October 23, 2013

Vivian Vosburg of Polk County, Florida Arrested for Child Abuse

Vivian Vosburg of Polk County, Florida was arrested Friday after she allegedly beat two boys, news sources report. Vosburg, 30, was booked into the Polk County Jail on four counts of child neglect and two counts of child abuse with bodily harm. It is unclear whether she qualified for bail bond. The press did not specify an attorney for Vosburg.

Vosburg, sources say, is the stepmother of the eldest defendant accused of teasing 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick into killing herself. Guadalupe Shaw, 14, is being investigated for habitually bullying Sedwick, both in person and through electronic means. Police believe that the abuse by Shaw and other middle school girls caused Sedwick to end her life by jumping off of a silo at an abandoned concrete factory. Shaw was arrested soon after when she made a Facebook post reportedly saying, "'Yes, [I know] I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but [I don't give a f***]" She is now in the state's custody pending the outcome of the case, which has garnered international attention.

Reports did not specify a relationship between Vosburg and the two boys she allegedly struck. The boys' ages likewise have not been released. Video footage reportedly shows Vosburg cursing and attacking the two boys, who appear to be fighting on a bed. In the video, it appears she is trying to break up a fight and pull the boys off the bed.

Vosburg reportedly said that was her intent, but admitted that she was likely at wrong for hitting the boys with her fist as a means to get them apart. Vosburg reportedly admitted to hitting one boy in the face and the other several times in the back. One boy apparently fell off of the bed during the scuffle. The children escaped injury, according to the press.

The video of the debacle was apparently uploaded to one of Vosburg's children's Facebook accounts in July. After watching the video, police arrested Vosburg. It is not clear whether she has commented publicly on the case.

Child abuse takes many forms. Earlier this month, Pembroke Pines resident Tomas Portuondo was apprehended after he was accused of sexually abusing an underage girl for three years, sources report. Portuondo, 25, was taken to the Broward County Main Jail on 11 counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child between 12 and 16 by a person over 18. He is being held in lieu of $30,000.

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October 22, 2013

Jean Annis of Big Coppitt Key, Florida Arrested for Aggravated Battery

Jean Annis of Big Coppitt Key, Florida was arrested this past week for allegedly shoved her former girlfriend out of a moving vehicle, news sources report. Information regarding the victim's identity was not immediately available following the incident; she reportedly has to have surgery in order to properly recover. It remains to be seen whether the victim will file for damages. Meanwhile, Annis, 40, was booked into the Monroe County Jail on charges of aggravated battery following the incident. It is unclear whether she qualified for bail. An attorney was not listed for her in reports.

According to reports, Annis and the victim were in an intimate relationship for nearly a year, though they ended it with an amicable break-up. The press indicates that the two are still friendly. The incident began after Annis, the victim, and some friends went out for some drinks. Annis agreed to drive the victim home afterwards, sources say. During the drive, Annis and the victim started bickering because a third woman was texting the victim, sources say.

The argument escalated, ending only when Annis allegedly shoved the victim out of the moving vehicle. It is not clear how fast the car was moving when the victim was expelled. Annis allegedly left the scene afterwards.

The victim sustained broken bones in her hand and her face, as well as contusions and lesions on her body, reports say. She walked, injured, to her mother's house and was then transported to the hospital for treatment. Doctors reportedly said her injuries require surgery to fix.

Meanwhile, police arrested Annis at her residence in Big Coppitt Key. It is not clear whether she has confirmed or denied involvement in the incident. It is similarly unclear whether there were any witnesses.

Battery between significant others is a frequent crime throughout the United States. A few weeks prior, West Palm Beach resident Torre Steven Williams was apprehended after he allegedly beat his wife, sources report. Williams, 33, was taken into police custody on charges of battery, corruption by threatening a public servant, and obstructing of justice. His bail was set at $4,000. An update on the case is not currently available.

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October 21, 2013

Charlie Ware, Hollywood, Florida Acupuncturist, Arrested for Unlicensed Injections

Charlie Ware, a licensed Hollywood, Florida acupuncturist and acupoint injection therapist, was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of administering questionable injections to as many a dozen patients, some of whom suffered ill-side effects, news sources report. Ware, 39, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on three counts of attempting to practice medicine without a license. He has since been released on a $4,500 bail bond. No attorney appears to have spoken on Ware's behalf.

