DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A gang known to sell drugs and commit shootings has been effectively dismantled as a result of a year-long operation that resulted in the arrests of several high-ranking members, according to Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri.
Capri said 20 arrests have been made as of Thursday and there are still more warrants to be served.
From The Dirt, as the group is called, operated out of the Cedar Highland neighborhood and according to Capri, has been the source of many drug and gun-related complaints from neighbors for years now. He also said they’re connected to at least one homicide.
“The residents should not have to tolerate drug dealing and shootings, gun violence in their neighborhoods and today I think we set the tone for the future that we’re not going to tolerate,” Capri said.
Now, he’s hoping residents in the Daytona Beach neighborhood can feel safer.
“We got some relief to the neighbors up there. We will not tolerate any type of drug selling or trafficking in the city but more importantly, we’re never, ever going to tolerate any kind of gun violence in the city. Where people, you know, are shooting at each other, rival gang members or people that have fallen out with each other over drug trafficking and innocent people get caught in the mix,” Capri said.
The operation was conducted by the police department, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and federal authorities.
In addition to the drugs and gun violence, Capri said the gang is also known to recruit young people to sell heroin and cocaine. He described the suspects as dangerous.
“They’ll do whatever they can to deliver these drugs. They will they will shoot people, they will steal things, they will rob, they will do anything they can, because that’s their mentality. You can’t change it. That’s what they’re going to do,” Capri said. “They get out of jail, they do the same thing. They will shoot and kill anyone of you and won’t think twice about.”
The chief said he’s confident that his detectives built strong cases and that the suspects will be sentenced to serve serious time.
Among those arrested was a man who was caught throwing money out of the sunroof of a car during an “Orlando Invades Daytona” block party on Memorial Day weekend, according to Capri.
“It just goes to show how stupid they are. Out there selling drugs or shooting guns and they want to make a stupid rap video like it’s some kind of big production. You know, you’re dealing with idiots, morons I mean, they just don’t care. So by them acting stupid, throwing money, it just makes our case even easier to keep an eye on,” Capri said.
The names of the 20 suspects were not released. Capri said they mostly face gun and drug charges.