KENDALL (CBSMiami) – Five people have been arrested in connection to a huge haul of narcotics near a school in Kendall.
Miami-Dade police discovered 15 duffle bags and seven coolers full of a large assortment of drugs.
Miami-Dade PD confiscated the drugs on April 15, after setting up surveillance in a parking lot at 9360 SW 72 Street, right across the street from the charter school, True North Classical Academy.
According to the police report, the surveillance video shows the suspects retrieving duffle bags and coolers from another vehicle in the parking lot.
When detectives approached the vehicles, there was a heavy smell of marijuana, states the report. All five men were detained, and their vehicles were searched.
The report states the duffle bags and coolers contained marijuana, cash and other narcotics.
The suspects, identified as Andres Roldan, Ruben Lane, Jonathan Giraldo, Junior Alvarez and Justin Abreu, have been charged with selling or delivering cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school and sale of a controlled substance.
Miami-Dade police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “One of the vehicles pulled up in the parking lot and several individuals were seen talking to each other and at one point they opened their trunks and started moving duffel bags. The duffel bags they had in their possession were full of marijuana, mushrooms and other drug paraphernalia. We put the picture up on social media because it’s important for the public to now there are narcotics transactions that are involved, and tips do help us fight crime.”
Zabaleta added, “These drugs could have ended up all over the streets of Miami-Dade County and perhaps into the hands of children. This happened within 1,000 feet of a school, which once again enforces and emphasizes the message that we want to get across that anytime drugs are in the community they reach the hands of children. And that’s why we try to avoid any of that activity because we take this very seriously and our job is to protect our children. Anytime you have drugs, drugs and guns go hand in hand. So, whenever you have a drug transaction toy have the possibility of guns being present.”
Zabaleta then thanked the community for stepping up with a tip.
“You see how effective it is when the community works together with the police department and all it took was one tip for someone to say something. Obviously, someone was concerned for the community and wanted to do the right thing,” he said.
Lorenzo Walker, a maintenance man at the building where the bust happened, said he witnessed what happened.
“I saw about 10 undercover cars and two marked cars. I saw all of the bags on the front of the vehicle. That was an absurd what was going on in this neighborhood and this parking lot. It is unheard of.”
Some neighbors and parents of students at the charter school said they applauded the arrests.
One unidentified parent said, “This school is awesome and I am glad police did what they did in making these arrests.”