15 arrested in prescription pill bust

- Agents arrested more than a dozen people in Operation Pills and Whips, meaning prescription drugs and high end cars.

Volusia County law enforcement officers are on the lookout for Ra'Keem Thomas and Jason Ashe. Investigators say Thomas was the ringleader of a prescription pill ring and Ashe was his supplier out of Maitland, who sold oxycodone and dilaudid.

Deputy Chief Eric Dietrich with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office says, "The pills were selling for $27 to $30 a piece so, 4,000 to 5,000 would gross him, $120,000-$150,000 a month." 

Children's toys were outside one of the homes where raids took place on Tuesday by the Volusia Bureau of Investigation.  Jail booking photographs of the 15 people arrested were displayed, including Stanley Vermillion and his daughter Kayla. 

Investigators say Thomas, who is still on the run, was arrested during a traffic stop last month after officers found 597 oxycodone pills in his car.   Even though he was shot at four times, officers say it didn't stop Thomas from allegedly dealing the drugs. 

"With these dealers comes violence and there was an incident with Ra'keem where he was shot and he was not cooperative with what occurred."

Agents say the prescription drugs were sold right out on the streets of Volusia County in the middle of the day. They tell us more arrests are expected, but also need help public's help in battling Operation Pills and Whips. 

"Illegal drug distributions like this one, seek to exploit addiction and seek to create a whole new generation of addicts.  As society we need to do more to address the demand for illegal prescription pills."

Agents say Thomas, 21, had allegedly been dealing drugs for the last three years. They say some of the suspects are being cooperative.

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