Thirty-nine alleged Florida members of the United Aryan Brotherhood and the prison gang “The Unforgiven” and their associates have been arrested and charged with multiple firearms and drug violations.
U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced the culmination of the investigation, also known as “Operation Blackjack.”
“We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to prosecute those who persist in purveying violent crime and drug trafficking on our streets,” Chapa Lopez said in a statement. “We are committed to working with our partners to render our communities safe for our citizens in the Middle District of Florida.”
The investigation, which was conducted in Pasco County, Fla., found that a number of convicted felons, ranging from 21 to 46 years of age, were illegally in possession of firearms, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Investigators also charged multiple suspects with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine. One suspect, a convicted felon, was charged with possessing pipe bombs and a firearm, and another suspect pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
“The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is proud of the partnership it has with the Department of Justice,” said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. “Taking illegally possessed guns and criminals off the street will have a positive impact on the safety of our community.”
The United States Attorney’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office participated in Operation Blackjack.
The cases will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office’s Violent Crimes and Narcotics Section.