BY ANDREAS BUTLER
On Jan. 22, the Daytona Beach Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) announced the results of Operation Pay Dirt, a joint effort to curb the sale of illegal drugs and guns in the area.
The operation has yielded 67 suspects and 32 arrests. Eight people are facing federal charges while 24 face state charges. Most charges are drug-related while others deal with guns.
Authorities have seized cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, MDMA, methamphetamine, fentanyl (192 grams), cannabis (86 grams) and oxycontin along with 37 firearms and over $200,000 in cash thus far.
“I thank our special investigations unit and crime suppression team. I can’t thank the ATF enough. This is a demonstration of true teamwork. I also thank the State Attorney’s Office for ensuring this is a successful operation,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young.
AFT Special Agent Craig Saier echoed, “This operation is a result of our longstanding relationship with the Daytona Beach Police Department. Together we have worked for over a year. I thank all the law enforcement who worked this investigation.”
Operation Pay Dirt began in July 2020. It was ramped up in November after a spike in violence in the city. From Nov. 21 to Nov. 30, seven shootings occurred with six resulting in nine people shot and four deaths.
No suspects in this operation have been linked to those shootings. No gang or organized drug rings have been identified either.