Daytona Beach, FL - The ringleaders and several other members of a drug trafficking organization are in the Volusia County Jail after a rude awakening at 6 a.m. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office, along with the Volusia Bureau of Investigation, after more than a yearlong investigation, brought the hammer down early this morning(May 16).
"Operation Smooth Criminal" got underway in 2018. The investigation has resulted in 21 arrest warrants. Eight people, including ringleaders Marcel "MJ" Green of Daytona Beach and Robert Hamilton Jr. of Ormond Beach, were arrested during a series of raids this morning(May 16). There are 14 arrest warrants still active. Seized today were significant amounts of fentanyl, at least a quarter million dollars in cash, luxury vehicles and 20 firearms.
Acting on information from VBI, the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force conducted a traffic stop this afternoon(May 16) on 44-year-old Kenneth Rowell of Pembroke Pines. A trafficking amount of narcotics was found in his vehicle.
Law enforcement officials also recovered guns at some of the search warrant locations. Three of them, including a shotgun taken in a car break of a sheriff's deputy's patrol vehicle in 2016, had been reported stolen.
Both Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood and Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said during a joint press conference that these arrests and arrest warrants are making a major dent in drug activity in Volusia County.
“You’re talking 3 kilos of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine hitting our streets on a weekly basis,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “These clowns are out there murdering people with the poison they’re dealing, because human life is cheap on the streets.” The sheriff asked for the public to continue sending in tips and information about drug activity in their neighborhoods: “It's imperative that the community continues to funnel information to us. It's imperative, because we're only as good as the information you give us.”
In early 2018, Green's organization was identified as being responsible for distributing numerous kilos of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. Through investigative work, various members of the organization were identified and most of them already had significant criminal records. Combined, the criminal histories of those connected to the organization total more than 300 felony charges and 124 felony convictions, which included narcotics offenses and violent crimes.