Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Williams Park targeted in St. Petersburg police drug sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — A months-long covert investigation into the buying, selling and using of illegal drugs in Williams Park ended Thursday with the arrest of 17 people, police said.

But police aren't done yet. Narcotics detectives said they've been building criminal cases against more than 30 people since mid 2009 and that officers are still looking for the rest.

The downtown park is a regular hangout for city's homeless, transient and panhandling population. Some of those arrested were from among those ranks, police said, but others were drug dealers using the homeless as cover for their illegal activities.

"We're not going to let the park fall into the hands of the wrong people," Mayor Bill Foster said Thursday.

The investigation was sparked by complaints of open drug dealing and drug use in the area from residents, business owners and even the police officers who regularly patrol downtown. That prompted the department's vice and narcotics unit to target the park several months ago.

The suspects are accused of dealing in ecstasy, marijuana, crack cocaine and powder cocaine and prescription painkillers like hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Police pointed to two suspects in particular as the park's worst offenders.

The first was Theorn Luvorn Daniels, a.k.a. Byron Jackson, 48. He is a registered sex offender still on probation when he was arrested Thursday on charges of possession of crack cocaine, sale or delivery of crack cocaine, two counts of sale of marijuana, two misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and violation of probation. He was held without bail.

Daniels served nearly two decades in prison for offenses such as sexual battery, aggravated assault, battery on a law enforcement officer and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to state records. Daniels was wearing an ankle-monitoring device when police arrested him in his apartment at 1625 16th St. N., police said. He was released from prison in August.

The other suspect high on law enforcement's list was Andre Demetrice Bullard, 36, who was arrested on two counts of possession of crack cocaine, two counts of sale of crack cocaine, sale of powder cocaine and possession of powder cocaine. Bullard, of 326 First Ave. N, was held in lieu of $90,000 bail.

Williams Park targeted in St. Petersburg police drug sweep 04/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 11:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. It's time for the Dodgers to be back in the World Series


    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 29 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers made the World Series. That’s far too long. I still remember being at Chavez Ravine for the 1988 World Series, watching Kirk Gibson homer into the right field stands to beat the Oakland A’s in Game 1.

    Been a long …

    The Los Angeles Dodgers congratulate each other after beating the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series
  2. Nikita Kucherov's start something to see


    Yes, the Lightning lost in a shootout at New Jersey on Tuesday night, blowing a 4-3 lead late in the game.

    Nikita Kucherov is on quite a roll
  3. Nebraska man accused of helping Florida girlfriend kill self said he thought she had terminal cancer

    Human Interest

    LINCOLN, Neb. -- Investigators say a Nebraska man facing an assisted suicide charge in his Florida girlfriend's death believed she had stage-four cancer, but an autopsy didn't find any tumors.

    Matthew J. Stubbendieck, of Weeping Water, Neb., faces an assisted suicide charge after authorities say he helped his girlfriend, Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan of Orange City, Florida., kill herself in the woods near Weeping Water in early August. [Case County (Neb.) Jail via AP]
  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers Jr. knows this stage - and this feeling


    He has been on this stage before, two postseasons ago.

    And he knows this feeling, too.

    Houston Astros pitcher acknowledges the crowd as he leaves Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium
  5. Agreement means Spectrum won't lose Viacom programming


    Less than a week after disputes between two cable industry conglomerates became public, the two companies have reached an agreement.

    Viacom and Charter Communications released a joint statement that the companies reached an agreement in principle. Charter also markets itself as Spectrum. [AP file photo]