published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Felon Sweep nets 143 arrests
SEBRING -- The Highlands County Sheriff's Office recently participated in the statewide Florida Sheriff's Task Force Operation Felon Sweep." The focus was on removing violent felons and felons with outstanding warrants off the streets.
Highlands County was one of 43 sheriff's offices that participated in the operation, which resulted in 11,857 felons being arrested statewide.
Operation Felon Sweep consisted of three phases. The first was from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6; the next was Oct. 7-14 and the final phase was Oct. 15-22.
During the operation, the HCSO focused on prescription drug abuse and obtaining prescriptions by fraud. There were 143 felons arrested in Highlands County during the three phases and 30 of those arrests involved charges surrounding prescription drug abuse and fraud.
Additionally, special attention was paid to the registered sexual offenders and predators.
"As Sheriff in Highlands County and President of the Florida Sheriff's Association, I am proud of the efforts of the men and women who work so perilously to protect our citizens," Sheriff Susan Benton said in a press release.
"This recent operational effort shows that locally we must keep the focus on the persons and the crimes that impact our community the most but also display the collective capabilities statewide of the Florida Sheriff's and our ability to work together for the benefit of the entire State of Florida."
According to the 2011 Medical Examiners Report, of the 172,000 deaths in Florida, 9,135 were drug related deaths. The four most frequently occurring drugs found in decedents were alcohol, alprazolam, oxycodone and cocaine. Of the drugs that actually caused the most deaths, alprazolam and oxycodone were most prevalent.
For the 143 people arrested on felonies, total number of charges placed were 80 felony offenses, 188 felony warrants and 54 accompanying misdemeanor charges.
Arrests were also made for aggravated battery, homicide, child abuse, firearm related crimes and felony battery.
A total of 168 sexual offenders and predators were checked during the three phases, and three were arrested for violations
There were also 81 people arrested for 138 misdemeanor offenses and 70 arrested on 96 misdemeanor warrants.
Addicts (by: Dr. Charlie Nelson, DMIN, CAP, CMHP, ICADC - 10/30/2012)
I am grateful for the Sheriff's Office and their efforts toward public safety. These folks are good. I am also grateful that those spending time in the HC Jail will have treatment available for addiction and mental health problems. Treatment is much cheaper for us taxpayers than jail or prison. So many have been caught in the grips of addiction, including many of our promising young people who are throwing away their lives. Adding treatment to our criminal justice system helps any of those willing to make the changes in their lives necessary to get back on track.
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