An undercover operation on illegal drug activity in Ft. Meade culminated Friday in the arrest of two dozen people on a variety of narcotics-related charges.
Among those arrested a registered sex offender and a repeat offender with a history of drug arrests going back over 25 years.
According to a Polk County Sheriff's Office report deputies with the department's Tactical Drug Unit started an initiative during the summer to reduce street level drug sales in Ft. Meade.
Detectives working undercover purchased large amounts of powder cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana from a variety of individuals during a three-month period.
The investigation led to charges being fined against 11 street level dealers. On Friday investigators executed search warrants at 409 S. Seminole Ave. and 31 Court St. Southwest where a number of the illegal transactions occurred.
In addition several units with the PCSO were deployed to several other locations in Ft. Meade where drug activity had been uncovered during the investigation.
In addition to the arrests, deputies confiscated 3.5-pounds of marijuana, half an ounce of methamphetamine and several grams of cocaine – crack and powder.
They also seized a shotgun and nearly $2,100 in cash.
A total of 22 people and two juveniles were charged with crimes and four more are still being pursued.
Julian Flagg, a 39-year-old registered sex offender, was charged with sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of marijuana near a church.
Arthur James Freeman, 54, was arrested on similar charges. He's got a drug arrest history in Polk County that goes back to 1987. Freeman, a Ft. Meade resident, has served five stints in the state prison system on illegal narcotics convictions out of Polk.
The other 20 adults were booked into the Polk County Jail on drug related charges. The two juveniles were transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center for processing.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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