January 13, 2010
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Contact: Public Affairs Office
State Probation Officers play a vital role in making their communities safer by teaming up with local law enforcement year round on sweeps of offenders’ homes.
In 2009, state probation officers conducted 256 of those sweeps statewide and arrested 885 offenders who were violating the terms of their probation. During the sweeps at offenders’ homes, officers recovered an Uzi submachine gun and an AK47 assault rifle, numerous pistols, shotguns, rifles and knives; swords, nunchuks and ammunition; pounds of marijuana (some packaged for sale), pills including Oxycontin, Ecstasy, methamphetamine and Xanax; rock and powder cocaine, and half a gallon of GHB, a date rape drug.
“It’s impossible to know how many crimes were averted as a result of these sweeps by our probation officers and local law enforcement agencies statewide, but we are confident that our communities are safer because of them,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil.
Miscellaneous seizures included a homemade bomb, several sticks of dynamite, thousands of dollars in cash, drug pipes and bongs, stolen credit and social security cards, syringes, a credit-card making machine, electronic scales, and fraudulent checks.
Some of the more unusual seizures included $3000 in counterfeit Nike sneakers, two prohibited gopher turtles, several Whizzinators and synthetic urine. Pornographic photos, videos and magazines were also confiscated from sex offenders.
The sweeps in the Ft. Lauderdale area yielded the most arrests, with 262, followed by the Tampa area (144 arrests), and the Clearwater area (108 arrests). The Orlando area (circuit 9) had 77 arrests.
While state probation officers have redoubled their re-entry efforts to assist offenders who genuinely want to lead successful, law-abiding lives, they are also fulfilling their public safety mission by ridding the streets of offenders who have no intention of complying with the law, such as the 885 arrested during sweeps this year. There are currently more than 118,000 offenders on active probation in Florida.
Click here to view a breakdown of breakdown of weapons, drugs and miscellaneous items seized during the sweeps by judicial circuit/city.