SOUTH MIAMI (CBS4) – Neighbors of a normally quiet South Miami neighborhood were shocked when they learned that a police SWAT team had raided a home in their community just before dawn and found lots of drugs, guns and cash.
What makes it even more frightening is that the alleged drug house was less than 30 feet from Ludlam Elementary School, located in the 6600 block of SW 74th Street. Five people inside the home were taken into custody.
“Wow, that is very scary, I can’t believe that,” said Patty Camps. “I’m really scared, I this is a school right here and there’s children right next to this place and it really scares me that there could be a place like this close to a school.”
Marisa Gerard was even shocked when she learned about what was going on in the house. A couple of weeks ago she watched as South Miami police rounded up a dozen alleged drug dealers in her neighborhood; one of those arrested was accused of selling drugs across the street from a daycare.
“You know it was bad enough it was right across from my house,” said Gerard. Now it’s right across from my elementary school where my kids go. That’s not acceptable. I’m very glad that the South Miami police department is doing their job.”
Reports on the raid and round up are part of CBS4 News’ Project Broken Window, an effort to highlight those who clean up our communities.
In the course of their investigation, undercover South Miami detectives said they bought drugs from the individuals who lived in the home and kept tabs on all the activity there before the raid.
“(They were) not only selling drugs when parents were dropping off their kids and picking them up,” said South Miami police Major Rene Landa, “On top of that, using drugs in front of the house while the kids were in school.”
Once inside the home, police said they made a surprising discovery. In addition to the drugs and guns, they found evidence that the tenants were operating an illegal mortgage or real estate business without a license.