According to reports, Ware is a licensed acupuncturist who has his own office at 3800 South Ocean Drive in Hollywood, Florida. Ware is licensed to perform a special form of acupuncture called "acupoint injection therapy," which allows acupuncturists to inject patients with FDA-authorized substances. Ware reportedly advertised his services partially through Groupon, an online coupon website.

"If [the injection is] done within the scope of the practice, there's basically no risk factor," a licensed acupuncturist spokesperson reportedly said regarding the case. "If [the substance is] not approved to be injected, you shouldn't be injecting it. That's the standard that we go by." It is not clear whether Ware will be allowed to continue practicing acupuncture if he is released on bail pending his trial.

Ware injected at least one patient with a substance that had not been approved by the FDA, reports allege. After the arrest, Ware said he had treated at least 12 patients with Simildet, a skin-tightening substance manufactured by a Spanish pharmaceutical company. The substance contains agents suspected to be toxic and is meant to be used on the surface of the skin, sources say.

Ware is accused of injecting Simildiet into Coral Springs resident Viktoria Kogan face back in February 2012, sources allege. Kogan, 44, visited Ware's office after someone referred her to Ware; she wanted a treatment to lessen her wrinkles, sources say. Ware purportedly failed to offer her written information on his treatment, which caused some trepidation for Kogan. However, Ware reportedly told her not to worry because he was going to inject her with "good ingredients."

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October 21, 2013

Tomas Portuondo, Pembroke Pines, Florida Insurance Salesman, Arrested for Molestation

Tomas Portuondo, a Pembroke Pines, Florida insurance salesman and youth coach, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually abusing a preteen girl over a period of three years, news sources report. Portuondo, 25, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on 11 counts relating to the lewd and lascivious molestation on a child between 12 and 16 by a person over 18. A county judge ordered that he be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Sources say Portuondo is a coach for a girls' basketball team in Broward County. In addition, reports say Portuondo also served as an insurance sales representative. So far, it is unclear whether the youth team has spoken out about these allegations against their former coach. The allegations do not appear to be related to Portuondo's role as a coach.

According to reports, the abuse started in April 2010 when the victim was 11 years old. Reports say Portuondo was friends with the victim's family. The details of the alleged abuse, such as where it purportedly took place and what it involved, were not specified in reports. The sexual abuse continued for three years until it drew to a close in March of this year.

The victim's mother went to the police regarding the sexual misconduct in March, sources say. During an investigation, police supposedly discovered text messages regarding the abuse that the victim had sent. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine whether there may be any more victims. The Pembroke Pines Police Department Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with more information to either call or email. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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October 18, 2013

Matthew Joseph Shultz, William McAbee of Orlando, Florida Connected to Unlicensed Medical Practice

Matthew Joseph Shultz and William McAbee of Orlando, Florida were allegedly found in a hotel room that was serving as an unlicensed silicon injection clinic on Saturday, news sources report. It is unclear whether McAbee was arrested, but Shultz, 38, was booked into police custody on charges of practicing medicine without a license. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail. The press did not specify an attorney for Shultz, nor is it known whether any of his purported patients will be filing for damages.

According to reports, Shultz has been offering clients silicone injections for the past six years. Silicone injections typically work by enhancing a person's physical looks. Shultz's alleged operation lasted over half a decade; it is unclear whether any of his patients fell ill during that time, as a police investigation is ongoing.

Since Shultz does not have a license to operate as a physician, sources say he operated clients out of hotel rooms in the Broward and Orlando areas. Clients would reportedly pay between $100 and $1,200 for the illegal injections. Shultz's latest operation was purportedly based out of the La Quinta Inn at 8180 Peters Road in Plantation.

Police reportedly received a tip about the operation and responded to the inn. There, officers confronted a woman as she was leaving one of Shultz's rooms that he rented. The woman had just had a silicone injection to her eyebrow, which she pad Shultz $100 for, sources allege.

Police searched the hotel room Shultz was found in and discovered a dozen bottles containing a substance police suspect silicone, along with 51 bottles of Lidocaine, a substance used to numb the body. The officers also found needles, gauze (some used), syringes, latex gloves, scissors, glue, pantyhose, and a suitcase holding $18,042 in cash, reports say.

McAbee, who was present when Shultz was found, reportedly claimed that he was in the room when Shultz injected clients. However, he purportedly denied performing any injections. It is not clear in reports what he was doing with Schultz, nor is it clear whether he will be facing criminal charges.

