It’s Only Marijuana: ECSO Reacts To Naysayers After Big Marijuana Trafficking Arrest

August 28, 2021

After the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office made their largest marijuana grow and distribution operation bust ever, they are now reacting to social media naysayers.

As part of the operation (read more), local and federal investigators seized:

  • 2,156 pounds of the “highest grade” marijuana
  • 24 pounds of spice
  • 18 pounds of THC
  • 32 firearms
  • 12 vehicles (two of which were stolen)
  • $820,000 in cash
  • $150,000 worth of gold bars
  • $750,000 worth of jewelry
  • a tractor
  • a ski boat

On the ECSO Facebook, as well as the social media sites of and other local media, many commenters had a generally negative opinion. Many accused the ECSO of wasting time and resources over a marijuana arrest.

The ECSO released the following statement in reaction Friday afternoon:

“The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has investigated and continues to investigate violent crimes associated directly with marijuana trafficking.

“So, if someone tells you that “it’s only marijuana”, let them know that trafficking in marijuana is no different than trafficking in any other drugs with regards to the potential for violent crime. Trafficking means money, and money associated with illegal trafficking inevitably leads to violence. We are not talking about personal or prescription usage, we are talking about the large amounts of money passing hands and the violence associated with it. Marijuana at these levels is illegal everywhere.

“If you excuse the trafficking in marijuana, please think about recent victims who are fathers, sons, uncles and neighbors, all of whom, were shot and killed because of the trafficking of marijuana right here in Escambia County.”


50 Responses to “It’s Only Marijuana: ECSO Reacts To Naysayers After Big Marijuana Trafficking Arrest”

  1. Jimbo on August 30th, 2021 11:53 am

    Come on all! Even if you decriminalize and legalize marijuana, what he is doing here would be illegal. He would still be required to pay taxes on the sales of the marijuana and have a license. Do you see anyone selling beer on the street corners??? No! and it is because of these requirements. So WHEN they decriminalize (and they will) you still MUST go to a licensed distributor who is authorized to collect taxes for the sale of marijuana and not to your local pot dealer. Some of you heads need to come down a little before you post stuff.

  2. Hard Row on August 30th, 2021 7:23 am

    Take away the weapons, dispose the meth and any other manufactured drug, distribute the herb. ECSO fail. Regular weed does not affect people into hysteria. It is grown. It’s natural. Not processed, And no, I don’t smoke weed.

  3. Tim Almond on August 29th, 2021 11:50 pm

    Ok boomers. Your war against marijuana is over and you lost….It died as soon as the farm bill passed. You were just too damn concerned with keeping trump in office to notice. Why don’t you pay attention to the real problems in your community like meth….. Still waiting for that big bust….

  4. JD on August 29th, 2021 3:10 pm

    All the concern over the amount of guns is hilarious and hypocritical on here knowing a bunch of the 2nd amendment supporters on here commenting have way more than what was confiscated from this guy. When I see some big meth and fetnyal bust and took out I’ll consider that a serious issue.

  5. Duncan20903 on August 29th, 2021 12:18 pm

    Doesn’t it go without saying that anything bad that happens anywhere in the general vicinity of cannabis was caused by the cannabis?

  6. Lenny Potts on August 29th, 2021 11:23 am

    By reading the comments you can figure out who the pot heads are on here pretty easily.

  7. Sheryl on August 29th, 2021 10:47 am

    Keep up the Great Work! Let’s see some more of this happening! There’s more out there! Bust them all.

  8. Mike J. on August 29th, 2021 10:21 am


    Please don’t presume to speak for me by saying that the majority support it, because you are wrong. Lawyers want it because they know that more people driving while on a high means more traffic accidents and more lawsuits and the need for more high-priced lawyers.

    But that also means more people hurt and killed. Do you want that? I hope not.

    Have a nice day!

  9. Kane on August 29th, 2021 9:45 am

    @ensleyboy “If selling weed does not promote violence, what”s the need for all the weapons?”

    That’s a small amount of guns most Americans own twice that amount. Also you could apply your statement to any gun owner with more then one gun.

  10. David on August 28th, 2021 11:10 pm

    Good job ECSO. Clearly there were more crimes than just growing, selling, or using cannabis. As long as we have laws that create black market demand we will continue to see criminal enterprise grow to such heights. Eventually, perhaps we will join other states in eliminating the demand for a black market that feeds thugs by simply treating cannabis with commerce and production laws like we do alcohol. Of course we will still have thugs, It will just be a little harder for them to get funding because the most popular drug that they sell will be undercut by a legitimate market. Of course we will still have car thieves, there are plenty of those around, especially those who take catalytic converters. Very good job on catching them too.

