39 White Supremacists With Rocket Launchers & Pipe Bombs Arrested

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After domestic terrorist Cesar Sayoc of Florida was arrested, the country breathed a temporary sigh of relief. However, it appears that Sayoc is not the only terrorist in Florida to worry over.

Thirty-nine members of the United Aryan Brotherhood and the Unforgiven were arrested in a sting by the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. What they found was alarming, to say the least. Drugs, illegal guns, pipe bombs, and a rocket launcher were seized during the arrests.

A local ABC affiliate in Tampa Bay reports:

‘It was a three-year investigation ending with more than 110 illegal firearms seized. ATF, along with assistance from Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office cuffed 39 alleged gang members.’

Police say that the groups are a gang of felons in Florida who stockpiled weapons, some of them incredibly dangerous. According to the Justice Department, the individuals have been indicted in federal court after the sting, known as Operation Blackjack.

‘Operation Blackjack arose out of a partnership between 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. The cases will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office’s Violent Crimes and Narcotics Section.’

The gang members have been charged with numerous felony offenses, including felony possession of firearms, possession of methamphetamines, heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, as well as several other charges.

‘These suspects are facing anywhere from two years to life in prison. Even more alarming is 31-year-old Richard Mormon, who was caught with at least two fully operational pipe bombs. Authorities say they aren’t aware of any plans Mormon had with them. Operation Blackjack doesn’t end there. Authorities are expecting to arrest more people but, of course, are keeping quiet on the details.’

The arrests follow a report by the FBI that hate crimes have risen by 17 percent in the past year.

‘Law enforcement agencies reported that 7,175 hate crimes occurred in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016. That increase was fueled in part by more police departments reporting hate crime data to the FBI, but overall there is still a large number of departments that report no hate crimesto the federal database.

‘The sharp increase in hate crimes in 2017 came even as overall violent crime in America fell slightly, by 0.2 percent, after increases in 2015 and 2016.’

Featured image via Flickr by Robert Thivierge under a Creative Commons license

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