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Tag: Florida

Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Appeals 40-Year Prison Sentence, Says He’s Not Guilty

John Connolly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent John Connolly is trying to convince a Florida appeals court that he should be released from prison because he is not a murderer.

The Miami Herald reports that appeals judges in Miami-Dade are revisiting the former agent’s conviction of murder with a firearm in a case connected to notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Connolly’s defense attorney, Manuel Alvarez, is arguing that there’s no way Connolly could have killed a suspected “snitch” in Florida because the agent was in Boston at the time.

“My client had a gun three weeks before, 1,200 miles away — nowhere near Fort Lauderdale,” Alvarez told the entire panel of the Third District Court of Appeal.

Prosecutors said Connolly, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence, was very much involved in the murder, and a jury properly decided that he was guilty.

“John Connolly is not an innocent FBI agent sitting at his desk 1,000 miles away from the murder,” said Assistant State Attorney Joel Rosenblatt. “He was a primary mover.”

TSA Agent Arrested After Estranged Wife’s Body Found in Van in Florida

Herve Placide

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A TSA agent has turned himself in after his estranged wife was found dead in a parked van Monday in Florida, the New York Daily News reports.

Herve Placide, 49, was arrested Monday following the discovery of his wife in a Walgreens Parking lot in Poinciana, Fla.

Placide is considered a suspected but was not charged as of Monday evening, the Daily News wrote.

A family member told police that Placide drove off with Magalie Placide after a physical altercation between the two.

About 45 minutes later, her body was found in the van.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Seeking Help Identifying Hundreds of Children Victimized in ‘Sextortion’ Case

istock illustration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is looking for help identifying suspects in its largest “sextortion” case ever prosecuted.

WJXX-TV reports that a Northeast Florida man was asking for sexually explicit photos and videos of girls as young as 13 years old.

“He pretended to be a young boy the same age,” said McCarley. “He befriended them, joined their Myspace, Facebook trying to get to know them.”

Agents were shocked when they found what was on Lucas Chansler’s computer: 350 victims and 80,000 pictures and videos on his computer.

Only about 100 victims have been identified.

Chansler was sentenced to 105 years in prison.

Homeland Security Official Who Investigated Prostitution Scandal Accused of Hiring Prostitute

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
A federal investigator in charge of a prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service in 2012 has stepped down after surveillance allegedly caught him with a prostitute in Florida, the New York Daily News reports.
 
Homeland Security investigator David Nieland resigned Aug. 9, ostensibly for health reasons. But federal officials said Nieland wouldn’t discuss the allegations against him before stepping down. 

According to investigators, Nieland was seen in a building that was under surveillance for prostitution. A prostitute eventually identified Nieland as a client.

Nieland was the lead investigator probing the 2012 scandal in which Secret Service agents were accused of bringing back hookers to their hotel rooms in Columbia.

FBI Finds 100+ Photos, Videos of Child Porn in Florida Teacher’s Home

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents arresting a Florida teacher at his home Monday made a disturbing discovery – thousands of images of child porn on his computer, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Matthew Graziotti, 42, a fifth grade teacher at a South Daytona private school and director of the school’s summer day camp, was charged with producing and distributing child porn.

Seized in the raid were 141 images and six videos depicting sexually abused and exploited children.

One folder on his computer was named “personally known” and included 31 subfolders with different boys’ names, according to the FBI. One image showed him sexually abusing a “prepubescent” boy.

“The FBI director told me that they, at this point, could not clarify where these boys are from, or who they are, or anything,” Mark Tress, superintendent at Warner Christian Academy, said. “We’re cooperating with them and providing them the assistance they need to determine whether or not any of our children were a part of that.”

Two Florida Cops Accused of Being KKK Members Were Forced to Step Down

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Florida police officers are without a job after a confidential FBI report showed they were members of a local branch of the KKK, the Daily Mail reports.

Fruitland Park Police dismissed Officer George Hunnewell, while Deputy Chief David Borst, 49, resigned. Borst also was the city’s fire chief.

While Fruitland Police Chief Terry Isaacs acknowledged it’s not against the law to be in the KKK, he said the allegations affect the officers’ credibility.

Isaacs launched an internal investigation Friday.

‘I’ve read the report, and it’s convincing,’ Isaacs said of the FBI report.

TSA Agent Arrested on Felony Charges of Manufacturing, Selling Drugs in South Florida

tsa.gov

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA agent in South Florida has been arrested on felony charges of manufacturing and selling drugs from her home, South Florida 6 reports.

During a search of Latwana Daniels’ home, authorities said they found 111 grams of cocaine and 39 grams of marijuana. They also found scales and materials to make crack cocaine near her TSA uniforms, investigators said.

Also recovered was a loaded Beretta PX4 handgun, which investigators said wasn’t secured from her four children.

Neighbor Ismael Morales expressed shock.

“I come and see a lot of cops there,” Morales said. “Over here we never see something like that.”

Doomsday Man Surrenders After Spending 2 Days in Woods in Florida, Gets Cheeseburgers, Fries

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After spending two days hiding from authorities in the woods, a Florida man accused of building explosive devices to prepare for the end of the world surrendered Wednesday without incident, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Martin Winters waited outside the FBI field office in Tampa while his attorneys arranged for his surrender.

In exchange, the 55-year-old received cheeseburgers, fries and dry shoes from the FBI.

“We’re glad to report that Mr. Winters did the right thing,” said FBI spokesman David Couvertier. “We were hoping for a peaceful resolution, and today we got that.”

The FBI was worried Winters would resort to violence to keep authorities from descending on him.