SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has charged eight different people with drug-related offenses after detectives conducted a long-term investigation in north Sarasota.
Beginning back in February, Special Investigation detectives teamed up with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to look into recent drug sales and gun violence.
Over the next several months, detectives were reportedly able to identify eight "key individuals" in connection to criminal activity in the parking lot of the Purple Store on Dr. Martin Luther King Way.
Two out of the eight people are still wanted by deputies, according to the sheriff's office's flyer.
The people charged collectively have 131 prior felony charges with 76 convictions and 112 previous misdemeanor charges with 47 convictions collectively.
They now face a total of 34 new felony charges. They were identified as Lamont Brookins, Isaiah Bryant, Robert Games, Jr., Yvens Philone, Tiarra Stanford and Franklin Willis. Both Christopher Phillips and Gregory Swain, Jr. are still at large, the sheriff's office says.
“We work diligently to address reoccurring criminal activity throughout specific areas of unincorporated Sarasota County,” Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman said in a statement. “Whether it takes our patrol deputies, tactical units, criminal investigators, undercover personnel, or a combination of all four, we utilize intelligence-led policing to put resources where they will make the most impact. In this situation, drugs and guns were being sold across the street from an elementary school, public library, and afterschool care program.
"While these arrests are significant, our efforts will not stop here. We will continue to monitor this corridor and interrupt criminal activity to protect our citizens and, more importantly, our children.”