A gang and drug sweep in Florida on July 30 led to the arrest of 20 individuals believed to have connections to a violent street gang. During the investigation, which was launched in December 2019 and dubbed “Operation Dirt Devil,” police focused on a gang known as FTD, which stands for “From The Dirt.” The group has been connected to crimes ranging from drug trafficking and distribution to violent assault and murder. The individuals taken into custody face various weapons, narcotics and disorderly conduct counts, and they could also be charged by federal prosecutors according to media reports.
Police target gang hub
The suspects were taken into custody when Daytona Beach Police Department officers executed nine search warrants in the Cedar Highlands neighborhood. Investigators say the area was at the center of the street gang’s operations. Investigators claim to have recovered drugs, guns and cash during the searches. The DBPD was assisted during the five-month investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies including the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Weaver Street murder
Police believe the FTD gang was behind the killing of a 19-year-old man on Weaver Street in July 2019. A teenager with alleged ties to the gang is accused of committing the crime. One of the men taken into custody during the operation is believed to be an individual who threw money out of a car window to add to traffic chaos on Memorial Day. The incident happened when DBPD officers were sent to investigate reports of an unauthorized gathering. They reportedly discovered a large and rowdy party being hosted by FTD, and breaking up the party turned into a large operation involving multiple agencies.
Remaining silent during a sweep
If you are taken into custody on drug charges during some kind of law enforcement sweep, an experienced criminal defense attorney would likely advise you to remain silent until a lawyer has looked at the facts of your case. The evidence gathered during these operations is not always enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and items found during police searches are sometimes excluded. Remaining silent may also give your attorney more options and a better bargaining position during plea discussions.