FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Law enforcement officers in Broward County conducted a major operation Wednesday night checking on violent offenders to make sure they are obeying the law and the rules of their release from prison.
CBS 4′s cameras were allowed to go along for the ride with the Florida Department of Corrections, the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Gun and Gang Squads and other members of a multi-agency task force.
At a home in Pompano Beach, officers arrested two brothers who are convicted felons for possessing hollow tip bullets. Neither of the men — identified by BSO as Titus Blackmon and Jonathon Hardwick — would say where the bullets came from.
Correctional Probation Senior Supervisor Deborah Miller said offenders on probation have strict rules to follow.
“No one on supervision is allowed to have a weapon,” Miller explained. “No one supervision can have any illegal narcotics and if they are a convicted offender they can’t have the ammo.”
As of late Wednesday evening, agents had made 7 arrests, including one for possession of several guns.
Broward Sheriff’s Sergeant Ted Taranu says the goal of the operation is to make the community safer.
“If you take the tools out of the hands of the criminal that could lead to gun violence or any other type of violence, it makes the streets safer,” Taranu explained.
The sweep began in a conference room Wednesday afternoon as law enforcement officers familiarized themselves with the offenders in the crosshairs.
“We’re going to be hitting gang members, weapons offenders and violent offenders,” said Miller. “Tonight we are looking for any item of contraband which would be anything contrary to what their conditions of probation are.”
At an apartment complex in Pompano Beach, Miller said agents found a crack pipe with cocaine residue on it in the home of a man on probation for selling drugs, burglary and trafficking in stolen property.
The man — Ensign Greene — told CBS 4 that the pipe did not belong to him. But he was soon handcuffed and placed in the back of a paddy wagon.
Miller says it’s part of a proactive plan to stop crime before it happens.
“That’s why we do these operations with local law enforcement to let the community now we are working together and we are hoping to stop crime from occurring,” she said.
Those arrested in the sweep will spend the night in jail. They will stand before a judge Thursday morning and they could be locked up for a while, if they are found to have violated their probation.