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High school tip leads to guns and four arrests

Published on March 21, 2023 at 2:37 pm

Three men and a juvenile have been arrested after police confiscated six weapons and ammunition, some traced to previous crimes including a homicide, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said Tuesday.

The arrests came after officers went to Westside High School to investigate a tip that someone was carrying a weapon, then tracked that person to a nearby home containing more suspects and guns, Waters said.

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Operation Safety Net was conducted with Duval County School Police and local prosecutors. Investigators arrested the unidentified juvenile as well as Jaylin Carmae Orange, 19; Jamal Rashad Cobbert, 22; and Dominique Amor Alexander, 20, police said.

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Some of what Waters called “crime guns” found in the home had been modified to operate as machine guns.

“I believe that any time there is a crime gun used or carried, it’s not for good purposes,” Waters said. “I am all for people owning guns. Crime guns, illegal guns, prohibited guns — we want those off our streets.

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“We are going to work very hard to make sure it’s done, and we are going to hold those accountable that are carrying them because we know all too often, they end up in drive-bys. They end up in all different types of shootings.”

Police have seized more than 130 “crime guns” so far this year, the sheriff said.

Operation Safety Net began in late February when the tip came in regarding someone on campus with a handgun, the sheriff said. Detectives found no one on campus but tracked the person to a nearby home with help from an air unit. The people inside fled but were found and arrested on various charges, Waters said. A search warrant uncovered three rifles and a shotgun, plus two handguns, ammunition clips and ammunition.

One of the handguns had been used in a shooting on the city’s Westside in February 2022, Waters said. Shells found in the home were matched to others recovered in a homicide in May and other shootings in June and August, and another this past January, he said.

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The three men were arrested between mid-February and early March, jail records show.

Orange remains jailed on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and violation of probation after his arrest Feb. 15, jail records show. Cobbert remains jailed on a charge of violation of probation after his arrest March 4, and Alexander was released on bail after his arrest Feb. 15 on a charge of resisting an officer, jail records show.

Police would not say whether the arrested juvenile was a student at Westside High School.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.