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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
October 23, 2009
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Nine-County Law Enforcement Sweep Targets Violent Offenders; Nets 158 Arrests, 23 Weapons

CENTRAL FLORIDA – A coalition of 76 law enforcement agencies including county probation officers, the Florida Departments of Corrections and Law Enforcement, the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation staged a nine-county sweep during the evening hours Thursday, October 22, 2009. They served outstanding warrants and make contact with violent felony offenders with a focus on known gang members and their associates.A total of 69 active warrants were served on offenders who had violated probation. In addition, 148 offenders were taken into custody for criminal violations discovered during the sweep and 10 non-probation offenders were also arrested, totaling 158 arrests for the operation. The operation resulted in the seizure of 23 weapons, 10 types of narcotics (0.2g heroin, 17.3oz cocaine, 0.1oz methamphetamine, almost six pounds of marijuana, 64.5 pills Xanax, two Oxycotin pills, 44 pills Oxycodone, a half gallon of GHB, 374 pills Ecstasy, five pills Percocet), 16 items of drug paraphernalia, pornography and $2,271 in cash.

“In just two years the scope of this coalition has grown from three to nine counties of law enforcement partners, which I think speaks volumes about the success of this collaboration. The bottom line is that this unprecedented partnership of 76 law enforcement agencies serves to make Floridians safer,” said Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil.

Law enforcement organizations from Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Seminole and Volusia counties were involved in this operation as part of the Community Justice Coalition (Coalition), which began in February 2008 with only three counties represented. The Coalition, which was the brainchild of Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger in partnership with Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson, as well as the Florida Department of Corrections, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and police departments throughout the tri-county area.  From the first sweep in February 2008, and over the next 15 months, there were five Coalition operations conducted resulting in compliance checks involving more than 4,400 unscheduled contacts with violent offenders, 341 arrests, and the seizure of 32 firearms, a vast amount of illegal narcotics and hundreds of pornographic images.

In October 2009, Sheriff Eslinger, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill McCollum to head Region 5 of his Gang Reduction Task Force, moved forward to reengineer the Coalition with a renewed emphasis on gang members and associates. This renewed focus supports the AG’s strategy to reduce gang membership and gang-related crime throughout Florida. Law enforcement representatives in each of the nine counties quickly recognized the public safety benefits of the Coalition’s sweeps and became active participants.

As a result of this operation, 12 gang members were in identified in Martin County, two gang-related violent misdemeanor arrests were made in St. Lucie County, and one gang “bible” and five gang notebooks were seized in Seminole County.

"This operation demonstrates Florida's cooperative commitment to stop gang-related criminal activity, and I applaud the seamless teamwork of the law enforcement organizations who participated in this operation," said Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has developed Florida's first Statewide Gang Reduction Strategy and supporting task forces.

On October 22, teams of law enforcement and probation officers made home visits to over 931 offenders on probation.  These team home visits included making contact with each offender and conducting a walk-through of the offenders’ residences. As anticipated, most contacts resulted in offenders being in place and abiding by the law; those who were not were taken into custody.

Details by county:

Brevard County: 

  • 170 offender contacts
  • 25 law enforcement teams involved
  • 49 offender arrests
  • 2 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:  3 firearms, 0.2g Heroin, 0.1oz cocaine, 9.3g cocaine, 0.1oz Methamphetamine, 307.5g marijuana, 58 pills xanax, 2 pills oxycotin, and $571

Indian River County:

  • 20 offender contacts
  • 3 law enforcement teams involved
  • 3 offender arrests
  • 1 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: .01g marijuana

Lake County:

  • 61 offender contacts
  • 8 law enforcement teams involved
  • 6 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 1 firearm, 20,000 rounds of ammunition

Martin County:

  • 31 offender contacts
  • 5 law enforcement teams involved
  • 10 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 1 firearm, 3 swords, small amount of cocaine and marijuana, $1500

Orange County:

  • 75 offender contacts
  • 12 law enforcement teams involved
  • 20 offender arrests
  • 2 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:   knives, bat, less than 20g marijuana, 1/2 gallon GHB, 2 pornographic videos

