disastrous results.
Crack cocaine and cannabis continue to be the drugs most often sold at the street level in our open air drug markets.
Over the Counter Drugs
Coricidin D and DM cough medicine are taken in large doses to produce a high and state of euphoria.