Miami Gardens pre-dawn gun bust ends with 97 arrests

Federal agents fanned out across Miami Gardens before dawn Wednesday to arrest 97 people on guns and drug trafficking charges during Operation Smoking Gun III.

The agents served 16 search warrants and targeted suspects named in state and federal arrest warrants.

Among the fire power confiscated: 248 firearms including a sawed off shotgun and also five bullet-proof vests. Drugs were also rounded up: cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and thousands of Oxycodone, Percocet and morphine pills.

“As a result of this long-term concerted effort, 97 dangerous individuals, the vast majority of whom are previously convicted felons, their guns and their drugs, have been removed from the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle said the round-up should help cut down on crime: “Guns plus drugs always equal violence and death,” she said.

Charges against the many of those arrested include possession of a firearm by convicted felons, carrying a concealed firearm and selling a controlled substance.

One individual was charged with selling 15 guns in a span of three months, including an assault rifle and a shotgun. He could face life in prison, if convicted.

Some of those arrested are believed to be gang members, officials said.

At a news conference, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert said the city is responding to citizens’ complaints about criminal activity in the city; he issued a warning to those dealing in guns and drugs.

“If we didn’t get you today we’ll get you. We’ll get you because we won’t stop trying,” he said.

Two previous efforts — Operation Smoking Gun I and II — focused on suspects in Broward and Palm Beach in 2010 and 2011, resulting in more than 200 federal charges.

Read more Afternoon Update stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category