CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. – After an extensive, yearlong joint investigation by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), CCSO’s Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) arrested two subjects yesterday on various charges (see below), to include racketeering.
Both 53-year-old Benjamin Burdick and 29-year-old Catilynkyrie Burdick of Inverness were taken into custody and are being held in the Citrus County Detention Facility without bond.
On Wednesday, CCSO’s TIU, along with our federal law enforcement partners, executed a lawful search warrant at 3766 South Susan Point in Inverness. As part of the investigation, federal agents purchased counterfeit Xanax from the suspects on the “dark web” using cryptocurrency.
This led to the search warrant being obtained by the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations and signed by a United States Magistrate out of the Middle District of Florida.
“Our joint investigation started in June of 2019,” remarked Sheriff Prendergast. “The successful outcome of this investigation is a prime example of the effective working relationships we have with our federal and local partners. Our office will continue to leverage these beneficial partnerships to further protect our citizens and rid our community of dangerous drug dealers such as these individuals.”
A comprehensive search of the residence exposed several pieces of manufacturing, distribution, and sales equipment that were collected to include: a pill press, pill binder mixer, USPS mail envelopes, USPS shipping boxes, an Accupost scale, vacuum sealer, and bags, a bag containing 5 kilograms of pill binder, a digital scale with several cups and bowls that contained a white powdery residue.
Detectives discovered numerous Ziploc and vacuum-sealed bags containing counterfeit Xanax pills and white pills stamped with G7322, which is marketed as prescription Alprazolam. In addition, approximately 16,000 pills (net. weight 15 lbs.) prepackage in various sizes and bags were located during the search. Detectives also seized $143,095 in US currency, which were proceeds from the online counterfeit drug sales, along with several firearms.