Posted On: July 31, 2009

Florida Death Row Inmate May Be Executed

John Richard Marek, 47, will likely go on with his scheduled execution in Tallahassee. Marek was charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of a Broward County woman in 1983. The original execution slated for May 13 was delayed by the court to allow Marek's defense counsel to argue that he was not the actual killer, but his accomplice was. Six witnesses were brought in to the appeal as new testimony, according to Marek's lawyer. The six witnesses were also in prison with Raymond Wigley, the new accused murderer. Justices overseeing the appeal reviewed the case and denied it with a unanimous decision. 'Given the inconsistencies in Wigley's statements and the strong inference that the statements constituted prison `tough talk' and were calculated by Wigley to obtain some advantage for himself, the probative value of the testimony recounting Wigley's statements is negligible,'' wrote the justices. Both Marek and Wigley were convicted of first-degree murder yet Marek was the only one of the two sentenced to death.

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Posted On: July 30, 2009

Two Florida Women Arrested for Marijuana Possession

Haley Oreskovich, 18, and Sharine Gregory, 22, were arrested under the suspicion of intent to sell. The Otoe County Sheriff's department of Nebraska City, Nebraska found the marijuana by use of a new canine sniffer they recently acquired. Gregory denied there being any significant amount of marijuana in the car by stating to the county court judge “there was no way there was a pound of marijuana”. No further deliberation in the case was recommended by the judge to the defendants until the appointment of legal counsel.

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Posted On: July 29, 2009

Florida DUI Woman Gets Arrested for Drugs

Janet Landrum, 42, of Manatee County was arrested recently for possession of cocaine, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia. Landrum has a record of a whopping ten DUIs from a variety of states including Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky, not to mention a prior arrest of driving with a suspended license. This will be the first time though that jail time is on the plate for Landrum's offenses. She faces up to ten years in prison with the recent onslaught of felony driving under the influence and felony driving with a suspended license charges.

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Posted On: July 28, 2009

Florida Man Arrested in Nebraska for Multiple Charges

Manual Ramirez, 62, was arrested in Scottbluff, Nebraska for being wanted on charges of assault, violation of probation, and vehicle theft. Nebraska State Patrol are responsible for the arrest. Troopers had to resort to using tire-puncturing strips to disable the driver, who reached speeds up to 100 mph. The emergency maneuvers resulted in the vehicle going out of control and flipping several times before finally resting right side up. Ramirez was treated for minor injuries and arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle as well as fleeing to avoid arrest, speeding and reckless driving.

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Posted On: July 27, 2009

Former NFL Player Sentenced to Florida Prison for Cocaine Trafficking

Travis Henry, 30, was sentenced to federal holding facilities on federal cocaine trafficking charges. The former Denver Bronco player was arrested for a drug transaction in Colorado involving multiple kilos of cocaine. After this incident it was brought to the federal authorities' attention that Henry was a major financier of a prominent drug ring known to push cocaine from Montana to Colorado. Henry was charged with a single count of trafficking cocaine by this admission. Henry's final verdict resulted in a 3 year prison sentence in Florida followed by a five year supervised probation.

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Posted On: July 24, 2009

Florida Murder Fugitive Caught By Community Assistance

Alvin Adderly was arrested in Georgia last Sunday in connection with the shooting and murder of Kenneth Moore Jr. of Brevard County. Moore was killed in his home, leaving police with little clues to go off on in the direction of his assailant or his last known location. The community is being commended for their participation in nabbing Adderly. Tips came in that Adderly might be stay with a close friend in American, Georgia. Deputies followed up on the information and arrested Adderly in the residence stated with no incident. The arrest bring tremendous relief to the grieving family of the deceased. "We are prepared for a speedy and just conclusion. We are prepared for the criminal justice system to take over now," said Moore family spokeswoman Jennifer Collins-Mostert.