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October 18, 2013

Guadalupe Shaw and Katelyn Roman, Polk County, Florida Middle School Students, Arrested After Rebecca Ann Sedwick, 12, Committed Suicide

Guadalupe Shaw and Katelyn Roman, Polk County, Florida middle school students, were arrested Monday after Rebecca Ann Sedwick, 12, committed suicide, purportedly because of continued bullying by the pair, news sources report. The child defendants, ages 14 and 12 respectively, were taken into police custody on Monday on charges of aggravated stalking. Roman has since been released to her family's care, but Shaw remains in custody with the Department of Juvenile Justice. The press did not specify whether the defendants' parents have hired attorneys on behalf of their children.

According to reports, the incident started at Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland, which all three of the girls attended as sixth-graders. When Shaw began dating a boy Sedwick had once dated, she allegedly began to harass Sedwick. Roman, who had originally been friends with the victim, joined in in the bullying, sources allege. News reports suggest that as many as 15 female students may have joined in tormenting the victim.

The defendants "repeatedly and maliciously" bullied Sedwick at school on a regular basis, according to reports. "Several students corroborated stories of both girls bullying Sedwick on different occasions through name-calling, intimidation, threats to beat her up, and at least one actual physical fight," a police report supposedly says. Based on reports, Shaw is accused of calling Sedwick ugly and telling her to commit suicide. Earlier this year, Roman was removed from school after she reportedly physically attacked the victim.

Sedwick's mother transferred her daughter to home-schooling before enrolling her at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, physically removing Sedwick from the bullying. However, the alleged bullying continued via text messages and Facebook. Sources say Shaw used Facebook to send the victim messages telling her she was unattractive and suggesting she kill herself by drinking bleach.

On September 10, Sedwick posted on a friends Facebook page, reportedly saying, "I'm jumping and I can't take it anymore." Sources say she then went to a decrepit concrete factory, where she climbed to the top of a silo and jumped off. The fall resulted in her death.

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October 16, 2013

Timothy Eugene Alexander Jr., Former South Trail, Florida Firefighter and Joshua Dale Bryan Arrested for Sexual Battery

Timothy Eugene Alexander Jr., a former South Trail, Florida firefighter, and Joshua Dale Bryan were arrested Wednesday after they were connected to the rape of a 16-year-old girl, news sources report. Alexander, 31, and Bryan, the victim's 18-year-old ex-boyfriend, were booked into the county jail on charges of sexual battery. Alexander has since been released on a $150,000 bail bond. Bryan is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. The press did not specify a criminal defense lawyer for either of the defendants.

According to reports, Alexander worked as firefighter for the South Trail Fire District for eight years before his arrest. Alexander has since been fired from the department due to an unrelated criminal case, reports indicate. "This kind of thing is an embarrassment to all public safety, and when this comes forward, we'll do all that we can to ensure this doesn't happen to anyone else," a firefighter spokesperson said. "It is appalling to us. The charge is appalling," another firefighter spokesperson said of the case.

This is not Alexander's first run-in with the law, sources say. On April 9, Alexander was in the passenger seat of a car with his wife and father in Fort Myers. He allegedly seized the steering wheel and threated to steer the vehicle into a pole. "[The wife] said it was very loud, very loud and very abusive," a neighbor reportedly said. Alexander was purportedly drunk at the time.

A month ago, Alexander was reportedly involved in another case with his wife. Reports say Alexander strangled the victim outside of their apartment until she passed out, then pulled her back inside the residence. This allegedly occurred in the presence of the couple's seven-year-old boy.

No criminal record for Bryan, who is apparently a relation of Alexander's, was mentioned in reports. The victim is Bryan's former girlfriend, sources report. Bryan is accused of conspiring with Alexander to set the stage for the rape on the night of the incident.

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October 16, 2013

Brian Keith Dunn of Coral Spring, Florida Arrested for Lascivious Battery on Minor

Brian Keith Dunn of Coral Spring, Florida was arrested Wednesday after he was accused of befriending a teenage boy over the internet and eventually meeting him in person, purportedly for the purposes of some sort of sexual activity, news sources report. Dunn, 49, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of prohibited use of a computer, traveling to meet a minor, lewd and lascivious battery on a minor, and driving with a suspended license. He is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail bond. The press did not specify an attorney for Dunn.

The details of the incident, including the teen's exact age, were not all available at press time, as the investigation is still ongoing. According to reports, Dunn met and kept in contact with the teen online. The pair reportedly kept up an email correspondence for an unspecified period of time.

At some point, Dunn allegedly drove to the teen's home where, based on the charges, some type of sexual activity allegedly occurred. After that real-life encounter, sources say Dunn and the teen kept in contact via emails and text messages. Reports were unable to say how police learned of the purportedly illicit relationship.

