Scores of drugs and weapons collected in the past six months thanks to the help of the community were show by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Friday.
JSO Director of Investigations Tom Hackney said a many of the recent shootings in Jacksonville were related to drugs.
"There is a nexus between drugs guns and violence in the city of Jacksonville," said Hackney.
Friday, the Sheriff's Office showed some of the drugs and weapons that were confiscated from three suspects since November, specifically after receiving anonymous tips from the community.
The three men who were arrested have lengthy criminal records. JSO said drugs, weapons, and tactical gear were seized from the homes of the three suspects after members of the community spoke up. The list of what police confiscated included:
4 semiautomatic handguns
- 2 revolvers
- A .223-caliber rifle
- A shotgun
- A 7.62-caliber rifle
- Almost 4 pounds of marijuana
- Body armor
- Tactical vests
- A gas mask
- $1,800 in currency
- A large amount of ammunition
“And this is from somebody seeing something and calling the police,” Hackney said.
He said that if the weapons hadn't been confiscated, they could have eventually been used in crimes. He said it's important to put drug dealers and buyers behind bars as quickly as possible because of how often drugs lead to shootings.
“All the guns and drugs … are really a result of working with the community,” Hackney said. “These cases occurred from November through last week, but we highlighted these three cases today as an example of what happens when you partner with the community and the success we can have fighting crime when we partner with the community.”
MAD Dads President and community activist, Donald Foy spoke to Channel 4 about the weapons that the Sheriff's Office confiscated. Foy said the only way to continue to make changes in the community is for people to speak up when they see something and inform police about what they've seen.
"The only way they are going to get the information they need is that the community tells them. So we as a community have got to wake up, stand up and speak up," said Foy.
JSO is continuing its gun bounty program, which offers a $1,000 reward for those who turn in someone with an illegal gun.
You can also always give tips anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 1-866-845-TIPS.