GAINESVILLE, FL – October 15, 2020 – According to an online news report posted on the news website, the gainesvilletimes.com, community members are shocked after the arrest of three sisters in a major drug sting operation. The three women from Gainesville, Florida, were arrested among 20 other suspects in "Operation Long Time Coming." Operation Long Time Coming was a yearlong criminal investigation that targeted the trafficking of crack cocaine crimes along with other drugs along Black Drive in Gainesville, Florida.
According to Gerald Couch, the Hall County Sheriff, the criminal organization, which purportedly earned about $1.4 million in one year, was averaging about 20 drug sales per hour, nearly round-the-clock. The house located on Black Drive received an enormous amount of foot and vehicle traffic daily, leading law enforcement to become suspicious of illegal drug sakes activity. After receiving numerous calls from concerned citizens and based upon law enforcement surveillance, the agency decided to focus its investigation and enforcement efforts at the aforementioned location.
According to the news report, all 20 criminal suspects received warrants for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The news report claims that the suspects are all related by marriage or blood relative to the other criminal enterprise members. At the time of the original breaking news story, 14 of the 20 suspects in the drug crime organization had been apprehended by law enforcement, and the police were still trying to find the rest of the drug family members.
One person close to the three sisters' family believes that the three women were likely not part of the drug family. The close family friend stated the three sisters volunteered at food shelters and worked hard for poor, young women in the community by helping the young women obtain financial aid for college and other charitable works.
The Cooley Drive area, which later turns into Black Drive, is an area that has a long history of drug dealing for about 20 years. People in the neighborhood know that fellow neighbors are aware of the illegal drug activities in their community, and these people want to have the drug dealing out of their community.
Residents in the area say that drug dealing is not something new, and neighborhood parents often shield their children from many dangerous things that go on in their neighborhood. Many families are close-knit and attend church, and provide a good environment for young children.
According to the Times, the news website requested a year's worth of 911 calls involving Cooley and Black Drives to see how frequent law enforcement patrols the area, provides extra patrols, and the number of calls.
According to Leigh Stallings-Wood, Hall County 911 communications coordinator, any citizen may request extra patrols. Then based on the type of calls, the police officers assigned to that area will conduct the extra patrols. Also, the police officer is able to make extra patrols.
According to Jay Parrish, Gainesville Police Chief, "drug dealers and drug users held those neighborhoods hostage."