Thursday, May 19, 2016 10:34 AM (Cocoa, FL)—Blatant open air drug deals at a local park may be a thing of the past. After a four-month long operation targeting illegal drug activity at Provost Park, 400 South Varr Avenue, the Special Investigations Unit arrested nearly 40 suspects for various drug related charges. The suspects are all trespassed from the park, meaning if they are seen in the area they can be arrested again. “The park has been an area where we have had ongoing problems with drug dealers,” Chief Mike Cantaloupe said. “There were people traveling from both ends of the county via public transportation to buy drugs at the park and there was no attempt to hide it. We had to get more aggressive in this area and hopefully this will restore the park to a safe place for families to enjoy again.”
Over the last four months undercover drug agents conducted surveillance of the park along with undercover operations in order to develop cases against the illegal drug dealers. All of the individuals arrested during the investigation are currently documented and photographed for further follow up from patrol officers who will be conducting ongoing proactive patrols in the area as a normal course of action. “The problems in this park are not going away overnight,” said Sgt. Jeremy Ondo who manages the Special Investigation Unit. “We believe we have made a significant impact in eliminating the illegal activity, but it’s going to take ongoing efforts to keep it that way.”
The city is working with Brevard County Parks and Recreation, which maintains the park, to revitalize the area and restore the park for families to enjoy. The public is encouraged to report any suspicious activity by calling the police department at 321-639-7620 (option 4) or by sending a text or photo with information.