ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – A major sting targeting drug activity and prostitution in Atlantic Beach, dubbed "Operation Crack-alicious," has led to 18 arrests, with more expected, the Atlantic Beach Police Department announced Tuesday.
The department said an operation as large as that only happens in the city every few years, and this one was prompted by residents calling in complaints about illegal activity in their neighborhoods and a series of recent gunfire incidents.
“Right before the operation started, we had three separate shootings within a very short time, about a week within each other, and they all involved some of our local drug users and drug dealers,” Cmdr. Tiffany Layson said. “And we thought it was really time to make a statement and try to get the active cases off the streets.”
The two-week sting followed months of investigation and ended with the arrest of 18 men and women, ranging in age from 17 to 53.
Arrested during the operation were (listed with charges):
- Christian Karcher, 25, sale of marijuana
- Eugenia Bowman 29, sale of crack cocaine and possession of cocaine
- Everette Walden, 23, sale of crack cocaine and manufacturing crack cocaine
- Marquis McCowan, 22, sale of crack cocaine
- Michael Van Nelson, 52, sale of crack cocaine
- Monica Pederson, 44, prostitution, possession of heroin and possession of crack cocaine
- Ondre Nesbitt, 26, sale of crack cocaine
- Rasheed Burley, 27, sale of crack cocaine, possession of cocaine
- Reginald Washington, 34, sale of crack cocaine
- Sean Wise, 51, sale of crack cocaine and possession of crack cocaine
- Stephanie Juymohan, 19, sale of crack cocaine and possession of methamphetamine
- Tony Curry, 24, sale of crack cocaine, using person under 18 to sell cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine
- Vance Harris, 26, sale of crack cocaine
- Unnamed Juvenile, 17, sale of crack cocaine
- Katelyn Walker, 24, prostitution
- Kristin Cieslik, 25,prostitution, possession of cocaine, possession of paraphernalia
- Wayne Woodley, 38, human trafficking, possession of cocaine
- Katrina McCowan, 53, sale of crack cocaine
Katrina McCowan is Marquis McCowan's mother, police said, but mother and son were arrested in separate incidents.
Residents said they were shocked so many arrests were made from the operation, but that they were happy those accused of the crimes are being charged.
“We're lucky here, because there isn't much of that,” Ellen Cahill said. "I was shocked. I hadn't heard about it, but I'm like, 'Good, you know, come on guys, we need to stop all of this stuff and look at what's important and get that out of the way.' We don't need people around doing that."
Police said that the operation may be over, but they are continuing to investigate and expect more arrests to happen soon.
Anyone who suspects illegal activity in their neighborhood or workplace can call the Atlantic Beach Police Department at 904-247-5859. Callers can remain anonymous by calling 866-845-TIPS.