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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Press Release
April 28, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Gretl Plessinger
Communications Director
(850) 488-0420

Nine-County Law Enforcement Strike Team Targets Gang and Violent Offenders: Nets 70 Criminal Charges, 67 Arrests and the Seizure of Five Weapons

CENTRAL FLORIDA – A strike team of 53 law enforcement agencies in nine Central Florida and Treasure Coast counties made surprise face-to-face contact with hundreds of probationers including gang members and violent felons during the late evening hours of Wednesday, April 27. As a result, 67 offenders were arrested and five weapons were taken off the streets.

In addition to gang members, the strike team targets probationers with a history of robbery, sexual battery, drug trafficking, aggravated battery and homicide. They visit the homes of violent felons and conduct walk through searches of their residences to ensure that they are complying with their conditions of probation. A full search of the residence is conducted, when necessary, and the computers of sex offenders are searched for pornography.

The strike team of probation officers, deputies and local police officers are part of the Region Five “Community Justice Coalition.”  The coalition began as a three-county initiative in 2007 and has conducted eleven such sweeps since, resulting in numerous arrests and the removal of weapons and drugs from the hands of convicted felons on probation. Law enforcement agencies from Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Seminole, and Volusia counties were involved in last night’s operation.

"The Department of Corrections is proud to be an integral part of this law enforcement alliance, whose goal is to rid our streets of weapons, drugs and felons on supervision who choose to continue to break the law," said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss. "This sweep targeted violent offenders and known gang members. There's no question that Floridians are safer today because of the work accomplished by this alliance last night."

This operation resulted in the seizure of 5 weapons, assorted types of narcotics (4.5 grams of Heroin, 1 oz of Crack Cocaine, 101.68 grams of Marijuana, 13 prescription medications, 25 Oxycontin pills) and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Law enforcement knocked on the doors of more than 648 offenders and served outstanding warrants on 22 offenders who had violated the terms of their probation. In addition, 62 probationary offenders were taken into custody for criminal violations discovered during the sweep, and 5 non-probation offenders were also arrested, totaling 67 physical arrests, totaling 70 criminal charges. 

As a result of this operation, there was one gang-related arrest. Additional arrests may occur over the next several days based on information gained during the sweep.

Reporters interested in additional details may call the media contact listed for the specific counties listed below:

Brevard: Public Information Officer (PIO) Contact: Lt. Woolsey (321) 636-4665

  • 32 offender contacts
  • 10 law enforcement teams involved
  • 11 offender arrests
  • 1 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:   4.5 grams of Heroin, 1 gram of Crack Cocaine, 5 grams of Marijuana, 25 Oxycontin pills

Indian River County: PIO Sgt. Thom Raulin (772) 978-6099, (772) 473-8157,

  • 48 offender contacts
  • 4 law enforcement teams involved
  • 3 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 27 grams of Marijuana

Lake County: PIO Sgt. Jim Vachon (352) 343-9741, (352) 267-3038,; or John Herrell (352) 343-9741, (352) 267-0410,

  • 136 offender contacts
  • 9 law enforcement teams involved
  • 6 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 40 grams of Marijuana, 2 other items recovered (2 scales)

Martin County: PIO Rhonda Irons (772) 320-4736, (772) 260-5589,

  • 16 offender contacts
  • 3 law enforcement teams involved
  • 1 offender arrests
  • 1 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 0.08 grams of Marijuana, 2 other items recovered (drug pipe and stolen tag)

Orange County: PIO Captain Angelo Nieves, (407) 254-7436, (407) 448-6148,

  • 99 offender contacts
  • 15 law enforcement teams involved
  • 7 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:   2 grams of Marijuana and 2 other items recovered

Osceola County:  PIO Twis Lizasuain (407) 348-1141, (407) 709-9135,

  • 119 offender contacts
  • 7 law enforcement teams involved
  • 9 offender arrests
  • 3 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:  3 grams of Marijuana, 13 prescription medications, 17 other items recovered (cross bow, needles, pipes and razor blade)

St. Lucie County: PIO Mark Weinberg (772) 462-3308, (772) 201-0264,

  • 37 offender contacts
  •  6 law enforcement teams involved
  • 4 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 3.1 grams of Marijuana, 10 other items recovered (paraphernalia and shotgun shells)

Seminole County: PIO Lt. James Clark (407) 665-6986, (407) 402-0869,; Kim Cannaday (407) 665-6978, (407) 402-3319,

  • 83 offender contacts
  • 12 law enforcement teams involved
  • 15 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized:   1.5 grams of Marijuana and 32 other items recovered (roaches and rounds of Independence Brand)

Volusia County: PIO Gary Davidson, (386) 736-5989, (386) 804-3973,

  • 78 offender contacts
  • 10 law enforcement teams involved
  • 6 offender arrests
  • 0 non-offender arrests
  • Contraband seized: 20 grams of 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
Oakland Police Department
Ocoee Police Department
Orlando Police Department
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
Winter Park Police Department

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

Seminole County
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
Winter Springs Police Department
Lake Mary Police Department
Sanford Police Department
Longwood Police Department
Altamonte Springs Police Department
Oviedo 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
New Smyrna Police Department
Port Orange Police Department
South Daytona Police Department
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Other Agencies
Seminole County Probation Department
Department of Corrections
(Media Contact – Department of Corrections Public Affairs Office at (850) 410-4244)

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

Items Seized
Ammunition, Marijuana & Drug Paraphernalia
Ammunition, Marijuana & Drug Paraphernalia
Drug Paraphernalia
Drug Paraphernalia
Gang Members Photos from Computer
Gang Members Photos from Computer
Bong recovered in Indian River County home
Bong recovered in Indian River County home
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