Ruben Lopez, 19, was arrested by University of South Florida police and charged with a third-degree felony for disabling a fire alarm as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The USF student was smoking marijuana in his dorm room at Beta Hall and disabled the alarm in his room so he could get away with smoking drugs. Police searched the room after the arrest and found a marijuana joint in Lopez's furniture drawer. Bail is set at $7500 for Lopez.
Mark Pinder, 41, and Parson Exana, 38, were sentenced for smuggling cocaine. Pinder got a sentence of 12 years in federal prison and Exana received 9 years. The cocaine was transported by the two from the Bahamas into South Florida. Investigators took part in an undercover drug sting where they bought 297 kilos of cocaine from Pinder via a vessel to vessel transfer. The investigators then made a controlled delivery of the cocaine to Exana and Pinder when they were in Jupiter, FL a day after the original purchase. Exana and his partner Pinder are still in custody and awaiting trial.
A Palm Bay woman was found to be not guilty of the 2007 rollover crash resulting in her sustaining injuries and the death of her friend. The verdict was returned after 3 days of deliberation regarding the DUI manslaughter of Jennifer Carty, 20. State prosecutors say that evidence clearly shows the girls' injuries not coinciding with charges placed against the defendant. Florida Highway Patrol reported that Carty had a BAC of 0.126 whereas the other girl in the car, Ravin Billington, had a BAC of 0.167. Both are under the age of 21 and are not be having any readings of BAC by law. Defense attorneys said that witnesses to the accident could not determine who the driver of the vehicle was and after the accident, due to the ejection of Carty, could not determine that Billington was the driver. Carty was later determined to be the driver of her mother's car.
Robert Moran, a yacht broker from Fort Lauderdale, was sentenced to 2 months in prison for his role in filing false federal tax returns and using off-shore bank accounts to conceal millions of dollars. Swiss bank UBS was the banking institution utilized by Moran in his criminal activities. The Honorable Judge James Cohn of Federal District Court in Fort Lauderdale did give credit to Moran due to him confessing his crime and for helping federal investigators in the probe of UBS and other off-shore banks. Moran is the third UBS client to be sentenced in the last 2 weeks in the South Florida region. Moran will be facing a felony record for tax evasion and loss of his yacht broker license.
Edward Gross, 53, was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Gross was stopped by Louisiana State Police for a routine safety inspection. Upon further examination, officers became suspicious of certain features regarding Gross' big rig truck and decided to call in a police dog. The dog sniffed out the stash of 31 pounds of marijuana Gross was hiding under a bunk in the cab. Gross was immediately arrested and jailed at the Iberville Parish Prison pending his court date.
California is now one of the few states in the country to enact legislation that will mandate alcohol detection technology to be installed in the cars of first-time DUI offenders. Some people have protested that the injunction on first-time offenders is quite severe and should be reserved for habitual drunk drivers instead. Anti-drunk driving groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) are in favor of the legislation. "The single best way to get drunken drivers off the road right now is to get interlock ignition devices in the cars of all convicted drunken drivers," said Chuck Hurley, the CEO of MADD.
Jerry Wesley Camp, 43, was shot and killed by a Seminole County Deputy after having a rifle aimed at him. The police officer located Camp's truck after a 911 dispatch call reported a sexual assault at 10 am in the city of Winter Park. Camp exited his vehicle, raised his weapon at the officer leaving the deputy with no choice but to shoot in self-defense. FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) is currently underway in the investigation of this shooting.
Yvette Scott-Patterson will be charged with mortgage fraud in the purchasing of more than 30 properties by use of fraudulent home loans. The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida has said Scott-Patterson will be facing six years in prison, a $110,000 fine and deportation after her sentence. Prosecutors say that she and others in her group used false documentation in order to secure loans. Some of the fake papers were forged bank statements, false or stolen drivers licenses and phony employment verification letters. It is estimated that nearly $10 million in fraud was conducted by Scott-Patterson and her criminal colleagues. She fled the country in 2006 and was arrested 2 years later by the local Fugitve Apprehension Team resulting in her extradition back to the US. Nine individuals, including her husband Delroy Patterson, were charged and have plead guilty. Scott-Patterson's formal charges were one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, as well as another count of aggravated identity theft in association with the scheme.
Guma Aguiar, 32, claims that officers punched him, called him anti-Semetic slurs, and broke his fingers. Broward Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Leljedal said that the accusations made by Aguiar are ridiculous. Aguiar, a multimillionaire, has used an attorney to formally file a complaint that mistreatment occurred during him being in police custody. "He tried to intimidate me and said that he had money, he would fight and he would embarrass us," Leljedal said. For the plea deal that Aguiar faced, he paid $536 for fees in court and was guaranteed that both drug charges will be expunged.
Luis Pinto, a student of the University of Miami, was stabbed by Erik Dettenmayer after attacking him over a domestic argument. Pinto was told by his girlfriend he was visiting for the weekend, Tiffany Geisland, that she was interested in Dettenmayer. Dettenmayer stabbed Pinto in the ensuing fight with non-fatal injuries resulting. Pinto was treated for his injuries and released yet he could face assault and burglary charges. The whole incident took place in a dorm room on the campus of Florida State University. According to police, no charges have been filed at this time.
Gary Evan McCormack, 21, was stopped by Florida Highway Patrol near the St. Lucie exit for doing 26 mph over the speedlimit on I-95. After having the young man shake his shorts, a baggie filled with Xanax fell out. More pills were found on his person, with a total of 81 being discovered. Nearly $2000 in cash was also found on McCormack. Troopers were told by McCormack that he has a drug problem and is in fact addicted to them. McCormick, from Boca Raton, is being charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a control substance with intent to distribute and marijuana possession less than 20 grams.
