St. Petersburg drug bust leads to arrests - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Petersburg drug bust leads to arrests

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Lolita M. Phillips arrested for trafficking Hydrocodone Lolita M. Phillips arrested for trafficking Hydrocodone

Tonight, more than a dozen suspected drug dealers are off the street in one Bay Area community, and there could be more arrests.

It follows a four month probe into drug dealing across the city of St. Petersburg.

Illegal drug use is a problem across many communities in this state and country, and St. Petersburg is no exception.

That's why police took on the effort to locate and arrest people suspected of dealing drugs on the street.

All day Friday, narcotics detectives rounded up drug suspects across St. Petersburg.

It follows a four-month long investigation into drug trafficking in the city, but this bust is not just limited to drugs.

Mike Puetz with St. Petersburg police says, "We are also looking for information that involves folks who might be trafficking in guns felons that might guns in their possessions this is the type of information we are looking for from these individuals."

44 people were on the targeted list to arrest and charge with dealing in street-level and prescription drugs.

By late Friday, seventeen had been picked up and brought in for questioning before being taken to jail.

"We don't anticipate getting all 44 people on our list today we should get at least half and then over the next few days do investigative work to find out where those other are in," said Puetz.

Police also recovered money and drugs like crack cocaine.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said, "It breaks my heart and it is systemic of a bigger problem that we have to figure out."

"It is a good day for the city that we are getting drug dealers off the street and if the justice system can keep them behind bars and work on rehabilitation. that is our goal so it is a good day in that regard."

Police say they didn't round up all the suspects today, but they plan to continue to search for the other suspected drug dealers.

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