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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
September 11, 2012
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Corrections and Law Enforcement Strike Team Targets Gang and Violent Offenders: 28 Arrests and the Seizure of 8 Weapons

FLORIDA – A strike team of law enforcement agencies in nine Florida counties made surprise face-to-face contact with hundreds of probationers including gang members and violent felons during the month of August. As a result, 27 offenders were arrested and eight weapons were taken off the streets.

The strike team of probation officers, deputies and local police officers are part of the Community Justice Coalition (CJC), which began as a three-county initiative in 2007 and has conducted 14 such sweeps since. This recent operation resulted in several arrests, weapon/firearm and drug seizures and drug manufacturing laboratory discoveries. Law enforcement agencies from Brevard, Lake, Marion, Martin, Orange, Osceola, Polk, St. Lucie, and Seminole were involved in this latest operation.

The teams of probation and law enforcement officers scheduled contacts with over 420 offenders. They arrested 28 for violations of supervision or new law violations. These teams worked efficiently to remove firearms, weapons, drugs and drug paraphernalia from our communities.

The strike team targeted probationers, including gang members,  with a history of robbery, sexual battery, drug trafficking, aggravated battery and homicide. They visited the homes of these violent felons and conducted walk throughs 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.

“These searches are an important way for our Department’s Probation staff to partner with local law enforcement and help keep illegal weapons and drugs off the streets,” said Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker. “These offenders know they are supposed to follow the rules, and when they don’t they will get caught. For those who are following the rules, they should not worry.” 

In Brevard County, one team discovered an offender had been severely burned while cooking methamphetamine and had refused to go to the hospital. They found evidence of a recent fire and the scorching of a utility room. There were chemicals there and a place in the yard where narcotics agents determined was the location that the offender had made the methamphetamines in a method called the “POP bottle” method.   

Overall, 12 were arrested with a Violation of Probation Felony, two with a New Law Felony, and 15 with a Violation of Probation Misdemeanor. This operation resulted in the seizure of eight weapons, assorted types of narcotics (68gm marijuana, 23 various types of prescription medications), and 20 types of assorted drug paraphernalia items.

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

Brevard County:  Public Information Officer (PIO) Contact Major Vic DeSantis (321) 636-4665,
18 offender contacts
7 law enforcement teams involved
4 offender arrests
Contraband seized:  4 weapons, 18 grams marijuana, 16 prescription meds


Lake County: PIO Sgt. Jim Vachon (352) 343-9741, (352) 267-3038,; or John Herrell (352) 343-9741, (352) 267-0410,
29 offender contacts
1 law enforcement teams involved
1 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 1 firearm 

Marion County: PIO Judge Cochran (352) 732-8181, (352) 843-4205,
16 offender contacts
1 law enforcement teams involved
3 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 3 weapons, 19 grams marijuana, 8 drug paraphernalia items

Martin County: PIO Rhonda Irons (772) 320-4736, (772) 260-5589,
8 offender contacts
1 law enforcement team involved
1 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 11 grams marijuana, 2 prescription drugs, 5 drug paraphernalia items

Orange County: PIO Captain Angelo Nieves, (407) 254-7346, (407) 448-6148,
1 law enforcement team involved

Osceola County: PIO Twis Lizasuain (407) 348-1141, (407) 709-9135,
57 offender contacts
1 law enforcement teams involved

Polk County: PIO Carrie Eleazer (863) 298-6217, (863) 287-7440,
42 offender contacts
1 law enforcement teams involved

St. Lucie County: PIO Mark Weinberg (772) 462-3308, (772) 201-0264,
13 offender contacts
2 law enforcement teams involved
2 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 3 drug paraphernalia items

Seminole County: PIO Lt. James Clark (407) 665-6986, (407) 402-0869,; Kim Cannaday (407) 665-6978, (407) 402-3319,
77 offender contacts
6 law enforcement teams involved
15 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 19gram marijuana, 3 drug paraphernalia items

Participating Agencies:

Brevard County
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Game Over Task Force to include officers from:
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
Cocoa Police Department
Melbourne Police Department
Palm Bay Police Department
Rockledge Police Department
Titusville Police Department

Lake County
Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County
Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Martin County
Martin County Sheriff’s Office

Orange County
Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Osceola County
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office

Polk County
Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Seminole County
Casselberry Police Department
Lake Mary Police Department
Longwood Police Department
Oviedo Police Department
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Seminole County Probation

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

Department of Corrections
5th Circuit Community Corrections – Lake County, Marion County
9th Circuit Community Corrections – Orange County, Osceola County
10th Circuit Community Corrections – Polk County
18th Circuit Community Corrections – Brevard County, Seminole County
19th Circuit Community Corrections – Martin County, St. Lucie County

Paraphernalia from old Meth Lab

As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 150,000 offenders in the community.

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