Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fight against crime ends with a raid in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg Police undercover officers participate in a drug bust at 2751 Third Ave. S in St. Petersburg Tuesday.

DIRK SHADD | Times

St. Petersburg Police undercover officers participate in a drug bust at 2751 Third Ave. S in St. Petersburg Tuesday.

ST. PETERSBURG — Police marked the end of a four-month campaign against crime in three troubled neighborhoods with a raid Wednesday of a suspected Palmetto Park drug house.

Detectives said they seized marijuana, crack cocaine, a TEC-9 assault pistol, a Charter Arms .44-caliber Magnum revolver, two stun guns, $1,593 in cash, a 1995 Chevrolet Camaro and myriad ammunition from a small house at 2751 Third Ave. S.

"People referred to it like Taco Bell," Officer Barry Books said. "People were driving by there at all hours. It was always open."

Six people were arrested on drug-related charges: Jonathan Blue, 21, Desmond Blue, 36, Paul Jackson, 47, Daniel Pendleton, 56, Angela Bates, 38, and Mary Leacock, 21.

Police would not specify the quantity of drugs seized. They took six pit bulls into custody.

Police scheduled a news conference to coincide with the drug bust. As reporters, TV crews and city leaders gathered nearby, officers led a handcuffed Jonathan Blue into a police vehicle late Wednesday morning.

Harmon created the campaign, called "Community and Police Engagement," in late May, after churches and City Council members complained of growing violent crime.

Police say crime has actually dropped this year. Still, Harmon assigned four-member teams to address recurring problems in Childs Park, Palmetto Park and Harbordale, neighborhoods plagued with gun violence. The goal was for police to form relationships with residents, Harmon said.

During the program, which ended Tuesday, violent crimes decreased 27 percent and gun-related crimes decreased 17 percent compared to the same period last year. No homicides were reported.

"To say that this prevented homicides, I can't say that," Harmon said. "It enabled us to know our neighborhoods a little better."

Harmon said he is considering making a similar initiative year-round.

Mayor Rick Baker praised the efforts. "The No. 1 job of the city, of government is public safety," said Baker. "Until you have no crime, crime is a problem."

Council member Karl Nurse, a sometime critic of the Police Department, said officers should continue reaching out to neighborhoods.

"We should keep doing things that work," he said.

Fight against crime ends with a raid in St. Petersburg 09/30/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 3:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  2. Manslaughter charges eyed in deadly London fire sparked by refrigerator

    World

    LONDON — Manslaughter charges are among the offenses under consideration in the devastating Grenfell Tower blaze that killed 79 people, London police said Friday.

    A view of part of the Burnham residential tower on the Chalcots Estate showing the bottom section of the building after cladding was removed, in the borough of Camden, north London, Thursday, June 22, 2017. Tests so far have found that at least three high-rise apartment buildings in the U.K. have flammable external panels like the ones believed to have contributed to a fire that killed 79 people in London, Britain's government said Thursday. The local council in Camden, a borough of London, removed cladding from one of its buildings for further testing after tests they commissioned showed some of their panels were of the flammable variety "and not the ones they ordered." It was unclear whether the Camden example was one of the three mentioned by the government. [Associated Press]
  3. PolitiFact: 6 questions about the Senate health care bill and transparency

    Perspective

    Now that a Senate health care bill has been unveiled, senators will be jousting over its provisions to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks following a closed-door strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington on June 20. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  4. Bicylist critically injured in crash involving SUV on Bayside Bridge

    Accidents

    A bicyclist was critically injured Friday morning when a driver drifted into his lane and struck him on the Bayside Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. Remnants of Cindy expected to drench Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Forecasters expect remnants of Tropical Depression Cindy to drench parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia Friday afternoon and evening, bringing heavy rainfall, possible flash flooding and higher river and lake levels through the weekend.

    Wth a rising tide, strong southerly winds from Tropical Depression Cindy lash the lakefront Thursday, June 22, 2017 in Mandeville, La. [David Grunfeld | NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP]