SOUTH MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – A big bust in South Miami-Dade County late on the night of December 8, 2010, turned up a surprising cache of military style arms, even ones that might have been used in Iraq, plus bags full of drugs and cash
It all happened after deputies received an anonymous tip through a new program that is being seen as a big success after just a few years up and running.
CBS4 I-Team investigator has been looking into this program for weeks and has more on the overnight bust.
It looked like a small scale military operation.
Only the AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles along with Sig Sauer and Ruger pistols seized came out of South Miami-Dade home.
“The AK-47 is a high caliber rifle,” said Lt. Hector Llevat who oversaw the bust out of Miami-Dade County Police’s South District office. “It (the AK-47) is built to inflict a lot of damage. It’s used for military combat operations.”
All of it: the cache of guns, 757 rounds of ammunition including high capacity automatic and semi-automatic magazines, the heavy-duty military style ballistic high velocity bullet proof vest, the masks, the piles of cash, the garbage bags full of marijuana, all of it, was seized by deputies at a home on SW 125 Avenue after an anonymous tip.
The tip was phoned into the Miami-Dade County’s Crime Stoppers’ Gun Bounty Program.
“It’s a very significant seizure for us. It’s a success of the gun bounty program. And it shows that the program works,” said Lt. Llevat.
A little more than three years old, the Gun Bounty Program has become a highly successful endeavor where anonymous tipsters can phone in information about illegal guns on the street. For each successful tip a person can get up to one thousand dollars for each weapon and each person busted.
So far statistics obtained by the CBS4 I-Team show that in about three and a half years more than 500 illegal guns like these have been taken off Miami-Dade County streets exclusively because of Gun Bounty.
“At this point we don’t know what the intentions were (of the suspect with all the guns),” said Lt Llevat. But obviously there was enough firepower here to inflict a lot of damage.”
Deputies arrested the home owner, 36 year-old Herbert Deaon Daniels, whose date of birth is listed as April 26,1974.
Daniels was charged with twelve different criminal counts including six counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of 757 rounds of ammunition by a convicted felon, three counts of possession of drugs including marijuana and other controlled substances and two stolen firearms.
“A tragedy could have been avoided here,” said Lt. Llevat. “We don’t know whose hands eventually these weapons would have ended up in.”
Records show that Miami-Dade police officers also arrested a second person, Michael Kaya St. Clair, who had been staying on the property, charging him with one count of drug possession. But St. Clair was not charged in connection with the large cache of guns and ammunition seizure.