Sheriff announces new drug unit

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson revealed the details of two drug arrests over the weekend in Navarre and the creation of a new narcotics unit during a press conference on Monday.

Amy Tomlinson

Amy Tomlinson of Gulf Breeze and Sheldon Hutchins of Navarre, former 2012-13 Holley Navarre Water System board member, are both being charged with a first-degree felony of trafficking methamphetamine of 14 grams or more.

Both individuals are currently in jail with a posted bond of $100,000.

Rebecca Konopka of Navarre is being charged with a third-degree felony of possession of marijuana of more than 20 grams, a third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance and a first-degree felony of trafficking oxycodone.

Konopka was arrested Saturday near the intersection of East Bay Boulevard and Andorra Street.

“Once Ms. Konopka was placed under arrested and searched, 827 oxycodone pills and 493 Xanax pills, along with 39 grams of marijuana, were found on her personally,” Johnson said.

Rebecca Konopka

Konopka is currently in jail with a posted bond of $60,000.

Johnson also announced the formation of a new drug interdiction unit within the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s office.

“Obviously we have some issues with narcotics in our county, and we’re going to deal with it in a unique way,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, the unit will consist of one narcotics officer, one K9 officer and one traffic enforcement officer.

“We’re starting off with just three and we’re going to see how it works,” Johnson said. “Once it becomes successful, which I know it will, we’re going to expand it and put more officers in it and take a chunk out of this drug problem.”

Sheldon Hutchins

Johnson cited the recent drug busts and spike in Narcan use by officers during the past few months. He also notices an alarming upwards trend of drug related crimes in the county with the expansion of the narcotics unit and more aggressive traffic enforcement.

“In the past seven to eight months, we’ve made 14 Narcan saves,” Johnson said. “A lot of times we get a lot of drugs during traffic stops, and this is a perfect example.”

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