February 19, 2010
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
CENTRAL FLORIDA – A coalition of 56 law enforcement agencies in a nine- county area collaborated to make surprise face to face contact with numerous gang members and violent felons during the late evening hours Tuesday. Teams comprised of probation officers, deputies and local police officers visited the homes of known gang members and violent felons and conducted walk throughs of their residences to ensure that they are complying with their conditions of probation. At some of the locations a full search of the residence was conducted.
This sweep focused on known gang members on felony probation to look for evidence of continued gang activity or continued contact with gang associates. The coalition also contacted probationers who have a violent history, and conducted searches as well as curfew checks. Those found in violation of the terms of their probation were arrested and taken to jail, and a number of weapons and drugs were seized.
“It’s impossible to know how many crimes were prevented due to the efforts of this coalition in ridding our streets of drugs, guns, other weapons and a criminal element who refuses to abide by the law. What we do know is that Floridians are safer today because of the efforts of these agencies,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil. "Targeting gang members is a particularly effective way to send the message that we will continue to be proactive in our public safety mission."
The operation resulted in the seizure of 84 weapons, assorted types of narcotics (1.76oz cocaine, 67.5 oz marijuana, 235 pills Xanax, 37 Oxycontin pills, 128 pills Oxycodone, 32 pills of Soma), assorted drug paraphernalia, and $5,409 in cash.
Law enforcement knocked on the doors of more than 515 offenders and served outstanding warrants on 13 offenders who had violated the terms of their probation. In addition, 59 offenders were taken into custody for criminal violations discovered during the sweep, and 13 non-probation offenders were also arrested, totaling 72 arrests. Sex offenders were also arrested for curfew violations and possessing pornography.
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 and was expanded in 2009 to enhance the focus on gang members. The Coalition is spearheaded by Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger who unified the Florida Department of Corrections, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, United States Secret Service, United States Marshals and police departments throughout the nine-county area into the existing Coalition.
This was the 8th sweep conducted by this coalition since its inception and the first in 2010.
As a result of this operation, there were 13 gang-related arrests (6 Violent Felony and 7 Violent Misdemeanor).
Indian River County:
St. Lucie County:
Additional arrests and recovered items are expected over the next few days, pending further investigation and warrants.
Indian River County
St. Lucie County
Department of Corrections
Reporters interested in additional details may call Department of Corrections Public Affairs Director Gretl Plessinger at (850) 488-0420.
Seminole County: 1.01 oz cocaine, 8.18 oz marijuana, Pills: 4 Risperidone, 45 Oxycodone, 1 Darvocet, 2 Adderall, 6 Morphine, 178 Xanax, 31 Soma, 3 knives, Cash $4,141, 1 Rohm RG3 6 mm handgun, assorted drug paraphernalia
Marijuana, Crack and Drug Paraphernalia
3 Martial Art Knives
2 qualified members, 1 qualified associate, 1 previous gang member identified
Volusia County: 2 Firearms and 32.02 oz marijuana recovered
Brevard County: Rifles and handguns