Volusia Law Enforcement Joint Operation Takes Down Heroin Trafficking Ring

By on October 28, 2017 in WNDB News

Volusia County, FL – A major east Volusia drug trafficking organization was taken down during a joint operation involving the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO), Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), and Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) on Friday.

For the past few months, the Volusia Bureau of Investigation (VBI) and the DBPD Special Investigations Unit have been investigating the drug ring known as “The Money Team.” The organization has been known to sell heroin containing the potentially lethal opioid fentanyl.

“The opioid epidemic is a national crisis that is killing people in our community,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri. “It is going to take cooperation with law enforcement, as seen here today, and private sector partnerships working together to solve this problem.”

On Friday, “Operation Tax Time” was initiated by the VBI. It targeted the organization’s ringleader, associates and street-level dealers and resulted in 19 arrest warrants and 8 search warrants for locations throughout Daytona Beach, Holly Hill, and Palm Coast. As of Friday afternoon, 10 individuals were arrested and were placed in custody and 575 grams of heroin, 2 ounces of cocaine and three guns were found.

“They are destroying families. They are destroying lives,” said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood. “How many parents in this community are grieving the loss of a loved one because what that little scumbag (drug dealer) was doing?”

Law enforcement believes The Money Team spent anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 once per month on heroin to sell in Volusia County. The organization is believed to have also sold cocaine and prescription drugs.

“VCSO and FCSO, along with other local agencies, are teaming up to get drug dealers out of our counties,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. “We will not sit back and watch this epidemic continue. We’re coming after you.”

In January of this year, DBPD detectives made a controlled purchase of $60 of heroin from the ringleader, Julian Parker Miller, 31. That heroin tested positive for fentanyl. A judge allowed law enforcement to tap the organization’s phones to see their calls and texts about drug deals. VBI surveilled several locations and saw the deals occur.

The following members were arrested on Friday:

Julian Miller, 31 of Palm Coast/Daytona Beach

  • Charges: Conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance, Solicitation to deliver a controlled substance

(Miller mugshot courtesy of Volusia County Corrections)

Mark Johnson Jr., 31 of Holly Hill/Daytona Beach

  • Charges: Conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance

Mark Johnson Sr., 57 of Holly Hill/Daytona Beach

  • Charges: Conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance

Shykeem Thomas, 30 of Daytona Beach/Palm Coast

  • Charges: Solicitation to deliver a controlled substance

William Dennison, 28 of Daytona Beach

  • Charges: Solicitation to deliver a controlled substance

Justin Allen, 29 of Ormond Beach

  • Charges: Solicitation to deliver a controlled substance

Stacia Schriever, 38 of Port Orange

  • Charges: Delivery of a controlled substance

Andrew Deperalta, 24 of Ormond Beach

  • Charges: Conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance

Brian Conti, 53 of Port Orange

  • Charges: Conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance

Brandon Barker, 25 of Daytona Beach (already incarcerated)

  • Charges: Conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance

In 2017, there have already been 100 opioid-related deaths in Volusia County. That is compared to 101 occurring in 2016, 111 in 2015 and 76 in 2014. The VCSO is currently investigating 3 homicides that are believed to have been caused by the delivery of opioids to the user.

“Using fentanyl just one time can kill–and that is why it is vital that we continue to aggressively investigate drug trafficking and remove these substances from our streets,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I firmly believe this investigation saved lives and I am grateful for each law enforcement officer who worked to seize these deadly drugs before they could be sold in our state.”

The agencies involved in this major drug trafficking bust include:

  • Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
  • Flagler County Sheriff’s Office
  • The Attorney’s General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution
  • Daytona Beach Police Department
  • Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety
  • DeLand Police Department
  • Edgewater Police Department
  • New Smyrna Beach Police Department
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • VBI
  • Central Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.

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