criminal justice

The chemistry formula of Fentanyl
Zerbor / Adobe Stock

Wednesday, the White House announced the federal government will be cracking down on international fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is a pain reliever used for treating severe pain, but in recent years the addictive drug has been used recreationally - causing more than 28,000 deaths in 2017. That’s more than half the deaths caused by opioids overall that year. Making it the biggest contributor to the opioid overdose.

A group of people hold signs at a gun safety rally. In the center is a woman holding a white posterboard with the words "Enough is Enough" written in black marker.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU

Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola) wants to repeal gun safety legislation passed in Florida after the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting last year in Parkland. He says the measures, including a state ban on bump stocks, the so called red flag law and a provision raising the age to purchase a rifle violate the Second Amendment. He also says firearms aren’t the cause of mass shootings. Instead he points his finger at the use of psychotropic drugs, like Ritalin.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Last week, the U.S. Attorney for Florida’s Northern District said he’s willing to step in and prosecute marijuana offenses that the state attorney will not. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Larry Keefe offered more specifics.

Restorative justice practices are built on the idea of allowing victims and offenders to communicate. The goal is to help victims heal and offenders to reform, and there’s a push to triple such programs in Florida.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

The U.S. Attorney for Florida’s Northern District says he’s willing to review and prosecute marijuana cases that the state attorney will not. The move comes after State Attorney Jack Campbell said last month he's pressing pause on prosecuting marijuana cases in light of a new hemp law.

Police are reporting 45 shootings in Tallahassee this year putting the city on track to outpace last year’s 50 shootings. While some point to poverty as a driver, residents say it’s a deeper issue.

The Franklin County Sheriffs office has caught a man they say is accused of setting fire and burglarizing an Eastpoint home in late July. Charles Moses is facing charges of burglary, arson and larceny. 

State Attorney Jack Campbell says a focus on restorative justice may be one way to empower victims of crime. Campbell says restorative justice focuses on helping those who’ve committed crimes face the consequences of their actions—often by meeting and speaking with their targets. And he adds the process can also be therapeutic for victims.

male hands in handcuffs
BortN66 / Adobe Stock

Based on referrals from the Florida Department of Children and Families four arrests have been made in North Florida relation to exploiting seniors and disabled individuals.

Guns, parkland
Jae C. Hong / AP

In the wake of two recent mass shootngs, two local students, one from Leon and another from Wakulla County, have been arrested for making veiled threats of school violence. And an anonymous shooting threat temporarily closed a Gadsden County Walmart. 

This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is set to return to court Wednesday, July 31, 2019, to face sex trafficking charges just days after he was found injured in his cell.
New York State Sex Offender Registry / AP

Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered the state’s department of law enforcement to take over a criminal investigation reviewing Jeffrey Epstein’s time in a Palm Beach County work release program. Blaise Gainey has more.

Following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas President Donald Trump is calling on states to adopt laws temporarily preventing someone from accessing a gun. Florida already has such a law and is using it. Now two state lawmakers want to see the law expanded.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Former City Commissioner Scott Maddox and former Downtown Improvement Authority head Paige Carter-Smith  plead guilty Tuesday to federal charges related to a corruption investigation into the the City of Tallahassee.

Three men sit at a wooden desk and speak into microphones
Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano is ordering a review of mass shootings and gun violence. This, following two mass shootings in two days in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left at least 30 people dead.

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

Florida’s state-run crime labs don’t have the ability to determine whether a product is weed, CBD or hemp and the issue is stopping law enforcement in its tracks.  The state’s new hemp law is creating a patchwork of enforcement efforts and will likely need the legislature to step in.

women holds up a sign that reads #metoo in front of a line of people.
Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

The Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CSWG) will task its Violence and Safety Subcommittee with explaining micro-aggressions to the public.

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

State Attorney Jack Campbell says his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases at the moment. At issue is confusion over a new state law legalizing hemp.

Mirko Cesca walking to the counsel table.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

The bond for Mirko Ceska has been set at $50,000. He is accused of physically and sexually abusing female twins who have been in his custody of for several years. His wife Regina Ceska is also facing charges with the victims describing the couple as “doomsday preppers.”

A police officer in green uniform stands in front of a white vehicle with flashing blue lights
Jackson County Sheriff's Department

It sounds like something out of a crime drama. A dirty cop plants drugs on people, then arrests them. But that’s what state investigators say happened in one North Florida County. There's no official database on the number of law enforcement officers arrested each year, but a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2016 found at least one officer is arrested every day. 

Former TPD Officer Vincent Crump 3/7/2018
Leon County Jail

A former Tallahassee Police officer accused of raping a motorist has agreed to a plea deal. Vincent Crump was tried twice, but both ended in mistrials.

A former Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy has been arrested on several felony charges after planting drugs on people and arresting them. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began investigating 26-year-old Zachary Wester in August.

Tallahassee Businessman J.T. Burnette is asking a federal judge to separate his case from former city Commissioner Scott Maddox and his former aide Paige Carter Smith and dismiss charges against him. In May Burnette was indicted in an FBI investigation into corruption in the city of Tallahassee.

First person perspective of a driver who is texting. The driver holds a phone with a text message displayed on the screen. It reads, "Are you okay?" and "Can you pick up cough drops? I ate my last one." The driver's thumb is poised to start typing.
Roman Pohorecki / Pexels

Beginning July 1, Florida drivers can be pulled over for texting while driving. The act becomes a primary offense, meaning police officers can pull someone over just for texting.

A hallway of jail cells
viperagp / Adobe Stock

Florida lawmakers this year passed a criminal justice reform package. But advocates and researchers doubt it will have a real impact on the state’s justice system. 

University of South Florida

Further investigations into the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys are scheduled to start next month. This comes after the new state budget recently signed by Governor Ron DeSantis set aside more money for the project.

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