NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Nearly 40 suspected drug dealers and gang members were arrested by U.S. Marshals and Miami-Dade Police following a series of raids throughout Northwest Miami-Dade.
7News got an exclusive view of the arrest of suspect Jaquan Thomas at his North Miami Beach apartment, around 5 a.m., Tuesday.
Close to a month ago, police had discovered an assault rifle, ammunition, cash and 20 pounds of marijuana at Thomas’ apartment.
Now, U.S. Marshals were at his apartment door with an arrest warrant.
“Jaquan Thomas, open the door!” said one officer outside Thomas’ apartment.
“Open the door or we’re breaching it!” said another.
The door was finally opened by Thomas’ girlfriend, who said he was inside and would not surrender.
The U.S. Marshals team moved in and found Thomas inside a bathroom before he finally surrendered.
Cameras captured Thomas being handcuffed in the hallway outside his unit.
“He was in the bathroom. We believe he was flushing narcotics down the shower,” said U.S. Marshals Assistant Chief Manny Puri.
Thomas was shackled and put in the back of a squad car shortly after.
Meanwhile, additional known drug dealers and gang members were busted throughout the Northside District by other U.S. Marshals teams, who were assisted by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
U.S. Marshals called the series of busts “Operation Smoke.”
All of the suspects arrested early Tuesday morning were brought to Northside Station, where they were booked.
Officials said the entire operation was completed before sunrise.
In the end, authorities confiscated the following drugs:
- Over 9,000 grams of marijuana
- Over 100 grams of powdered cocaine
- Over 200 grams of crack cocaine
- 83 grams of MDMA
Officials said more than $32,000 was seized during the operation.
“This group is responsible for probably a good chunk of the crime that is occurring in the Northside District. They have been plaguing the area for years, and it’s about time. It’s about time we clean the area up,” said U.S. Marshal Gadyaces Serralta.
Police issued 14 search warrants in Tuesday morning’s raids.
Nineteen firearms were also recovered.
Many of the suspects are set to appear in bond court Monday morning.
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