Palm Beach County will no longer allow new pain clinic centers to be opened in an effort to crack down on illegal operations and put in place more stringent codes and laws. Illegal prescription drug abuse are being peddled by convicted drug dealers and even serial killers, some who have been opening these clinics for the public. Authorities have said that fatal drug overdoses are on the rise in relation to the spread of pain clinics opening up in the area. New laws coming in to legislation by December 2010 will allow the state to set standards on prescriptions from these facilities and the creation of a statewide database of prescriptions made and filled.
Oscar Hernandez, 19, Miguel Santiz, 25, and Victor Sanchez, 20, were all arrested in the two-day abduction of a couple and their son in Winter Garden. A victim, Marcela Borges, 27, was forced at gunpoint to withdraw $24,000 from a bank and then she was shot when trying to escape. Lt. Keith Ralston of the police department in the area stated, "It appears to us that it is not a random act." The four armed intruders got into the house of the victims, kept them blindfolded and transported them north to where they were to be kept captive overnight.
Getting a criminal record expunged is a common thing to do today. Students are taking advantage of this process in order to make clear records for any future employment and career opportunities they may be pursuing. One student, Debbie Robinson, 20, will be applying for a expunging of her record before she starts applying to become a nurse. She used some weed and got caught a high school football game a few years ago. There are some catches though to do this. In order to have records sealed or expunged, no adjudications of guilt or prior expunges must have occurred in the State of Florida. It costs another $75, a fingerprint form and a certified copy of some forms then one can become eligible to have their records sealed or expunged.
Palm Beach County, FL has topped the charts as being the 4th highest for foreclosure rates in the country. Along with this figure, the county has claimed a massive spike in domestic violence and child abuse incidents. The last few years have seen a spike of cases where children were killed by being shaken. This is up from prior years. Spousal-related homicides have also skyrocketed over the last few couple of years. Suzanne Turner, the CEO of YMCA Harmony House in Delray Beach, says that she has increased the amount of services she provides for women who need housing. Her organization is running at full capacity. Upper income class people down to middle income class are coming for assistance to these shelters due to parents being out of work and an increase in incidents of domestic violence.
Jimmy Smith, a former Jacksonville Jaguar football player, will be doing 18 months probation on a conviction of possession of cocaine. Smith was stopped by Florida Highway Patrol last April for dark tints on his vehicle. 6 grams of cocaine were found in the vehicle as well as 3 grams of marijuana and some other drug paraphernalia. Smith was place on probation following his hearing regarding all the drug charges and suspended license. Driving with a suspended license is illegal in the state of Florida. Probation is not something new to Jimmy Smith. He was on probation for a DUI last year.
Chrystina Lynn Mercer, 25, has been charged with neglect of a child with aggravated circumstances and interference of child custody. The 7 month old child was reported missing and found 4 days later in a box at a babysitter's house. "They gave us consent to search the home and we found the baby in a box under a bed, with stuff pushed around the box to hide the baby," said Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock. The baby was taken to a hospital and found to have no health issues. The child has been put in protective custody. Police say they have never had a case like this.
The Kentucky State Police and FBI have partnered in their prescription pill war efforts, resulting in more than 300 people being arrested in 2 days recently. The drugs the individuals obtained are usually bought at pain clinics in Florida and a few other states on the way from Kentucky. 518 arrest warrants were issued in total during the 3-year investigation known as Operation Flamingo Road. The traffickers from Kentucky, according to Lt. David Jude, would send droves of individuals to pain clinics in South Florida to obtain pills with falsified medical records. They would drive back up to put all the pills on the black market.
