By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With lights flashing and sirens on, the Miami Police Department’s narcotics unit descended on an Allapattah neighborhood on Wednesday morning, seizing cash and arresting three men on drug-related charges.

In a CBS4 exclusive, reporter Peter D’Oench was allowed to ride-along with Assistant Miami Police Chief Armando Aguilar and a police sergeant.

They followed the narcotics unit and the SWAT team as well as Miami Fire Rescue paramedics through the streets of Miami, from police headquarters to where the raid was conducted at NW 8th Ave. and 35th St.

Paramedics accompanied the operation in case anyone got hurt.

CBS4 was there as dozens of members of the police SWAT team moved in, securing the area. Three men were taken in to custody as two homes were investigated. A drug-sniffing dog was brought in as well. The operation moved quickly and ended without anyone being hurt.

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Before the mission called “Operation Peek-a-Boo” started, CBS4 went inside a briefing at police headquarters, where D’Oench discovered there was elaborate planning to make sure the operation went safely.

D’Oench also learned that police had thoroughly investigated every apartment and home within a two-block radius to make sure that there were not any problem spots that they should be aware of.

Aguilar said, “We take safety very seriously. We do everything we can and go to great lengths to make sure that we have secured the locations where we have obtained search warrants and we make sure there are no children or innocent bystanders who might be harmed because we know where there are guns there are drugs.”

“Safety is our first, second, third and top priority in executing these warrants,” he added. “We want to make sure that everything is planned as meticulously as possible and that we move in quickly and make the arrests and seize the evidence and everything ends safely.”

Aguilar said quite often informants will let them know about drug dealing and undercover detectives will move in and make transactions and get the evidence they need for warrants that can lead to arrests and drug seizures.

Aguilar said seizures have often involved fentanyl, cocaine and crack and “different prescription drugs being sold on the streets.”

“Complaints from neighbors play such a huge role in what we do,” he said. “These investigations often start out with a concerned neighbor’s call to Crime Stoppers that make us aware of suspicious activity that has just taken place at a neighbor’s home or a home on the block. We take those complaints very seriously.”

Aguilar said one suspect was found in possession of baggies containing suspected cocaine residue. The second and third suspects were arrested for sale of rock cocaine to a confidential informant on November 5th and 10th.

Daren Gordon, 28, was arrested for possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Forty-four-year-old Jorge Roberto and 59-year-old Kenneth Lindsey were arrested for selling rock cocaine.

A total of $12,300 was found at 3501 NW 8th Avenue and $565 was found at 3501 NW 9th Ave. Police said they will be “pursuing seizure of those funds.”

Aguilar said the community is safer.

“This community, this block is certainly safer today,” he said. “We have two houses doing street-level narcotics that will not be doing that for some time.”

And to ensure that, Aguilar said police would be working closely with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the city’s Nuisance Abatement Board and property owners.

These operations involve a lot of work.

Miami police conduct as many as eight of such operations every month.

Peter D'Oench

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