  11. ensley boy on August 28th, 2021 10:29 pm

    If selling weed does not promote violence, what”s the need for all the weapons?

  12. Rat on August 28th, 2021 5:52 pm

    War on drugs.
    Luck would have it. this turd did not know how to use his resources and protect his assets. He could have had a small army with that kind of money he had guns.

  13. CW on August 28th, 2021 3:55 pm

    Maybe some of these commenters are just worried their weed supply might get disrupted. LOL

  14. D H on August 28th, 2021 3:53 pm

    As for having that many cars, a boat, tractor, jewelry, gold bars, weapons – I don’t think that Nahn T. Vo went out and bought those. In my opinion he had those items in his possession as payment for the marijuana he sold to his buyers. Some items were stolen and that’s the criminal violence the ECSO is talking about. But I’m sure that’s just a small part of it. Vo is stupid and failed to see the harm he was doing to others by trafficking. Big bucks lit up his eyes and yes he is greedy Vo. I’m sure some of his buyers have been or in jail after they got caught, and they snitched on him.

    Hopefully there will be some unsolved crimes resolved very soon that are in connection with Vo and his illegal business dealers.

    So long Vo – off to prison you go!

  15. DAVID on August 28th, 2021 3:15 pm

    GREAT WORK!!! Congratulations to EVERYONE that was and is still involved in the investigation and subsequent arrests in this case. I pray that you bring down everyone of the drug traffickers in this county and beyond. Thid should have been lo g time ago. Keep up the great work.

  16. Troy on August 28th, 2021 3:08 pm

    No problem here!!! Glad to see my tax money at work!!!!

  17. W. Ward on August 28th, 2021 2:59 pm

    Well we have a lot of responses to ESCO doing their job and the ESCO is responding after viewing social media. First of all social media is a problem and I don’t see where the ESCO should be defending doing the job they are here to do. So for all those that think ESCO is wasting money doing what they are, you need to learn that law enforcement is an essential part of society. Do I agree that simple possession of a little weed is ok? Yes I do. Is it legal? No. Did anyone take the time to view the pics posted? Now I’m a 2nd Amendment supporter and reviewed the weapons and read the list of cash gold and jewelry. The cash appears to freshly printed and wrapped one hundred dollar bills, plus gold bars and jewelry. There is more to this than growing a plant or two for personal consumption. Why all the weapons?

    How many people out there think you know what happens when you rip off or fail to make a payment to a drug dealer like this? This is when the weapons come into play and someone is murdered. Does the dealer care? No! The dealer is going to make an example of that person so others will know not to do it. There is no honor among these types of people, They don’t care about life, they don’t respect life and they don’t give a dam who they hurt. How many know-it-alls are raising their kids around this crap? Teaching them to do what mommy & daddy do. How many kids grow up and say; “I can make more money selling drugs than working” because mommy & daddy unknowingly taught them how too. This is just the tip of the ice burg. Dude didn’t get all that money because he was a nice guy, He ain’t paid taxes on his sales but he did buy a small arsenal to protect his interests and don’t think for a minute he won’t use them.

    So now the young bad a**es on the street loyal to him start their own little empire and the cycle repeats itself. Its a dangerous game, its not a video game, its not a joke, its real life. Society has a need to enforce laws in order to maintain a peaceful environment for law abiding citizens to live free of the criminals. This also is a reflection on law abiding gun owners who enjoy the right to own our firearms in defense against the criminals who are out here to rape, pillage, and burn those of us who are just trying to live a peaceful life. The trickle down effect of what this guy and others in his organization are doing contributes to the breakdown of society. So for those who think this was a waste of money by ESCO, move out and leave, get out of our county, we don’t need or want you or your input. Go live in an area that promotes lawlessness and crime. We stand our ground, we salute the flag, we respect the ESCO, we are proud of our values and our country, we elected our sheriff to do the job and he’s doing what we elected him to do. Sherriff, you nor your investigators and deputies need to be making excuses because of social media posts. Its likely those squealing the loudest are involved with this guy. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! JOB WELL DONE!

