The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday the arrests of 60 people after a four-month undercover narcotics investigation. Warrants are out for 11 additional people.
The investigation called “Operation Lockdown in O-Town” began on the Northside’s Oceanway area.
Sheriff Mike Williams said the investigation started last October because of complaints from Oceanway residents.
After an initial investigation, undercover officers targeted four areas: convenience stores along Main Street near Oceanway, houses in the Oceanway area, hotels near the airport, and around the intersection of Dunn Avenue and Harts Road.
Williams said undercover officers were accepted into the dealers’ communities and, by January, officers purchased drugs from 71 people.
"The undercover teams purchased several different types of narcotics including methamphetamine, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, prescription pills and marijuana,” he said.
Williams said although investigation didn’t focus on drug suppliers, it did get dealers off of street corners and improved the quality of life for area residents.
“The dealers really are predators. Having people addicted fuels their business,” Williams said. “Getting those drug dealers off the street is our job and that’s what we do.”
In addition to the arrests, six children were taken into child protective services, a meth lab was closed and five cars were seized.
Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.