DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Federal agents and local law enforcement officers spent hours Wednesday raiding an $850,000 home in the upscale Laurel Oaks community of Davie.
The law enforcement operation was apparently part of an investigation into a long-running, international drug ring accused of bringing the dangerous and deadly drug fentanyl into the United States.
CBS4 News cameras rolled as federal agents removed a Maserati, a 4-wheeler and boxes of documents from the property.
According to property records, the names associated with the home are Anthony Gomes and Elizabeth Ton. Their mugshots showed up in the Broward County Jail Wednesday, held on charges for the Marshals Service.
Their names are also included along with numerous others in a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday outlining an intricate operation to import the drug fentanyl into Florida and elsewhere across the US from China and Canada. The indictment says the group operated between 2013 and 2016.
According to the federal indictment, “This conspiracy moved more than 400 grams of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl.”
And the indictment alleges four deaths and five cases of serious bodily injury apparently connected to the group’s illegal activities.
According to the federal court indictment, the case originated in North Dakota and people from the US, Canada and China are suspected of being involved in the operation. The indictment does not specifically spell out the role of Gomes and Ton in the operation, other than taking part in the conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.
The drug Fentanyl is so powerful that even inhaling or touching the drug can kill. Investigators believe that’s possibly what happened to 10 year old Alton Banks in Miami earlier this year.
In the case Wednesday in Davie, there’s surprise and concern from people who live in the neighborhood.
People who live in the Laurel Oaks community say Gomes and Ton moved in along with a child just a few months ago.
Neighbors say they had work done on the house — like putting in an expensive marble driveway and they were also known to race their ATVs around their home.
But most people here said they saw little that concerned them.
“It’s a shock to all of us,” said Sharif Elhaddad, president of the Laurel Oaks Homeowners’ Association. “For them to pick a quiet community like this, I can understand why they would pick something quiet like this for them to be under the radar but they didn’t last long.”
Residents gathered to watch the drama unfold Wednesday, reminded that there’s often no way to truly know what’s happening behind a neighbor’s doors.
“It can happen anywhere in the world and these guys operate very quietly,” said Andy Dibosco. “That’s how it is. That’s life.”