JSO: 3 arrested after 60 pounds of marijuana found in home

Jamaican nationals facing felony charges, DEA says

Booking photos of Garfield Brown, Jason Edelstein and William Byrd
Booking photos of Garfield Brown, Jason Edelstein and William Byrd

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville police said they seized 60 pounds of marijuana in a raid with federal drug agents Tuesday on the city's Westside.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and Drug Enforcement Administration agents converged Tuesday morning on a house at Aires Road, where they took down what they called a Jamaican organization. 

"We executed that search warrant on Tuesday with the assistance of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. And we were able, at that time, to locate the over 60 pounds of marijuana, some small amount of cocaine and a significant amount of U.S. currency that we seized during the operation," DEA Assistant Special Agent In Charge Chad Cook, with the Jacksonville Field Office, told News4Jax by phone Friday.

The house and garage were filled with processed pot in baggies, investigators said.

Garfield Brown, 44, William Byrd, 23, and Jason Edelstein, 31, were taken into custody without incident, police said. The three men were all charged with trafficking in marijuana. 

According to Cook, the three are Jamaican nationals who were using their connections out of the country to benefit their operation. 

Cook said they probably chose the community strategically. 

"A lot of times, it's where they think they can blend in and conduct their business unnoticed," he said. "That's why we rely so much on, you know, the eyes and ears of the people who live in the community that don't want this affecting their community. We hope they'll contact us and allow us to do our job and help them."

Cook said the three men facing felony charges may also be facing deportation, depending on their status in the country.

The DEA would work with the Department of Homeland Security and  Immigration and Customs Enforcement to make that decision. 

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