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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary


Press Release
April 7, 2009
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Multi-Agency Task Force Targets Violent Offenders, Yielding Impressive Public Safety Impact

CENTRAL FLORIDA – Law enforcement agencies from Volusia, Seminole and Orange Counties, including state and county probation officers, recently spent several nights visiting the homes of more than 1,600 violent felony offenders. A total of 76 arrests were made for offenders who had violated their probation, had active warrants or committed other offenses discovered during the contacts were placed into custody. In addition to the arrests the operation resulted in the seizure of weapons, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and pornographic images from sex offenders.

“The work accomplished by this Task Force over the last year cannot be overemphasized, nor can we estimate the number of potential victims and crimes avoided. They’ve removed dozens of violent felons from our streets who chose to continue their criminal enterprises, and are now paying the price,” said Governor Crist.

This was the fifth in a continuing series of grant-funded operations focused on reducing violent crime in the community.

This final sweep was conducted during the evenings of February 25-26, 2009 and resulted in the seizure of:  nine firearms; 145 grams of cocaine; pornographic images; nearly a pound of marijuana; a large quantity of assorted drug paraphernalia; and various prescription narcotics.  As occurred in the previous Coalition efforts, Computer Forensic Examiners assisted in the sweep.  There were 11 computer forensic searches completed.  Of those, adult pornographic images were discovered on one computer and child pornographic images were discovered on another.  In both of these instances, the offenders were registered sex offenders and were ultimately arrested. 

This operation, like previous operations, involved teams of law enforcement and probation officers, and 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. 

Previous Operations Conducted

Five operations were conducted over the life of the grant, which began in January of 2008 and ended in March of 2009.  The following items were seized over the course of the operations:

  • 30 firearms (including 3 AK-47’s)
  • 20 knives and other weapons
  • various types of ammunition
  • $5,620 in cash
  • 198.6 grams of cocaine
  • 250 Ecstasy pills
  • one methamphetamine lab
  • 19 grams of methamphetamine
  • over 6 pounds of marijuana
  • hundreds of prescription medicine pills including Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and Propoxyphene and Methadone
  • one recovered stolen vehicle
  • seizure of 31pornographic videos and 464 pornographic images.

The number of potential crimes and victims averted because of these law enforcement team visits is as significant as the number of weapons, drugs and pornography that were confiscated from these violent offenders.  During this year-long operation, home sweeps were made on more than 4,117 violent offenders.  As expected, most of those contacted at home were in compliance with their probation requirements.  Those who were not were placed under arrest and escorted to their local jails. These operations resulted in a total of 315 arrests.

This multi-county, multi-agency crime prevention initiative was financed through a $740,000 Department of Justice grant that was secured by Seminole County Sheriff Donald F. Eslinger.  Successful operations were achieved through strong support from partnerships with Orange County Sheriff Jerry Deming, 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.

 “As a former Police Chief, I understand the importance of working cooperatively with other agencies and the valuable nature of shared expertise and resources. This multi-agency task force is a prime example of what can be accomplished when agencies work together for a common purpose -- ensuring public safety, and ridding the streets of violent offenders who continue to break the law,” said Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil.

 Although the grant has ended; participating agencies have developed formal partnerships and will continue multi-county initiatives aimed at the common goal of public safety. 

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
Windermere 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

USSS ELECTRONIC CRIMES TASK FORCE (ECTF)

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
Orlando Police Department
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
University of Central Florida Police Department
United States Secret Service
Florida Department of Law Enforcement

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

Photo from Orange County Operation resulting in seizure of cocaine, cash, firearms, and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
Photo from Orange County Operation resulting in
seizure of cocaine, cash, firearms, and
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).