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Posted On: July 23, 2009

41 Floridians Charged in Mortgage Fraud

US Attorney Jeffrey Sloman was the acting official in charge of launching an investigation and resulting criminal charges against the recent wave of 41 individuals caught in the mortgage fraud net. Nearly $41 million were amassed from the six cases the charges are stemmed from. Feds say that almost every level of the transactions were fraudulent including the purchasers, lenders, and title companies. US Attorney Sloman has accumulated 218 people in the wake of an anti-fraud initiative conducted throughout South Florida. It is said that the total damage created by these mortgage fraud schemes are around $268 million. Florida ranks in the top five states in the country for mortgage fraud. Many don't realize how damaging mortgage fraud and these white-collar crimes are as they injure homeowners by effectively creating more foreclosures and the resulting inflation or deflation of home prices.

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Posted On: July 22, 2009

Florida Man Guilty of $1 Million in Credit Card Fraud

Maikel Soto, 29, will be charged with credit card fraud by federal officials. Soto used gift cards from Wal-Mart and Sam's Club to purchase items, all in all totalling over $450,000. The gift cards were bought using stolen credit card numbers, and counterfeit ones as well. Topping over $550,000 in bills from two separate credit card companies, Soto took the money and deposited into into private bank accounts. The fraudulent activities primarily took place between October 2006 and April 2007, says the US Attorney of the Southern District of Florida.

A white collar offense can also lead to civil lawsuits filed by the government or the persons who were allegedly victimized by the crime. Unlike in a criminal case, the accused in a civil lawsuit does not have the right to remain silent, and they may be obligated to testify at their own trial. An attorney will not be appointed for them if they cannot afford one on their own.

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Posted On: July 21, 2009

Man Charged In Murder of Florida Couple in the News

According to one of the eight suspect of the recent, heinous murder of Byrd and Melanie Billings, the ringleader of the group named Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr., was the solo shooter in the crime. As well as this affidavit strengthened by Thornton's testimony, a safe was also recovered in connection with the killing and robbery. The couple of 17 children, mostly with special needs and disabilities, was murdered in their own home in Pensacola. The safe stolen from their house was found buried in the backyard of a local antique mall owner in connection with the organized murder. The antique mall owner, Pamela Long Wiggins, 47, was arrested with being an accessory after the fact to the home invasion.

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Posted On: July 20, 2009

Florida TV Actor Arrested for DUI in Miami

Jeffrey Donovan, 41, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) on July 11 following a late evening near-collision. Donovan, the main actor of USA's "Burn Notice", swerved his vehicle to avoid rear-ending a police vehicle on the road. Donovan claims that he "wasn't that impaired" after being stopped by police following the incident. Officers wrote in their paperwork that Donovan had consumed "Benadryl and three glasses of wine." Refusing to take the breath test, he was arrested and taken down to Miami Beach police headquarters where he was later released.

Most people don't know that they are not legally obligated to take any DUI test while out in the field. In this instance, police may escort the driver to a police station where he or she must then undergo DUI testing. A test that results in a 0.08% or higher blood alcohol level, evidence of impairment of one's normal faculties, or a complete refusal to take the test can lead to a DUI charge and the suspension of one's driver's license.

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Posted On: July 17, 2009

Another Seat Belt Stop Yields Drug Arrest in Florida

Jose Luis Burgos, 39, and Chelsey Burgos, 25, were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, possession of marijuana, trafficking in opium products, and distribution of opium products. Chelsey Burgos is a pharmacy technician. She stole the drugs from her place of employment and wanted to make money with her husband, Jose Luis Burgos. The couple volunteered a search of the vehicle after being stopped by an Alachua County Sheriff in lieu of a seat belt violation. Jose Burgos was also charged with driving with a suspended license. Chelsey Burgos was devastated by the arrest and wrote included in her statement to police "an apology to her employer for taking the pills and for letting them down."

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Posted On: July 16, 2009

Haitian Drug Trafficker Gets Sentenced Reduced in Florida

Jean Eliobert Jasme had his prison term reduced to 10 years in US District Court recently. Jasme used to big one the biggest smugglers in the cocaine market through Haiti. He had connections with the former president's administration and was capable of moving thousands of kilos. Prosecutors received alot of information of Jasme in the court proceedings that would tie in many other key players to many of the drug rings that current law enforcement have to this day been facing. Cocaine trafficking is big money to criminals and according to federal authorities other serious figures have been nabbed. Oriel Jean, one of the closest officials to Aristide, was another conviction made by authorities. DEA are using leads from current investigations to arrest others like Guy Phillippe, a former police official prosecuted on trafficking charges three years ago.

