5 Marion deputies suspended after excessive force accusations during drug raid

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Five Marion County deputies have been suspended without pay for allegedly using excessive force against a drug suspect, according to sheriff's office officials.

Authorities said the deputies were assisting with a drug-related search warrant at a home in the Marion Oaks neighborhood on Thursday when the incident happened.

Reports shows that investigators found out about the drug ring after a confidential informant recorded a deal with Derrick Price. A few weeks later, deputies raided the house as Price allegedly ran out the back.

A K-9 tracked Price several blocks away, where several officers tried to handcuff the suspect. One officer said he "could clearly hear the deputies telling the defendant to stop resisting."

"The sheriff is taking this incident very seriously," said Capt. James Pogue of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

The deputies who were suspended are Jesse Terrell, Trevor Fitzgerald, Cody Hoppel, James Amidei and Adam Crawford.

The excessive force was captured on video, which has not been released.

The five suspects arrested by the Sheriff's Office during the raid have been identified as Price, Eddie Perez, K.C. Starks, Marcus Starks and Nicole Radank.

During the search warrant, authorities said they seized cocaine, prescription pills, several weapons, four cars and one motorcycle.

Authorities wouldn't say what exactly the deputies did to one of the suspects, but Price has a visible bruised eye in his mug shot.

"They used more force than we believe was necessary," said Pogue.

The Sheriff's Office said the investigation has been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office, and criminal charges are possible.