Broward Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) division and the Lauderhill Police Department carried out the investigation. Dunn was subsequently arrested. So far, the authorities appear to have remained mum regarding the ongoing investigation, but they are requesting that anyone with additional details contact them immediately. It is unclear whether there are any more victims.

Children are oftentimes the victims of online predators, who can contact minors in chat rooms or using social media websites. Earlier this month, Seminole resident Andrew Michael Brandt was apprehended for going on to social networking sites under the guise of being a teenager. The alleged alter ego ended with Brandt allegedly sleeping with a 15-year-old girl, sources report. Brandt, 27, was taken into police custody on charges of lewd or lascivious battery on a victim over 12 and under 16 and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. An update on the case is not currently available.

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October 15, 2013

Heather Harley-Davidson of St. Augustine, Florida Arrested for DUI

Heather Harley-Davidson of St. Augustine, Florida was arrested Wednesday after she was accused of driving drunk, news sources report. Harley-Davidson, 49, was booked into the St. John's County Jail on charges of driving under the influence. She also reportedly received a ticket for failing to maintain a single lane. Harley-Davidson was later released from jail on $1,000 bail. The press did not specify an attorney for her.

According to reports, the incident occurred late Wednesday in the 5500 block of Florida State Road A1A in St. Augustine. An officer in the area reportedly spotted a 2001 Silver Lincoln Continental veering across lanes of traffic; the vehicle continued to veer as the officer pulled it over, sources allege.

The officer approached the vehicle and found Harley-Davidson behind the wheel, reports say. The officer asked Harley-Davidson for her license, but she had a difficult time finding the ID card in her bag, sources allege. "While I was observing her fumble to get her license out, she got upset and tossed the whole purse at me through the window," the officer reportedly noted in his report.

Based on reports, Harley-Davidson had trouble standing upright, slurred as she spoke, and smelled of alcohol. The officer had Harley-Davidson step out of her car for sobriety testing, sources say. Reports say she could not stand properly. The officer had her fill out a document, during which time she nearly fell to the ground, reports allege.

The officer reportedly had Harley-Davidson walk to a nearby parking lot so they could safely conduct a field sobriety test. As she walked, Harley-Davidson nearly fell again, sources indicate. At that point, Harley-Davidson allegedly became angry and she told the officer that she did not want to take the test. The officer supposedly asked Harley-Davidson to submit to a breathalyzer test three different times; she reportedly refused. It is not clear whether Harley-Davidson actually admitted to having anything to drink before driving.

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October 15, 2013

Sandra Marti, Broward County, Florida Child Protection Agent, Arrested for Falsifying Reports

Sandra Marti, a Broward County, Florida child protection agent, was arrested Wednesday after she was accused of lying about meeting with some of the children she was appointed to, news sources report. Marti, 57, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on multiple counts of falsifying reports. She has since been released on a $5,000 bail bond . It is unclear whether Marti has hired a criminal defense lawyer.

According to reports, Marti started out working in the county's pre-trail department. She was promoted to the position of child investigative specialist in July 2010, sources say. Marti's duties included investigating the wellbeing of children who were reported as being either abused or neglected. Such investigations have to be performed in person because non-verbal indicators are often the most obvious signs of abuse or neglect.

A DCF spokesperson commented on the matter, reportedly saying, "Clearly, when you're talking to a person [such as an abused or neglected child], you're oftentimes taking in more than the words. You're looking at other aspects, the behavior, the demeanor and the circumstances that brought you to the person in the first place."

The department has since suspended Marti without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. "The falsification of official records, and the potential risks that any kind of falsification could pose for children, will not be tolerated," a Department of Children and Families (DCF) spokesperson reportedly said in regards to the arrest. "We have gone back and made sure that all of those kids were safe, and the original allegations had been addressed."

Marti failed to investigate at least five children she was assigned to in person, instead asking the parents or guardians to send her a picture of the purportedly abused or neglected children, sources allege. The incidents date back as far as January 2012, reports say. That month, Marti allegedly filed a statement indicating that she had met with a child in person while investigating an unspecified case. However, that child's mother claimed that Marti had not met with her son. She apparently backed this up with a sworn statement.

In December 2012, reports say Marti was supposed to interview a seven-year-old girl at Fort Lauderdale's Croissant Park Elementary School, sources say. Marti allegedly wrote in an arrest report that she had personally visited the child at school. School officials later denied that claim, sources say.

