SWAT raids suspected St. Pete drug house, arrest 4

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St. Petersburg police broke up a suspected crack house Wednesday and sent several alleged drug dealers to jail.

A SWAT team had to rip through a fortified steel door to get into the home. Investigators said they found 14 people inside, four of whom were eventually arrested.

As Chief Anthony Holloway spoke to reporters afterward, several neighbors applauded the arrests.

"Neighbors had been complaining about this being a crack house," Holloway said. "They've been giving us good information. And they don't want it in their neighborhood and we don't want it in our neighborhood and in our city."

Holloway said detectives for months had been watching Antonio Ford, who was initially dealing drugs out of a home on Crescent Lake Drive.

Police said, after bouncing between houses and a hotel, Ford ended up at a home on 5th Avenue North where he operated a crack house for about two months, even selling drugs to undercover detectives.

"They go to one location and we clear that one and they come to another one, so we're here to let them know wherever they go, we're going to be right behind them," Holloway told reporters.

Officers said after entered the house Wednesday, the suspects tried to destroy the drugs by putting them in a lock box and pouring muriatic acid into it.

Detectives said they found several types of drugs, including crack cocaine and prescription pills.

"It was a crack party, so we invited ourselves to the party. We didn't have an invitation, but we found one," Holloway said.

Ford, 32, is charged with operating a drug house, possession of cocaine, possession of Diazepam, possession of Hydromorphone. Patrick Green, 47, and Devonsha Tyson Jr., 19, are suspected of helping Ford run the operation and are facing the same charges. A fourth suspect, 36-year-old Kristen Beal, was arrested on an oustanding arrest warrant and charged additionally with giving police a fake name.