DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - 20 people, including a gang leader, have been arrested after a months-long narcotics operation jointly run by federal and local law enforcement, the Daytona Beach Police Department announced on Thursday.
They said that 'Operation Dirt Devil' started last December and focused on the 'From the Dirt Gang' (FTD). This is said to be the same group who were involved in an unauthorized gathering beachside last Memorial Day.
“This gang is involved in narcotics trafficking and numerous shootings of both people and property, including a homicide,” stated Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri. “FTD is a menace to our streets. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for helping us capture these people before they could commit any more mayhem.”
The murder referenced reportedly happened in July 2019 and took the life of 19-year-old Daemon Carn. A 19-year-old suspect, Kevin Stokes, was arrested the following September.
On Thursday, search warrants were executed at nine different locations in the Daytona Beach area, police said.
“FTD was recruiting young people to run their drug sales,” Capri stated. “That’s a situation we couldn’t tolerate. Hopefully, today’s efforts will help clean up the problems we’ve been having in Cedar Highlands and make it safer for residents.”
Police said that various drug, weapon, and disorderly conduct charges will be filed. Large amounts of money and drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, were also seized.
Other members of the FTD gang are still being searched for, police said. They all have active arrest warrants.
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