Daytona Beach Police, State Attorney partner with ATF to arrest 29 people

daytonaPoliceDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —Back in 2009, Daytona Beach police were frustrated with violence and partnered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to get criminals off the streets.
The police chief said the partnership is working, thanks to help from the U.S. Attorneys Office and the local State Attorney.
“These are the people that will kill you in the blink of an eye,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood. “These are the people that destroy our community.”
Local, state and federal agents hit the streets in Daytona Beach for one year and arrested 29 suspects, including some career offenders who were allegedly pedaling dope and carrying high-powered weapons like machine guns and sawed off shotguns. Of the 29 cases, 22 will be prosecuted at the federal level.
Officials said the operation sends a powerful message.
“If you are an aspiring gun-toting drug-dealing thug and you think Daytona Beach is open for business, it’s not,” Chitwood said.
Law enforcement took 1.2 kilos from dealers and users, that is valued at $50,000. They also seized more than 44 weapons.
Two of the men arrested are suspects in homicide investigations.
Investigators said the partnership is allowing them to make a dent in violent crime.
“They get in the community and they go after the worst of the worst and they engage, and it’s a very challenging thing to do,” said Trevor Velinor, ATF spokesman.
Police said they are working for the citizens, who have demanded a tough response to crime in their community.
“Enough is enough. We’re not going to tolerate it anymore,” Chitwood said.
U.S. and state attorneys said they’re part of the fight, and that operations focused on dismantling crime are the only solution.
“We can’t arrest our way or prosecute our way out of this problem, but we can sure do our best to get the most violent offenders off the street,” said R.J. Larizza, state attorney.
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