Police claim success in dismantling an armed Brownsville, Fla. gang
they say sold cocaine and pot in a public housing community.
BY TRENTON DANIEL, The The Miami Herald
Chinese AK-47-style rifles, a shotgun, a 9mm semiautomatic handgun
and clear plastic baggies. A Northwest Miami-Dade street gang used
these props to ply its lucrative but dangerous trade: cocaine and
marijuana sales that brought in up to $30,000 a week.
But police say the gang of mostly twenty-somethings -- dubbed the
"Brown Sub Boys" -- has just met its demise.
On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County police announced that officers, along
with the state attorney's office, had dismantled a narcotics street
gang with a series of arrests that began at 4 that morning.
The gang had been operating from the Annie Coleman housing complex in
the Brownsville section of northwest Miami-Dade, police said.
"Undercover investigators and confidential informants purchased
narcotics on over 40 different occasions throughout the course of
this investigation," Miami-Dade Police Director Carlos Alvarez told
reporters. "These transactions consisted primarily of the sale and
purchase of cocaine and marijuana."
Alvarez said Wednesday's raid was the third bust of a violent
narcotics gang in the northwest part of the county in the past 18
Officers arrested 12 people, some of whom previously have faced
charges concerning homicide, robbery, auto theft and firearm and
Police arrested: Tavares Terrell Edgecomb, Chauncey Gussman Golfin,
Avery Bernard Gordon, Jashene Tyquan Henton, Bernard Cordell
Jefferson, Ray Charles Knight, Fontae Lyons, Joseph Darnell Rhodes,
Demetrius Taronn Seay, Glenn Carlton Smith, Antonio Vance and Antwand
Officers are seeking nine others who are suspected of being gang members.
Those arrested on cocaine and racketeering charges could get 30 years
in prison, and those on marijuana charges could get 15 years, said
Frank Ledee of the state attorney's office.
After the raid, police cars patrolled the Brownsville neighborhood
and area residents gathered on the streets that enclose the Annie
Coleman housing complex, located between Northwest 24th and 25th
avenues and 46th to 48th streets.
Some in the neighborhood saw the raid as a positive step.
"Obviously, if the police are doing their job, it will make our
community safer," said Orlando Milligan, principal of Brownsville
Middle School, 4899 NW 24th Ave.
Although police charged some of the men with selling cocaine and
marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, Milligan said he was not
aware of drug dealing near school grounds. He said, however, that
occasional gatherings in the Marva Y. Bannerman Park across the
street provoked concerns. Milligan would not elaborate.
The Rev. W.C. Byrd of the Bethany Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2500
NW 50th St., called the raid a good move, saying, "The community,
hopefully, will be a better place to live." But he wondered whether
the alleged dealers would stay locked up.
"The main thing, though, is how long will they keep them off the
streets?" Byrd said. "If it's a slap on the wrist, it's no good."
Byrd also noted that many drug dealers are young, unemployed or
underemployed and easy to recruit. The arrests could mean little if
the source of the drugs is not addressed, he said.
"We get these little guys -- the runners -- but you have to stop the
suppliers," Byrd said.