BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – About 200 people have been arrested during a years-long investigation into a violent gang that is based in Deerfield Beach, 24 of whom were arrested on Tuesday, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony announced during a news conference Thursday.
The sheriff said the investigation, which was conducted by the BSO and members of numerous other law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, began in 2017 and targeted the Alwoods gang, which has been around since the 1990s and operates in northern Broward County and southern Palm Beach County.
The gang is accused of multiple crimes, including drive-by shootings, robberies, burglaries and weapons violations.
BSO officials said some of the gang members were also involved in homicides with rival gangs, and at least three members are suspected of attempting to plan the murder of a rival gang member.
During the investigation, authorities seized about 40 kilograms of cocaine, 20 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl combined and more than 70 firearms.
More than $800,000 in cash was also seized, along with another $1 million in gold, jewelry and other items, the sheriff said.
Tony told reporters that there was a spike in gang violence in the community in 2020 during the offset of the pandemic.
Authorities said there has also been a recent uptick in overdoses, particularly involving fentanyl.
A sergeant who leads the BSO’s Gang Unit told reporters Thursday that about 70 of the arrests directly involved members of the gang or their associates, but some of the arrests involved members of other drug trafficking organizations.
He said the 24 who were arrested earlier this week face various charges, including racketeering, drug charges and conspiracy to commit murder.
“Violent drug gangs are a scourge on the community. Their illegal activities bring nothing but pain and suffering to neighborhoods and hard-working, law-abiding citizens,” Tony said. “BSO detectives and deputies, along with our outstanding law enforcement partners, worked long hours in dangerous situations to take down the members of this gang and make sure they remain where they belong – in jail.”
According to the Gang Unit sergeant, three Alwoods gang members have been killed since the start of the investigation – of whom were gunned down during gun fights in which innocent bystanders were present.
He said the gang members were killed in July 2019, June 2020 and December 2021.
The investigation into the Alwoods gang remains ongoing.
Anyone with further information about the gang’s activities is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
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