Several members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office that participated in a multi-agency spring break law enforcement wave were on hand Tuesday for a press conference to share information about the project.
Operation Beach or Bust was initiated to conduct a three-pronged operation that would concentrate on the reconnaissance, surveillance, and interdiction of illegal narcotics, weapons, and fugitives that transit into or through the Panama City area via air, land and sea around the spring break time frame, officials said in a press release about the mission.
In support of Operation Beach or Bust, in Jackson County alone 71 traffic stops were conducted, two aircraft were intercepted and searched while on the ground at the Marianna Municipal Airport, 13 K9 deployments were conducted, 10 arrests were made, three warrants were served and two illegal immigrants were detained.
As a result, officials say, 3.27 ounces of methamphetamine, 2.14 ounces of marijuana, 5.38 grams Xanax, 0.6 grams of buprenorphine, 1.08 grams of Oxycodone, 0.96 grams of Hydrocodone, four firearms, $1,457 in cash and an assortment of ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and alcohol related items were seized. Additional arrests and seizures not listed above were made throughout Washington and Holmes Counties.
Officials say they gathered valuable information as well, establishing leads on suspected weapons smuggling, drug trafficking, immigration violations and more.
Local authorities arrested and charged the following individuals in the operation:
Mariah Dawkins, 21, of Marianna, charged with possession of controlled substance-four counts, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying a concealed firearm.
Dennis Bursell, 50, of Belleview, charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm/ammunition.
Terrell Joseph, 31, of Jacksonville, charged with possession of marijuana- not more than 20 grams, possess of a concealed firearm.
Luis Yzaguirre, 30, of Quincy, charged with driving while license suspended, revoked or canceled.
Maurice Bennett Jr., 31, of Marianna, charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of marijuana w/ intent to distribute, carrying a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Jose Gabriel Felipe, 53, Guatemala National, charged with driving without a valid driver’s license, and being held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Abraham Gabriel Sanchez, 27, Guatemala National, charged with resisting LEO w/o Violence, and being held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Joseph Lipner, 30, Cottondale, picked up on a arrant arrest-violation of injunction for protection.
Amanda Self, 40, of Marianna, picked up on a warrant arrest-violation of probation.
A 21-year-old individual from Mulberry, whose last name was uncertain in the agency press release, was picked up on a warrant arrest-violation of probation.
The enforcement wave occurred during the week of April 1, and was hosted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Units.
Members of the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the United States Marshal’s Service Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force (comprised of members of the aforementioned agencies as well as members of the Panama City Police Department, Panama City Beach Police Department, Lynn Haven Police Department, and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office) also participated in the operation.