Detention Deputy Arrested For Selling Pain Pills, Sheriff’s Office Says

A Polk County detention deputy has been arrested for selling Oxycontin tablets to undercover detectives, the Sheriff’s Office said today.

Shawn Lucas
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Shawn Thomas Lucas, 30, was arrested about 8 p.m. Thursday after selling the pain killers to the detective.


Earlier Thursday, detectives received information that Lucas was selling Oxycontin, the Sheriff’s Office said. Undercover detectives arranged to meet Lucas in the parking lot of Save-A-Lot shopping center at Havendale Boulevard and 42nd Street in Auburndale.


Lucas, who was off-duty at the time, agreed to sell the undercover detective six whole pills and nine half pills, a total of 4.4 grams, with an approximate street value of $200, the Sheriff’s Office said.


Lucas was arrested without incident and consented to a search of his 1999, Ford pickup truck where detectives recovered a fully loaded .45-caliber handgun, Lucas’ personal weapon.

Lucas was charged with armed drug trafficking because of the weapon found in his vehicle at the time of the undercover drug buy, the Sheriff’s Office said.


Lucas told detectives he and his family were having financial difficulties and that his deceased father had been prescribed the Oxycontin.  Detectives recovered additional pills at Lucas’ residence.


Lucas resigned from the Sheriff’s Office upon his arrest. 


Lucas had been assigned to the South County Jail. He was hired on March 6, 2006, and had no disciplinary actions during his employment.

Lucas worked for the Florida Department of Corrections, prior to being hired by the Sheriff’s Office. 


Lucas was booked into the Polk County Jail without incident.  He is being held without bond until first appearance today.


Officer Tries To Bring Gun Into Jail, Reinstated After Administrative Leave

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County corrections officer Carlos Lopez could face felony charges for trying to walk through the security checkpoint, at the jail with a semi-automatic handgun that was inside his lunch bag. Part of the jail was put on locked down.


“The officer indicated he was unaware it was in his lunch pail or lunch bucket and we believed him,” said Allen Moore of the Orange County jail.


The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the incident because it is against the law in Florida to bring a gun into a jail. Investigators were getting help from the State Attorney’s Office because they could not figure out if Lopez made a mistake or if he tried to illegally smuggle the gun inside the jail.


“It was something that was supposed to go ahead and catch an incident, someone bringing in something. Maybe it was a mistake or he may have been trying to do something wrong we don’t know,” said Captain Angelo Nieves of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.


Officer Lopez got his gun back and has been reinstated after being put on administrative leave.


Two Correction Officers an a police officer Arrested in OxyContin bust that nets 56 Miami-Dade government employees

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Fifty-six government employees — including a police officer, a felony court clerk, two corrections officers and 27 school bus drivers and attendants — were arrested in a scam that used health insurance information to fraudulently obtain prescriptions for the painkiller OxyContin, authorities said Wednesday.

Janice Currington; Dwonvalyn Johnson; Barbara Miller Benaby; Guyton Wynell; Marcella Pierce; and Wanda McNeal.

Arrested as “recruiters” in the alleged OxyContin scam, are, clockwise: Janice Currington; Dwonvalyn Johnson; Barbara Miller Benaby; Guyton Wynell; Marcella Pierce; and Wanda McNeal.

Sixty-two people were arrested in total and all face charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and grand theft, according to the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office.

Authorities estimate 130 medically unnecessary prescriptions for OxyContin — more than 12,000 tablets — were presented to pharmacies. The drugs have an estimated street value of $400,000, prosecutors said.

OxyContin is a popular painkiller, delivering an instant “high” when it is crushed or dissolved and ingested.

The scam began in January 2003, when six “recruiters” enlisted a group of people, most of them employees of local government, to participate in the ring, according to prosecutors.

Those employees provided their health insurance identification information, and with that information they obtained unnecessary prescriptions for OxyContin from another codefendant, who was a physician, authorities said.

The defendants filled those prescriptions at pharmacies and sold the pills for cash to another codefendant, authorities said.

In addition, prosecutors said, the defendants submitted claims to their insurance companies for reimbursement for the OxyContin prescriptions.

“There can never be an excuse for helping put dangerous drugs onto our streets,” said Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade state attorney. “When public employees are a part of the problem and when public medical benefits are used to make the scheme work, these are shameful events. They are also crimes.”

