News from BSO

OPERATION S.T.A.R.T. NETS 291 MORE DRUG DEALERS BRINGING TOTAL TO 1,459 ARRESTS

BSO Case Number:
PIO Number: 01-10-41
Date: October 30, 2001
Time: 2:00 PM (news conference)
Place of Occurrence: Unincorporated central Broward and Atlanta, Georgia area

Victim(s):

  • (1) State of Florida (2) People of central Broward County

Suspect(s):

  • 291 felony drug arrests in central Broward County and the Atlanta area

Description of Incident:

291 street-level, mid-level and upper-level drug dealers have been arrested in central Broward County and the Atlanta area for possession, purchase and delivery of narcotics as part of S.T.A.R.T.: Sheriff’s Targeted Anti-Crime Response Team. An unprecedented 1,459 drug arrests have been made since Operation S.T.A.R.T. began late last year.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office has been working the operation in central Broward for the past four months, in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Broward State Attorney’s Office, members of South Florida HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Twenty-one suspects are being charged federally, and are facing more harsh sentencing guidelines. The others face state charges. The arrests were made without incident.

One of the targets arrested in a previous S.T.A.R.T. initiative led BSO detectives to a cocaine pipeline operating between Broward County and the Atlanta area. Agents from the Atlanta offices of DEA and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrested 6 drug dealers and seized 32 kilograms of cocaine, several grams of crack, and weapons.

Also during this operation, BSO investigators learned that one suspect had jewelry that was stolen during the armed robbery of a jewelry store on Florida’s west coast. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it was part of a $3 million heist from the Gold and Diamond Resource jewelry store in Clearwater on June 3, 2001. Because of leads developed through Operation S.T.A.R.T., 5 suspects were arrested and $140,000 worth of jewelry has been recovered to date.

S.T.A.R.T. is an on-going operation, and will be launched in other cities and unincorporated areas patrolled by the Broward Sheriff's Office.

INVESTIGATORS: BSO Strategic Investigations, DEA, ATF, U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District, HIDTA
THIS REPORT BY: Cheryl Stopnick, Media Relations, October 30,2001, 1400 hrs.

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