Hernando County Sheriff’s Office revealed on Jan. 3 that its Vice and Narcotics unit in a joint investigation with the United States Postal Service conducted a controlled delivery operation that led to the arrest of a Spring Hill man. According to the Sheriff’s Office, a package being shipped from an address in Puerto Rico to Pablo Jonuel Fuentes Morales in Spring Hill last month was determined to contain one kilo of cocaine.
The arrest was made after Fuentes Morales received the package at the Spring Hill address. Morales was immediately placed into custody by Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Detectives and United States Postal Service Investigators.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis said, “The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit is fortunate to have a very good working relationship with the United States Postal Service, as well as all the major private shipping companies. When a suspicious package arrives in Hernando County, it often results in an immediate arrest, as it did in this case, or it spurs a more long term investigation. If a person is getting drugs shipped into Hernando County, they can rest assured that they will eventually be brought to justice.”
As previously reported in the Hernando Sun, during 2021 the county saw a dramatic increase in both deaths by drug overdose and nonfatal cases of drug overdoses. The number went from 150 reported accidental overdoses (without death) in 2020 to 244 in 2021, an increase of nearly 63 percent. At least 75 persons are confirmed to have died of drug overdoses in Hernando last year, which is 38 more than were reported in 2020, or an increase of nearly 103 percent. The Sheriff’s office expects the number of deaths occurring from overdoses in 2021 will likely rise as more cause-of-deaths are confirmed in open cases.