PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)- A number of drug raids have been taking place across the county and all the raids are a piece of a larger puzzle.
After a 2 year long, multi-agency investigation into a drug trafficking gang, officials have announced that the investigation is almost over.
In August of 2017, Beach Police said a rise in violent crimes led them into a deeper investigation. That investigation uncovered a local drug trafficking gang, known as “The White Boys”.
“This is important to all of us. Not only was it our kids in our school, but our community. This is something one agency can’t do by themselves there’s a lot of resources out there and a lot of expertise from these other agencies so we can come together as a whole group and share our knowledge and our experiences and share other information with what’s going on through other cities, It just works better that way with the DEA task force.”
“Some of these white boy gang members were selling drugs and guns to our school kids. We took that seriously and we got together as a group to try and put an end to this,” said Panama City Beach Police Chief, Drew Whitman.
The drugs came from out of state and quickly filled the streets of Bay County. The investigation quickly became a multi-agency effort as local, state and federal offices worked together to bring down the gang.
“A lot of our cocaine came in from Texas through carriers and I won’t be able to talk about who we arrested out of Texas because it’s still an on-going investigation. We arrested the carriers and as you see from the chart, it’s very confusing but that’s how drugs work in the community. It’s not just one person. It’s a vicious circle.”
“Drugs take such a toll on our community and our families and it’s our number one goal to get drugs off the street,” said Bay Co. Sheriff, Tommy Ford.
Just last week, 4 search warrants were issued on 4 local homes, resulting in 26 arrests. Throughout the course of the investigation, 62 people in total have been arrested and millions of dollars in drugs, seized. Not all 62 people were members of the gang but officials said they were associated with or affiliates of the gang.
“We seized 24 firearms during the investigation over the past two years. We did 2.7 pounds of Fentanyl, 68 pounds of cocaine, 10 ounces of methamphetamine, Over 150 pounds of marijuana and marijuana products, 269 opiate pills and we had over 1,000 little vials of THC,” said Whitman.
While the investigation is still on-going, officials said the “White Boy” gang has been dismantled.