With the holiday season upon us, it looks like the Florida police were doing some end of the year housekeeping. Operation “Felon Sweep” was a three-week operation by the Florida Sheriffs Task Force that resulted in the arrest of 11,875 felons throughout the state of Florida. The purpose of the successful operation was to target those violent felons believed to be residing in the state with an outstanding warrant. In addition to focusing on violent felons in general, the sweep specifically hoped to find as many sexual offenders and predators as possible.
The task force behind Operation Felon Sweep was comprised of 43 sheriffs’ offices working in conjunction with each other. In addition to locating felons with outstanding warrants, the sweep also hoped the combined efforts among offices would serve to enhance law enforcement presence in certain high crime areas, provide additional patrols and resources to combat violent crime and locate contraband many of the felons were suspected of having with them.
Although the actual felony charges that the individuals targeted in the sweep varied, the presence of an outstanding warrant gave the police, in these instances, the authority to immediately arrest the individuals and take him or her in for further questioning.
The arrest is only the beginning. “Once we arrest these individuals, we bring them back here to be interviewed, we’ve solved homicides in the past and other crimes by talking to them. They’re on the streets, they know what’s going on and sometimes they can provide information that is extremely helpful to us.” News 10 quotes, Col. Donna Lusczynski from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office.
Felonies are considered the most serious type of crime an individual commit. Some examples of a felony include: murder, rape, kidnapping and sexual abuse. Not all felonies are violent in nature and white collar crimes involving large sums of money can also fall into the felony category. With the serious nature of a felony, many of the individuals picked up in Operation Felon Sweep, if convicted, could face substantial jail time as well as heavy fines, a lengthy probation and other punishments.
Just because the men and women of this sweep were wanted on an outstanding warrant (which will certainly be used against them) and now arrested, does not mean that their chance to fight the charges against them is over. At this point in the process, the individuals arrested will face legal repercussions relating to the warrant but they remain innocent until proven guilty for the crimes listed on the warrant. Because many of the men and women apprehended in the sweep are repeat offenders, they would also face legal consequences for violating any terms of a previous probation.
If you are being charged with a felony offense, it is in your best interest to speak with a reputable Florida criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel P.A. can evaluate your case and inform you of your options. Get in touch with us today.