Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
This week, I hosted the first of four discussions in our Mental Health and Criminal Justice Summer Round Table Series. The series is focused on identifying best practices and innovative strategies to help improve how Florida’s criminal justice system addresses individuals suffering from mental health issues.
This first round table looked at ways we can improve mental health within Florida’s law enforcement ranks. According to BlueHelp.org, 165 active and retired law enforcement officers nationwide committed suicide in 2018. That same year, 163 officers died in the line of duty.
Let that sink in for a minute. More active and retired law enforcement officers took their own lives last year than were killed while protecting their communities.
Suicide is a silent epidemic threatening our law enforcement ranks, and we will not remain silent about this topic. That is why I joined Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and more than 40 law enforcement leaders from across the state to discuss ways to prevent suicide and ensure officers can access life-saving services when they need them most. State Senator Darryl Rouson and Representative Dianne Hart also joined the discussion.
This is such an important topic; therefore, we are hosting this series in different cities across our state—to engage lawmakers, law enforcement officers, judges and other criminal justice leaders in the communities they serve.
The next round table will focus on addressing mental health issues prior to arrests. The event will be held at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on June 26.
For more information, and for details on the remaining round table discussions, click here.
In The News
Florida Attorney General Hosts First Mental Health, Criminal Justice Round Table In Tampa, WUSF Public Media
Mental health: Florida attorney general wants to stop stigma, fix system, WTSP
Florida joins lawsuit against makers of generic drugs, Ocala StarBanner
Port Orange woman among 20 arrested after Volusia County drug raid, Port Orange Observer
Hernando County Sheriff: Nine men paid teen’s guardian for sex with girl, Tampa Bay Times
10 charged in human trafficking bust out of Hernando County, WTSP
Super Bowls, Wrestlemania to test state’s human trafficking response, Florida Politics
Crowdsourcing charity scam alert issued by attorney general, WJXT
Attorney General Moody Highlights Senior Fraud Training in Recognition of Older Americans Month
Attorney General Ashley Moody is recognizing Older Americans Month by highlighting the upcoming Senior Scam Stopper Workshop and Awards program. Next month, Attorney General Moody will host a free workshop to help seniors learn to spot and stop fraud. Following the workshop, Attorney General Moody will present awards to several Senior Sleuths for their exceptional work through the Seniors v. Crime Project.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Equipping seniors with the information necessary to spot scams is an important weapon in our fight to stop fraud and protect older Floridians. No one does this better than our Senior Sleuths, and I am looking forward to recognizing their good work at our Senior Scam Stopper Workshop and Awards program next month. I hope you can join us.” More.
Attorney General Moody Files Major Antitrust Action Against Generic Drug Companies
Attorney General Ashley Moody and 43 other attorneys general filed suit against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and 19 other generic drug manufacturers in federal district court in Connecticut for allegedly engaging in a broad conspiracy to reduce competition and restrain trade for more than 100 generic drugs. As a result of the alleged conspiracy, consumers and government purchasers in Florida, and elsewhere, paid more for generic drugs than they would have in a competitive market. The drugs at issue in the complaint account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Inflating and manipulating the pricing of essential drugs prescribed to those with chronic conditions is shameful. Routine health care can already be a burdensome cost for individuals, not to mention those suffering with life-altering and critical illnesses, and patients should not have to further worry about rising prescription drug costs of medicine they may desperately need. I am proud of my office for being one of the lead states in this ongoing investigation, and I hope this new complaint will help restore faith that drug pricing and our marketplace are both legal and fair.” More.
CONSUMER ALERT: Crowdsourcing Scams Exploit Good Intentions
Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert about crowdsourcing charity scams. These scams often use a disaster or fake personal tragedy story to exploit people’s good intentions. A suspicious crowdsourcing solicitation quickly raised nearly $1,000 from generous Floridians before being flagged as a potential scam. After Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division began looking into the potential scam, the crowdsourcing platform removed the page and is holding contributions.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Crowdsourcing charity scams are designed to exploit the generous nature of well-intentioned donors. It is truly amazing how many generous people stand ready to give of their resources to help their fellow Floridians, but before giving, donors should take steps to make sure contributions will be used for the stated cause.” More.
Authorities Seize Deadly Opioids and Shut Down Massive Drug Trafficking Operation
Attorney General Ashley Moody and Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood announced the arrests of eight individuals, dismantling a massive drug trafficking operation responsible for trafficking heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. Authorities of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office seized 37 grams of heroin and fentanyl, 16 grams of cocaine, 20 guns, $300,000 in cash and three cars. Independent sources identified the drug trafficking organization as being responsible for the distribution of multiple kilograms of heroin and cocaine monthly in Volusia County. A total of 21 arrest warrants and nine search warrants were issued because of the investigation. Additional arrests are expected in the future.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The members of this massive drug trafficking ring thought they were clever enough to get away with selling deadly opioids to Floridians, but they couldn’t outsmart Sheriff Chitwood’s Deputies and our Statewide Prosecutors. This is the second massive opioid takedown on Florida’s East Coast this month, and these arrests should serve as a strong warning to anyone trying to sell poison to Floridians—that we will catch you and you will pay for your crimes.” More.
Nine Arrested on Human Trafficking Charges
Attorney General Ashley Moody, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the arrests of nine individuals on charges related to human trafficking. Authorities began the human trafficking investigation after receiving an anonymous tip about an online ad offering a minor for sex.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This human trafficking investigation began with an anonymous tip—a brave individual who saw a child in trouble and reported it to law enforcement. Because of that tip, exceptional law enforcement work and legal support from our statewide prosecutors, the victim was rescued and those responsible are behind bars.” More.
This week, Attorney General Moody hosted the first of four round table discussions on mental health and criminal justice with Florida law enforcement leaders. The focus is to identify the best practices and innovative strategies to help improve how Florida’s criminal justice system addresses individuals suffering from mental health issues.
Attorney General Moody delivering remarks at a press conference in Brooksville regarding a human trafficking investigation. The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement all contributed to the investigation leading to the arrests of nine individuals
Attorney General Moody giving the keynote address at a Drug Free America event in Tampa. The Drug Free America Foundation is committed to developing strategies that prevent drug use and promote sustained recovery.
Attorney General Moody speaking with a group of middle school students touring the State Capitol.
Next month, Attorney General Moody will host a Senior Scam Stopper Workshop in The Villages. All seniors are encouraged to attend this free event that will provide information about spotting scams and preventing fraud targeting older Floridians. For more information, click here.
Leading up to this workshop, the Attorney General is promoting a Super Senior Sleuth weekly. At the workshop, one of these Super Sleuths will receive an Advocate of the Year Award for their outstanding work in protecting seniors.
Our Super Senior Sleuth for this week is Bryan, who fights senior fraud out of the Sumter County office. Congrats, Bryan! To learn more about Bryan, click here.