BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — Broward Sheriff's Office investigators, along with a host of law enforcement partners, announced Thursday a bust of a violent criminal street gang they say sold drugs, committed crimes and instilled fear throughout Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said during a news conference the operation began in 2017 when BSO detectives noticed an uptick in drug overdoses, fentanyl sales and gun violence in the area.
According to the sheriff, detectives targeted the Alwoods gang, a prolific group known to be operating since the 1990s. Three of its members were killed in gun battles with rival gangs.
Detectives said dozens of search warrants were served resulting in two dozen arrests this week alone.
The 24 suspects were arrested Tuesday on racketeering charges and three of the suspects are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
The operation enabled detectives to seize more than 40 kilos of cocaine, more than 20 kilos of heroin and fentanyl and thousands of pills. More than 70 guns and more than $800,000 in cash were also seized, as well as houses, cars, boats and about $1 million in gold and jewelry.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These gang members are connected to hundreds of cases—including violent crimes, drug trafficking and at least one fentanyl overdose death. Working with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies, my Statewide Prosecutors recovered more than $2 million in illicit proceeds, including cash and other assets. We also seized approximately 64 kilos of deadly fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. Now, the suspects in this massive, organized crime round-up will have to face justice.”
Investigators said during the 5-year-long investigation, 70 gang members and associates of the gang were arrested and more than 100 additional people were arrested on various criminal charges connected to the operation.
“Violent drug gangs are a scourge on the community. Their illegal activities bring nothing but pain and suffering to neighborhoods and hard-working, law-abiding citizens,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said. “BSO detectives and deputies, along with our outstanding law enforcement partners, worked long hours in dangerous situations to take down the members of this gang and make sure they remain where they belong – in jail.”
The investigation into the Alwoods gang is ongoing.
Anyone with information on this criminal organization or crimes committed by the Alwoods gang is urged to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS or online at browardcrimestoppers.org.