Winter Haven, Florida - After a busy three-week sweep all across the state of Florida, 43 sheriff's offices busted 11,875 wanted felons.
The investigation lasted from September 28th to October 22nd. The agencies involved included Polk, Hillsborough, Highlands, Hardee, Hernando and Osceola Counties, to name a few.
"Operation Felon Sweep" netted nearly a half million dollars in cash, along with hundreds of guns, pills and cocaine.
Pok County Sheriff Grady Judd called out members of Congress, issuing a challenge to them to stop federal aid to all felons.
"It's not our obligation to fund a bunch of thugs that are out breaking into stuff at our house while we're working and earning the tax money! So, that's what I'm all about here," said Judd.
Judd says he's furious, fed up, and full of fire, that he's sick of seeing felons get federal aid when those men and women are committing crimes at the same time.
Judd told the media, "The first place you can look at dealing with the debt is to quit paying the thugs who sit at home and do nothing other than the hard working people paying the taxes! That's a good start."
Those who were busted include men, women, moms and dads. And deputies confiscated everything from pot plants in Spring Hill, to wads of cash caught in crack houses. Sheriffs from various agencies stood alongside Judd to make the announcement about the huge bust on Thursday afternoon in Winter Haven.
"The bottom line is, we put bad guys in jail because we enjoy it. And it keeps the people of the state of Florida safe," said Judd.
Sheriff Judd pointed out one case where he says a man named Michael Leonard was arrested, a career criminal who has been constantly caught over the years. He's been to prison five times, and the sheriff says after robbing an innocent store owner at gunpoint in Davenport, the man is back behind bars, a poster child on Polk's board of shame.
Judd said to reporters, "So, if you're not on the board this time, we'll have you on the board next time!"