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Undercover drug operation stings 14 in Clearwater

An undercover drug operation netted the arrests of 14 people late Friday and early Saturday, police said. Six vehicles and a bicycle were confiscated from individuals who had purchased crack cocaine from plainclothes officers, said a Clearwater police news release.

Most of those who were arrested were charged with possession of crack cocaine, police said.

The "reverse sting" operation conducted by the Police Department's "Blue Team" lasted six hours, police said.

Officers posed as street-corner crack dealers in several north Clearwater neighborhoods known for the sale of illegal drugs. Uniformed officers waited in cruisers nearby until the drug transactions were completed, then made the arrests.

Friday night's operation was the 48th such since they began in April 1988, police said. Officers have made 454 arrests on drug-related charges during those operations, police said.

"Because of the high-profile and continued successes of the Blue Team, investigators have noticed a marked decrease in the number of people driving through particular areas of Clearwater seeking to purchase drugs," the news release said.