Federal, state and local law enforcement officers swept through Liberty City and Allapattah Thursday, making 12 arrests on various probation violations and seizing three weapons and more than 100 fraudulent identification cards.
The sweep was conducted by Miami and Miami-Dade police, the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Florida Department of Corrections.
The group, calling itself the Violence Reduction Partnership, focused on violent offenders who were under probation as a way to avoid needing probable cause to initiate the searches.
Several repeat offenders were arrested for probation violations including marijuana, cocaine and heroin possession and possession of firearms and fraudulent credit cards.
Led by U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, the group met with the media Friday at the U.S. Attorney's office and explained how it created the initiative to get the most violent offenders off the street.
Ferrer said law enforcement flooded the neighborhoods with more than 100 agents Thursday. Offenders on probation with a violent history were targeted prior to the sweep.
"We're trying to do whatever we can to break the cycle of violence," Ferrer said.
Though only three weapons were seized — a revolver, a semi-automatic pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle — Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said those weapons would go to a lab where technicians would try to match them up with unsolved crimes.
"We'll check to see if we can match the casings," Orosa said.
Miami police belief an AK-47 or similar assault rifle was used during a mass shooting at a Liberty City apartment complex in June that left two people dead and seven injured. That crime has not been solved.
Ferrer said the the agencies are using a three-pronged approach to attack the violence that has wracked the northern sections of Miami and Miami-Dade the past few years. The plan includes capturing criminals, educating kids and helping released criminals adjust for re-entry into the community.
He said his officers have been visiting inner-city schools and reading to kids, and so far have supplied them with almost 2,000 books. According to the U.S. Attorney, almost half of the kids who aren't able to read by the fourth grade will end up in jail.