50 Arrested in Palm Beach County Drug Operation
JUL 28 -- Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Barry Krisher, Palm Beach County State Attorney, Delsa Bush, Chief, West Palm Beach Police Department, Clarence Williams, Chief, Riviera Beach Police Department and Rodney Thomas, Chief, Mangonia Park Police Department, announced the indictment and arrests of approximately 50 individuals in Palm Beach County, Florida. These individuals were charged with various federal and state narcotics trafficking charges. Each convicted federal defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of either twenty years, forty years or life, depending on the amount of drugs involved and their criminal history.
Early morning, July 26th, federal and local law enforcement agents joined forces to execute multiple arrests throughout central Palm Beach County, bringing to an end a multi-joint operation that had begun in October 2004. The joint operation was the result of requests made by local law enforcement to the DEA Miami Field Division Mobile Enforcement Team (MET). The MFD MET is headquartered in Miami and operates throughout Florida to assist state and local agencies with the investigation and prosecution of drug traffickers. This particular operation was aimed at reducing the flow of illegal drugs in the Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach corridor.
During the MET operation, numerous undercover narcotics purchases were made from alleged drug dealers. The purchased drugs included cocaine, crack and methadone. Eighteen targets of this operation have been arrested and five have already been prosecuted in federal court for distribution of crack cocaine.
MFD Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville said "I would like to commend the efforts of the men and women of the West Palm Beach Police Department, the Riviera Beach Police Department and the Mangonia Police Department. The DEA is committed to working with our local law enforcement partners to combat the drug dealers who, unfortunately, infect so many communities. These investigations will continue and we will continue to aggressively investigate and arrest those who choose to distribute drugs in Palm Beach County."
United States Attorney Acosta applauded the success of the operation and stated, "This is a perfect example of federal and local law enforcement joining forces to enhance the quality of life in our community. In cases where the stiffer penalties of the federal drug statutes can provide an effective deterrent to the sale of dangerous narcotics on our streets, we will not hesitate to step in and help our local and state law enforcement partners. Forewarned is forearmed. Drug dealers should be on notice that the federal government will enforce the federal drug laws on the street corner as vigorously as we do in our ports of entry." Mr. Acosta also commended the investigative efforts of the DEA Miami Field Division, the West Palm Beach Police Department, the Riviera Beach Police Department, the Mangonia Park Police Department and the United States Marshals Service.