MIAMI BEACH, FL. (WSVN) – Police arrested three people, including a minor, in the heart of Miami Beach’s entertainment district in a drug sting operation that prompted a city official to warn that these crimes have become a growing problem in the region.
Surveillance video documented the tense moments near Collins Avenue and Ninth Street on Monday.
A police report called the pullout a “proactive narcotics operation” carried out by plainclothes and Miami Beach Police uniformed officers.
Miami Beach Commissioner Alex Fernandez said he wants the recurring and brazen drug trade to end.
“We recognize that there is a problem. We have a challenge with drugs,” he said.
Fernandez viewed surveillance footage obtained by 7News on Thursday.
“We are flooding our police department with resources so they can be proactive on the streets,” he said.
The ongoing drug push is frustrating business owners and residents like Sherbrooke Hotel owner Mitch Novick.
“Weed, coke, sugar cube, jackfruit,” he said, listing the illegal substances sold on the street. “It’s embarassing.”
Novick also resides at the hotel and his security cameras captured part of Monday’s drug sting.
Police say an undercover officer arranged to buy MDMA, or “molly,” from three people.
An arrest warrant indicates that the purchase of cocaine was also mentioned during the transaction.
After a purchase of MDMA, the undercover agent walked away.
As the trio headed east towards Ocean Drive, the police report said “the signal to disassemble was given” by officers, and three uniformed officers encountered the suspects.
“Get the [expletive] down now! Get off!” said one of the officers.
The police report indicates that one of the suspects was a minor.
The adult suspects, identified as Bremond Bennett, 21, and Dequan Johnson Jr., 18, appeared in court later in the week. They face several charges, including several drug-related crimes and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“Commit a crime, be prepared to do the time,” Fernandez said.
Occasionally, Fernandez said, he is asked about the police presence in the Entertainment District. His answer is that officers are sometimes there, even if they are not visible.
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