Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
As a career prosecutor and Florida’s Attorney General, I understand how vital DNA evidence is to solving violent crimes—that is why we are working to eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in Florida. April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and in recognition of the month, we are highlighting the great progress being made to test unprocessed sexual assault kits in our state.
The latest Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows 2,963 kits tested since July of last year. These tests have produced 681 matches in the Combined DNA Index System that can be used by law enforcement to identify suspects in cold cases, and hopefully solve crimes.
In 2015, I formally called for the testing of our state’s previously unprocessed sexual assault kits. A few months later, a statewide assessment by FDLE identified a statewide backlog of unprocessed kits. During the 2016 Legislative Session, working with law enforcement, lawmakers and victim advocates we secured millions of dollars in funding to provide our state with the resources needed to test these kits and eliminate the backlog.
With nearly 3,000 kits processed so far, the state is on track to meet its goal of testing all 8,600 unprocessed kits by June of 2019—while continuing to quickly process new evidence.
The trauma of a sexual assault can haunt a victim their entire life, especially if the predator is never caught. Testing these kits can help us solve crimes, catch sexual predators and hopefully bring some closure to victims.
Heroin Trafficker Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison
Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the sentencing of a heroin trafficker arrested during a massive drug bust in 2016. A Bradenton jury today found Michael Brian Brooks guilty of conspiracy to traffic heroin, 28 grams or more. The Honorable Stephen Dakan, Senior Judge for the 20th Judicial Circuit, sentenced Brooks to 25 years in prison and ordered Brooks to pay a $500,000 fine. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution prosecuted Brooks and is prosecuting the remaining defendants connected to the investigation. More.
Attorney General Bondi Urges Floridians to Participate in Drug Take Back Day
Attorney General Pam Bondi is encouraging Floridians to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Drug Take-Backs allow the public to take expired or no longer needed prescription drugs to local drop-off points for proper disposal.
“Addicts will often rummage through a relative’s medicine cabinet in search of a quick high—sadly, this can be deadly. That is why it is important to get rid of your nonessential or outdated prescription drugs. Please take five minutes to review the contents of your medicine cabinet, and if you locate any unwanted medicine, take it to the nearest Drug Take Back location. This simple task could save a life,” said Attorney General Bondi. More.
Hillsborough County Woman Arrested for Abuse of a Disabled Adult
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Hillsborough County resident for abusing a disabled adult. Erica R. Reid, 24, is a former employee of NeuroRestorative Florida, a Medicaid funded facility in Lutz. The facility houses a number of developmentally disabled residents. According to the MFCU investigation, Reid became upset with the behavior of one of the disabled residents and shoved the resident in the back, causing the victim to fall to the floor. NeuroRestorative Florida terminated Reid’s employment. More.
Substance Abuse Marketing Bill Passes Florida House of Representatives
Bill aims to protect vulnerable Floridians and fix sober homes issue
House Bill 807, sponsored by Representative Bill Hager unanimously passed the Florida House of Representatives. The legislation is based in part on the recommendations of the Sober Home Task Force created last year by the Florida Legislature.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced at a press conference this month that House Bill 807 passage was a priority for her office this session and said "I applaud Representative Bill Hager on this critical sober homes legislation that will help curb unscrupulous clinics and protect vulnerable Floridians." More.
Four Defendants Sentenced to Prison in Multi-Million Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving Sober Homes and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Centers
Four defendants, including two sober home owners, the clinical director of a substance abuse treatment center, and a sales representative for multiple diagnostic laboratories were sentenced to prison for their participation in a health care fraud scheme that involved the filing of fraudulent insurance claim forms and licensing documentation.
Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Benjamin G. Greenberg, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and additional federal, state and local partners made the announcement. More.
Attorney General Pam Bondi joining law enforcement, members of the Junior League of Tampa and the Tampa Bay community to highlight a mural to spread awareness about human trafficking. The mural displayed near the Greyhound bus station in Tampa states, “I am not for sale. I am priceless.” and also gives the number to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The mural was painted by Tes One.
Attorney General Bondi visiting with members of the Junior League of Tampa. The Junior League of Tampa funded the mural.
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission convened for public hearings Wednesday in Gainesville at the University of Florida and Thursday in Jacksonville at the Florida State College at Jacksonville. An estimated 500 Floridians attended the two hearings this week. Attorney General Bondi is honored to sit on the Commission that convenes every 20 years to review and propose changes to Florida’s Constitution. To learn more about the Commission, visit FLCRC.gov.