SAVANNAH, GA. (February 24, 2014): Eight men have been charged and a ninth is being sought after Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police raided two houses on West 39th Street Friday afternoon.

The operation coined “Operation SunGazer” was led by the Tactical Investigation Unit of the Central Precinct with help from the Metro SWAT Team, Central and Southside Precinct Crime Suppression Units and Central Patrol officers. It focused on two houses in the 800 and 900 blocks of West 39th Street and the subjects who were frequenting them.

It followed a seven-week investigation by the Central TIU officers following complaints and information provided by area residents. Detectives identified the suspects involved in the drug activity and had warrants for the arrest of several of the suspects in hand before Friday’s operation.

Police recovered various amounts of cocaine and marijuana along with two weapons and a large sum of money.

Arrested were Deandre Wiggins, 20, charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and tampering with evidence; Lawrence Williams, 56, charged with possession of a controlled substance; Eshon Maurice Grant, 21, charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, tampering with evidence, obstruction and possession of marijuana; Tony Oleando Houston, 38, possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence, obstruction and driving with a suspended license; Leonard Randy Washington, 34, sale of a controlled substance; Timothy Leonard Alexander, 23, possession of marijuana; Alex Alexander, 20, possession of marijuana; and Emanuel Lee Williams, 35, possession of a controlled substance, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, obstruction of an officer by fleeing and violation of parole.

Still being sought is Joshua Morgan McNear, 22.

Capt. DeVonn Adams, Central Precinct Commander, said the investigation that led to the operation followed concerns voiced by community residents to address rampant street-level drug activity.

“Street-level drugs are associated with everything from small property crimes to homicides,” he said. “A rise in criminal activity in this area caught our attention months ago and information from residents helped us focus on these two houses. It became obvious to us that these locations were being used as a base of significant activity that we had to eliminate.”

Anyone with information on illegal activities in the area or on McNear’s location is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637) using the keyword CSTOP2020. Tipsters to Crimestoppers remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.