JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Twenty-three people have been arrested in Operation Dead End, which involves gangs, drugs and a burglary ring in the New Town area of Jacksonville.
Sheriff John Rutherford was joined by State Attorney Angela Corey and FBI representatives at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying investigators have dismantled the Pakastan Yulee Clique "PYC" gang. Despite the name, the gang had no international connection.
"It is no secret that much of the crime on our streets today is fueled by gang activities, gangs whose main enterprise are drug dealing, and in this case also residential burglaries," Rutherford said.
He issued a warning to the other 46 named gangs in Jacksonville.
The arrests announced Friday focused on the New Town neighborhood, specifically Junior Street, which is a dead end.
Rutherford said it started with a unsolved murder investigation in January 2013 that led police to the gang drug investigation and burglary. The gang had California connections with a drug supplier, Rutherford said.
Two months ago, a van from California was stopped near U.S. 301 and Interstate 10. Rutherford said police arrested four people who had three kids with them and a large quantity of drugs in the van.
The sheriff and the local head of the FBI, Toni Chrabot, said there are others to be arrested in this and similar cases, and this is a start.
"Some very dangerous criminals have been taken off our streets, but they didn't start out this way," Rutherford said. "They joined a gang and entered a lifestyle and became what they are today."
"Today, from my perspective, the New Town area has a new start," Chrabot said. "Today it's quieter around the neighborhood schools. And today the impact of our partnership and law enforcement partnership is evident."
Along with 23 arrests, police confiscated numerous guns, rifles, cocaine and marijuana. Because the investigation is ongoing, the sheriff said police can't talk much about the killing that led them to this case, except that the killing is still unsolved.