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October 15, 2013

Charles Scott of North Lauderdale, Florida Arrested for Battery on an Officer

Charles Scott of North Lauderdale, Florida was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly made inappropriate comments to minor girls who were waiting for a school bus, news sources report. Scott, 29, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. A county judge ordered that Scott be held without bail. It is unclear whether Scott has hired legal representation.

Reports indicate this is not Scott's initial arrest. Scott is reportedly facing battery charges from another case. The details of that case were not available at press time. It is unclear whether he has any other prior arrests. In court, Scott's mother reportedly said that Scott takes medication for an unknown ailment, but said he had not been taking it recently. There is no indication that Scott has ever faced sexual charges of any kind.

This latest incident happened earlier this week, sources say. While the complete details were not available at press time, reports say Scott was near a public school bus stop when he threatened to rape some female students who were waiting for their bus. It does not appear as though Schott actually harmed any of the children. Police were soon called to the scene.

When confronted by officers later on, Scott allegedly refused to cooperate. During his arrest, Scott allegedly seized of one of the officer's hands. Another officer reportedly stepped in and brought the struggle to a stop. Scott's mugshot shows him with several bruises and scrapes on his face, though it not clear whether he sustained the injuries during the scuffle with the officers.

South Florida is home to all sorts of crimes. Earlier this year, Marion County resident Karen Worley Drake was arrested after she allegedly parked her car, which she was living in, in a road and fell asleep, sources report. Drake, 51, was booked into the county jail on charges stemming from the incident. It is unclear whether she qualified for bail or hired legal aid.

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October 14, 2013

Marvell Calloway of Fort Lauderdale, Florida Arrested for Firing a Gun in Public

Marvell Calloway of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested Wednesday after he was accused of shooting his grandmother's dog with a shotgun, news sources report. Calloway, 35, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of discharging a firearm in public, causing the cruel death of an animal with pain and suffering, and for two counts of possession of a weapon and ammunition by a convicted felon. A county judge ordered that he be held in lieu of $56,000 bail bond. Reports did not say whether Calloway has hired legal representation.

According to reports, this is not Calloway's first run-in with law enforcement. Sources say he was found guilty of selling fake drugs in early 2004. Arrest records also reportedly say Calloway had been previously arrested on charges of armed robbery, burglary, possession of cocaine, and battery. "You've been convicted of battery three times," a county judge reportedly said during Calloway's initial hearing. "The court notes you have a violent history." The judge ordered that Calloway not go to his grandmother's residence and not try to contact her pending trial.

The incident occurred around 3:00 Wednesday afternoon at his grandmother's residence in the 2400 block of Northwest 26th Street. Calloway turned up at the home, shotgun in hand, sources allege. The press was unable to say what sparked the alleged violent outburst. According to reports, Calloway said "he had something for grandma," then went out back, aimed the shotgun at Maya, the grandmother's German shepherd mix dog, and fired one shot into her side.

Marcus Calloway, a relation of Calloway's, witnessed the shooting, sources say. Marcus watched as Marvell allegedly placed the gun into a silver box, which he then hid under a green, broken-down Lincoln in the home's driveway, reports say. Marcus reportedly showed responding officers where the defendant allegedly stashed the shotgun. Marvell reportedly declined to say why he had shot the dog.

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October 14, 2013

Aaron Scott Hammond of Weston, Florida Arrested for Prowling

Aaron Scott Hammond of Weston, Florida was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of concealing himself under one of his neighbor's patio furniture, news sources report. Hammond, 23, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of prowling and loitering. A county judge ordered that he be held in lieu of $2,500 bail bond. The press did not specify an attorney for Hammond.

According to reports, the incident occurred at a gated community in the 800 block of Stanton Drive. Sources say Hammond and the victim live in a gated community, a few blocks away from each other, but it does not appear as though they are acquainted. Information regarding the purported victims' identity was not immediately available at press time. So far, the owners of the community have remained mum regarding the arrest. It is unclear whether it will affect Hammond's residency at the community.

In court, Hammond reportedly said he operated his own Internet business and record company. Reports also say this is not Hammond's first arrest. In 2009, he was found guilty of voyeurism and burglary charges, sources say. The details of the case are not currently available.

This latest incident occurred at around 9:40 on Tuesday evening. A number of people were out on the victim's patio at the time, sources say. At some point, someone spotted Hammond hiding under some tables and chairs on the property. Police were called, sources indicate. Reports say Hammond was unable to say why he was at the residence.

