Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
Yesterday, my heart sank as I heard about two Gilchrist County Sheriff’s deputies that were ambushed and fatally shot while eating lunch at a restaurant in Trenton, Florida. There are no words to express the amount of grief these families are feeling right now. The daily risk that law enforcement officers take to protect our communities is overwhelming. They swear under oath to protect and serve the citizens of their community, even though some of these heartless citizens may want to hurt them.
Two of my victim advocates immediately went to Trenton to assist and offer support to the families of Sergeant Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey. My office is also available for fellow law enforcement officers, restaurant employees or customers affected by this tragedy. I am praying for everyone involved in this senseless act, especially the families, as they mourn the loss of their loved ones. God bless our law enforcement community—Sergeant Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey are heroes, and they will never be forgotten.
Earlier this week, the Constitution Revision Commission concluded the process of proposing amendments to the Florida Constitution. It has been a privilege to serve amongst fellow Commissioners during this important and historical process.
On Monday, I introduced for the final time, Proposal 6012, which creates a new section in the State Constitution to prohibit the racing and wagering on greyhounds and other dogs in Florida by 2020. The humane treatment of animals must be a fundamental value of Florida and this proposal guarantees that. Today, 18 dog racing tracks still exist in the United States, of that 18, 12 are operated in Florida. Greyhound and other dog racing is banned in 40 out of the 50 states, and it is time for Florida to relinquish the black eye this inhumane practice has on our state.
I want to thank my fellow Commissioners for voting favorably on this proposal and allowing Floridians to decide on the November ballot. I also want to commend my co-introducers, Commissioners, Lisa Carlton, Don Gaetz, Emery Gainey, Brecht Heuchan, Tom Lee and Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch for sharing my passion and love of animals.
Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Conspiracy to Traffic $70,000 Worth of Cocaine
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Drug Enforcement Administration secured the sentencing of Juan Benjamin Valera-Rodriguez, 56, of Weston, for conspiracy to traffic and trafficking several kilograms of cocaine.
Throughout a several weeks targeted investigation, law enforcement agents suspected Valera-Rodriguez conducted drug transactions from various businesses he was associated with in the Fort Myers area. With the assistance of a cooperating witness, agents oversaw the negotiation of a large-scale drug deal where Valera-Rodriguez offered to sell two kilograms of cocaine for the amount of $70,000. Authorities with the Florida Highway Patrol intercepted the cocaine before any exchange of drugs or money took place. More.
FDLE Agents arrest Tampa man on more than 100 counts related to child pornography
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Jesus Riol, 45, of Tampa, on 100 counts of child pornography and 5 counts of transmission of child pornography.
During an investigation launched in the Fall of 2017, agents identified a residence in Tampa suspected of distributing child pornography. A subpoena was issued for the account and further investigation showed several file names consistent with child pornography. Upon executing a search warrant at the home, investigators conducted a forensic analysis of several electronic devices and found more than 1,100 files containing images or videos with child pornography. More.
Debt Relief Scammers Settle with FTC and Florida; Will Submit $35 Million in Assets for Consumer Redress
Three marketers who allegedly sold phony debt relief services, including fake loans, have agreed to be banned from selling debt relief, credit repair and financial products and services, to be banned from telemarketing, and to turn over assets worth approximately $35 million dollars, under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Florida.
The settlement orders, if entered by the court, will resolve the agencies’ charges against Jeremy Lee Marcus, Craig Davis Smith and Yisbet Segrea, who allegedly convinced people to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by falsely promising to resolve their debts and improve their credit. Over time, victims found their debts unpaid, their accounts in default, and their credit scores lower – some were sued by their creditors, and some were forced into bankruptcy. The proposed orders impose a $85,326,648.45 judgment against each of the settling defendants, jointly and severally. More.
Attorney General Pam Bondi presenting Proposal 6012 to commissioners of the Constitutional Revision Commission, this proposal will ban dog racing in Florida.
Attorney General Bondi congratulates MFCU Law Enforcement Investigator Chris M. Presley for receiving the Fraud Fighter Achievement Award. Investigator Presley uncovered an orchestrated Medicaid fraud scheme that billed AHCA nearly $300K for services never rendered.
Attorney General Bondi congratulates MFCU Law Enforcement Investigator Earl Rutland for receiving the Special Achievement for Public Safety and Awareness Award.
Attorney General Bondi celebrating the kickoff of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition. Their mission is to bring attention to the need to protect corridors between preserved areas so wildlife can migrate through Florida. For additional information on the Florida Wildlife Corridor and updates on their current trek, please visit the website at http://floridawildlifecorridor.org.
Attorney General Bondi honors the life of the 37th First Lady of the United States, Barbara Bush. Mrs. Bush championed the cause of family literacy that aimed to eliminate the generational cycle of illiteracy in the U.S. She will be remembered for her commitment as First Lady and her love of family and country.