Osceola:

  • 156 offender contacts
  • 15 law enforcement teams involved
  • 18 offender arrests
  • 1 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:   16.9oz cocaine, 374 tablets Ecstasy, 40 Oxycodone, 16.8g marijuana, $200

St. Lucie County:

  • 197 offender contacts
  • 16 law enforcement teams involved
  • 27 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 2251g marijuana

Seminole County:

  • 104 offender contacts
  • 15 law enforcement teams involved
  • 10 offender arrests
  • 4 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:   1 gang “bible,” gang notebooks, 8 knives, 1 brass knuckle, 1 air soft gun, 2 magazines, 256g marijuana, 6.5 pills Xanax, 9 prescription bottles, 4 pills Oxycodone, 5 pills Percocet, 1 bong, 1 crack pipe, 7 syringes, 6 spoons

Volusia County:

  • 117 offender contacts
  • 10 law enforcement teams involved
  • 5 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: less than 20g marijuana

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

Participating Agencies:

Brevard County

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
Cocoa Police Department
Melbourne Police Department
Palm Bay Police Department
Titusville Police Department

Indian River County

Fellsmere Police Department
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
Indian River Shores Public Safety
Sebastian Police Department
Vero Beach Police Department

Lake County

Astatula Police Department
Clermont Police Department
Eustis Police Department
Fruitland Park Police Department
Groveland Police Department
Howey-In-The-Hills Police Department
Lady Lake Police Department
Lake County Sheriff Office
Leesburg Police Department
Mascotte Police Department
Mount Dora Police Department
Tavares Police Department
Umatilla Police Department

Martin County

Martin County Sheriff’s Office
Stuart Police Department

Orange County

Apopka Police Department
Belle Isle Police Department
Eatonville Police Department
Edgewood Police Department
Maitland Police Department
Oakland Police Department
Ocoee Police Department
Orlando Police Department
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
University of Central Florida Police Department
Windermere Police Department
Winter Park Police Department

Osceola County

Kissimmee Police Department
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office
St. Cloud Police Department

Seminole County

Altamonte Springs Police Department
Casselberry Police Department
Lake Mary Police Department
Longwood Police Department
Oviedo Police Department
Sanford Airport Police Department
Sanford Police Department
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
Winter Springs Police Department

St. Lucie County

Ft. Pierce Police Department
Port St. Lucie Police Department
St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office

Volusia County

City of Daytona Beach Shores
Daytona Beach Police Department
Deland Police Department
Edgewater Police Department
Holly Hill Police Department
Lake Helen Police Department
New Smyrna Police Department
Oak Hill Police Department
Orange City Police Department
Ormond Beach Police Department
Ponce Inlet Police Department
Port Orange Police Department
South Daytona Police Department
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Other Agencies

Federal Bureau of Investigation (Orlando Office)
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
United States Secret Service Orlando RA (Resident Agency)
Department of Juvenile Justice
Office of the State Attorney, 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida
Seminole County Probation Department

Department of Corrections

5th Circuit Community Corrections – Lake County
7th Circuit Community Corrections – Volusia County
9th Circuit Community Corrections – Orange County, Osceola County
18th Circuit Community Corrections – Brevard County, Seminole County
19th Circuit Community Corrections – Indian River County, Martin County, St. Lucie County

Reporters interested in additional details may call Department of Corrections Public Affairs Director Gretl Plessinger at (850) 488-0420.

Items Seized:

Seminole County: 2 magazines, 1 large water bong

2 gun magazines 

Orange County: 1 gallon GHB, 1 bat used in Aggravated Battery

1 gallon bottle of GHB   Bat used in Aggravated Battery

Lake County: 20,000 rounds of ammunition, rifle scopes, magazine/banana style clips for AK-47 seized from convicted felon’s residence

20,000 rounds of ammunition, rifle scopes, magazine/banana style clips for AK-47 seized from convicted felon’s residence   20,000 rounds of ammunition, rifle scopes, magazine/banana style clips for AK-47 seized from convicted felon’s residence

 

 



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