"You're allegedly under somebody's patio furniture," the county judge reportedly explained in court. "I can't think of any good reason why you would be under a stranger's patio furniture at that time of the evening."

Reports of voyeurism are rarer than most crimes, but they do come in on a regular basis. In August, Boca Raton resident Douglas Hughes Jr. was apprehended after he was accused of taking pictures of female victims in a public park restroom, news sources report. Hughes, 28, who had face similar charges in the past, was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail on 11 counts of video voyeurism. An update on the case is not currently available.

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October 11, 2013

Victoria Thomason, Martin County, Florida Teacher, and Son Russell Thomason Arrested for Growing Marijuana

Victoria Thomason, a Martin County, Florida teacher, and her son, Russell Thomason, were arrested after they were accused of growing cannabis at their home, news sources report. Victoria, 55, and Russell, 25, were booked into police custody on charges stemming from the cultivation of marijuana. It is unclear whether they qualified for bail. So far, a criminal defense lawyer does not appear to have spoken on either of the defendants' behalf.

According to reports, Victoria teaches social studies to middle school students in the Martin County school district. Sources say she has been with the district for nearly a decade. Based on reports, Victoria and her son share a home in Martin County.

It is not presently clear what led police to the home, but reports say that the Martin County Sheriff obtained a search warrant for Victoria and Russell's home recently. During a search, officers found 58 cannabis plants growing inside Victoria and Russell's residence. The press did not say what stage of growth the plants had reached. It is also unclear whether officers found paraphernalia at the home.

Victoria reportedly told the officers that she grows the marijuana as a medical aid for Russell. "My sense would be that there's more marijuana growing there than somebody would need for personal use," a police spokesperson reportedly countered. "My impression and belief is that it was being sold."

Following her arrest, Victoria has been suspended without pay from her teaching duties. "It is, I think, a little more onerous because we see a teacher doing it, somebody in a position of trust," a police spokesperson reportedly told the press of the offense. "Parents are sending their students to her classroom in good faith, wanting the right message. And this is certainly not the right message."

Over the years, marijuana has been legalized in several states on a prescription level. The drug, which can be smoked or reduced and eaten, has purportedly been shown to treat a number of chronic conditions, including anxiety, depression, anorexia, and persistent pain. While not addictive in nature, users may habitually use marijuana for its euphoric effects. It is unclear whether Russell suffers from any medical ailments that would require its use. Medical marijuana is not yet legal in Florida.

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October 11, 2013

Julio Cesar Luna, Oscar Segura, Jonna Leigh Kimla, Adolfo Ayala Jr., Raul Aaron Rios, Edgar Sanchez Segura, and Mike Lewis Ramirez Arrested in Okeechobee County, Florida Methamphetamine Bust

Julio Cesar Luna, Oscar Segura, Jonna Leigh Kimla, Adolfo Ayala Jr., Raul Aaron Rios, Edgar Sanchez Segura, and Mike Lewis Ramirez were arrested in an Okeechobee County, Florida methamphetamine bust on Monday, news sources report. Facing charges of possessing and trafficking methamphetamines are Luna, 28; Oscar Segura, 21; Kimla, 25; Ayala Jr., 22; Rios, 26; Edgar Segura, 26; and Ramirez, 26. Luna's bail was set at $1.4 million, Oscar Seguar's at $950,000, and Kimla's at $65,000. The remaining defendants are being held on $750,000 bail bond each. The press did not say whether the defendants have hired criminal defense attorneys.

Very little information regarding the defendants' arrests were made available at current press time. According to reports, the federal government, the Drug Enforcment Administration, the Okeechobee County Narcotics Task Force, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement contributed to the investigation that led to the arrests. The agents executed a DEA search warrant at 2828 Northwest 46 Avenue and 3573 Northwest 24 Avenue in Okeechobee as a result of the investigation.

The detectives allegedly seized an unspecified amount of methamphetamines at the two properties. In all, the drugs were purportedly worth $258,000. Luna, Segura, Kimla, Ayala Jr., Rios, Segura, and Ramirez appear to have been arrested at the locations were the drugs were found. Reports say an investigation is still open; it is too early to tell whether there will be more arrests.

"I'm very proud of the Narcotics Task Force, Special Response Team (SRT), and the many deputies that helped with this investigation," an Okeechobee County Sheriff spokesperson reportedly stated. "We intercepted this shipment before it could be distributed to our citizens. All the officers on this case did an outstanding job."

