TARPON SPRINGS — A multijurisdictional narcotics task force has netted 17 people accused of drug sales and possession in a sweep this week in Tarpon Springs, officials said.
Five were arrested Wednesday, 10 on Thursday and another two were taken into custody Friday morning, said Tarpon Springs police spokeswoman Barb Templeton.
"Operation Heatwave," a joint venture of the Tarpon Springs Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to round up street-level drug dealers, is ongoing, Templeton said. Detectives are still looking for eight individuals, who will face felony drug charges.
During the investigation, narcotics detectives developed probable cause to arrest 25 people who were identified when they participated in drug deals with undercover detectives from both agencies, Templeton said.
On Wednesday, Tarpon Springs detectives got a head start on the operation when they served a search warrant at a home that has been the source of "multiple complaints" from nearby residents, who have relayed information about drug-related activities, Templeton said.
Most complaints were anonymous because the tipsters feared retaliation, she said.
The department's emergency response team, a SWAT-like unit trained to react to high-risk situations, served the warrant and seized guns and ammunition. Charges are pending against several people connected to the residence, Templeton said.
Pinellas County Jail records show that, since 2006, Tarpon Springs police have arrested seven different people who live, or previously lived, at the home at 514 S Grosse Ave.
"This residence has been a long-standing problem," Templeton said.
The names of those arrested Wednesday were not immediately available.
The names, ages and last known addresses of those arrested Thursday are:
• Rodaine O. Dalley, 18, of 450 E Morgan St., Apt. C.
• Cory Driver, 37, of 451 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
• Pierre M. Fowler, 21, of 312 E Boyer St.
• Quincy J. Gordon, 27, of 427 E Harrison St.
• Christopher Judge, 19, of 707 Mango Circle, Apt. B.
• Alex F. Ortiz, 20, of 1607 Cromwell Drive.
• Thomas L. Taylor, 47, of 119 E Lime St.
• Michael D. Tsilianos, 22, of 50 W Boyer St., Apt. B.
• Christopher W. Walsh, 21, of 1131 E Spruce St.
• Eric M. White, 23, of 105 S Springs Blvd., No. 1.
The names, ages and last known addresses of those arrested Friday are:
• Lorenzo L. Hardy, 701 Mango Circle, Apt. A.
• Marvin D. Hardy, 701 Mango Circle, Apt. B.
Two other people who were not being sought by detectives were also arrested.
On Thursday, 30-year-old Lamont J. Anderson tried to drive off during a routine traffic stop, ramming a Sheriff's Office vehicle in the process, Templeton said. Anderson, whose last known address is 312 E Boyer St., was charged with marijuana possession, fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, battery on a law enforcement officer and driving while license suspended or revoked.
And on Friday morning, Lorenzo Hardy's girlfriend attacked a police officer as her boyfriend was being arrested, Templeton said.
Annette L. Rivera, 20, also of 701 Mango Circle, Apt. A, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.
"She was upset because her boyfriend was getting arrested, so she struck the officer," Templeton said.
Though the officer warned the woman she would face charges if she continued the assault, "she smacked him again," Templeton said.