crime

Miami Herald

Emory Jones just needs to look at his left arm for a reminder of what happened at Avon Park Youth Academy. There is a faint scar in the shape of a snake above his elbow from when an officer beat him.

Miami Herald

For the last two years, the Miami Herald has been looking into systemic abuse within the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the division designed to rehabilitate minors who get into trouble with the law.

Before our current era of creepy clowns (and the problems they cause for professional clowns), there was a killer clown who frustrated Florida detectives for nearly three decades.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Thursday night, Florida executed Mark Asay, who was declared dead at 6:22 p.m. He broke Florida’s year-and-a-half hiatus for the death penalty as the first person executed since January 2016.

Florida Department of Corrections

The state of Florida is poised to execute the first person in more than a year and a half this Thursday, August 24. 

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Roughly 260 sex offenders have registered as their residence the intersection of Northwest 36th Court and 71st Street, on the edge of Hialeah and Miami.  The closest house is four blocks away and the only buildings here are squat warehouses.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Marine thefts are a chronic problem in the Keys. Fishing gear, dive equipment, engines — sometimes even entire boats - are stolen from marinas, canals and backyards in the area.

Those thefts happen year-round, but there's a noticeable uptick in summer, especially during the annual two-day recreational lobster mini-season, when thousands of boaters come to the Keys. This year's mini-season is Wednesday-Thursday, July 26-27.

The Hamptons condo and apartment complex in Tampa is quintessential Florida. Lush and modern, the stucco homes are painted in a soft rainbow of pastels. All around are palm trees, Spanish moss and lily pads.

"It is a very quiet place. You have a lot of children that live here. A lot of professionals live here, retirees," said resident Michael Colon, 66.

But on May 19, that tranquility was shattered in an improbable case that involves four young roommates at the complex.

Two of the men are dead and the other two are in jail.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A Key West man was arrested early Wednesday after a Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy discovered "a large amount of cocaine hidden in a Cookie Monster doll," according to a press release from the sheriff's office.

Deputy Orey Swilley was parked along the Overseas Highway in Marathon when he saw a black car drive by with the license plate obscured, according to the sheriff's office.

The deputy pulled over the car and when the driver rolled down the window, the deputy could smell marijuana. When he searched the car he found a backpack, with a blue Cookie Monster doll.

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that the confession of Brendan Dassey, whose case was part of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, was involuntary. Dassey was found guilty of helping his uncle kill a young woman in 2005, and has been held in a Wisconsin prison.

In 2015, Florida tied California for the second highest population of incarcerated women in the United States. The facilities they live in are generally away from population centers, surrounded by rows of fences and razor wire.

Law enforcement agencies announced on Wednesday a litany of charges against 33 people — including 27 who were allegedly associated with a Russian crime syndicate. Authorities said the indictment represents one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a vor v zakonei — a Russian phrase that translates roughly as "thief-in-law."

Attorney General Pam Bondi and the head of Florida’s Juvenile Justice system are just some of the speakers at this year’s annual conference focusing on preventing crime in the black community.

Jason Cisneroz, a community service officer in Houston, is troubled. His job in the nation's fourth largest city is to forge good relations between the police and Hispanic immigrants, a population typically wary of blue uniforms.

"A couple of days ago there was a witness to a burglary of a motor vehicle," he said. "She saw the suspects run to a certain place and with items they stole from a car, but she was afraid to come to police, she was in fear they would ask for her papers."

A man accused of killing five people at a Washington state mall last year was found dead in his jail cell Sunday.

Arcan Cetin, 20, appeared to have hanged himself at the Snohomish County Jail, Skagit County prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula told NPR.

Cetin allegedly carried a Ruger rifle into a Macy's in the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., on Sept. 23, 2016, and opened fire. A teenage girl, a man and three women died. Cetin fled and was caught the next day near his apartment. He was charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

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