    W. Ward
    Molino, FL

  18. JD on August 28th, 2021 2:17 pm

    @Jksmith, yes he should be arrested for the spice. That stuff is lethal. Far as money is it illegal to have a million dollars in cash in your possession????? Nope. And since the cars are stolen he has to answer for it. Now as far as running for sheriff and if I won I would go after those murder cases and prioritize . Now as far as chip Simmons my son played ball with his son for one season. No problem there cuz. And when any elected official grandstands like they solved the counties problems but the ones worse than this one is still killing and causing havoc it’s a problem no matter if I like the sheriff or not. For your info I think chip is doing a pretty good job considering what Morgan left him with. I don’t coddle any elected official whether I know them or not like alot of people do.

  19. Gail on August 28th, 2021 2:15 pm


  20. Donna on August 28th, 2021 1:43 pm

    Is it necessary for are sheriff department to be on the social media wagon
    first on here calling a person names because of a statue this could have been handled in an adult way without name calling
    And now your going to again get involved in he said she said social drama the first article was enough you did your job with in the law no drama needed !!

  21. BT on August 28th, 2021 11:27 am

    The only reason there is violence associated with Marijuana is because it has not been made legal. The only reason it is not legal is that our elected representatives do not represent us.

    The majority of the public supports legalization. Law enforcement loves seized assets too much to give it up.

  22. mnon on August 28th, 2021 10:46 am

    Good work ECSO, all the naysayers are just uneducated on what really goes down with this amount of trafficking. You can use marijuana legally in Florida if you really need it. Nuff said.

  23. Suzie B on August 28th, 2021 10:38 am

    Only marijuana?… What about the stolen vehicles? I think there’s more to it than has been released. Once all weapons and jewelry have been processed, there may be more crimes linked. Limelight doesn’t always solve crimes but hopefully it will shed some light on other situations that may be reported and linked.

  24. Bill on August 28th, 2021 10:27 am

    If recreational use and the distribution for such use were legalized or just decriminalized the process wouldn’t be any more violent than the distribution of anything else. Therefore, the ECSO wants to us to be thankful because they want credit for taking aggressive action for a problem that they themselves have created (along with our legislators).

    Legalize, decriminalize, and leave marijuana dealers alone.

    Think about that when considering the casualties of the drug war.

  25. John on August 28th, 2021 10:13 am

    There is an old saying ( people who live in glass houses should not throw stones). The same people who say it’s only weed, I have a question for you. What about drinking and driving? Or trafficking girls? You know it only being friendly with them. Isn’t that the excuse that is used?
    By making light of trafficking marijuana you lessen the offense of other crimes as well. This guy was need to be stopped.

  26. Kane on August 28th, 2021 10:00 am

    Well as far as the cost of this seizure goes it was multi-organization operation meaning it cost way more money then they will recoup from this bust. It IS only weed which should be legal here in a VACATION/RETIRMENT mecca. The revenue generated by legalized recreational mamajuana would eclipse any other single revenue source. Property taxes could be lowered schools would get the funding the lottery promised them!!

    All that being said this guy was a giant douche for selling spice great job E.C.S.O AND ALL OTHER AGENCIES.

  27. Al on August 28th, 2021 10:00 am

    The ones who are commenting against the arrest are part of the problem in our society they may even be part of his operations. They are not worth listening to. Maybe you need to just move away and go be somebody else’s problem that way we will have more people with intelligence and integrity that live here. Keep up the good work Chip Simmons and his men.

  28. Citizen on August 28th, 2021 9:59 am

    Reading these comments, it’s clear to me now why the citizens of Escambia County voted to give up their right to vote for superintendent.

  29. K. in Cantonment on August 28th, 2021 9:56 am

    Gee everyone up in arms, It’s just marijuana DUH no it’s not. Did you see the guns that they would use without thinking. Plus the cars, the house etc. that was not just from marijuana sales. I’m glad to see them off the streets.

  30. SAM Alcoholics on August 28th, 2021 9:29 am

    Beer is the leading cause of rape, sexual assaults and domestic violence in Florida.
    When will police shut down the ethanol narcotic drug trade?

  31. Momof4 on August 28th, 2021 9:25 am

    Good job to all our LEOs!!! He didn’t get all those items “Just selling pot”. And weren’t there several shootings from stolen vehicles recently? Thank you for cleaning up our community!

  32. Wyatte on August 28th, 2021 8:57 am

    Great Job

  33. ekg on August 28th, 2021 8:48 am

    ECSO is doing a super job!!!

