the north face etip heroin deal went down in the St
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Court documents reveal some of the men arrested in an operation targeting drug traffickers, known as “Operation Cash Flow,” were involved in a heroin deal that allegedly happened in the parking lot of the Dillard’s in the St. Johns Town Center.
The arrest affidavit for Johndre Richo outlines his alleged participation in a heroin trafficking operation with Nathan Hudson, Bobby Brown and Emarrie Jackson, Jr.
According to the affidavit, a heroin exchange on September 1 was originally planned for a Cracker Barrel, but ultimately happened in the department store parking lot.
“Knowing that this stuff is going on in the midst of that and shopping around it, it’s concerning,” Natasha Martin, who both shops and works in the Town Center, said. “Knowing it’s a couple parking lots away. I could be there, I was by Dillard’s last night, that’s kind of crazy.”
But retired JSO narcotics officer Kim Varner was not surprised at all.
“I guarantee you there are drugs deal done, probably, in shopping centers in this city, if not the Town Center then shopping centers in this city, every day probably two or three times a day,” Varner, who spent time working undercover, said.
In fact, Varner said dealers often choose public places intentionally. He added that all the details are often worked out ahead of time, so the deal itself doesn’t typically last long.
“A lot of times when you’re doing drug deals you don’t know the person who you’re dealing with so you’re kind of skeptical about doing it behind closed doors,” Varner said. “So you’ll try to find a wide open location to do the deal.”
While drug deals are inherently dangerous, Varner said shoppers aren’t particular at risk.
“Guns and drugs go together like peas and carrots,” he said. “So the possibility is always there when you’re dealing with drugs, but usually deals are done in wide open areas like that to keep the danger level down.”