Officers seize 44 guns, arrest dozens in Daytona Beach gun-running operation

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach police took down an illegal gun-running operation they said was supplying weapons to Volusia County.

With the help of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, police seized more than 44 guns and made more than two-dozen arrests.

A good portion of those weapons were being sold at the Port Orange Flea Market, investigators said.

"Our convicted felons who know they can't get a gun legally were going down there and purchasing firearms that they could use and bring back in the city of Daytona Beach," said Chief Michael Chitwood.

So far, 29 suspects were arrested and most are being prosecuted in federal court, including Donald Hare, who is accused of smuggling 55 guns into the U.S. from Canada.

"These are the people who will kill you in the blink of an eye," said Chitwood. "These are the people that destroy our community."

Two years ago, police dismantled the 819 Boys gang, which officials said took 50 criminals off the street.

Chitwood called the latest bust "Phase Two."

Investigators seized 44 guns, including pistols, rifles and sawed-off shotguns. One of the guns seized was used in a homicide, ATF agents said.

Authorities said one accused drug dealer was also arrested for wearing a bulletproof vest.

"And the message that I hope goes out there again is if you are an aspiring, gun-toting, drug-dealing thug and you think Daytona Beach is open for business, it's not," said Chitwood.

Along with the guns, $50,000 in crack cocaine was also seized, officials said.