Sunday, January 21, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas deputies arresting drug dealer suspects in Madeira Beach

MADEIRA BEACH — At least six men and women were arrested Tuesday evening during a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office roundup here of suspected street-level drug dealers.

Teams of deputies sought 16 suspects, many of them living in Madeira Beach, who were accused of selling prescription pills, crack cocaine and marijuana at drug hot spots near 145th Avenue.

The roundup came at the end of a two-month investigation by undercover drug detectives, sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha said.

Suspects were taken to a temporary command post outside City Hall, where they were put on transport vans bound for the Pinellas County Jail. Deputies have conducted similar operations in Lealman, Gulfport and Tarpon Springs, Pasha said.

In October, residents of this small beach town complained their neighborhoods had become havens for drug addicts seeking to, as one resident put it, "play, work and make a little money."

In December, city leaders passed an ordinance forcing landlords to evict tenants repeatedly arrested for crimes involving drugs.

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