'Operation Scarface' nets 15 arrests, drugs, guns, cash

A yearlong operation unveiled Friday by local, state and federal law enforcement resulted in 15 arrests with two more pending and the seizure of more than $1 million worth of cocaine, plus large amounts of heroin and marijuana, 22 guns, four vehicles and $276,000 in cash.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said "Operation Scarface" targeted two organizations that brought multiple kilos of cocaine into Jacksonville for distribution.

"This is a significant case. When you start talking about disrupting a major organization that was routinely bringing in 25 kg on a routine basis, that does make a dent," Williams said. 

One of the organizations was taken down and its kingpin, Christopher Mizel, was arrested after police seized five kilos of cocaine coming to Jacksonville from a supplier in Cuba, investigators said.

Williams said the other organization was being supplied out of Atlanta and was taken down after search warrants were served at several locations, with authorities seizing 31 kilos of cocaine, plus heroin and marijuana. It's kingpin, Phillip Bailey, is among the two people who are still wanted on charges resulting from the drug raids.

Police said the two organizations operated out of multiple house on the Northside and Southside of Jacksonville. 

"These houses were used to store quantities of cocaine powder, cocaine and a variety of other drugs, which quickly made the properties nuisance properties in the respected neighborhood," Williams said.

A combination of local police, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration made the arrests, and the suspects face a combination federal and state indictments.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the two people still sought on charges resulting from the investigation, Bailey and Dennis Hicks, are asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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