Latest raid part of local law enforcement’s effort to get drugs off the streets
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Local law enforcement conducted a drug raid on Monday titled Operation Extend Stay, which resulted in 38 arrest warrants and 28 arrests.
Taken off the streets were 20 pounds of crystal meth, 321 fentanyl pills, 64 Dilaudids (a painkiller), other assorted pills, marijuana, $41,000 in cash and five firearms (one reported stolen).
The operation was conducted by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Volusia Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Street Task Force and the Florida State Attorney’s Office. The arrests took place within the municipalities of Daytona Beach, Crescent City, Edgewater and DeLand.
‘By the kilos’
The majority of the drugs were picked up in Crescent City where 13 pounds of meth was taken into custody.
“These drugs were coming in from Mexico by the kilos. We believe as much as 100 kilos of meth have hit the streets of Volusia County alone,” said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
Law enforcement say 42-year-old James White ran the operation from prison. White is currently in Washington State Prison in Washington County, Georgia, where he is serving 20 years for aggravated assault.
“We’re in a day and age when a guy can run a drug operation from inside prison. Apparently, he used contraband cell phones that he had smuggled in to give out directions,” Chitwood stated.
Follows Daytona busts
According to news reports in Georgia back in 2018, the Georgia Department of Corrections seized a cell phone White-owned illegally.
The recent drug operation comes a month after a Daytona Beach police operation called Operation Clean Streets, which resulted in 28 arrests along with meth, heroin, crack cocaine, meth and ecstasy/ molly being taken off the streets.
Both operations are law enforcement’s efforts to clean up the streets.
“We’re absolutely stepping up effort to get the drugs off the streets. We do everything we can that is legally possible to stop drugs from plaguing,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri.
The Sheriff’s Office also conducted drug operations last month and in May.
During the recent operation, investigators also took into custody Nora Lamb, 35, of Daytona Beach and Pedro Zamorra of Crescent City, 29, whom the officers say were both key members of the drug ring.
According to reports, Lamb and White were in a relationship; she picked up drugs and transported to Daytona Beach while Zamorra did the same in Crescent City.
Chitwood said, “White would tell her where to go.’’
‘Super Blues’ seized
Also during the recent sheriff’s office raid, a new synthetic drug laced with Fentanyl called “Super Blues’’ were seized.
Chitwood emphasized, “These pills resemble oxycontin. The buyer thinks they are purchasing an oxycontin but these pills are laced with fentanyl, which is more dangerous and deadly.
The DBPD has yet to see the new blue pills.
Capri noted, “I haven’t seen these new blue pills but all drugs are dangerous, whether it’s crack, cocaine, meth, molly/ecstasy or heroin. The thing is these fentanyl-based drugs are known to be killing people who are using them.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Putnam County Sheriff Office also participated in the operation and the Georgia Department of Corrections provided assistance.