MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4) – Saying that “we are tired of gun violence that devastates our community;” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer announced the indictment of twelve Miami-Dade men on federal and state narcotics charges Wednesday afternoon.
Ten of those arrested were taken into custody in a ten-block area of Miami Gardens around N.W. 183rd St. and 42nd Ave. All are from Miami Gardens. Seven were arrested on federal charges and all of them are convicted felons, according to Ferrer.
The Miami Gardens Police Chief identified the two suspects who are still at large.
One is 31-year-old Travis Williams of Miami, who is wanted on state charges of conspiracy to deal in firearms without a license and distribution of narcotics. He faces up to 70 years behind bars if found and convicted.
The other is 30-year-old Anthony Morris of Miami, who was indicted on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted firearm and faces up to 10 years behind bars if found and convicted on state charges.
Ferrer said those arrested face sentences of anywhere from 10 to 130 years if convicted.
The initiative was called “Project Safe Neighborhoods” and was aimed at reducing and preventing violence in neighborhoods and helping past offenders adjust and re-enter their communities.
Authorities dramatically displayed some of the 55 firearms that were confiscated, including two shot guns and two machine guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and two bullet proof vests.
“We are tired of the gun violence that is devastating this community,” said Ferrer. “Gun violence spills on to the streets and takes the lives of innocent bystanders. One goal of Project Safe Neighborhoods is to make these communities safe. Make no mistake about it, some of these individuals that police were looking for had been involved with attempted murders and car jackings.”
The effort was a joint effort involving Miami Gardens Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Attorney’s office, and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office.
“These guns are killing innocent people and they are often hurt by ricochets of bullets,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle. “There are so many victims of these horrific killing machines.”
“As a former police officer, I know what these guns can do,” said Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson. “The results of what happened here will have a positive impact on Miami Gardens. I’m asking the citizens of Miami Gardens to help prevent crime and promote safety. We are committed to stopping the rage o0f crime in Miami Gardens.”
The initiative was also applauded by Stephanie Moore, whose 13-year-old son Dharmaniyah Moore is still at a rehabilitation center after being shot in the head during a drive-by shooting in July of last year.
“I am grateful for what they are doing,” said Moore. “Maybe someday they will find who shot my son. I am grateful they are doing a lot to get these guns off the streets. I really am. I hope this violence will stop and my son will get better.”
Moore told CBS4′s Peter D’Oench that all of her savings have been exhausted caring for her son. She hopes he can come home by Christmas. Miami Gardens Police have no suspects so far in that case.
Among those arrested, 30-year-old Markeith Brown was indicted for conspiracy to deal in firearms without a license. He faces a number of other charges and faces the longest sentence if convicted: up to 130 years.
Tony Crockett, 41, a convicted felon, has been indicted on two counts of possession of a firearms by a convicted felonand distribution of cocaine. He faces up to 40 years behind bars if convicted.
Anthony Grier,23, a convicted felon, has been indicted for dealing firearms without a license and seven counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and distribution of cocaine. If convicted, he faces a maximum term of up to 85 years.
Others arrested on federal charges included Nathaniel Shaw, 32 and those arrested on state charges include Andrae Binns, 27, Jessie Fussell,27, and Nathaniel Garnett. They’ve been charged with selling cocaine.
Also arrested on state charges involving drugs and weapons: James Harrison, 34, and Vincent Daniels, 24.
Ferrer said that since 2001, about $2 billion has been committed national to the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.