Thursday, May 24, 2018
Public safety

Hernando Sheriff's Office arrest 400 fugitives in sweep

BROOKSVILLE — Detectives had their eye on David Spooner.

The 32-year-old was wanted on an outstanding warrant for drug possession and sales. Finally, at a hotel on U.S. 19, they pounced.

Searching Spooner's bags, they found oxycodone, methamphetamine, two loaded handguns, drug paraphernalia and nearly $10,000 in cash. At the Masaryktown apartment where he was staying, they found more methamphetamine, seven guns and a bulletproof vest.

The Oct. 12 arrest was one of nearly 400 made by the Hernando Sheriff's Office with help from the Brooksville Police Department during a three-week targeted effort to track down wanted felons.

Running between Sept. 28 and Oct. 22, the local campaign was part of a statewide effort dubbed Operation Felon Sweep and coordinated by the Florida Sheriff's Association.

"To try to get people off the street who might otherwise be victimizing innocent citizens," Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis told reporters on Thursday.

Analysts and detectives got to work tracking down people wanted on some outstanding warrants. They learned that about 75 percent of the roughly 130 wanted individuals were no longer in Hernando County, Nienhuis said.

One of the fugitives tracked down was 37-year-old Douglas Wilson, who was wanted for a murder charge in Detroit, Mich. Wilson was found at a house on Baldock Avenue in Spring Hill.

Of the felony arrests, 117 were for outstanding warrants and 106 were for probable cause.

Among the items seized:

• 10 firearms

• 122 grams of marijuana and 108 plants

• 26 grams of cocaine

• 35 grams of methamphetamine

• 401 prescription pills

• 4 automobiles

• $14,484 in cash

The statewide effort netted nearly 12,000 arrests from the combined efforts of 43 Sheriff's Offices.

Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431.

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