Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
This week, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, the Drug Enforcement Administration and I announced the results of a three-month law enforcement operation to take down a violent gang trafficking massive amounts of deadly fentanyl in Florida.
Operation Checkmate led to the arrest of 21 people, including two top-ranking members of the Latin Kings in the Wimauma area of Hillsborough County. Most of the individuals arrested are repeat offenders and violent felons. Authorities seized huge amounts of illicit substances, including enough fentanyl to kill the entire population of Hillsborough County twice.
The Latin Kings have long been rumored to have ties to the drug cartels and the five kilos of illicit fentanyl seized is almost certainly from Mexico—demonstrating how the chaos at the Southwest Border is fueling crime far beyond states like Arizona and Texas.
Until the federal government takes control, it is up to the states and our law enforcement to deal with the effects of deadly fentanyl being brought into this country. And while this is a daunting task, I will always stand with those brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis.
Many of these law enforcement officers risked their safety to take down this dangerous gang and seize these deadly drugs.
Violent criminals must be removed from our communities, and my Statewide Prosecutors will aggressively prosecute these gang members in order to protect Floridians and help build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Attorney General Moody Calls on Congress to Ensure National Human Trafficking Hotline is Functioning as Intended
Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling on Congressional leaders to ensure the National Human Trafficking Hotline is functioning as intended. Discoveries in recent months show that Polaris only forwards tips from the hotline in limited circumstances. Attorney General Moody is requesting Congress take action to restore the hotline's effectiveness and preserve the critical joint federal-state effort to end human trafficking.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The mission of the National Human Trafficking Hotline is a valiant one: forward tips to authorities who may use the information to put an end to a trafficking victim’s suffering. Unfortunately, Polaris is failing to follow this important standard, yet continues to receive large amounts of federal funding. I’m urging Congressional leaders to get to the bottom of this, so our law enforcement authorities can be better equipped with the knowledge needed to stop this atrocious crime. Floridians who suspect human trafficking need to call 855-FLA-SAFE.” More.
Attorney General Moody Unveils Legislation Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking in Court Proceedings
Attorney General Ashley Moody is unveiling legislation to expand protections of human trafficking victims in court proceedings. The legislation provides greater protections in judicial proceedings for minors or victims of certain crimes, including human trafficking. The measure provides that depositions of such individuals will not be allowed absent a showing of good cause. Sen. Danny Burgess will be introducing SB 1208, and Rep. Taylor Yarkosky will be introducing HB 1037.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As Attorney General, I work every day to stop human trafficking in our state, and this session I am advocating for legislation that will further protect victims, as well as help our law enforcement partners bring traffickers to justice. This legislation will shield victims from unnecessarily reliving traumatic experiences, making it easier for them to come forward and help prosecutors secure convictions for their perpetrators.” More.
Attorney General Moody and U.S. Representative Posey Announce Renewed Effort to Allow States to Enforce Immigration Laws when Biden Won’t
Attorney General Ashley Moody and U.S. Representative Bill Posey are renewing efforts to give states more authority to combat illegal immigration. With Title 42 set to expire again in May, and President Joe Biden’s administration providing no adequate plan to deal with the expected flood of inadmissible immigrants, Attorney General Moody is working with U.S. Representative Posey, who represents Florida's 8th Congressional District, to introduce legislation this week that would enable state attorneys general to act where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security fails and enforce the nation’s public-safety immigration laws.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “In just two years, Biden has completely destroyed border security. U.S. Customs and Border Protection sources report that 1.2 MILLION inadmissible immigrants evaded authorities. The out-of-control Southwest Border continues to allow thousands of pounds of illicit and deadly substances like fentanyl into the country, causing record-shattering drug overdose deaths in the United States. If the federal government refuses to act, then state attorneys general should be able to step up and actually enforce our nation’s laws—to protect the citizens of their states.” More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the takedown of a violent gang distributing illicit fentanyl in Florida.
From left to right: Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, Attorney General Ashley Moody, DEA Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mike Ferguson