Sixteen men are facing charges in an investigation targeting drug dealers in Boynton Beach. The busts are focused on curbing the opioid overdoses overwhelming the city.
Police arrested 10 men during a sweep throughout Palm Beach County on Tuesday. Authorities confiscated $1,240, two handguns and dozens of plastic bags of heroin, cocaine, crack and marijuana, according to the Boynton Beach Police Department.
The busts are part of Operation Cherry Pill, a yearlong investigation aimed at pulling alleged drug dealers off the streets of Boynton Beach.
“Lives were saved today,” Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey S. Katz said in a statement Tuesday. “Addiction is a public health crisis which has a law enforcement component. Today, we and our law enforcement partners reinforce our resolve to address the supply side of this issue. I encourage other community stakeholders to continue addressing the demand component.”
Three men were arrested in September and October. Three others were taken into custody earlier this month. During those arrests, authorities seized $21,813 cash, 15 cellphones and 729 grams of suspected drugs including heroin, cocaine and Percocets.
The men range in age from 18 to 56. State and federal charges against them include trafficking in heroin and fentanyl - a super-potent synthetic opioid.
Operation Cherry Pill is a multi-agency effort including police departments from Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lantana, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The officers tapped phones, worked with confidential informants and ran surveillance on the suspects.
According to the Boynton Beach Police Department, the city has seen more than 540 drug overdoses so far this year — up more than a third from last year.
Police reported that the following individuals have been arrested: Kunta Riddick, 40; Kelcey Riddick, 40, both of Boynton Beach; Arnold Sims, 56, Boynton Beach; Derriel Wallace, 22, Boynton Beach; Shadrick Lee, 53, Boynton Beach; Jaden Miraj, 18; Terrence Wilkins, 26, Boynton Beach; Corey Floyd, 39, Boynton Beach; Billy Rollerson, 27, Lake Worth; Keyon Mack, Boynton Beach; Cedric Petty, 37; Melvin Hall, 39; Sherwick Jonas, 38; Lorenzo Edmonds, 42; Bryan Preston Todd, 41; Taje Bannister, 24.
More arrests are expected, according to police.