Methamphetamine is a crystalized and highly addictive drug that is made using a variety of chemicals, sometimes including that medicine pseudoephedrine. Side effects of the drug include weight loss, acne, sleeplessness, and, in some cases, death. Addicts will often go to great lengths, such as thefts, to feed their drug habit.

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October 8, 2013

Taylor Harrison of Stuart, Florida Arrested for Aggravated Battery

Taylor Harrison of Stuart, Florida was arrested Sunday after he was accused of beating up a friend, leaving him with numerous facial injuries, news sources report. Harrison, 21, was booked into the Monroe County Jail on charges of aggravated battery. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail. The press did not indicate an attorney for Harrison. It is unclear whether the victim, also 21, will file for damages.

Reports say Stuart, the victim, and a number of other friends were all staying together in a room at the Holiday In Express in the Florida Keys. Harrison reportedly got a bed in the room, while the victim slept on the floor nearby. The victim and the other occupants of the room were not identified in reports. It is unclear what the group was in town for.

Harrison and the victim apparently got into a fight on Sunday while trying to sleep. The victim asked for some bedding, sparking the argument, sources say. Further information on what caused the fight is not available. The victim apparently sustained a broken eye socket and bloody eye; he also had several teeth knocked out, sources say. It is not clear whether Harrison was injured.

An officer responded to the hotel and located the victim standing outside of the room, sources say. The victim was purportedly bleeding around his eye had missing a number of teeth. The officer went inside the hotel room and discovered the victim's missing teeth on the nightstand. The officer spoke with the victim and the companions inside the room. The witnesses told the officer about the fight, sources say. Harrison was later arrested.

Battery, from aggravated to sexual, is one of the most common crimes throughout the U.S. Earlier this week, senior Plant City resident Steve Orville Clemons was arrested after he allegedly went through a McDonald's drive-thru undressed from the waist down and attempted to make a McDonald's employee touch his groin, sources report. Clemons, 69, was booked into the Sumter County Jail on charges of battery. A judge set his bail at $500.

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October 7, 2013

Angela Pond and Esharia Pond of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Arrested for Child Neglect

Angela Pond and Esharia Pond, a Hallandale Beach, Florida mother and daughter, were arrested Friday after they allegedly left their five children alone in a running vehicle while they gambled at a casino, news sources report. 37-year-old Angela and her 21-year-old daughter Esharia were reportedly booked into the Broward County Main Jail on five counts of child neglect. A county judge set each of their bails at $5,000. It is not clear whether the duo has hired criminal defense lawyers.

According to reports, two of the children in the car were Angela's and three were Esharia's. The children range in age from one to eleven years, sources say. It is not clear whether they have any guardians other than their mothers. Angela's mother (Esharia's grandmother) reportedly collected the children after the arrests.

The incident occurred Friday evening at the Gulfstream Casino in Hallandale Beach, reports say. Angela and Esharia reportedly loaded the five children into a car and drove to the casino. The pair left the five kids in the car with the engine running, sources allege, and entered the casino themselves.

A surveillance camera reportedly shows the children were alone in the vehicle for about a half an hour before they were discovered by a casino security officer. Based on reports, police responded to the scene and arrested Angela and Esharia. It is not clear how the officers discovered that the pair was responsible for the children. The children do not appear to have been harmed during the alleged incident.

Hundreds of parents are arrested each year on child neglect charges in the United States. South Florida sees these cases on a weekly basis. Oftentimes, the charges stem from a parent leaving a child home alone, though this is not always the case. Earlier this week, Ocala mother Philomena Melton was arrested after she was accused of consuming synthetic weed and taking a nap inside her van with her 21-month-old daughter in the back seat, sources report. Melton, 23, was booked into the Marion County Jail on charges of possession of synthetic marijuana and child neglect. Her bail was set at $5,250. It is unclear whether she obtained legal representation.

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October 3, 2013

Glendese A. Williams, Miramar, Florida Youth Counselor, Arrested for Cruelty Toward a Child

Glendese A. Williams, a Miramar, Florida youth counselor, was arrested Monday after she was accused of burning her 11-year-old son with an iron, news sources report. Williams, 30, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of abuse that caused great bodily harm and cruelty towards a child. She has since been released on a $7,500 bail bond. It is unclear whether Williams has hired a criminal defense lawyer.

Reports say Williams had recently obtained a position as a youth counselor with Broward Girls Academy, which is based out of Pembroke Pines. It is unclear whether Williams had a position similar to this in the past. So far, Broward Girls Academy has remained mum regarding the arrest. The academy placed Williams on administrative leave without pay as the investigation is ongoing, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice indicates.

