Bradford detectives shut down cocaine pipeline


STARKE, Fla. – The Bradford County Sheriff's Office has shut down a major cocaine drug pipeline between Jacksonville and Starke, detectives announced Wednesday.

Detectives with the Bradford County drug unit are wrapping up a lengthy investigation that led them to Devron Johnson. They said Johnson, who lives in Jacksonville, has family that lives in Starke and that interviews and surveillance confirmed that Johnson was the main trafficker and supplier of cocaine in Bradford County.

Detectives said Johnson used his relatives' home in Starke to distribute the cocaine in Bradford County, once he transported it from his home in Jacksonville.

"Operation Backlash," which tracked Johnson down, was started after an earlier investigation, dubbed "Operation Crack Down," which ended in August 2014. As a result of that investigation, 44 suspects were caught.

Interviews from the earlier investigation helped point detectives to Johnson and identified his many associates.

Search warrants were issued in Duval and Bradford counties and served on Feb. 13 by drug agents in Jacksonville, the Bradford County Drug Unit and the Bradford County Special Response Team. The Department of Homeland Security also provided helicopter support.

The searches netted $153,968 in cash, four firearms and two Mercedes Benz luxury vehicles. Numerous arrest warrants have been issued as a result of the investigation.

Some individuals have already been taken into custody and others are still being sought. Detectives did not say if Johnson was among those already arrested.