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Friday, May 24, 2024

10 people charged with drug-related offenses in Gainesville apartment

Ten people were arrested Friday and charged with drug-related offenses, including sale and possession of cocaine, in a Gainesville Housing Authority apartment.

Viola Williams, 20, was arrested for maintaining a drug dwelling - where police said cocaine was sold - after police searched her apartment at 1110 NW Fifth Ave., said Summer Hallett, a Gainesville Police Department officer.

Hallett said police had been watching the house and making related arrests on Fifth Avenue before obtaining a search warrant for Williams' apartment.

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Williams was not inside when police came to serve her warrant on Friday, however, and GPD's SWAT team forced entry.

Once inside, police found eight people in possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia and one with a Percocet pill that was not prescribed to him, Hallett said.

Police also found four infants inside.

"The children were all in proximity of loose prescription drugs," Hallet said. "Even the smallest amount has a huge potential to kill them."

Two suspects were charged with child neglect, and Williams with child abuse, for leaving their children in the house while drugs were being bought and consumed.

One suspect, Eugene Knight, 18, fled from SWAT officers and was seen eating crack in a panicked effort to hide evidence, Hallet said.

Knight was then taken to Shands at AGH's emergency room, where his stomach was pumped and pieces of cocaine were found, Hallet said.

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Hallet said the suspects burdened taxpayers who helped pay the rent for their public housing.

"It's the taxpayers who are picking up the other part of this bill so they can set up a drug franchise," she said.

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