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Posted On: July 15, 2009

Florida Resident Charged For 41 Car Burglaries

Aaron J. Franck, 19, was charged by Slidell Police in Louisiana with forty-one counts of simple burlgary. Franck crime spree occurred last year in August. He broke into numerous vehicles for two nights, taking anything in sight. Loose change, music equipment, and cigarettes were a few items noted to be stolen by Franck. Franck is being held in St. Tammany Parish Jail with a whopping $410,000 bond, for $10,000 each count.

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Posted On: July 14, 2009

Florida State University Football Player Gets Probation

Marcello Church, a football player for FSU, was arrested and charged with sex with a minor. The alleged victim had wrote a succinct and heart-felt letter which lawyers say impacted the sentencing of Church in a lenient fashion. The two page letter claimed that she "wasn’t a victim by any definition and she in fact was the 'aggressor.' " The victim in this case was seventeen at the date of the incident, qualifying for sex with a minor given Church's age.

Florida Statute 794.05 defines "unlawful sexual activity with certain minors" as:

(1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, "sexual activity" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

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Posted On: July 13, 2009

Florida Man Commits a Hit-and-Run and a DUI; Arrested

James Defalco, 48, was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in connection with a hit-and-run incident that occurred in the area of Longwood near Orlando. Police say he rear-ended a vehicle with reckless abandon and fled the scene. 24 year old Megan Chywski was the victim of the incident. Her vehicle was impacted in the rear left corner, resulting in her car spinning around into the median and flipping. Chywski was treated for minor injuries, amazingly. Florida Highway Patrol state that following the collision, Defalco was found on I-4 and arrested immediately.

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Posted On: July 10, 2009

12 Year Old Florida Boy In Jail For Murder

A 12 year old child from Tampa is being held in jail for murder. Allegedly he killed his 5 week old cousin while remaining in a vehicle for a few minutes as the mother of the boy went into a store briefly. The 22 year old mother came back and saw that the baby was unresponsive. The baby was officially pronounced dead at the hospital soon after. Autopsy reports show the baby died of blunt force trauma, something that startled police and the boy's mother. The unnamed minor is being held at Cobb county youth detention center. The charges the young individual will face are murder and cruelty to children.

Homicides can be classified as manslaughter or murder. It is very fact-specific. If you are convicted of a criminal homicide, the consequences of a conviction for this charge can include life in prison or even the death penalty. Homicide is often used synonymously with murder. However, there are many different types of homicide charges. Murder, which is the unlawful taking of another human life, can be committed under various circumstances, which affect the nature of the crime and the severity of its punishment.

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Posted On: July 9, 2009

Pregnant Florida Woman Arrested on Drug Charges

Reanna Lynn McElhinny, 29, and John Thomas McElhinny, 32, were arrested following a search of their home following lawful police protocol. The woman was about 8 months pregnant, police say. Her husband faces the same charges as her, being possession of oxycodone and drug paraphernalia. John McElhinny had additional charges of violation of probation (VOP) in connection with a grand theft charge. In addition to those aforementioned charges for Reanna McElhinny, she had another violation of probation charge in connection for a prior cocaine possession conviction. Police say they saw open track marks on the woman's arms. Reanna McElhinny is being held without bail on the premise of her being a threat to her unborn child's safety.

Florida statute makes it a crime for anyone to distribute or possess drugs/controlled substances. Punishment for drug possession can depend on the amount of drugs involved. A first degree misdemeanor: includes a fine of up to $1000 and up to one year in prison. A first degree felony: includes a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison. Drug trafficking: can include up to life in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

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Posted On: July 8, 2009

Florida Water Park Attracts a Sexual Predator; Leads to Arrest

Robert Chester Double, 51, was caught by authorities in Orlando after being identified as the man who has been groping girls in the water. Aside from the "Chester the Molester" jokes, Chester Double actually was a molester in this case. He allegedly would collide with girls in the water, by using the rolling waves, to pull their suits aside and grope them. Disney security eventually located the man, but investigators said it was difficult to make a positive identification on him due to the crowds and busyness. Orange County Sheriff's Department has a video of the man in the criminal act thus making some conclusive evidence that will very likely hold up in court. Double was formally charged with lewd and lascivious conduct while being held on a $5000 bail.

