MBI busts major central Florida cocaine, pot ring, investigators say

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Investigators said 18 men are responsible for a drug operation that put large amounts of cocaine and pot onto central Florida streets.

Authorities said the suspects were stashing the drugs in a home in America Street in Orlando.

On Thursday, authorities said they've arrested about half of the suspects, including Kwame King, the alleged leader.

King was taken into custody on May 9 when he was caught allegedly unloading 25 pounds of marijuana that was packed into a water heater and shipped to him from Texas.

Investigators said they found trafficking amounts of cocaine inside the home, as well as firearms.

Neighbors told Channel 9 most knew what was going on in the home, but no one would dare go to authorities.

"I'm scared," said one nearby resident. "I am really scared, because I have a younger child."

"You observe but you don't say anything because you don't know who is who and who is related to who," said neighbor Shenneth Cousin.

Officials said those who were involved in the ring were supplying other lower-level dealers in the central Florida area.

"Drug dealers deal in cash," said Larry Zwieg of the MBI. "They carry weapons, and there's a lot of violence associated with drug dealers and that's what's happening in this organization."

Investigators said most of the suspects have extensive criminal histories, including King, who has 27 felony arrests on his record.

Authorities said King was making so much money through dealing drugs that he started a barbecue business to appear legit.

MBI is still looking for the following suspects:

  • Marcus Ellington
  • Gregory Mitchell
  • Andrae Thomas
  • Jarvis Scott Jr.
  • Ivan Tukes
  • Anthony Deramus
  • Antonio Deramus

Anyone with information to their whereabouts is asked to contact authorities.