GREEN COVE SPRINGS, FL – Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jason Setzer and Alvin “AJ” Mercado for narcotics trafficking. On September 10, 2022, the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, SWAT team, and several partnering agencies served a search warrant in the Heritage Hills subdivision and another in the Raggedy Point neighborhood on two Clay County residences. The sheriff’s office served the first search warrant on Jason Setzer, a Heritage Hills subdivision resident. Setzer is charged with trafficking in Fentanyl, trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of over twenty grams of cannabis, conspiracy to traffic in Fentanyl in excess of 2,000 grams, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Deputies served the second search warrant on Alvin “AJ” Mercado, charged with trafficking in Fentanyl and conspiracy to trafficking in Fentanyl in excess of 2,000 grams.
In July this year, narcotics investigators received a tip regarding large amounts of narcotics being sold in Clay County. After receiving this information, our investigators began to piece together their case, dubbed Operation Lucky 777s. With assistance from local, state, and federal partners, detectives from our agency started putting pieces of a very large puzzle together. These dangerous, illegal drugs originated in the state of California. They were being shipped and delivered to various Northeast Florida locations.
Mercado and Setzer mailed U.S currency to a supplier and received shipments of blue and purple fentanyl bricks in return. Mercado coordinated drug orders and shipments, bringing packages to Setzer’s home, where Setzer allegedly would break the orders into smaller quantities for distribution. As a result of this investigation, and the work of our investigative partners, approximately 8.35 kilos of Fentanyl (which is enough to kill about four million people), 1.36 kilos of cocaine, and 2.38 kilos (5.26 pounds) of methamphetamine have been seized along with 30 firearms to include assault rifles, handguns, and ghost guns. There was also a substantial amount of cash seized, totaling $183,000 U.S. dollars from this drug enterprise.
Jason Setzer is in the Clay County Jail charged with narcotics trafficking and has a bond of $17 million. He is facing up to 140 years in prison with a 25-year mandatory minimum. Alvin “AJ” Mercado is also in the Clay County Jail on charges of narcotics trafficking with a bond of $10 million, facing up to 60 years in prison with a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Sheriff Michelle Cook said, “If you are dealing drugs or involved in the drug trade in any way, shape, or form in Clay County, WE are coming for you. I PROMISE you, every member of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office will continue working hard every day to keep drugs off of Clay County streets.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Fentanyl is killing Americans at a record pace, and these drug traffickers compiled enough of this deadly synthetic opioid to kill everyone within 18 counties of their criminal operation. Thankfully, working with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, we were able to take these deadly drugs off the streets before they could kill Floridians.”