Steven Rubinstein is being sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for tax evasion. Rubinstein admitted to failing to report an account he had with UBS. Government officials claim over $3 million in taxes was evaded by the use of an off-shore corporation in affiliation with a UBS account from the period of 2001 to 2008. This probe led to the investigation of others involved in Rubinstein's scheme. Government investigators have said to in prosecution that they are seeking the minimum spectrum of the sentencing guidelines due to Rubinstein's testimony being "timely, significant, useful, truthful, complete and reliable."
An unnamed minor was arrested under charges of burglary, criminal mischief and voyeurism by Palm Bay police. Police reported that the boy secretly watched a mother and her child. The young teenager was seen at the rear patio door of the lady's home. Police used a dog to track the child back to his home. The kid broke down and cried once he saw the officers and promised to never do it again. The teenager also allegedly cut a screen in the woman's pool patio to gain access while observing her on numerous occasions in the past.
An employee for the city of Boca Raton was carjacked recently at a local Swim and Racquet Center. Frank Lovince, the victim, told Boca Raton Police that the men ordered him out of the car at gunpoint. One woman was also involved in the carjacking of Lovince's black Chevrolet Blazer. The other suspect without a gun held Lovince down while the gun-wielding suspect rummaged through the victim's pockets taking his cell phone and cash. Lovince sustained no injuries from the incident. The woman involved with the 2 men at the crime scene just stood there and watched, according to Lovince. The stolen vehicle was recovered soon after in Lake Worth. Police are asking the public for any clues related to this incident. If you have any tips, please contact Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477.
17 butchered horse carcasses have turned up in Miami-Dade county alone, a record for the year and the highest number ever recorded for the county. The illicit meat is making a rise in appearance at restaurants across the area. Customers of the meat are dealing with restaurants in a "speakeasy" fashion in procuring the meat. Horse meat is not illegal in and of itself. Selling horse meat is a legal proposition as long as the meat is "stamped, marked and described as horse meat for human consumption." The problem is most of the meat turning up in investigations across South Florida have not been. Two men were arrested last month by Miami Police and charged with animal cruelty and burglary in the connection with two horses killed.
Jerrold Gabriel, a West Orange High School science teacher, threatened that he was going to shoot multiple students and kill the principal in 13 days from his notice. He was arrested for assault soon after the threat he told to a guidance counselor at the school. Numerous court documents show that Gabriel said he “wanted a student to be first on a list to get into a class and he would take a gun and shoot any student that was ahead of him on the list.” No students were named in the incident so Principal Larsen of the high school did not alert parents of the incident. Gabriel is currently on paid leave from the school and under a full investigation.
Melanie Sinclair, a gymnast from the University of Florida, was arrested on charges of storing televisions, computers, and firearms from burglaries in Gainesville. Three felony counts in total were stacked against her, listed as burglary of an occupied dwelling unarmed, larceny theft of less than $5000 and grand larceny of firearms. All nine of the shotguns/rifles and two computers were recovered from her apartment. Sinclair's boyfriend, Leonard Williams, 21, was arrested earlier this month for walking around an apartment complex with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Jeremy B. Bowen, 45, blew a .234 and .239 according to the Hernando County Sheriffs Office. Deputies charged man with driving under the influence (DUI) after he rode in a taxi cab then got out to ride in his bicycle along SR 50 in the Tampa area. He admitted to police that he drank five beer at a local restaurant. Police were notified of the man after a taxi driver called him in due to him being belligerent and causing a scene in his taxi cab.
An arrest for Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense, and a driver can be charged with a DUI offense if his or her blood alcohol level tests at .08% or higher. The state of Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws in the United States.
Wilfred "Will" Billingsley, 25, was arrested on charges of battery and resisting an officer without violence. He reportedly attempted to throw his girlfriend out the front door of their home after an argument stemming from her putting his shoes outside. Billingsley's girlfriend had minor injuries sustained to her arm and neck. The 'resisting without violence' charge occurred when Billingsley, according to police reports, said that he "couldn't go to jail" while pulling his arm away from the officer effecting an arrest.
Mark Anthony Griffin, a homeless man from Bartlow, FL, was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for stealing a box of cereal and a can of evaporated milk. The reason for this man's incredibly steep penalty is due to the fact that he has been labeled a "prison release re-offender." This title carries some heavier penalties for individuals who are convicted of a crime within three years of prison release. Griffin's petty theft would have landed him 3 years in prison and 2 years of probation according to the plea deal he rejected.
Stephen Crowley was arrested and charged with DUI and resisting an officer without violence. Crowley was found slumped in his car while it was running. Officers took medical action on the man since they saw that he was breathing from the open window. Eventually he woke up after numerous attempts by police to wake him up. He said he was "just waiting for the light to change" yet conflicting reports from the Navy base he was found on said he had been in that position for 30 minutes. The officer on scene had to turn off the car physically while Crowley was in the car and refusing to comply with commands. After being wrestled to the ground and tased for repeatedly not complying, Crowley was finally handcuffed. Crowley was taken into custody official on charges of driving under the influence.
Amer Ejak, 16, will be facing first-degree murder as an adult after his move a juvenile detention facility into the county jail. We covered this murder in a previous blog post weeks ago, but to briefly go over the event, Ejak and Christopher Cox, 22, killed a 34 year old man after hitting him in the head with a whiskey bottle in his own apartment. The two hid the body in a closet and fled the scene. Ejak will not be allowed bond and will be held by the state in preparation of his trial. The victim's parents attempted to contact their son for a few days before they notified police of his disappearance. Detectives searched the victim's apartment after serving a search warrant and then found the dead body.