Among those arrested, according to authorities, were:

• 17 Miami-Dade County Public Schools bus drivers

• 10 Miami-Dade County Public Schools bus attendants

• Six city of Miami Department of Solid Waste employees

• Five Miami-Dade County Public Schools security officers

• Three Miami-Dade County Public Schools custodians

• Two Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation corrections officers

• Two Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher assistants

• Two Miami-Dade County Transit bus drivers

• One city of Hialeah police officer

• One city of Miami crane operator

• One Miami-Dade County Circuit Court felony clerk

• One Helen B. Bentley Family Health Center driver

• One Miami-Dade County Human Services data entry specialist

• One Miami-Dade County Human Services employee (other)

• One Miami-Dade County General Services Administration employee

• One Department of Children and Families employee

• One former employee of Family Christian Services


Inmate: I made bomb to blow up South Bay guard ( Who smuggled)

 SOUTH BAY — A prison inmate confessed to crafting a homemade bomb to try to blow up a guard, and the guard has been charged with smuggling contraband into the prison, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.
Jordano LaGuerre, 24, of Lauderhill was arrested Tuesday afternoon at the South Bay Correctional Facility on charges of making an explosive device. According to the report, deputies called in to investigate a bomb threat Tuesday morning found four empty honey bottles filled with gasoline and connected to batteries and wires.




Sgt. Michelle Terrien



The report said LaGuerre admitted to making the bomb to try to blow up a female guard, identified in the report as Sgt. Michelle Terrien.

Terrien, for her part, admitted to investigators that she met with LaGuerre’s sister in March and smuggled in $4,000 in cash for LaGuerre, leaving it in a trash can in the prison, the report said. LaGuerre reportedly told deputies he never got the money, so he made the bomb and threatened to blow up Terrien.

Terrien was arrested Tuesday evening on charges of smuggling contraband into a prison, according to the sheriff’s report.

Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said the state pays a private company, the Geo Group, to run the prison and that the company had not informed the state of any guards being charged yet. She said the department was investigating the incident.

LaGuerre, who was in prison for a series of burglaries in Palm Beach and Broward counties between 2004 and 2006, is now being held in the Palm Beach County Jail.




12 Florida juvenile officers fired for watching porn

TALLAHASSEE – Twelve juvenile detention officers, including a supervisor, are being fired for accessing adult pornography on a state computer.

Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Frank Peterman Jr. announced the firings Thursday. He said such “heinous” behavior won’t be tolerated by employees who are responsible for overseeing children.

Peterman said there’s no evidence children saw the images at a detention center in St. Augustine nor was child pornography involved. The case is under investigation.

Police investigate jail Taser death

Authorities are investigating the death of a man who officers shocked with a Taser in jail after a shoplifting arrest, a newspaper reported Tuesday.


The Statesville Record & Landmark reported that Anthony Dewayne Davidson, 29, of Statesville, died Sunday night after being taken off life support. Assistant Police Chief Tom Anderson said Davidson was arrested Saturday after a grocery store reported a shoplifting.

Anderson said at least one police officer and possibly a jailer used a Taser on Davidson during an altercation in a hallway near the magistrate’s office. A jail nurse recommended he be taken to a hospital and he later died.

Davidson’s family is questioning the man’s treatment. They say they have photos showing bruising on his face and lacerations on his head and hands.

Police are investigating the events surrounding Davidson’s death, Anderson said. The State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a separate review, as is the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

Davidson was arrested without incident, but exhibited odd behavior during the trip to the Iredell County Detention Center, Anderson said. After he saw a magistrate and was given a $500 bond, Davidson became uncooperative and aggressive, he said.

Anderson said officers believed Davidson was under the influence of an impairing substance.

A county sheriff’s deputy was injured in the scuffle, said Iredell County Sheriff Phil Redmond, adding that Davidson tried to run.

Davidson’s uncle, Jerry Moore, said his nephew was bruised on his face and had a knot over his right eye and questioned why a Taser was needed because his nephew was handcuffed. Moore showed the newspaper pictures he took of Davidson after he was pronounced dead.

“We just want the truth and it’s not being told,” Moore said. “One fall from a Taser doesn’t put that on your face.”

Anderson said an autopsy will be conducted this week.

He added that he was surprised by the death, which was the first one of someone shocked with a Taser since the city began using the devices in 2004.

“I hate it,” Anderson said. “It’s unfortunate.”


Prison officer indicted on hot water charge

TAMPACLEARWATER LAKELAND JACKSONVILLE TALLAHASSEE – A former Florida State Prison correctional officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury on civil rights charges for allegedly pouring hot water on an inmate in 2005.

The indictment by a federal grand jury in Jacksonville against Paul Tillis was announced Thursday by the Justice Department. If convicted, Tillis could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

5 prison guards charged with smuggling drugs

MIAMI — Five guards at a Miami-Dade County prison are charged with smuggling drugs into the facility.


Federal indictments also charge them with taking cash from inmates in return for helping to deliver the drugs inside the prison.

They were arrested Friday. The guards worked at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida City, about 28 miles north of Miami.

A kitchen employee at the prison and several inmates were also charged.

Prosecutors say the arrests were part of an FBI investigation called Operation Birdcage. An undercover officer posed as a drug dealer and sold cocaine and heroin to the guards.

