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Gov. DeSantis asks FDLE to take over Jeffrey Epstein investigation

FDLE to review work release program

Jeffrey Epstein faces charges from incidents in the early 2000s.
Jeffrey Epstein faces charges from incidents in the early 2000s. (Copyright 2019 CNN)

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Florida's governor is asking state law enforcement officials to take over a criminal investigation of irregularities in the handling of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

At Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw's request, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to review a work release program that allowed Epstein to visit his office while staying at the county jail a decade ago.

DeSantis also requested an inquiry into other irregularities.

Last month, Bradshaw opened criminal and internal affairs investigations into Epstein's 13-month stay at the Palm Beach County stockade. Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to prostitution-related charges involving underage girls. Epstein was allowed to spend most days at his West Palm Beach office.

During that time, victims' attorney Bradley Edwards alleged, Epstein was engaging in inappropriate sexual acts.

The 66-year-old Epstein pleaded not guilty earlier tlast month to charges of conspiracy of sex trafficking in New York. From 2002 to 2005, prosecutors say he paid hundreds of dollars to girls as young as 14 to have sex with him, some of whom he paid to recruit other victims.

CNN contributed to this report.