  34. Well done ECSO on August 28th, 2021 8:47 am

    Great Job ECSO! Thank you for all y’all do ! You put your life on the line Daily for this community , thank you . And at the naysayers , shut up unless you are personally understanding of the life style & how all that works ok. Yeh weed spice dope it doesn’t matter man broke the law. Didn’t break law to save a life , defend someone , no he broke it to make bank $$$ & power & most likely more reasons…. “You can’t handle the truth” lol if y’all really knew you would be thanking ESCO, if you still upset well maybe it affected you personally ? So yeh glad he is off the street & praying everyone connected to him! Praying safety all the time ESCO.

  35. Blinky on August 28th, 2021 8:28 am

    Does anyone think those weapons were all legal, probably not , and over a million in cash, jewelry and gold bars, this guy needed to go down and I hope they stick it too him with federal weapons charges keep him in jail for a long time

  36. Steven Wheeler on August 28th, 2021 8:24 am

    Good job

  37. Jksmith on August 28th, 2021 7:54 am

    @JD. perhaps you should reread the first news article to get a better insight to why this drug pusher is behind bars. 1. He had two cars in his possession that were stolen. 2. Who are this earth would have a suitcase with THAT amount of money stashed at his residence? 3. And the last I knew, SPICE was illegal. If you have a problem with the currant and new sheriff in town, maybe when the next election comes around, you should throw your hat in the ring and see how far that takes you.

  38. JustWondering on August 28th, 2021 7:52 am

    I am just wondering? If all you people that think it’s okay, have young children that get introduced to spice/or worse at the age of 10 or younger, then have to deal with school issues, mental health issues, and everyday life issues of your once innocent child because of scumbags like this? All you people need to do some serious soul searching in your lives, get your priorities sorted out.

    That’s what happens here! It everyone turns to “pot” for answers!

  39. Beth Carey on August 28th, 2021 7:44 am

    Well done
    Thank you

  40. Paul on August 28th, 2021 7:40 am

    It isn’t just weed. That spice poison is worthy of getting thrown under the jail.
    I don’t have a problem with natural herbs.

  41. Bewildered on August 28th, 2021 7:37 am

    Good job ECSO keep up the good work.

  42. A Alex on August 28th, 2021 7:36 am

    wonder if any shot up that apartment complex or killed the boy at Fairfield and Hollywood.

  43. JD on August 28th, 2021 7:18 am

    Now I can sleep with my doors and windows open knowing we took down the biggest bad guy. All crime will cease now . Way more nefarious crap going on in this county than this guy. Lots of unsolved murders in this county. Just to assume this guy is connected to violence without proof is speculation at best. Sounds like that one size fits all policies that have been put in place by dumb elected no brain officials. I promise no situation is the same as another one. Heck you would’ve thought the police arrested the Miami Boys the way this was presented.

  44. Dm on August 28th, 2021 7:17 am

    Thank you ECSO! One of the problems in our society is that we want to choose which crimes we think should be prosecuted. Crime is crime and illegal drugs of any description are still illegal. Drugs are a huge reason for many of our societal woes. Thank you for doing your job and fighting the drug war.

  45. Robert on August 28th, 2021 6:59 am

    Good job ECSO. I am glade the marijuana and spice is off the streets. He wasn’t in the trade to help the good citizens of Escambia County. He doesn’t care who the drugs or street dealers hurt.

  46. Grandma on August 28th, 2021 6:49 am

    Keep up the good work. Keep on enforcing all the laws, not playing favorites. I am proud to have voted for Simmons. You, sir, represent the law abiding citizens. We are grateful for you protection. Best sheriff since Lowman.

  47. MikeandIke on August 28th, 2021 6:13 am

    It is a waste of time and resources. Could the cops be anymore anti weed? However this situation is different considering he got caught with 24 pounds of spice as well. Ironic not one mention of the violence spice would cause though.Glad the spice is off the street though, great job with that! Want to stop marijuana trafficking, then legalize it! Does seem like the cops are getting butt hurt, now that the people finally have a problem with marijuana arrest though. Ohh and if any of these cops have smoked before, which I’m positive they have. Then they themselves have also excused marijuana trafficking. The hypocracy is outstanding

  48. Phil on August 28th, 2021 4:49 am

    It’s about the money, and the property they can seize, not the drugs. Of course this is the reaction from the Sheriff, he has to justify it somehow.

  49. Babs on August 28th, 2021 3:26 am

    Cool. Glad to know we solved all the violence in the area with this giant bust.

  50. paul on August 28th, 2021 2:32 am

    Good job ECSO, the guy is a criminal/poison peddler, put him in prison. All seized money should be distributed to the LEO’s/CO’s , they deserve it.

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