Lakeland police display guns confiscated from felons in an undercover operation
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -
More than 100 guns, in the hands of convicted felons, are now off Lakeland's streets.
The Lakeland Police Department teamed up with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for the 6-month investigation called "Operation Smoke-N-Guns".
"I think this is going to send a message to our bad guys here in Lakeland that we're simply not going to tolerate this," said Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack. "Guns in the hands of felons is never a good mix."
Womack said the undercover operation was sparked by the December 2011 killing of LPD Officer Arnulfo Crispin.
"The tragic death of Officer Crispin was a sobering moment and it brought even more attention to the face that there is so much violent crime," said US Attorney Robert O'Neill of the Middle District of Florida.
Officers confiscated 111 guns. They arrested 28 convicted felons and were looking for 19 more on Wednesday. Cocaine, marijuana, and illegal pills were also seized during the operation.
The day before the arrests in Lakeland, Hillsborough County Sheriff's detectives arrested ten convicted felons in Gibsonton for selling guns near a school.