LARGO — Six suspected gang members were arrested during a yearlong investigation focusing on gang violence and drug trafficking in Largo, city records show.
Largo police declined to discuss the arrests, but in an email to the Largo Police Department and city officials, Sgt. John Trebino detailed the results of the investigation, which also involved the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
According to Trebino's email, the investigation, which began in January 2013 and ended this month, was "in response to growing concerns over the amount of gang violence and narcotics trafficking associated with the Young Souljas street gang." Investigators were targeting "senior members."
Those arrested are: Dedrick Redding, 22; Keire Harvey, 24; Daniel Collins, 25; Anthony Armstrong, 22; Jordan Hayes, 20; and Demar Hartsfield, 21.
Two suspects have already been convicted, according to court records.
Redding, of Largo, pleaded guilty to several charges, including cocaine distribution, distribution of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. Harvey, of Largo, pleaded guilty to cocaine distribution and was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.
The Young Souljas are among several street gangs in Largo. Last year, police said they tracked about 500 members in more than 30 gangs.
"The folks arrested are very dangerous individuals and getting them off the streets of Largo is a great accomplishment," police Chief Jeffrey Undestad wrote in another email to city officials. "Great job by all involved."
Times staff writer Mike Brassfield contributed to this report. Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] or (727)445-4157. On Twitter: @lauracmorel.