10 arrested, 7 sought in Baker County drug sweep

By Vic Micolucci, General assignment reporter, vic@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:19:05 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 11:38:25 PM EDT

After a several week investigation, Baker County Sheriff's office says they've made nearly a dozen arrests. They say more arrests may come.

BAKER COUNTY, Fla. -

Ten people were arrested and seven are being sought in a drug sweep in Baker County.

Sixteen adults were charged with felonies and a 16-year-old was charged with a misdemeanor in Operation Clean Sweep, a month-long investigation.

Deputies said they've been watching street-level drug dealers throughout the county.

They said they received tips from the community urging them to do something.

"We're familiar with most of them. We've dealt with them in some form or fashion, and a lot of them have previous drug arrests and drug charges, for selling and dealing," said Lt. Brad Dougherty. "The ones that are out there that still have the warrants for their arrest, they know we're actively looking for them. They now know what the arrest warrants are for. They can turn themselves in, make it a lot easier, or we'll still be searching for them."

IMAGES: Mug shots in drug sweep

Deputies used confidential informants and built their case on people in the course of 30 days. Deputies rounded them up Wednesday night.

"There is a huge problem here in Baker County with the drugs and all kinds of synthetic drugs, too," said resident Brandon Alexander.

"It has gotten out of hand recently. I mean, you hear about it all the time," said resident Billie Knapp. "You hear about different problems we're having with drugs and stuff, and now that they're actually out here doing something that counts, you can see a difference.

Residents were happy to hear that Baker County's sheriff's deputies conducted a crackdown.

"I'm actually happy that they're starting to crack down a little bit on it," said Matthew Morrison.

"Some of the drugs involved are going to be powder cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine," said Dougherty. "We get a lot of feedback from the community. We know where the hot spots are. People call us and let us know the trucks are picking up in this area."

The Sheriff's Office used about 20 deputies in the roundup. They said they were part of the special response team, which is like a SWAT team.

"Is there reason to believe that any of these people may be working together?" asked News4Jax's Vic Micolucci.

"It is possible. I can't say for certain but it is possible some of them worked together," said Dougherty.

Anyone who has information about the seven people who are still wanted by the Baker County Sheriff's Office is asked to either call their mainline or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. Tipsters don't have to provide their name and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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