crime

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.

A nationwide manhunt for a suspect who allegedly shot an elderly man dead in Cleveland and then uploaded it to Facebook has ended with the man shooting and killing himself in Pennsylvania's Erie County.

"Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by [Pennsylvania State Police] members in Erie County," the state police said on its Twitter account. "After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself."

  

Will convicted felons be allowed to vote again in Florida after completing their sentences?

That is the subject of a proposed constitutional amendment that could go to voters as early as the 2018 general election. Monday, the Florida Supreme Court reviewed the language of that amendment, moving it one step closer to the ballot.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged to devote federal resources to combat violent crime and to shore up morale across the nation's police departments, on Monday in his first on-the-record briefing as the top U.S. law enforcement officer.

Less than 24 hours after White House press secretary Sean Spicer had spouted numerous falsehoods about inauguration crowd size and more, Kellyanne Conway went on NBC's Meet the Press to defend him.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Mark Goebel (https://flic.kr/p/5A7n4k)

A new bill under consideration by the Florida Legislature would make it easier for defendants to use the "Stand Your Ground" defense when faced with use of force charges. 

For years, Florida laws have  had provisions for self-defense immunity, protecting people who use force in self-defense from being prosecuted. There are certain restrictions on where and when you are justified in using various kind of force in self-defense.

COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS

Three people were killed in 2015 because of what they looked like. In November 2016, signs saying “whites only” and “colored” were taped on the wall above water fountains at a Jacksonville high school.

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