Press Releases
Bahama Village sweep nets 15 drug arrests  

A three-day sweep involving local county, state and federal law enforcement agencies ended Thursday with 15 drug-related arrests in Bahama Village.

The Key West Police Department headed up the operation that focused on narcotics sales in the Bahama village area. Detectives from the Street Crimes Unit received several complaints from citizens living in the area of street level drug sales. Detectives began to conduct surveillance operations and identified two residences, 315 Catherine Street and 208 Truman Ave., as being used to store crack cocaine being sold at various locations in Bahama Village. Street Crimes Detectives began using undercover agents to purchase cocaine in the problem areas and obtained 18 arrest warrants and a search warrant for 208 Truman Ave.

After two months of undercover operations, starting on March 15, and for the next three days, Detectives from Street Crimes, the Monroe County Sheriffs Office, Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bahama Village Task Force officers, and the Key West Police Departments Special Response Team started arrest operations with a buy-bust operation in which two people were arrested for selling crack cocaine. James Johnson, 46, of Key West, and Shandrica Redding, 24, of Miami, were arrested on charges of sale of cocaine with in 1000 feet of a child care facility/public recreational facility and principle in the first degree.

Arrested during the operation on charges ranging from sales of cocaine within 1000 feet of a churches, public housing and child care facilities, to possession of cocaine, to possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and violation of probation were; Julian Butler, 48, George Hunter, 31, Jerome Hickson, 42, Bayardo Gomez, 19, Willie Ann Fortilla, 51, and John Black, 50, all of Key West.

Josetta James, 36, and Howard Robinson, 46, both of Key West were arrested during the execution of the search warrant at 208 Truman Ave. for possession of cocaine, possession of paraphernalia and violation of probation.

Five individuals already in custody at the Monroe County Detention center on unrelated charges were served with arrest warrants for sales of cocaine: Roberto Amparo, 35, John Wood, 42, , Charles Mirth, 59, all of Key West, and John McDowell, 40, of Miami, and Wilfred Francois, 22, of Homestead.

Detective Frank Cohens from the Street Crimes Unit said “The Key West Police Department appreciates the community involvement that helped make this operation a success. Street Crimes detectives and Bahama Village Task Force officers will continue to address the street level sales that occur in Key West”.

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