Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 44 Nov. 8, 2019
Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
The Florida Medical Examiners released new statistics this week highlighting a decrease in drug-related deaths. Opioid-related deaths declined by 10 percent and overall it appears Florida is moving in the right direction.
While this is encouraging, far too many people continue to die from drug abuse in our state. We must do more to stop the national opioid crisis ravaging Florida. According to the just-released
, 5,576 opioid-related deaths were reported in Florida in 2018—down by more than 600 lives from the year before.
Broken down, that means an average of 15 people die every day from opioid abuse in our state. Exacerbating this crisis is the influx of deadly fentanyl. Although opioid-related and overall drug deaths decreased, deaths caused by fentanyl rose by more than 30 percent.
These statistics are important for tracking progress in the fight to end the opioid crisis, but we can never lose sight of the fact that these numbers represent lives. These are Floridians with mothers and fathers, many are parents themselves leaving behind orphaned children.
They are Florida families and this crisis is ripping them apart.
That is why I am working through my office, and as Chair of the Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse, to end this crisis and save lives. It is why I urged Floridians to participate in last month’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and it is why I launched a website,
, with a map of take-back locations open daily. This site also provides a one-stop shop of information about opioid addiction and other great resources.
This statewide resource is just one weapon in our fight to end the opioid crisis. While I’m glad the death rate is falling, I will not let up on our tireless efforts to end this crisis. Please join us in this fight. Working together, we can build a stronger, safer Florida.
In the News
New statewide legal helpline in place to help protect veterans, service members, WFLA Tampa
CONSUMER ALERT: Millions available for victims of tech support scams, Action News Jax
Millions in restitution available to victims of tech support scams, WFLA Tampa
Over 5 million children and teens are vaping in the U.S., researchers say, CBS News
Truckers Against Human Trafficking: Spotting the Signs on the Road, WMFE Radio
Attorney General explains capital's plan for opioid crisis, WEAR Pensacola
CONSUMER ALERT: Millions Available for Victims of Tech Support Scams
Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert to let victims of several tech support scams know that millions of dollars in restitution is available. A multimillion-dollar claims process is now in place following action taken by the Florida Attorney General’s Office to shut down several companies operating tech support scams. Banc of America Merchant Services provided payment processing for the accused companies. Through an agreement with Banc of America, a claims process is now in place with $7,200,000 available for victims.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Tech support scams are designed to make consumers think they are experiencing a computer problem. Many victims may not even know they are being scammed until months later. My Consumer Protection Division is aggressively pursuing tech support scammers, and victims need to know that restitution is available in many cases. If you or someone you know has experienced a tech support scam, please review the information provided by our office regarding the claims process—you may be eligible for restitution.”
Attorney General Moody, Truckers Against Trafficking and the Florida Trucking Association Host Human Trafficking Training Event
Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with Truckers Against Trafficking and the Florida Trucking Association, hosted a training seminar in Orlando to aid truck drivers in spotting and stopping human trafficking. The training is beneficial for all stakeholders by encouraging cooperation in implementing effective strategies to combat human trafficking statewide.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am excited to hold this training session with our partners, Truckers Against Trafficking and the Florida Trucking Association, so that truck drivers across our state will be equipped with the tools needed to spot human trafficking. Truck drivers are our eyes and ears on Florida’s roadways and play an important role in our fight to end human trafficking in our state. We must use every available resource to catch traffickers and rescue victims, and partnerships like this are instrumental in our efforts.”
Attorney General Moody Announces Partnership with Statewide Legal Helpline to Better Protect Veterans and Service Members
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a new partnership to bolster ongoing efforts to protect Florida veterans and service members. The partnership between the Florida Attorney General’s Military and Veteran Assistance Program and Bay Area Legal Services’ Florida Veterans Legal Helpline will allow for a more rapid response to fraud, identity theft and other legal issues confronting current and former military members.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida veterans and service members risk their lives to protect this great country, and as a state, we must do all that we can to make sure these brave men and women have access to legal support in their time of need. By coordinating efforts between MVAP and the Helpline, we can bolster the ongoing efforts of our organizations and hopefully improve outcomes for military members and veterans targeted by scammers or confronted with other legal challenges.”
Lead Ninja Robber Found Guilty and Sentenced to Life in Prison
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution secured lifetime prison sentences for the lead ninja robber in a crime ring that terrorized homeowners in Collier and Orange counties. Andres Perez was previously found guilty on 34 charges related to home invasions.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These so-called ninja robbers will attack Florida homes no more. I am proud of my Statewide Prosecutors and our law enforcement partners for investigating, arresting and securing long prison sentences for these home invaders who terrorized Floridians. Anyone that would inflict this type of terror on their fellow Floridians has no place in our society, and we can all rest a little easier knowing the members of this crime ring are doing hard-time behind bars—where they belong.”
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody held a training seminar to teach truck drivers how to spot and stop human trafficking. Attorney General Moody is teaming up with the Florida Trucking Association and Truckers Against Trafficking in an effort to better equip truck drivers with the tools necessary to identify human trafficking.
Attorney General Moody with Orange County Sheriff John Mina and Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón following the human trafficking training seminar.
Attorney General Moody being presented a plaque from the Florida Police Benevolent Association for her commitment to Back the Blue.
Attorney General Moody meeting with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo in her Capitol office.
Attorney General Moody speaking at a news conference at Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa announcing a new partnership between the Attorney General's Military and Veteran Assistance Program and the Florida Veterans Legal Helpline. The partnership will work to bolster efforts to protect Florida veterans and service members.
Attorney General Moody released the following statement in observance of Veteran’s Day:
“Our great nation exists and remains strong because of the bravery and sacrifice of our servicemen and servicewomen. If you see a veteran, please thank them for their service. God Bless our veterans and the USA!”