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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Press Release
December 16, 2008
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Multi-Agency Task Force Targets Violent Offenders Throughout 2008, Resulting in 246 Arrests

TALLAHASSEE – Over the last year, law enforcement agencies from Volusia, Seminole and Orange Counties, including state and county probation officers, spent several days every quarter visiting the homes of over 5,000 violent felony offenders. These contacts resulted in the arrests of 246 violent felons who had violated their probation and the seizure of a methamphetamine lab, weapons, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and pornographic images from sex offenders. The fourth in this continuing series of grant-funded operations was conducted December 10-11, 2008, and all were focused on reducing violent crimes in the community.

In addition to the agencies already involved in the task force the U. S. Secret Service (Electronic Crimes Task Force), the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement participated in specialized enforcement activities for the November and December operations.

“During 2008, this task force seized a meth lab and a number of other drugs, 24 firearms from convicted felons and a number of pornographic images and videos from sex offenders, resulting in the arrests of 246 offenders. Law enforcement and probation officers participating in this initiative can be proud of their contributions to this multi-agency task force and we look forward to continuing to work closely with these agencies to keep violent offenders off the streets,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil.

The operations, conducted in February, May, September, November and December, resulted in the seizure of: 24 firearms (including 3 AK-47’s), 12 knives and other weapons, along with various types of ammunition; $1,400 in cash; 53.6 grams of cocaine, 125 ecstasy pills, and one methamphetamine lab and 19 grams of methamphetamine; almost six pounds of marijuana; hundreds of prescription medicine pills including Oxycotin, Hyrocodone and Propoxyphene and Methadone, one recovered stolen vehicle and the seizure of 30 pornographic videos and 82 pornographic images.

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 violent offenders. Home visits included coalition teams making contact with each offender, conducting a status check and a walk-through of the offenders’ residences. Slightly more than half (3,308) of the 5,060 offenders targeted were home during the sweeps, as expected, and most of those contacted at home were in compliance with their probation requirements. Those who were not were escorted to their local jails.

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.

Additional arrests and recovered items are expected over the next few days, pending further investigation and warrants.

Participating Agencies:

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Daytona Beach Police Department
Daytona Beach Shores, Public Safety
South Daytona Beach Police Department
Ormond Beach Police Department
Port Orange Police Department
Deland Police Department
New Smyrna Beach Police Department
Holly Hill Police Department
Volusia County Sheriff's Office

ORANGE COUNTY

Edgewood Police Department
Winter Garden Police Department
Maitland Police Department
Oakland Police Department
Winter Park Police Department
Ocoee Police Department
Windermere Police Department
University of Central Florida Police Department
Apopka Police Department
Eatonville Police Department
Orlando Police Department
Orange County Sheriff's Office
Windemere Police Department

SEMINOLE COUNTY

Altamonte Springs Police Department
Lake Mary Police Department
Oviedo Police Department
Winter Springs Police Department
Casselberry Police Department
Longwood Police Department
Sanford Police Department
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Seminole County Department of Community Service

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

7th Circuit Community Corrections – Volusia County
9th Circuit Community Corrections – Orange County
18th Circuit Community Corrections – Seminole County

Reporters interested in additional details may call Department of Corrections Public Affairs Director Gretl Plessinger at (850) 778-6758.