According to reports, 76 Florida criminal suspects responded to a mailing promising “South Florida Stimulus Coalition” funds, but instead of receiving money, they were lured to their arrest. Using the name of the fictitious coalition, Fort Lauderdale police mailed letters asking targeted criminal suspects and those with outstanding arrest warrants to call an undercover phone line and make appointments to claim money they were entitled to. When they showed up at an auditorium and presented their identification, they were led to an area where uniformed police were waiting to arrest them.
The suspects had open warrants for their arrest. Called “Operation Show Me the Money” the police department rounded up people wanted on charges ranging from second-degree murder, gun and drug charges to failure to pay child support.
Police said such roundups are safer and more efficient than serving warrants at people’s homes because the environment where the arrest takes place are more controlled and pose less safety issues.
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