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FDLE consultant arrested in fraud scheme

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A consultant with more than two decades’ experience working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was arrested and charged with grand theft and organized scheme to defraud the state government, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday. John Leland Goelz, a non-sworn technical consultant to the FDLE for 23 years, oversaw the cellphones used by agents and employees throughout the agency, said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Pessinger. Investigators believe Goelz purchased cellphones for himself and his family using FDLE’s mobile device contract,…

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Appropriations Committee approves bill removing police ‘discretion tool’ in first-time cases with juveniles

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A bill introduced and passed unanimously in the Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice Wednesday would take away tool long since considered useful, but increasingly controversial – the power of discretion. The measure – SB 196 — could drastically limit what those in the policing community could do when responding to calls involving minors, detractors at the meeting — which included representatives from the law enforcement associations — argued, as the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Anitere Flores looked on. “We…

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Florida child protection investigator arrested for lying in possible sex abuse case

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A former child protection detective in Florida was arrested for lying in an ongoing investigation involving the possible sexual assault of a child, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Children and Families confirmed Monday. According to court records, Brittanee Sharmayne Carter, 27, was taken into custody by agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) after a warrant was issued for her arrest. She was charged with two felony counts of altering or destroying the records of a…

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Five nominees slated for Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

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As many as five people – including a former FDLE head and two late county sheriffs – will likely be added to the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame, according to documents filed for the next Cabinet meeting. Cabinet aides meet today to prepare for the next meeting, set for next Tuesday. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen will present Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam with…

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Rick Scott wants to hire counterterrorism agents

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Vowing to do everything he can to prevent another terrorist attack like the June 12 Pulse nightclub massacre, Gov. Rick Scott pushed for nearly $6 million to create a new counter-terrorism and law enforcement intelligence task force in Florida. “Terror, like we saw in the attack on the Pulse nightclub, is a threat to our state, our nation and each of us,” Scott said in announcing the proposal at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Orlando Regional Operations Center Wednesday. “We need…

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Autopsies: A third of Pulse nightclub victims shot in head

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More than a third of the 49 patrons killed during the Pulse nightclub massacre were shot in the head, and most of the victims had multiple bullet wounds, according to autopsy reports released this week. Only two victims had traces of soot, gunpowder or stippling, meaning most of the victims were likely more than 3 feet away when they were shot in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The autopsies show that about half of the victims had…

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No charges related to abuse allegations at Florida school

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No one will be charged in connection with allegations of sexual abuse and murder at a now-shuttered reform school for boys in Florida, with prosecutors saying the passage of time has erased crucial evidence and left many potential witnesses dead. State Attorney Glenn Hess, the lead prosecutor for six north Florida counties, told state investigators in late May there was no way to bring charges after authorities quietly investigated for two years. Fifty alleged victims have come forward. “While wine…

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