Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

20 'drug dealers, gang members' arrested in Largo's Baskins area

LARGO — The arrest toll has risen to 20 people in an operation that the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is calling a roundup of "street-level drug dealers and gang members" in the Baskins area. Authorities are searching for 21 additional suspects.

The roundup was conducted from about 2:45 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Three of the arrests were made prior to the roundup.

The suspects were arrested on a variety of drug-related charges, including the possession and sales of crack cocaine, marijuana and Roxicodone and purchase of controlled substances.

The arrests are a culmination of several months of investigation in the Baskins area, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said.

According to authorities, eight of those arrested are members of the so-called Young Souljas gang, which first appeared in Baskins in October 2008.

Here's a breakdown of the arrests:

Facing charges of sale and possession of crack cocaine: Dale Baldwin, 18; Tyronda C. Bascomb, 28; Brandon Bennett, 18; Savone Brown, 14; Lenwood Hall, 18; Gary Ladarios, 20; Gerald Mansfield, 19; and Cordarious Smith, 21. All are from Largo.

Facing sale of crack cocaine charges: Dietra Barber, 27, and Tajuana Dixon, 32, both of St. Petersburg; and Largo residents Donald L. Harris, 51; Johnny Marshall, 23; Alonzo L. McCray, 33; Dedrick Redding, 17; Justin Wade, 20; and Joseph Wilkins, 56.

Facing the charge of purchasing crack cocaine: Demarius L. Hill, 24, of Largo.

Facing charges of the sale and possession of crack cocaine and roxicodone: Antonio G. Towns, 18, of Largo.

Facing charges of sale and possession of marijuana: Deontay Dampier, 19, and Naji J. Dennard, 36, both of Largo.

Deputies says Bennett, Brown, Dampier, Hall, Ladarios, Marshall, Redding and Towns are members of the "Young Souljas" gang. Ladarios is the gang's leader, authorities said.

Two additional unrelated arrests were made in Baskins during the roundup.

One suspect, 31-year-old transient Joe Spadafino, was charged with the possession and sale of oxycodone to an undercover detective. The second suspect, 36-year-old Felix Vega Jr. of Largo, was arrested on a Hillsborough County warrant for aggravated battery.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at or (727) 445-4156.

20 'drug dealers, gang members' arrested in Largo's Baskins area 05/08/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 8, 2009 8:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rick Scott for President?


    Reubin Askew tried. So did Bob Graham. And Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. When you've shown an ability to win statewide elections in America's biggest swing state, you're almost automatically a credible contender for president.

    Rick Scott
  2. The next step in a sex abuse survivor's recovery: Erasing her tattoo


    TAMPA — Even after 20 years, Sufiyah can't escape the memories of being sexually exploited by gang members as a teenager.

    The tattoo makes it impossible.

    Sufiyah, an aAbuse survivor, prepares to have a tattoo removed  at Tampa Tattoo Vanish  on Thursday. During her teen years, she was sexually exploited by a gang. The tattoo is a mark of her exploiters. 

Tampa Tattoo Vanish is a new tattoo removal business run by Brian Morrison, where survivors of human trafficking get free tattoo removal.  [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  3. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs


    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)
  4. St. Pete sewage crisis ends with no charges, $326 million bill


    ST. PETERSBURG — The city has put the legal fallout from the sewage crisis behind it.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system in September 2016. The city recently learned that no employees will face charges as a result of that crisis. The St. Petersburg City Council also agreed to spend $326 million fixing its sewer system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. Epilogue: Tony Scaglione served Ybor delicacies and laughs


    Tony Scaglione's childhood dream was to own his family's restaurant.

    Tony Scaglione - the longtime owner of Tony's Ybor Restaurant - has died.  He was 87. Credit: Larry Scaglione