A narcotics investigation in Florida that lasted for six months and involved both deferral and local law enforcement agencies led to the arrest of nine individuals. Investigators also allegedly seized more than $400,000 and significant quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and prescription opioids. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrests and seizures during a Feb. 1 press conference. The suspects taken into custody face charges including drug trafficking and operating drug houses. One suspect remains at large. Police are searching for a Jackson County man on drug possession and distribution charges.
The Regional Area Gang Enforcement Task Force launched the investigation, which was dubbed Operation Motor City, after receiving information about drug trafficking in Bay County. Deputies from the BCSO’s Special Investigations Division and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives expanded the investigation after determining that their suspects were also active in Jackson County. After six months of investigation, the task force obtained warrants to search five homes in Panama City. They executed those search warrants on Jan. 27.
Investigators seize drugs, guns and cash
Members of the task force searched homes on Nottingham Drive, Lacosta Avenue and three residences on Detroit Avenue. During the course of these searches, investigators claim to have discovered 4 ounces of heroin, 9 ounces of OxyContin, approximately 6 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 8 pounds of cocaine. The raids also led to the seizure of five firearms, four motor vehicles and about $430,000 in U.S. currency according to media reports. A BCSO representative said that the currency seizure was one of the largest in the agency’s history.
Remaining silent after a drug sweep
When law enforcement agencies conduct operations like this one, they tend to cast wide nets. However, they do not always gather enough evidence on all of the suspects they take into custody to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are arrested during a drug sweep, an experienced criminal defense attorney may advise you to remain silent. Once an attorney has had a chance to assess the evidence, they could seek to have the charges against you dismissed or enter into plea negotiations with the prosecutor assigned to the case.