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Tag: Florida

Feds to Probe Shooting of Unarmed Fla. Teen

Trayvon Martin/family photo-nbc miami

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has decided to step into the controversial shooting of an unarmed black teen in Florida.

The Associated Press reported that the feds will launch a probe into last month’s shooting in Sanford, Fla., by a neighborhood watch captain George Zimmeran, 28, of Trayvon Martin, 17. Zimmerman is white and Martin is black.

Zimmerman has claimed the shooting was in self defense.

 

DEA Asked to Submit Rationale for Pharmacy Suspension Orders

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The DEA was ordered on Monday to submit an explanation of its rationale for attempting to shut down a Florida pharmaceutical distribution center, reports the Associated Press. D.C. US District Judge Reggie Walton gave the agency until the end of next week to make a submission.

The DEA had issued orders earlier this month to suspend the sale of controlled substances by two CVS pharmacies near Orlando and Lakeland, Fla., in an attempt to combat the misuse of pain killers like oxycodone, according to the AP. The pharmacies were giving out large amounts of the drug in excess of legitimate needs, the DEA had said. This is the first time branches of a national pharmacy chain were targets of suspension orders.

To read more click here.

 

Former Fla. Detective Gets Two Years for Public Corruption

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A former homicide detective in St. Petersburg, Fla. was slapped with two years in prison for public corruption charges, the FBI announced on Wednesday morning.

Anthony V. Foster received the sentence after pleading guilty to wire fraud to deprive the public of honest services on October 20, 2011. Court documents show that from 2009 to June 2011, Foster told a criminal source facing charges, who was secretly working with the FBI, that he would get hold of state judges and attorneys to give them positive information about the source in exchange for cash bribes.

Foster acknowledged in the plea that he met with the source on April 6, 2011, and received $7,075, then again on April 15, where he received another $325 and 40-inch flat screen TV, according to the FBI. Foster later called Assistant State Attorney of Hernando County, who was prosecuting the case against the source, giving positive information about the source’s involvement in various law enforcement investigations. Foster also encouraged other officers to call the attorney with similar claims.

 

Fla. Cop Gets Three Years for Targeting, Stealing From Hispanic Drivers

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Racial profiling might seem lucrative, but the cost of doing business will eventually catch up.

A Florida police officer who was arrested for stealing cash from Hispanics he pulled over was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday, reports the Miami Herald.

Mark Ott’s sentence comes eight months after a joint undercover sting between the FBI and local law enforcement agencies caught him illegally confiscating between $35 and $400 from Hispanic men he had pulled over between February and May of last year, the Herald reported.

Ott targeted most of the men after the left local check cashing stores, prosecutors had found. In May Ott stopped an undercover sheriff’s deputy and an FBI agent posing as a driver and a passenger, confiscating the driver’s wallet and swiping $150 of $400 of photocopied bills in the wallet, according to the Herald.

The sentence was part of a plea deal in which Ott plead guilty to five felony charges of evidencing prejudice while committing robbery. Ott will also repay $1,780 to victims as part of the deal.

To read more click here.

 

FBI Investigates ‘Non-Hazardous’ Powder Sent to Florida Prosecutor’s Office

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The return of the Anthrax it was not.

Still, three people reported falling ill on Tuesday after being exposed to a “suspicious” powder in the mail room of the State Attorney’s Office in West Palm Beach office, a city spokesman told CNN. Now the FBI is investigating the incident.

The powder was not hazardous, according to initial reports, but the bureau will continue to investigate, Margaret Williams of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service told CNN. And even though the powder doesn’t seem to be hazardous, two of the three workers sent to the hospital complained of headache, nausea and vomiting, Scott said. Additionally, a firefighter responding to the incident was hospitalized for cardiac problems. Because he was equipped with an air tank, it is uncertain what specifically the causes of the cardiac problems were attributable to.

In the post 9-11 era, mail goes through detector systems at the post office to check for biological agents like anthrax.  No anthrax has been found in the mail since 2001 when five people died and 17 were sickened.

To read more click here.

FBI, ATF Join Abortion Clinic Arson Investigation in Fla.

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are looking into a suspicious early-Sunday blaze at a Florida abortion clinic which has seen violence in the past, reports the Associated Press.

The fire occurred at American Family Planning in the panhandle town of Pensacola, Fla. this weekend and  largely destroyed the two-story building, but no people were injured, Lt. Kevin Fiedor of the state fire marshal’s office told the AP.

The ATF and the FBI plan to join the investigation, Fiedor said. It is unknown what started the fire, which began in dry vegetation around the outside of the building. It burned underneath the building, spreading up its sides and into the attic.

“It burned for a prolonged period of time,” Fiedor said. “It was a very foggy night and the smoke blended in well with the fog.”

To read more click here.

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Ex-Secret Service Agent Pleads to Posing as Fed Agent

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In most cases, most people who impersonate a federal agent were never a federal agent. Not even close.

Then there’s  Sandra Elder.

Elder, a former Secret Service, agent pleaded guilty last week in Flordia to impersonating a federal law enforcement officer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Sentencing is set for Feb. 10 in West Palm Beach.

She faces up to three years in prison.

Authorities said that Edler had not been an agents since 2001.

Authorities aid Elder served as an adjunct professor at a local university in Broward County and fraudulently told students, faculty and high-level administrators at the university that she was an active Special Agent of the United States Secret Service who was close to retiring after many years of service as a federal agent.

She also submitted fraudulent documentation to the university claiming she was serving as a current Supervisory Special Agent of the United States Secret Service.

 

Sentencing Shift Gives New Leverage to Prosecutors

By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
New York Times

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After decades of new laws to toughen sentencing for criminals, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants and reduce the number of cases that go to trial, often by using the threat of more serious charges with mandatory sentences or other harsher penalties.

Some experts say the process has become coercive in many state and federal jurisdictions, forcing defendants to weigh their options based on the relative risks of facing a judge and jury rather than simple matters of guilt or innocence. In effect, prosecutors are giving defendants more reasons to avoid having their day in court.

“We now have an incredible concentration of power in the hands of prosecutors,” said Richard E. Myers II, a former assistant United States attorney who is now an associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina. He said that so much influence now resides with prosecutors that “in the wrong hands, the criminal justice system can be held hostage.”

To read the full story click here.

 

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