State Attorney says head of PAC in alleged ghost candidate case will not face charges
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — After a months-long investigation, prosecutors on Friday found the head of a political action committee involved in an alleged ghost candidate scheme will not face charges.
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Florida underwater music festival raises awareness on coral reef conservation
BIG PINE KEY, Fla. — (AP) — They weren’t in a “Yellow Submarine,” but hundreds of people spent time below the waves Saturday for a music festival off the Florida Keys. READ: FDLE kicks off new campaign showcasing K-9 officers and their handlersThe Beatles’ hit and other ocean-themed songs like the theme to “The Little Mermaid” were part of the entertainment during the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival. The divers and snorkelers, many dressed as mermaids and sea creatures, enjoyed music played through waterproof speakers dangling from boats floating above the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Florida underwater music festival raises awareness on coral reef conservationThe festival took place at Looe Key Reef, about 6 miles from Big Pine Key. Florida underwater music festival raises awareness on coral reef conservationClick here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.wftv.com
FDLE issues AMBER Alert for 8-year-old Jacksonville boy
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida Amber Alert has been issued out of Duval County for 8-year-old Ja’rell Lewis. FL AMBER Alert for 8yo B/M Ja'rell Lewis, last seen 2600 block University Blvd N, Jacksonville. May be w Terrell Lewis, 2006 black Suzuki Forenza, FL tag 72BEYB. #FLAMBER pic.twitter.com/WKAIUo6Y3L — FDLE (@fdlepio) April 29, 2022FDLE said Reed was last seen in the 2600 block of University Boulevard in Jacksonville. Amber Alert for Ja'rell Lewis Amber Alert for Ja'rell LewisClick here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.wftv.com
FDLE issues AMBER Alert for 4-year-old from Tampa
FDLE issues AMBER Alert for missing 4-year-old from Tampa The child may be in the company of Kami George and Matthew Leighton. (WFTV)HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida Amber Alert has been issued out of Hillsborough County for 4-year-old Terry Reed. FDLE said Reed was last seen in the area of 4100 North McDill Avenue in Tampa. A Florida AMBER Alert has been issued for 4-year-old Terry Reed, last seen in Tampa. He may be with Kami George and Matthew Leighton and may be traveling in a 2010, red Toyota Camry, FL tag number LBEZ01.wftv.com
Missing Child Alert issued for 9-year-old Florida boy last seen Friday, FDLE says
Missing Child Alert issued for 9-year-old Florida boy last seen Friday, FDLE saysLIVE OAK, Fla. — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a Missing Child Alert on Saturday night in North Florida. WATCH: Weather Alert Day: Freeze warnings issued as major cold front moves into Central FloridaFDLE said 9-year-old Jaxon Nickerson was last seen near the 7000 block of 160th Trail in Live Oak in Suwannee County. Jaxon is around 4 feet tall, weighs 65 pounds and has long hair that may be in a ponytail. A FL MISSING CHILD Alert for 9yo W/M Jaxon Nickerson, 4'0", 65lbs, blonde hair/ hazel eyes, last seen in Live Oak. #FLMissingChild pic.twitter.com/RVrEAEuwIE — FDLE (@fdlepio) January 30, 2022FDLE did not say why the alert was issued for Nickerson but mentioned he has been missing since Friday.wftv.com
Missing Seminole County girls may be with ‘armed and dangerous’ woman, FDLE says
Missing Seminole County girls may be with ‘armed and dangerous’ woman, FDLE saysSEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — An alert was issued Sunday afternoon after reports of two missing girls out of Seminole County. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement put out missing child alerts for Natasha Hurtado, 10, and Lilianna Hurtado, 13. Missing Seminole County girls may be with ‘armed and dangerous’ woman, FDLE saysLilianna Hurtado has brown eyes and hair and is around 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs around 110 pounds. Officiails said the missing girls may be with 32-year-old Di’Last Kellie who has brown eyes and black hair and is around 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs around 120 pounds. Anyone who sees them is asked to call the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office at 407-665-6650 or 911 and not to approach Kellie.wftv.com
FDLE issues AMBER Alert for 2 children out of Broward County
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida AMBER Alert has been issued for two children from Deerfield Beach. FDLE said Zaynah Obidy and Zain Obidy were last seen in the area of the 4400 block of Crystal Lake Drive in Deerfield Beach. A Florida AMBER Alert has been issued for 5-year-old Zaynah Obidy and 6-year-old Zain Obidy. pic.twitter.com/fk8MSPaFqD — FDLE (@fdlepio) August 28, 2021Authorities said the children may be in the company of Max Carias-Carrilo and may be traveling in a 2011, black BMW 535 series, FL tag number PJH1B. Officials ask anyone with information on the location of Zaynah and Zain to contact law enforcement immediately.wftv.com
Temperatures will continue to warm up this week in Central Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. – The heat is still building in Central Florida. For St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday, Central Florida is looking at more heat. Thursday the high goes to 90 degrees. Late Thursday, a cold front marches into Central Florida from the Gulf of Mexico. By Friday, Central Florida goes right back to partly cloudy sky conditions and dry conditions.
