Mark Brown, Anthony Donnell Mcclain, Omar Abdul Lewis, Oliver Salguero, Gregory Timothy Robinson, Eldridge Raynard White, Jr., Edward Keith Mcclain, Javon Jones, John Jones, and Marcus Marcell Brown, all of Overtown, Florida, were indicted this past week for possessing illegal substances with the intent to distribute, a press release by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida indicates. Charged with conspiracy to possess controlled substances with the intent to distribute and possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute are Brown, 29; Anthony Donnell Mcclain, 29; Lewis, 39; Salguero, 24; Robinson, 27; White, 23; Edward Keith Mcclain, 23; Javon Jones, 29; John Jones, Jr., 22; and Marcus Marcell Brown, 23. It is unclear whether all of the defendants have all been arrested and, if so, whether they qualified for a set bail bond amount. The press did not specify defense attorneys for any of the defendants.
According to the indictment, the arrests were made as part of the Overtown Violence Reduction Partnership, which was formed in October 2011 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The partnership pools resources from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and local law enforcements to investigate and arrest those suspected of running violent and illegal networks in the Overtown neighborhood. The initiative also strives to create programs for at-risk youth, job seekers, and recently released parolees and probationers.
“Whether you live in the suburbs or the inner city, residents should be able to walk the streets and go about their lives without fear or exposure to drugs and violence,” A DEA spokesperson said. “This collaborative effort between law enforcement and community leaders is a step in the right direction for a neighborhood that is considered one the most dangerous in Miami.”
The defendants were described by the U.S. attorney as “violent and notorious drug traffickers,” according to the press release. Detectives conducted a one-year investigation into drug trafficking operations in the area prior to making the arrest, using resources from multiple agencies. The DEA, ATF, FBI, City of Sunrise Police Department, and City of Miami Police Department worked alongside one another as part of the USAO’s Overtown Violence Reduction Partnership while investigating drug rings in the area. It is not exactly clear what sorts of tactics were used in the investigation; undercover officers and hidden recording devices were likely used.
The investigation later led to the charges against the ten defendants. It was not immediately specified in the indictment what roles each of the defendants played in alleged drug rings in the area, though they all face similar charges.
“Today, for the second time in the last eight months, we announce the results of the Overtown Violence Reduction Partnership, which has yet again brought together federal, state, and local law enforcement to combat violent crime in the historic Overtown neighborhood,” the U.S. attorney was quoted as saying in the press release. “Federal law provides stiff penalties for narcotics traffickers and career offenders. Through the Overtown Violence Reduction Partnership, we stand committed to reducing street violence and narcotics trafficking, with the goal of helping to make our communities safer.”