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80 people held in 3-agency sweep

Operation Summer Heat is sizzling.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, 80 people had been arrested and taken to the Orient Road Jail in the ramped up two-day enforcement in North Tampa, Temple Terrace and the university area. Three Hillsborough County law enforcement agencies kicked off the sweep Friday morning and expected it to go well past midnight Saturday.

Sixty sheriff's deputies, Tampa police officers and Temple Terrace police officers collaborated in hopes of serving about 30 warrants, said Lt. Scott Wellinger of the Sheriff's Office. The program also included heavier patrols.

"Usually, warrant service returns about 15 to 20 percent (arrests)," he said. "But the arrests are coming in pretty steadily out here this weekend."

Officers confiscated street drugs such as ecstasy, crack cocaine and marijuana, as well as two guns, one that was stolen.

But Friday, Wellinger was most proud of officers apprehending 42-year-old Lawrence Riles, who was charged with stabbing another man in the chest.

Wellinger said such operations reduce the crime rate.

Once the suspects are arrested, they are taken to a staging area and questioned, Wellinger said.

"We get to interview them to see if they have any information about other crimes or any names of people involved in crimes they know of so we can make more arrests," he said.

80 people held in 3-agency sweep 06/27/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 27, 2009 11:37pm]
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