Jeffrey Lee Ervin, 21, was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and one count each of obstructing or opposing an officer with violence, carrying a concealed firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The Hillsborough County Sheriff involved was not injured and is doing fine. Paulo Santos-Rizzo, the 3 year veteran for the sheriffs office, was shot at 4am while establishing a perimeter during an investigation of 2 people reportedly breaking in cars. The suspect fled after being spotted by a K-9 handler. During the pursuit, the suspect Ervin shot at police, striking the rearview mirror area of the officer's vehicle, nearly hitting his head with the bullet. There was no return fire and the suspect was quickly apprehended. A severe and swift trial is in order for this repeat offender, with his last arrest being in July 2008 stemming from an aggravated assault incident involving a pellet gun and a violation of probation.
Lee County conducted a DUI checkpoint last Friday in Fort Myers. Starting at 11pm and ending at 3am, police officers nabbed 10 drivers under the influence of alcohol as well as a few other criminals committing crimes. Three individuals had no valid driver's license and four were driving with a suspended license. One individual was illegally carrying a concealed weapon. A significant number, 42, of traffic violations were cited with about 12 verbal warnings. A total of 758 vehicles passed through the checkpoint. Police and county officials do these checkpoints for the following reasons: 1. To remove impaired drivers from the road. 2. To reduce the likelihood that other impaired drivers will not operate on the roadways due to fear of being caught. 3. To heighten public awareness of DUI. and 4. To educate the public on the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Lee County Sheriff Office and Fort Myers Police Department partnered up for this checkpoint.
Joe Francis, age 36 and founder of the lewd soft-porn series "Girls Gone Wild", is on 1 year of probation after filing false tax returns and bribing jail workers. He already served 301 days of jail time in acceptance of his plea deal. "No additional incarceration is neccessary," said US District Judge S. James Otero last Friday. Francis will be paying back about $250,000 in restitution to the IRS and a $10,000 fine. A former tax account is to blame, accord to Francis, for the trouble he was in. Francis says that the account attempted to defraud him and turn him into authorities so he could collect some IRS reward money. Original charges against Francis accuse him of $20 million in fraudulent tax deductions.
Joshua Basso, 29, is accused of asking for sex from a 911 dispatcher. "The caller advised the 911 dispatcher that he was in the bathroom looking for sex and continued to make several obscene comments regarding masturbation and body parts," according to a report from Tampa police. Basso called back 4 times after being hung up on by the dispatcher. He was arrested immediately during the phone calls by Hillsborough police officials on charges of making a false 911 call. Basso ridiculously told police that "he was out of (cellphone) minutes and he called 911 because it was free." A mental evaluation is most likely in order for this deranged individual.
A man from South Bend, Indiana is being accused of molestation charges to his mentally challenged step-daughter. Timothy Strait, 38, is looking at child molesting, criminal confinement, and domestic battery. The mother to the child woke up one day on a Sunday morning to see her husband, Timothy, lying on top of the daughter. After she confronted him, he said that the two were just wrestling, when he then proceeded to push the wife to the floor refusing her to leave the apartment. Strait has a criminal history ranging from other incidents of domestic violence to theft convictions in Florida.
Lawrence Taylor, a football star in Florida, was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, according to Miami-Dade County jail records. This is a second degree misdemeanor in the State of Florida. Taylor is a former player for the New York Giants. He has a marred history with incidents of cocaine use during his football career, yet his is still hailed as one of NFL's all-time best players.
Scott Rothstein, 47, is suspected of misappropriating millions of dollars via investments of faked legal settlements. FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents searched the law offices of Rothstein Rosenfeldt, home of the high-profile South Florida attorney. Investment fraud is at the center of the matter. Nearly $100 million in total fraud is estimated to have occurred in Rothstein's debacle. No charges have been filed yet against Rothstein, and his lawyer declined to comment on any of the events surrounding his client.
Tyron Hamilton Oliver, 38, is being charged with two counts of child abuse and assault. Oliver gave a near-lethal amount of alcohol to his 14-year-old nephew, according to police. The child received grain alcohol and cigarettes to his nephew when the 14 year old's father was not at home. The child was severely impaired to the point of 0.267 BAC; 0.3 can be deadly, for reference. The nephew's father came back home and held a combative Oliver down until police arrived on the scene.