I-Team: Exclusive ATF Special Response Team

Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 18:33:18-05

Dozens of guns and lots of drugs are now off the streets of Hillsborough County.

The sheriff's office and ATF teamed up in a four month crackdown, which netted dozens of arrests.

There are five ATF Special Response Teams (SRT) across the country.

The South East Regional SRT includes federal agents from Georgia to Miami.  They're in Tampa to arrest violent criminals with illegal guns and drugs.    

"This is actually a joint investigation between ATF and HCSO, as well as potentially other agencies." said Agent and SRT Team 5 leader Paul Massock.

His elite team consists of tactical responders, as well as crisis and hostage negotiators, medics, even a  K9 team.

Special Agent in Charge Regina Lombardo evaluated the logistics.  She looked at how the building is set up, who the suspects are and their criminal backgrounds.

In this case, agents said the suspect is a known blood gang member in the Tampa area -- a nine time convicted felon with 18 previous arrests.

"And that is why I call our SRT.  They are the ones who train day in day out.  They are trained to do the high-risk warrants," SAC Lombardo said.

SRT members go through two and a half weeks of rigorous training.  They learn how to handle some of the most dangerous situations an agent can encounter.

"We have our game plan and we discussed our operation. We know how we hope things play out but we're ready for the contingencies that may occur," said Massock.

The ATF's Special Response Team has conducted 11 operations in our area in the past year.