September 23, 2008
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Law enforcement agencies from Volusia, Seminole and Orange Counties, including state and county probation officers, have spent several nights visiting the homes of more than two thousand violent felony offenders, resulting in the arrests of 59 offenders who had violated their probation or committed other offenses discovered during the contacts, resulting in the seizure of weapons, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and pornographic images from sex offenders. This was the third in a continuing series of grant-funded operations focused on reducing violent crimes in the community.
“The citizens of Volusia, Seminole and Orange Counties are safer tonight as the result of this cooperative effort between our Department’s probation officers and law enforcement agencies in these counties,” said Governor Charlie Crist. “This operation reinforces to violent offenders that law enforcement is monitoring them, and if they’re not in compliance with their probation requirements or are breaking the law, they will suffer the consequences.”
The operation was conducted during the evenings of September 5th and 6th for Seminole and Volusia Counties and September 19th and 20th for Orange County. The operation resulted in the seizure of: 5 firearms (including 3 AK-47 assault rifles) along with various types of ammunition; 20 grams of cocaine; 27 bongs , several pornographic images and films; more than half a pound of marijuana; a large quantity of assorted drug paraphernalia; 44 tablets of Hydrocodone and other assorted prescription narcotics.
Teams of law enforcement and probation officers targeted offenders on probation for violent crimes including homicide, drug trafficking, aggravated battery, carjacking, gang-related violence as well as registered sexual offenders. Home visits by law enforcement officers included making contact with each offender, conducting a status check and a walk-through of the offenders’ residences. Slightly less than half ( 866 ) of the 2,121 offenders targeted were home during the sweep, as expected, and most ( 814 ) of those contacted at home were in compliance with their probation requirements. The 52 assigned offenders who were not in compliance were escorted to their local jails. The additional 7 offenders arrested during the operation were individuals contacted during the sweeps who were not under supervision but were in the presence of the targeted probationers and had chosen to violate the law.
“This task force serves two important functions: to get dangerous weapons, offenders and drugs off the streets and to remind felony offenders that not only are the eyes and ears of our probation officers on them, but so are those of this multi-agency task force,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil.
This continuing operation is being financed through a $740,000 Department of Justice grant that established the Central Florida Community Justice Coalition. Seminole County Sheriff Donald F. Eslinger took the lead in securing the grant, in partnership with Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson, the Florida Department of Corrections, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, police departments throughout the tri-county area and county probation agencies. The grant money pays officer salaries for this initiative and several other operations focused on reducing violent crime.
399 assigned offender contacts
25 law enforcement teams involved
29 offender arrests (25 assigned offenders, 4 non-assigned offenders)
Contraband seized: 3 firearms (including 2 AK-47 assault rifles) with ammunition , 142 grams of Marijuana, 44 tablets of Hydrocodone, 25 grams of Ecstasy, 10 grams of crack cocaine and 1 Lorazapan pill.
137 assigned offender contacts
12 law enforcement teams involved
19 offender arrests (16 assigned offenders, 3 Warrants, non-assigned)
Contraband seized: 1 firearm with ammunition, 23 grams of Marijuana and 10 grams of crack cocaine , 1 razor blade, 4 drug scales and one pipe and 2 tablets of Darvocet.
330 assigned offender contacts
16 law enforcement teams involved
11 offender arrests (Additionally, 5 Notices to Appear were issued)
Contraband seized: 1 firearm (AK-47 assault rifle) , 1 pellet gun, multiple boxes of bullets and ammunition, 22 grams of Marijuana, 25 tablets of Propoxyphene, 1 pill of assorted prescription narcotics, 27 Bongs, brass knuckles , machete, Samurai sword and a vehicle.
Additional arrests and recovered items are expected over the next few days, pending further investigation and warrants.
Department of Corrections