Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 393 • May 25, 2018
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing

Florida is a safer place to live now, than it was in 1970. The state’s crime rate continues to fall and this week, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a report highlighting a 4.5 percent drop in overall crime statewide. The report shows 28,640 fewer crimes in 2017, than in 2016.

I want to thank our brave law enforcement officers and dedicated prosecutors for this dramatic drop in the state’s crime rate. It is because of their aggressive commitment to justice and selfless sacrifice that Florida remains the best place to live, work and raise a family.

As a career prosecutor and Florida’s Attorney General, I have worked hand-in-hand with Florida’s finest to help our state continue on this path of safety and prosperity. I am humbled by their commitment to this goal and our communities. Sadly, Florida has lost five law enforcement heroes this year, and while we celebrate the state’s lowest crime rate in 47 years, let’s not forget the high price of our safety and the heroes who pay it.

Monday is Memorial Day, and as we enter the holiday weekend, take a moment to reflect on the courageous military heroes who sacrificed their lives for our great county. I am forever grateful for the courage and selflessness these extraordinary Americans exhibit defending our country. Please pray for our troops and their amazing families. It is because of them that we continue to live free.

In the News
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi makes a strong statement about state’s opioid crisis, Miami Herald

Florida’s Crime Rate Hits 47-Year Low, Crime Rate Drops 4.5% In 2017, Space Coast Daily

Florida's crime rate hits 47-year low, but violent crime still high, News 4 Jax

Attorney General looking into complaints of aggressive sales tactics at Tampa company, WFLA

FDLE: Total crimes down 4.5 percent in 2017, Naples Herald

Bid to ban dog racing draws court fight, Panama City News Herald


Protecting Floridians
Drug Dealer Arrested for Murder Involving Fentanyl Overdose Death
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Plant City Police Department announced the arrest of Victor Jason Valentin, 27, for allegedly dealing heroin mixed with fentanyl that led to the death of a Plant City resident.

Following the death of a 64-year old man in November 2017, FDLE and the Plant City Police Department began an investigation into Valentin for alleged drug dealing in an apartment complex. Sources observed several individuals entering and exiting the apartment within a short period of time, consistent with the sale of illegal narcotics. Investigators received the decedent’s cellular phone as part of the continuing investigation. Probable cause warranted approval for a search warrant seeking data from the cellular phone as evidence in the homicide investigation. More.

FDLE agents arrest two on grand theft charges of elderly victim

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested two Pasco County residents on racketeering charges related to theft of more than $480,000 from an elderly victim.

Chet Alan Ragsdale, 45, New Port Richey, faces racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, 28 counts of grand theft, money laundering, 25 counts of forgery, 25 counts of uttering a forged instrument, and dealing in stolen property. Barbara DiCioccio, 52, of New Port Richey, faces charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, 25 counts of grand theft and money laundering. Ragsdale and DiCioccio are not legally married but live together as a couple.

In April 2017, FDLE agents launched an investigation after a complaint was filed with the Office of Statewide Prosecution for grand theft. During the investigation, agents learned Ragsdale and DiCioccio worked for the victim. Both had access to the victim’s bank records and accounts. DiCioccio was entrusted with bookkeeping responsibilities. The investigation revealed several checks made payable to the victim had been deposited into Ragsdale’s account and a joint account he had with DiCioccio. Agents determined DiCioccio would open the mail and give the checks to Ragsdale, who would ask the victim to endorse the checks. The victim believed the checks were being deposited in her bank account but they were not. More.



Events
Attorney General Bondi recognizing the sacrifice of our fallen men and women who have died protecting our great country. May God bless our troops and their amazing families. The Attorney General wishes everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend.



Attorney General Bondi recognizing National Missing Children’s Day this week. Last year 400,000 children were reported missing.




The Florida Attorney General’s Office will be kicking off the 33rd National Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community in Jacksonville next week. The two-day event, from May 30 to June 1, aims to promote positive solutions to help overcome and eliminate crime-related issues affecting the black community. For more information about the conference, visit PreventBlackCrime.com.