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Warrant roundup nets more than 300 arrests in Pasco, Pinellas

More than 300 suspects were arrested during a two-day warrant roundup by Pinellas and Pasco authorities this week.

They included a man selling hundreds of packets of synthetic drugs inside his Odessa home, another man wanted for violating his parole on a sex conviction and a woman who hid from officers under a heap of clothes in a Clearwater apartment.

"We knocked on a lot of doors and they were very surprised to see us," said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco during a press conference Friday.

Called "Operation Cold Justice," the investigation began Tuesday and ended Wednesday. More than 150 law enforcement officers worked 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

"The bad guys don't know jurisdictional boundaries," said Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, "and the message is the cops don't know jurisdictional boundaries either."

Organized by the Pinellas and Pasco sheriff's offices, about 10 agencies were involved, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Highway Patrol.

The operation covered the northern half of Pinellas County and all of Pasco County.

Investigators were handed more than 700 misdemeanor and felony warrants issued less than six months ago. In total, 219 were arrested in Pasco and another 83 were arrested in Pinellas. Officers served more than 330 warrants. Some suspects also face new charges — 155 in all, authorities said.

Among the Pasco arrests was Scott Dawson, 23, who was living in Hudson and was accused of violating his parole on a lewd and lascivious battery conviction in Michigan.

Deputies also received several tips that Georges Momejians, 37, of Odessa was selling large amounts of synthetic drugs from his home. Upon searching his home Wednesday, investigators found more than 1,200 packets of synthetic drugs. Pasco authorities believe he was selling them on his website, InsanityWorld.com, which was shut down after his arrest.

In Pinellas, police arrived at an apartment at the On Top of the World condo complex at 2310 Denmark St. in Clearwater.

After officers knocked on an apartment door for about 20 minutes, Christopher Paul Trautman emerged with a loose pitbull beside him. Officers told him they were searching for Brandi Leigh Frankart, wanted on a warrant for violating her probation on a conviction for providing false information to a pawn broker.

Trautman, 33, told officers she wasn't there and allowed them to search inside. Moments later, officers found Frankart, 25, hiding underneath a pile of dirty clothes in a bedroom closet. They also found drugs.

The pair were arrested on several charges, including drug possession and obstruction, and booked into the Pinellas County jail.

Another suspect, Christopher Robin Sanchez, 26, of Clearwater, was arrested after deputies conducted a traffic stop on the PSTA bus he was trying to flee in, authorities said. He was wanted for violating his probation on two battery convictions and now also faces drug charges, the Sheriff's Office said.

"We're going to continue to send them the message that we're going to find them, we're going to arrest them and we're going to put them in jail," Gualtieri said.

Contact Laura C. Morel at lmorel@tampabay.com or (727)445-4157.

Warrant roundup nets more than 300 arrests in Pasco, Pinellas 01/31/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014 10:22pm]
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