Massive fire destroys Alan Grayson’s home in Windermere
WINDERMERE, Fla. – A Windermere home owned by former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson was destroyed Tuesday morning in a fire. Orange County Fire Rescue tweeted, “All occupants are reported out safely and no injuries have been noted.”Massive fire destroys Alan Grayson’s home in WindermereGrayson’s wife, Dr. Dena Grayson, later tweeted, “Thank you for your support, friends. Grayson, a Democrat, held Florida’s District 9 congressional seat from 2009 to 2011 and 2013 to 2017. https://t.co/lryzTHbNMr — Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@DrDenaGrayson) March 16, 2021ACTIVE FIRE: Multiple units are battling a house fire in Windermere on Oak Park. Orange County Fire Rescue reported the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
2 Apopka women killed in three-vehicle crash in Volusia County
The FHP says two people were killed in a three-vehicle crash near DeLand. DeLAND, Fla. – Two Apopka women were killed Tuesday morning in a three-vehicle crash in Volusia County, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The fatal crash was reported around 7:10 a.m. on New York Avenue at DeLand Crossings Boulevard, east of DeLand. The van driver, a 58-year-old Daytona Beach man, suffered minor injuries, troopers said. Westbound lanes of New York Avenue, which is also State Road 44, were closed in the area.
Charges dropped against man who was shot in leg by Orange County deputy
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The state attorney’s office is not pursuing misdemeanor charges against Edenilson Urbina, a man who was shot in the leg by a deputy after a traffic stop late last year. AdBody camera video from Dec. 21, 2020 showed the confrontation involving Orange County Deputy Bruce Stolk, who the sheriff’s office said shot 18-year-old Urbina in the leg. In the body camera video, a deputy can be heard yelling “stop running.”The deputy in the video then yells at the suspect to get on the ground. But the suspect, identified as Urbina, can also be heard apologizing in the video and saying his leg hurts. Later in the video, a deputy confirmed that saying, “one shot fired.”What the video doesn’t show, according to the state attorney’s office, is whether or not Urbina heard the lawful commands.
Data scientist Rebekah Jones arrested in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rebekah Jones, a former Florida Department of Health data analyst who helped develop the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, was arrested on a charge of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, officials announced Monday morning. [TRENDING: Data scientist Rebekah Jones arrested in Florida | Disney World not selling any new annual passes | Orlando police search for missing 12-year-old girl]Online records show Jones bonded out of jail just before 11 a.m. Monday. During her first appearance, her judge set her bond at $2,500, conditional on her having no contact with any of the people whose personal information was allegedly downloaded and no contact through state of Florida computer systems. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said an investigation into Jones began Nov.10 when the FDLE received a complaint from the Florida Department of Health that someone illegally accessed a state emergency-alert messaging system, known as ReadyOp. Evidence retrieved from a search warrant on Dec. 7 shows that Jones illegally accessed the system sending a message to about 1,750 people and downloaded confidential Florida Department of Health data and saved it to her devices, according to authorities.
Here are the security measures you could see in place ahead of possible nationwide protests
According to an internal FBI bulletin, nationwide protests at state capitols and courthouses are being planned from Jan. 16 until Jan. 20. Montiero said when law enforcement receives a warning like this one, it’s important for agencies to act quickly. So, the FBI has issued their information, you have the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) that gathers their own and then the sheriff’s offices,” he said. “Of course, they share information and then they begin to put action to prevent anything from happening.”A likely part of the security plans would be to put officers in places where they can be seen. “You’re going to get an obvious response (and) there’s going to be visual deterrents” Montiero said.
Video shows FDLE agents waiting outside Florida data scientist’s home to serve search warrant
State law enforcement agents waited about 20 minutes outside the home of Rebekah Jones, an ex-health department employee, Monday before serving her with a search warrant, body camera video released from the FDLE Thursday shows. Jones initially refused to answer the door for 20 minutes and hung up when agents called her, according to FDLE. On Thursday, FDLE released two body camera videos totaling about 30 minutes showing Tallahassee police and FDLE agents trying to serve Jones with a search warrant for her electronics. FDLE Commissioner Richard Swearingen said in a statement the agency released the video to show “FDLE agents exercised extreme patience” and agents had been “vilified over the past few days.”“I am proud of the way these FDLE agents performed. Jones previously released video from inside the home showing agents walk inside with guns drawn but it does not show upstairs.
Florida COVID-19 dashboard creator’s home raided after department of health complaint
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement raided the home of a former Department of Health employee Monday credited with creating the state’s COVID-19 tracking dashboard. Agents were looking for evidence that she unlawfully gained access to a health department messaging platform, according to the warrant. Rebekah Jones was fired from the Florida Department of Health in May after she says she declined to “manipulate” state virus numbers. Agents were given permission in the warrant to seize computer hardware, software and other documents in the Dec. 3 warrant. Officials with the Florida Department of Health declined to comment for this story, directing News 6 to the FDLE.
