PANAMA CITY BEACH — An investigation into a "poly drug trafficking gang who referred to themselves as the White Boys" that was further fueled by a Beach homicide in 2017 has culminated almost two years later after more than 60 arrests and the seizure of numerous guns, more than $80,000 and a "cache" of various drugs, Beach police announced Monday.
In a news release Monday, the Panama City Beach Police Department said while the investigation into the "White Boys" began in August, 2017, it gained serious momentum in December, 2017, when Peyton Meyers, 18, was shot and killed by "members and associates of this gang" during an armed robbery home invasion/robbery at the 79 West apartment complex.
The homicide investigation resulted in investigators, who ultimately would represent 11 different agencies, learning "the inner workings of the White Boys' distribution network, according to the release.
And while the main hammer of the investigation fell last week with investigators serving four search warrants and making 26 arrests, police said more arrests are expected and some of those with active warrants have not yet been located.
As of now, the release said, the investigation that involved 11 agencies has resulted in:
The seizure of two dozen firearms, including one with a silencer.
62 arrests with more warrants outstanding.
The seizure of more than $81,000.
The seizure of 2.7 pounds of fentanyl, 68 pounds of cocaine, 10 ounces of methamphetamine, more than 150 pounds of "marijuana and marijuana products," 269 opioid pills, thousands of vials of THC oil and six vehicles.
The news release said as the investigation began in 2017, police learned the gang "was responsible for a multitude of violent crimes and property crimes in and around Bay County. Law enforcement was also able to link this gang to the distribution of guns and drugs to local high school students. In December of 2017, members and associates of this gang committed an armed home invasion robbery that resulted in the homicide of Peyton Meyers, 18, at the 79 West apartment complex. It was through the investigation of this homicide that law enforcement was able to learn the inner workings of the White Boys' distribution network."
According to court records and previous News Herald stories, police in 2017 said Brandon Maurice Turntime, Meyers and Taylor West were involved in the shooting that erupted from an attempted drug ripoff. Police said West went to an apartment and bought marijuana from Holly Buchanan and then reported back to Turntime and Meyers who were waiting in a vehicle outside.
Turntime and Meyers, armed with pistol and a shotgun, then returned to the apartment, knocked on the door and forced their way in to rob Buchanan. But Buchanan attacked Meyers, police said, to get her property back and it appeared Meyers was about to shoot her when another occupant of the apartment, Jared Gay, shot Meyers three times. Police said Meyers died there and Turntime fled to West in the waiting vehicle but they were captured nearby. Gay was not charged as he was acting in defense, prosecutors said.
Last year, Turntime pled no contest to second-degree murder and home invasion robbery with a firearm and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. In January, West pled no contest to being a principal to home invasion robbery and was sentenced to four years in prison.
The ensuing investigation revealed, according to the news release, that "several of the sources of supply were moving thousands of pressed fentanyl pills, multiple kilos of cocaine and hundreds of pounds of marijuana" that "generated over $2 million of proceeds per year which trickled down to members and affiliates of the White Boys network."
In addition to Beach police, agencies involved in the investigation included the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the 14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, the Panama City Police Department, the Lynn Haven Police Department, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, Homeland Security, Customs and border Protection, the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office and the U.S. Marshall's Office.