9-month operation nets 10 arrests in Fellsmere drug house bust

FELLSMERE – For the last nine months, the Fellsmere Police Department has been working with multiple law enforcement agencies to shut down a drug house on W. Grant Avenue.

On Friday, that operation came to an end with the arrests for 10 people and the seizure of three firearms and “trafficking” amounts of cocaine and other drugs, Fellsmere Police Chief Scott Melanson said.

“We were hoping to shut it down,” the police chief said of the house on W. Grant Avenue, not far from Grant Park and HeadStart.

Chief Melanson said that his department had been aware of the problem house for some time but did not have the manpower to adequately tackle it.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reached out to the department and offered its assistance.

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, its SWAT unit, the Florida Highway Patrol, the State Prosecutor’s Office and the local State Attorney’s Office were also involved in the 9-month operation.

At about 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 1, law enforcement officers received a search warrant for the home, and by 10:30 a.m., authorities descended on the property.

“It went pretty smooth,” Chief Melanson said of the take-down.

Inside the home, investigators found cocaine, crack, marijuana, ecstasy, Vicadin, oxycodone, roxycodone, Alprazolam, Metronidazole, Loritab, drug paraphernalia, three firearms and counterfeit money.

Authorities had not firmed up the total amount in weight of drugs that had been seized from the house, though Chief Melanson described it as “trafficking weight.”

“This particular house has been a problem for a long time,” the chief said.

Chief Melanson credited the Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT unit for the quick and incident-free raid on the house.

“They were very precise in their take-down,” the chief said, explaining that authorities had developed good intel.

Those arrested range in age from 18 to 49 and have bond amounts ranging from $500 to over $350,000.

The bond amount for all 10 arrestees totals $1.14 million.

“I can’t say enough about the Sheriff’s Office” and other agencies for their work on the operation, Chief Melanson said.

The police chief said that they believe they have arrested everyone involved in the drug house, though more charges against those arrested are expected.

“It’s probably one of the biggest cases,” Chief Melanson said that the department has worked within the city’s limits.

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