Police arrested three people, including a juvenile, in the heart of Miami Beach’s entertainment district as part of a drug sting operation that has prompted a city official to warn these crimes have become a growing problem in the area.
Surveillance video documented the tense moments near Collins Avenue and Ninth Street, Monday.
A police report referred to the takedown as “a proactive narcotics operation” carried out by undercover and uniformed Miami Beach Police officers.
Miami Beach Commissioner Alex Fernandez said he wants the recurring and brazen drug dealing to stop.
“We acknowledge that there’s a problem. We have a challenge with drugs,” he said.
Fernandez on Thursday viewed the surveillance footage obtained by 7News.
“We’re flooding our police department with resources so that they can be proactively on the streets,” he said.
The persistent drug pushing has business owners and residents like Sherbrooke Hotel owner Mitch Novick feeling frustrated.
“Weed, coke, sugar cube, jack fruit,” he said as he listed the illegal substances being sold on the street. “It’s embarrassing.”
Novick also resides at the hotel, and his security cameras caught part of Monday’s drug sting.
Police said an undercover officer arranged to buy MDMA, or “molly,” from three individuals.
An arrest warrant states that buying cocaine was also discussed during the transaction.
After a purchase was made for MDMA, the undercover officer walked away.
As the trio headed east toward Ocean Drive, the police report states, “The take down signal was given” by officers, and three uniformed officers met the suspects.
“Get the [expletive] down, now! Get down!” one of the officers said.
The police report states one of the suspects was a juvenile.
The adult suspects, identified as 21-year-old Bremond Bennett and 18-year-old Dequan Johnson Jr., appeared in court later in the week. They face several charges, including several drug-related felonies and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“Commit a crime, be ready to do the time,” said Fernandez.
Every once in a while, Fernandez said, he is asked about police presence in the entertainment district. His reply is that officers sometimes are there, even if they’re not visible.