The victim reportedly said that he was ironing clothes prior to the school day when he got into a verbal dispute with his mother. At some point, Williams allegedly burned the child's upper arm with the iron. The child then apparently went to school. A school employee learned of the abuse when the victim requested a bandage, reports say. The victim reportedly received treatment for the first and second-degree burn at the hospital afterwards.

During questioning, Williams reportedly said that she slapped the victim, but denied burning him. The Florida Department of Children and Families reportedly took temporary custody of the victim and his sibling. Temporary custody of the children may soon be given to the children's grandparents, sources say. It is unclear how this case will affect Williams's custody of her children in the long run.

Child abuse and neglect cases are a persistent problem in Florida. Earlier this month, Tampa mother Aisha Jean Clark was arrested after she allegedly held her infant over an apartment balcony, sources report. Clark, 25, was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of child neglect. She was held without bond. It is unclear whether she hired legal representation.

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October 3, 2013

Anthony Michael McGrath of Broward County, Florida Arrested for Pimping Teen

Anthony Michael McGrath of Broward County, Florida was arrested this past week after he was accused of forcing a 17-year-old teen to prostitute herself, news sources report. McGrath, 23, was booked into police custody and charges are currently pending. It is unclear whether McGrath will qualify for a set bail bond. The press did not say whether he has obtained an criminal defense lawyer.

The 17-year-old teen, whose name has not been released, ran away from a Fort Lauderdale group home in August, reports say. It is not clear what incited the teen to leave the home. At first, the teen met up with her boyfriend and the pair rented a room in a motel, sources say. The boyfriend's name and age were not given in reports.

To keep up with their bills, the teen's boyfriend reportedly told her to earn money by working as a prostitute. The girl solicited herself for two weeks, reports say. When she told her boyfriend she wanted to quit and return to her group home, the boyfriend allegedly struck her in the face.

It is unclear how the teen came into contact with McGrath. However, he reportedly told her that he would "treat her better" than her boyfriend if she agreed to work with him, reports say. The teen agreed, and McGrath took pictures of her and used them to create an online prostitution ad on Backpage.com, sources indicate.

The teen worked with McGrath for three weeks, during which time she had sex with johns at two different Fort Lauderdale motels. The johns paid anywhere from around $80 to have sex with the teen, although McGrath allegedly kept all the money for himself. The teen would see as many as six to seven johns a day, sources allege.

The teen reportedly said she feared McGrath because he owned a gun. McGrath also allegedly reminded the teen there was a warrant for her arrest because she had fled her former home, making her afraid to seek help.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation found the prostitution ad advertising the girl sometime later, sources say. In an attempt to rescue her, an agent posed as a john and pretended to hire the teen for sex. The agent reportedly agreed to pay $160 for the services.

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October 1, 2013

Andrew Michael Brandt of Seminole, Florida Arrested for Sexual Activity with a Minor

Andrew Michael Brandt of Seminole, Florida was arrested Thursday after he was accused of posing as a teen on social networking sites, where he met a 15-year-old girl he allegedly had sex with, news sources report. Brandt, 27, was booked into the Sarasota County Jail on three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and three counts of lewd or lascivious battery on a victim over 12 and under 16. A judge ordered that he be held in lieu of $60,000 bail bond. The press did not specify an criminal defense lawyer for Brandt.

Earlier this year, Brandt allegedly created a Facebook profile under the pseudonyms Mike Berns and Andy Berns. As Berns, Brandt told various teen girls that he was also a teen, reports say. Brandt met the victim in this case while posing as Berns on Tagged.com, sources allege. Brandt supposedly told the 15-year-old victim he was only 17.

After exchanging messages with the victim for a period, Brandt travelled to her hometown of Sarasota in March, sources say. There, the two allegedly started having sex. It is unclear how long that relationship lasted and how many times Brandt may have had sexual encounters with the victim.

The press did not indicate how officers learned of the illicit affair. The girl's identity is being kept confidential due to her age and the nature of the crime.

Police have since arrested Brandt, but an investigation is ongoing and officers worry that there may be more victims, reports indicate. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has since issued a statement, telling parents to be wary of their children's online lives and suggesting that they use this case as an example of why online safety is paramount. "Teach and continually reinforce the importance of being safe online," the Sheriff's Office reportedly said. "Explain to them that you are not trying to invade their privacy. You are just trying to make sure they are safe."

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