Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee announced the results of a six-month undercover operation that resulted in a wave of arrests of convicted felons who sold guns and drugs across the street from Gibsonton Elementary School.
In all, 10 people have been arrested, with arrest warrants issued for three additional people, according to Gee's report, issued at a Jan. 15 press conference (see chart below).
Nine of the 13 people netted in the undercover operation were convicted felons, "who sold 29 firearms and 40 silencers to undercover detectives," Gee said. Weapons removed from the street include an AR-15, AK-47 style rifle, 22-caliber rifle with silencer, sawed-off shotguns and sniper-type rifles with night vision. Detectives also purchased narcotic prescription drugs, crack cocaine and methamphetamine.
Opeartion Cease Fire launched in July 2012.
"A confidential tip led our investigators to a consignment shop, that was once an old flower store," Gee said. "It operated across the street from Gibsonton Elementary school, less than 175 feet away from school grounds. The fact that our detectives busted a criminal enterprise next to an elementary school will translate to enhanced charges for the suspects involved."
"With the success of 'Operation Cease Fire,' along with our other proactive measures, we remain steadfast in our commitment to take these dangerous guns off the streets, arrest armed felons and break up these criminal enterprises, particularly when they are operating across the street from places like an elementary school in Hillsborough County."
Operation Cease Fire Apprehensions (Reported Jan. 15, 2013)First Name Surname Age Charges Felony Convictions Misdemeanor Convictions Daniel Aquilar 25 Multiple firearm, drug charges 6 5 William Kiser 27 Firearm, drug charges; current felony probation David Charles Lundgren 34 Drug charges Danny Ray York 28 Firearm, drug charges 4 3 Robert Hammond 43 Firearm, drug charges 3 4 Melissa Wright 34 Drug trafficking 8 2 Gene Wayne Johnston Jr. 29 Drug trafficking 3 Sharrod Tolliver 40 Drug trafficking 2 1 Delores Ann Bodden 40 Drug trafficking Brian D. Du Bien 46 Drug trafficking 7 1 Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Operation Cease Fire: Still at Large (As of Jan. 15, 2013)First Name Surname Age Charges Felony Convictions Misdemeanor Convictions Michael Allen Fox 49 Multiple firearm charges 1 Edwina Hampton 52 Drug trafficking 7 3 Amberlie Jones 23 Drug trafficking Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office