April 06, 2007  

Sheriff's Comments
• In September 2005, Narcotic Detectives began conducting street level heroin buys in the areas of W. 13th and Moncrief Road and W. 14th and Barnett Streets, based intelligence known to our detectives.

• This led investigators to a large heroin trafficking organization and the opening of 'Operation Smackdown.'

• This organization reached from the streets and Naval Bases of Jacksonville - and to Miami and Orlando, with the source of the heroin being individuals in the Dominican Republic.

• As Detectives began to work their way up the organization's chain, the violent nature of these individuals became increasingly evident.

• Members of this organization are responsible for violent crimes in Jacksonville and Miami.

• Members of this organization have past arrests for Homicide, Kidnapping, Robbery, and Aggravated Battery, which is indicative of their propensity toward violence.

• During the investigation, information received resulted in two Jacksonville arrests for two homicides. (Arrestees are Smith Xavier Jackson was arrested for the murder of Bryan James and Roderick M. Cornelius in the murder of 16 year old Ronnie Murphy. Both murders and arrests occurred in 2006.)

• Investigators were also able to pass on information on homicides that had occurred in other jurisdictions. There is one member, Ricky McClendon of Jacksonville, who was arrested for Capital Sexual Battery. There are charges pending on at least two others for Conspiracy to Commit a Home Invasion Robbery in Miami.

• In October 2006, Detectives passed information to the Central Florida HIDTA in Orlando pertaining to a major heroin trafficker in their area, with ties to the Jacksonville operation. They continued the investigation until its conclusion, last month, with the arrest of 9 individuals there on heroin trafficking charges.

• Additionally, arrests were made for trafficking in ecstasy and possession of marijuana, psilocybin, steroids, and methamphetamine in Miami. These are some of the same individuals charged in Jacksonville. Several of these individuals are also charged with possession of firearms by convicted felons.

• There is a total of 64 individuals arrested and charged with crimes ranging from street level sale of heroin to murder – among the 15 most egregious offenders there is a total of more than 240 previous felony charges, with only 79 total convictions statewide among those 15.

• During the course of this investigation, 3 kilograms of heroin (1.5 in Jax), five kilograms of cocaine (all Jax), 150 grams of marijuana (all Jax), 31 grams of methamphetamine (Mia), 181grams of steroids (Mia), 50 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms) (Mia), and 12 firearms (6 in Jax) were seized as evidence resulting from search warrants conducted in Miami and Jacksonville. Additionally, 62,000.00 in cash (60K in Jax) and 9 vehicles (6 in Jax) were seized as contraband.

• This investigation could not have been completed without the cooperation of the 17 Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies listed below. This case is a perfect example of what can be accomplished from one end of our state to the other. The agencies that assisted in the investigation are as follows:

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Jacksonville Office
Drugs Enforcement Administration – Jacksonville Office
South Florida HIDTA

Central Florida HIDTA
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Miami

Secret Service – Jacksonville Office
Immigration, Customs and Enforcement – Miami Office
Clay County Sheriff's Office

Miami-Dade Police Department
City of Miami Police Department
North Miami Beach Police Department
State Attorney Investigators – Miami Office
Office of the State Attorney – Jacksonville and Miami
Violent Crime Drug Control Council a part of Florida Department of Law Enforcement