Drug Related Issues in Miami Gardens
Miami Gardens is a location where there are large numbers of minorities and immigrants. This is the location just north of Miami and it composes of a number of different neighborhoods. The most notable include: Andover, Bunche Park, Carol City, Lake Lucerne, Norwood, Opa Locka North and Scott Lake. In general, the community is facing drug related challenges from its close proximity to Central and South America. At the same time, they are wrestling with lower economic social demographics in the community. (Hall, 2011) This means that drugs are prevalent inside numerous areas. To fully understand what is happening requires looking at the local drug problem and how it is impacting the area. Together, these elements will illustrate one of the biggest challenges impacting Miami Gardens.
In general, the biggest issue effecting the residents of Miami Gardens is the use of crack cocaine. This is because Dade County is an entry point for the Columbian cartels. They are exporting their product into the region in order to distribute it locally and points further north. This is problematic, as it is known to lead to a decay in the community (via continuing violence and rivalries among the different organizations). (Hall, 2011)
The result is that federal and local law enforcement have stepped up efforts to address these challenges by making arrests in order to disrupt the supply and the operation of various syndicates. This involves the DEA, FBI and Miami Dade Police making more arrests and using undercover informants. Their basic objectives are to disrupt the operations of various criminal gangs who are involved in the distribution and sale of crack or powdered cocaine. Commenting about these activities the FBI said that the program was a part of a larger initiative to reduce the sale of illegal drugs and the culture of violence with them saying, “Through its Violence Reduction Partnership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its federal and local law enforcement allies have sought to dismantle the most violent criminal networks in various neighborhoods in the Southern District of Florida, while simultaneously working with community leaders and concerned citizens to mentor at-risk youth, provide job training, coordinate social services and support the reintegration of ex-offenders (returning citizens) to the community.” (“Miami Gardens Residents Charged with Selling Crack Cocaine,” 2015) This is illustrating how the biggest localized issue impacting Miami Gardens is the sale of crack cocaine. The recent activities by law enforcement are showing their continuing focus in reducing the scope of the problem.
In many cases, their efforts are uncovering individuals who possess firearms and will more than likely use them as a part of conducting business. This causes the total number of murders and shootings to increase. When this occurs, there is a realistic possibility more residents will flee and leave abandoned properties in their wake. Numerous crack dealers and addicts will use these locations to expand their business and operations.
For example, in an operation called Smoking Gun II, federal and local officials targeted the worst offenders in the cocaine business. They seized a total of 248 firearms; 342 grams of crack cocaine; 1,728 grams of cocaine; 634 grams of heroin; 2,874 Oxycodone pills; 576 Percocet pills; 10 Morphine pills and 15,208 grams of marijuana. Commenting about the raid the Mayor of Miami Gardens said, “Here in South Florida, we are targeting the worst of the worst. We’ve heard your cries to stem criminal activity and we understand that we can’t do it alone to make the quality of life better. It’s not just one drug dealer killing another or an enemy. This violence spills onto our streets. It kills our police officers and bystanders and innocent children playing in the front yard.” This is showing how the biggest local drug related issues are the sale and distribution of crack cocaine. Recent efforts are focused on arresting these individuals and preventing other activities (i.e. gun trafficking and related violence) from spilling over into business / residential areas.
Illegal Firearms, Drugs Seized in Undercover Operation. (2013). Local 10. Retrieved from: http://www.local10.com/news/illegal-firearms-drugs-seized-in-undercover-investigation/20349062
Miami Gardens Residents Charged with Selling Crack Cocaine. (2015). FBI. Retrieved from: https://www.fbi.gov/miami/press-releases/2015/miami-gardens-residents-charged-with-selling-crack- cocaine-and-firearms-offenses
Hall, J. (2011). Drug Abuse Trends in Miami Dade County. Miami Dade Community. Retrieved from: http://www.miami-dade-community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Miami-Dade-DEN-Report-2009- 2010.pdf
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