FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly says there has been 16 overdose deaths in the county this year as of Friday.
Staly is passionate about keeping "poison peddlers" out of his county. He says they've seized three times more fentanyl than all of 2021.
Staly sees the impact dangerous drugs, specifically fentanyl, impact his community. Part of the fight includes going after the dealer.
"They're selling poison because the buyer really does not know what they're buying," Staly said.
On Aug. 25, a jury found Jevante Hamilton, 27, guilty of manslaughter. In 2019, Hamilton sold drugs that contained fentanyl.
The buyer died from an overdose. Hamilton is facing a minimum of 15 years in prison.
"I'm hoping he gets more, more time than a 15-year minimum day for day," Staly added.
To Staly, going after drug dealers is personal. He shared with First Coast News how his nephew died from heart failure after using drugs. He described how the damage was done to his family's heart after working to get clean. Staly said his nephew's heart gave out in three years.
Just one of the reasons why he wants families of victims to get justice and some closure. While the fight is ongoing, Staly holds on to some victories. The sheriff added how his deputies and the fire department is equipped with Narcan.
So far, Staly said they have used 180 doses to save lives.