Five Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges
Marion County, FL -- A ring of accused drug dealers were living the high life... until their pipe dreams suddenly went up in smoke. Now their neighbors are relieved to have five suspected drug traffickers off their streets.
For years, David Manie has been living across from a man authorities said is the head of a drug trafficking organization in Ocala. "I was shocked, you'd never suspect him, somebody like him, you know, he's a good guy," said Manie.
Officials said three months ago, they began investigating the organization based out of Marion Oaks, which was allegedly selling cocaine and other illegal drugs around the county. The investigation came to a head Thursday morning when officials raided five homes in the area.
Five people were arrested on drug trafficking and possession charges. The man officials said is the ringleader, 43-year-old Derrick Price, is also charged with possession of firearms by a convicted felon. 36-year-old Eddie Perez was also arrested, along with 42-year-old K C Starks, his brother, 35-year-old Marcus Starks and 33-year-old Nicole Radank.
TV20 went to Price's home Friday afternoon, and residents inside the home did not want to comment on Price or his arrest but Manie said, "he had a nice motorcycle, a big racing bike, two jet skis [and] he had three vehicles."
According to MCSO Spokesperson Captain James Pogue, authorities seized $39,000 in cash, $7,000 worth of cocaine and $21,000 worth of other illegal drugs, as well as a flatbed trailer, flatscreen TVs, various vehicles and more. "All of the luxuries, the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but they didn't work for them," said Pogue.
Pogue said that $39,000 will be used for educational purposes and to keep drugs off the streets, and the vehicles will eventually be sold.
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