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Posted On: July 7, 2009

Florida Man Sentenced 27 Years for Child Sex Crime

Seth Jerchower, 47, was charged with soliciting sex with a minor. Jerchower was caught in an undercover operation online chat. He believed he was talking with the mother of 2 children, age 9 and 11, who were being made available for sexual relations. Sentencing for Jerchower took place at the Gainesville federal courthouse two years after his December 2007 arrest. The University of Florida had not renewed Jerchower's contract by the February deadline. The main organizations taking credit for this arrest are the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Gainesville Police, and the FBI. Child Predator CyberCrimes Unit was the main central command being led by the attorney general in Jerchower's apprehension as well as other child sex offenders across the U.S.

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Posted On: July 6, 2009

Florida Child Rape Suspect Apprehended

Aaron Lamar Howard, 21, took a child under the age of 12 at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her. Howard gained entry into the home by use of a key and kidnapped the child. While maintaining a knife to her throat, he kidnapped her into his truck and drove away from the home of the child. She was then raped in the backseat after being punched in the face and bound down. Howard was a family friend, the victim's family claims. Yet they were uncertain how he obtained a key to the domicile. Howard was arrested later, after releasing the young girl immediately and threatening her not to tell anyone. He was charged with marijuana and cocaine possession, as well.

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Posted On: July 3, 2009

Florida Seat Belt Stop Leads to Felon's Arrest

Palm Bay Police Department conducted a seatbelt checkpoint stop recently. During the checkpoint, officers apprehended Travis Lee Brown, 22, for possession of cocaine, possession of controlled substance, and resisting arrest. Brown fled the stop and had to be tasered down to the ground in order to be taken into custody. While in the station he became "irate" and had to be bound in restraints in order to protect himself. Police found cocaine and oxycodone on Brown prior being taken downtown to the station. Bond was set at $4500, as well as orders for his transport back to Richmond County, GA.

Florida Statute 843.01 defines "resisting arrest with violence" as a third degree felony with up to 5 years in a state prison. The other portion of Chapter 843, "resisting officer without violence" is a first degree misdemeanor with a maximum of 1 year in a county jail or detention center. This crime is defined by the state as "whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer ... in the lawful execution of any legal duty without offering or doing violence."

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Posted On: July 2, 2009

Death of Florida Man Triggers Push for a New Law

After the death of John Waldo, 42, in Gainesville, FL, fiancé Monica Kraft has pushed for tougher laws regarding ticketed cars and vehicle inspections. Back in February, Waldo was found dead in the backseat of his vehicle parked on a residential road. The BMW was ticketed a whopping seven times but no one had found the body until Waldo had been missing for twelve days. A University of Florida student ended up discovering the body after closely looking in through the car window. No foul play has been detected and police are still investigating for evidence of murder.

Kraft has met with numerous city officials including the Gainesville Police's Captain Ed Book in an effort to see what can be done to prevent this from happening again. Currently under way in city government is the enactment of an ordinance that would would require city employees to visually inspect the inside of any vehicle after being accruing three consecutive unclaimed tickets. This law would be known as the Waldo Law. The exact design of the law would be to require law enforcement agencies to run the tag number of an abandoned vehicle that is receiving any ticket.

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Posted On: July 1, 2009

Florida Man Deposits Drugs Into His Bank Account

Cameron Jefferson, 38, was arrested for possession of cocaine and cannabis in Tallahassee. While he was at the drive-thru teller window of a bank, he decided it would be a clever idea to throw in some drugs with the $200 dollar deposit. Needless to say, his prank wasn't taken lightly and officials were called in immediately. Further investigation of Jefferson's car led to the discovery of three marijuana cigarettes. $3000 in bail was posted by Jefferson after his arrest.

Cocaine possession of any amount is always going to be a felony. Marijuana can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the amount. Sometimes a small fine will be cited to the offender and handled just like a speeding ticket. The amount was not totally specified in the article, but given the cost of the bond the amount of drugs was most likely not too large. Jefferson was arrested for possession, but a variety of other charges may come about from a drug-related incident. Some of these charges may be cultivation/growth of a narcotic, delivery of illegal drugs, fraudulent sale or possession of a prescription drug, or possession of drugs with intent to sell.

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