Florida county administrator’s office was illegally bugged
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The office of a Florida county administrator was illegally bugged last year, but investigators don’t yet know who was responsible. Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger told the Pensacola News Journal that the agency was contacted Aug. 1 about a hidden recording device in the office of Escambia County Administrator Janice Gilley. The case was closed in late September when investigators couldn't develop additional information, Plessenger said. “I didn’t want to be overreacting, but it was recommended to me that we do a sweep,” Gilley said. Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh said Gilley told him about the discovery of a device and that the FDLE was sweeping all of the offices on the fourth floor of the county building for more devices.
Missing child alert issued for 12-year-old Miami girl
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has issued a missing child alert out of Dade County. According to authorities, 12-year-old Anastasia Vela-Fernandez went missing on Aug. 25. The child was last seen in the area of the 6000 block of NW 30th Avenue in Miami wearing a black shirt and are fatigue pants, authorities said. The 12-year-old may be with Jimmy Vela, 31, who has multiple tattoos, one visible on the right side of his neck. Investigators said if found, do not approach the pair and instead call law enforcement immediately.
Sheriff John Mina considering policy changes after Salaythis Melvin shooting
Since then, hours of body camera video from the shooting has been released as protesters have called for the sheriff to fire the deputy who opened fire. When asked about the release of the video compared to other Central Florida agencies who release video sooner, the sheriff said he was following protocol. Daytona Beach police officers shot and killed an attempted murder suspect on Saturday morning, the department released the body camera video that night. “Our deputies are trained that anytime they’re in fear for their life or the lives of others they are authorized to use deadly force,” Mina said. The first body camera video from the shooting at the Florida Mall was released on the evening of Aug. 18, Florida’s primary election day.
Volusia, Orange deputies attempted to conceal stolen guns, FDLE finds
FDLE officials said Deputy Brian Calkins, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, gave Volusia County Deputy Phillip Donaldson two firearms he said he got from a cousin. Calkins asked Donaldson to dispose of the revolver and semi-automatic pistol, according to the FDLE investigation. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood requested the FDLE investigation in June, according to the FDLE. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Calkins was hired in May 2018 and assigned to youth services. He was formerly employed by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, records show.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office citizens advisory committee to make recommendations on use of force policy
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Advisory Committee is expected to finalize and vote on recommendations it’s making for the agency’s use of force policy during its meeting on Thursday. Chairperson Allie Braswell said the committee has worked for months to come up with the recommendations. The committee is meeting virtually Thursday night, nearly three weeks after an Orange County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Salaythis Melvin outside the Florida Mall. He said they won’t get the opportunity to review it until after the FDLE, the State Attorney’s Office, and the sheriff’s office completes their investigations, which is standard procedure. The citizens advisory committee virtual meeting starts at 6 p.m. Click here for more information.
Ormond Beach police officers who fatally shot former Chicago police officer cleared
The five Ormond Beach police officers who fatally shot a former Chicago police officer after she shot her husband were cleared by the state attorney following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the use-of-force incident. According to the FDLE use-of-force investigation, Deanna Owsianiak, 55, and her husband David Owsianiak, 56, were arguing when she fatally shot him during a struggle over a weapon. State Attorney R.J. Larizza reviewed the FDLE investigation and said no action would be taken against the officers involved. Eventually, Deanne Owsianiak walked toward the water and David Owsianiak followed, according to the report. David Owsianiak served as a firefighter locally for several years but spent most of his career with the Chicago Fire Department.
Orange County Property Appraiser wont face charges after FDLE investigation
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. Following a two-year investigation into misconduct allegations against Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, state prosecutors will not pursue charges against the elected official running for re-election. Singh was accused of altering Orange County Property Appraisers records that were submitted to the comptrollers office during a 2015-2016 audit. This week the state attorneys office announced they would not be pursuing charges against Singh based on the investigation. Investigators found Singh submitted an altered photo to justify his attendance at the Curry Festival in Tampa taken two years after the event. The communication manager for the Orange County Property Appraiser sent this statement in response to the conclusion of the investigation.
Amber Alert canceled for missing Martin County girl
HOBE SOUND, Fla. – Update, Thursday: Authorities canceled the Amber Alert and have found Kimberly Newberry-Ohler. An Amber Alert was issued Thursday afternoon for a missing 13-year-old Martin County girl, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said. The FDLE said Kimberly Newberry-Ohler was last seen late Wednesday in Hobe Sound. She was last seen wearing a black and white striped shirt, black pants with a red and white stripe and white Crocs. The FDLE said Kimberly may be in the company of two white men who were in a black two-door truck with a roof rack.
FDLE: Thieves, predators can track your family through photo posts
[WEB EXTRA: Geotagging guide]Special Agent Steve Brenton says the GPS setting for smart phone cameras including iPhone and Android models provide a "geo-location" that allows anybody to track "exactly where that photograph was taken." The information is precise including the exact longitude and latitude of the location where the shot was taken. "Bad guys know the social networking sites and social media sites that kids are going to," Brenton says. "They spend more time on the computer than the kids do, just to find the kids on these social networking sites." Each smart phone has a different setting to disconnect the GPS mode.