PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday the arrests of nine people in connection with a year-long investigation into gang activity.
During an afternoon news conference, officials said the suspects are connected to a predominately Haitian-American gang called Sama.
PBSO Major Talal Masri said seven search warrants were executed Thursday, six in Palm Beach County and one in St. Lucie County, in the case.
A variety of weapons including three rifles, $20,000 in cash and a "bunch of drugs" were confiscated in the case, Masri said.
Nine of the offenders, including a 17-year-old juvenile, were taken into custody and face charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Masri said the juvenile, who was arrested in St. Lucie County, is a suspect in a homicide.
"Gangs are a cancer in a community, and we're going to cut these cancers out," Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said.
Officials said the gang, which was previously named the Haitian Boys, has operated in Palm Beach County from West Palm Beach to Lake Park since 2011 and has been involved in more than 50 shootings and numerous criminal acts including homicides.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said the violent offenders face the potential of 60 years in prison.
"We're hoping this can make a dent in violent crime in our community," Aronberg said. "We've been making progress, but we realize that we have a lot more work to do."
The names of the suspects arrested Thursday include:
- Jimmy Belony, 25
- Brenton Carter, 23
- James K. Deneus, 25
- Ageler Deronvil, 25
- Bidjoury Jean-Louis, 21
- Moslait Joseph, 26
- Stanley Nemorin, 28
- Jean Paul, 29
- Unnamed Juvenile, 17
"They're the ones involved in repeated shootings. They're the ones that are dealing drugs. They're the ones that are stealing cars," Bradshaw said. "They're the ones that destroy the community, so we're going to take as many of those people out of the community as we possibly can."