Report: Squatters removed from Holly Hill home, arrested after complaints from neighbors

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Volusia County deputies say they made six arrests Wednesday, with more to follow, after looking into complaints of possible drug activity at a home in Holly Hill.


According to a report from the sheriff’s office, detectives from their East Volusia Narcotics Task Force teamed up with Holly Hill police officers for surveillance at a home on Flomich Street Wednesday after receiving complaints of drug activity there.

Deputies say Holly Hill police received multiple reports of constant foot and bicycle traffic to and from the home.

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It wasn’t long before deputies say a brown car pulled up to the home and they were able to witness what appeared to be a street-level drug transaction taking place.

After seeing the same car return to the home later in the day, deputies determined they had probable cause to make contact with the occupant, later identified as 20-year-old Jahmall Collins.

Deputies say the moment they activated their emergency lights and sirens, Collins ran to the back yard of the home where he struggled with officers attempting to detain him, leading to three “drive stuns” with a taser before they were able to successfully handcuff him.

After detaining Collins, deputies say they obtained and executed a search warrant for the home and moved all the occupants to the front yard.

In the home, investigators say they found enough fentanyl to kill 3,000 people.

Deputies say they searched Collins’ car and also found two pistols with ammunition for both of them.

Collins, who deputies suspect was the drug supplier, was charged with armed trafficking in fentanyl, possession of a weapon and ammunition by a convicted felon, resisting an officer without violence, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, driving with a suspended license and attaching an unassigned tag. He was also charged with a probation violation from a prior charge of resisting an officer with violence.

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Five other people were arrested at the scene on charges that include possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine, as well as sale of fentanyl. However, investigators say they believe a least 12 people were involved, so more arrests are likely forthcoming.

According to the sheriff’s office, the fact that all the suspects are considered to be squatters further complicates the case.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood says a new state law that makes it easier to remove squatters from properties could not be applied to the Flomich Street property because it requires law enforcement to make contact with the home owner, who in this case had passed away some time ago.

Chitwood and Holly Hill Mayor Chris Via say that won’t stop them from shutting down similar operations.

“These people just don’t care,” Chitwood said of the arrests. “They had absolute impunity that nothing was ever going to happen to them.”

“We will not stop until this issue is permanently resolved,” Via added. “And this house is reclaimed for our community so it is safe again.”

Via and Chitwood say their goal is to eventually have the house condemned.

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They also took a moment to address the sheriff’s recent take-over of the Holly Hill Police Department following the chief’s resignation and an investigation into other officers for their involvement in inappropriate behavior.

They say Wednesday’s bust proves the community is still getting the best coverage.

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