VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says a drug trafficking ring has been dismantled after deputies made 18 arrests and seized 500 grams of cocaine, $38,000 in cash, various pills and two handguns.
Records show the investigation took six months and now both ringleaders of the organization, Brandon “Buddy” Carter and Kamari Mott, are in custody.
Mott, 38, was taken into custody during a search warrant execution at his home in Daytona Beach on Thursday while Carter, 35, was arrested May 1 during a traffic stop in DeLand when he resisted a deputy and tried to throw a large bag of heroin and fentanyl over a fence and into a yard where a family was gathered, according to a news release.
Deputies said the investigation began in January as detectives started conducting surveillance and controlled purchases in order to identify members of the drug trafficking organization.
Starting Thursday, authorities said they began executing search warrants in Volusia and Lake counties, which resulted in 500 grams of cocaine, $38,000 in cash, various pills and two handguns being seized, records show.
The investigation was led by the Volusia Bureau of Investigation and the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution while the East and West Volusia Narcotics Task Forces and the Deltona Narcotics Enforcement Team assisted.
“Their work is never done, but today the men and women who put together this operation should be proud of their success shutting down another drug trafficking ring in our community,” Volusia County Sheriff Chitwood said. “We’re saving lives and improving quality of life for everyone when we put these organizations out of business.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said investigations like this one illustrate the opioid epidemic’s impact on the region.
“The opioid crisis is destroying lives and Florida families,” Moody said. “Today’s roundup of opioid traffickers is just a small glimpse into the dark underworld hiding just outside public view. We must fight this crisis on multiple fronts—through criminal-interdiction operations, substance-abuse treatment and even at our nation’s southern border. I believe this action by the Volusia Sheriff’s Office and our Office of Statewide Prosecution will save lives, and I will continue to work with Sheriff Chitwood and all of our great law enforcement leaders to stop the influx of these deadly drugs.”
In addition to the 18 arrests already made, deputies said they’ve identified additional suspects who have not yet been taken into custody.
Charges include trafficking in fentanyl, delivery of cocaine, trafficking in heroin and more.