‘We’re coming for you’: Masked US deputies issue chilling warning to drug pushers (VIDEO)
In an intense video message, Lake County sheriff Peyton Grinnell and four masked agents attempt to strike fear into criminals selling drugs.
Speaking directly into the camera and backed by colleagues in black balaclavas, Grinnell sought to reassure county residents by appearing to give criminals a heads up on police strategy.
In the “important message” released on Friday, Grinnell told drug dealers to “run” and expect armed police to burst through their door at any moment.
The sheriff said he has been contacted by several people concerned about heroin use in Lake County, which has a population of around 335,000 people.
“To the dealers that are pushing this poison, I have a message for you: we’re coming for you. As a matter of fact, our undercover agents have already bought heroin from many of you. We are simply waiting for the arrest warrants to be finalized,” he warned.
“So enjoy looking over your shoulder constantly wondering if today is the day we come for you. Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight is the night when are SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges. We are coming for you... Run.”
Also noteworthy for its ‘epic’ backing track, the message has received mixed reviews online, with some viewers praising the sheriff’s office for its show of force, while others likened it to propaganda produced by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
“Who decided this was a good idea? You sound like children playing at war. The masks are ridiculous. Bad optics at best,” one person wrote.
Another commenter added: “I actually like my law enforcement to aggressively pursue and stop lawbreakers. Your video however is over the top.”
“Pro tip: Don’t use public resources to make videos that look like they were directed by the ghost of Jihadi John,” said a Facebook user.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin overdose death rates increased in the US between 2014 and 2015. There were more than 3,200 drug overdose deaths in Florida in 2015, according to CDC data published last December.