Officials targeted illegal drugs, weapons

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. —A month-long investigation by Marion County officials has resulted in the arrests of 12 people on drug and weapons charges.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office and the United States Postal Inspection service teamed up for the operation, which ran from Jan. 13 through Feb. 12, to find illegal drugs and firearms entering central Florida through the U.S. mail.

FEBRUARY MUGSHOTS

Officials said 20 drug parcels were discovered and included marijuana, synthetic marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs and "Molly," a pure form of MDMA. The drugs had a street value of $1 million.

Five firearms, three of which were stolen, were also taken as evidence, officials said.

One of the men arrested answered the door holding a bag of marijuana.

"And the gentleman that opened the door, opened it with a gallon-sized baggy of marijuana in his hand," said Marion County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brian Spivey. "As our officers approached to speak to him about the package, we had more reason to believe the package might be suspicious and it ultimately led us to a search warrant on the house where we recovered marijuana, pills, stolen guns and this gentleman was a convicted felon."

Investigators believe only three of the 12 arrested were actually working together.

Most of the drugs confiscated were intended to be sold.

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