TAMPA, Fla. – Thousands of fugitives — including accused murderers, gang members and rapists — wanted in Florida have been jailed in a multi-agency sweep over the past 90 days, authorities announced Thursday.
The roundup, dubbed "Operation Orange Crush," netted 2,497 people wanted around the state. Officials made 113 homicide arrests and seized 76 weapons.
The suspects include 55 gang members and 255 sex offenders, officials said.
"We targeted the worst of the worst in Florida," said U.S. Marshals Deputy Director Brian Beckwith.
Combined, the captured suspects had more than 12,000 previous felony convictions.
"So that really paints a picture of who we're dealing with and who we got off the street," Beckwith said after press conference.
Among the wanted in the Tampa area: Tyree Jenkins. Officials said they were trying to find another suspect when they conducted a traffic stop. Jenkins, wanted in connection with a double homicide in Pasco County, was in the car.
In addition to the Pasco County homicide, authorities said Jenkins was also wanted for questioning by Tampa authorities in relation to four additional homicides. A message seeking comment was left with his public defender.
In north Florida, the roundup resulted in the arrests of 103 fugitives and cleared 123 warrants.
On Aug. 14, Foster Rayfield Leon, wanted in Jacksonville for robbery and aggravated battery, was arrested in New Orleans. Officials said he attacked a popular Jacksonville disc jockey, robbed him and gouged out both his eyes.
A message seeking comment was left with his attorney, public defender Valerie Limoge.
In South Florida, 1,408 fugitives were arrested, including 17 gang members and 143 sex offenders — among them, a man who repeatedly tried to sexually assault elderly women.
Beckwith said the Florida operation affects more than just the people who live in the state.
"It impacts Florida greatly but I think it has a very positive national aspect to it, too, because so many people are here on vacation," he said.