They face a maximum 20-year sentence on each charge and a $250,000 fine if convicted.


Guards accused of using inmate food as toilet

INVERNESS, FL. — An Inverness attorney plans to sue the company the runs Citrus county’s jail, claiming employees are treating inmates like human toilets.

Attorney Greg Jones has called a news conference today to announce his suit against “Corrections Corporation of America and their employees regarding the urination and defecation in the food of a former inmate at the Citrus County Detention Facility located in Lecanto, Florida.”

The jail is not run by the Citrus County sheriff, but by a private company.

The attorney did not return phone calls to requesting information on whether this is an isolated incident or whether other inmates may be involved.


Corrections officers charged with gouging inmate’s eye

PUNTA GORDA — A southwest Florida corrections officer was released from jail Friday after he was arrested for gouging an inmate’s eye, police said.

William Wilson, 25, was fired Thursday and arrested on aggravated battery charges, following an investigation into the May 21 incident at the Charlotte Correctional Institution.

The unnamed inmate was being transferred out of his cell by a group of officers when Wilson intentionally gouged the inmate’s right eye with his hand, according to a Florida Department of Corrections report. The eyeball later had to be removed by medical staff.

The inmate was being transferred for inpatient mental-health treatment.

Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said it’s unclear if Wilson was provoked. Still, she called Wilson a “brutal employee” and said that kind of behavior cannot be tolerated. He had been with the department since 2006.

Wilson was released on $100,000 bond. A jail official did not know if he had an attorney.


Florida Corrections Officer Arrested

Police arrested a Miami-Dade County corrections officer on Thursday morning for allegedly beating her boyfriend and holding him captive.

There was a driveway full of cars and a locksmith at the door, but no one at the home of Capt. Clora Adkins would answer questions about what happened at her home Wednesday night.

Adkins runs the Women’s Detention Center in Miami-Dade County.

Police said a text message alluding to infidelity sparked an argument between Adkins and her boyfriend of seven years.

According to the arrest affidavit, Adkins armed herself with a wooden candlestick holder, striking the victim across the head several times and then across the arm.

Besides the swelling, the victim also had bite marks on his body, according to police.

Police said Adkins would not let her boyfriend leave the house. They said, at one point, she grabbed his cell phone and smashed it on the floor so that he could not call 911.

Police said the victim eventually got away. They said he ran out of the house, went to a neighbor’s home and called police.

The Corrections Department said Adkins has a clean record. She has been with the department for more than 20 years.

The department released a statement on her employment status.

“The Miami-Dade Corrections Department has placed Captain Adkins on administrative leave pending the outcome of her court case,” the statement said.


Officers Investigated In Jail ‘Fight Club’

ORLANDO, Fla. — Four Orange County jail officers stand accused of organized fighting and gambling at the jail. Jail spokesman Allen Moore said the officers were placed on administrative duty. He said the investigation will see if any policies or procedures were violated at the Horizon Facility at the jail, which houses close to 1,250 inmates. Details of the investigation and the names of the officers were not released.

The officers have been prohibited from having any contact with inmates.


Corrections officer arrested for selling marijuana

 corrections officer was arrested Saturday, May 10, while on duty at the Washington County Correctional Institution.

According to a news release, a joint effort by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington Correctional Institution led to the arrest of correctional officer Ivan Duke Peters, 34. He was taken into custody while on duty.

Peters was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver, unlawful compensation, and smuggling contraband into a detention facility.

Officers received information that Peters had been bringing contraband into the prison in return for cash from inmates housed at Washington CI. Peters was taken into custody shortly after arriving for his shift.

Additional arrests and charges are expected, the release said.

Deputy Jailed for Sex With Inmate

Donald Kurns Jr. admitted to the incident, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

BARTOW | A Polk County Jail detention deputy was booked into the jail Friday after he was arrested for having sex with an inmate, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.



Donald Kurns Jr., 40, was charged with committing a sexual battery on a victim over 12 years of age.

He resigned Friday after more than 14 years as a detention deputy, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Kurns admitted to the one-time incident and described the sex as consensual, his arrest report said.

The inmate said she did not want to have sex with Kurns but that she went along with it because she was afraid of losing her ‘trusty’ status, which enables an inmate to earn gain time and be released from jail earlier than the full sentence. Only inmates who have been charged with misdemeanors and exhibit good behavior are allowed to become trustys, sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Rodgers said.

Consensual or not, Rodgers said the charge is a battery because detention deputies have control and power over inmates, and a Florida statute prohibits jail employees from having sex with inmates. The Sheriff’s Office also does not allow personal relationships, romantic or friendly, between inmates or former inmates and employees, Rodgers said.

Kurns used his power of authority as a detention deputy to persuade the sexual contact, the report said.

After the inmate became a trusty at the end of March, Kurns began telling her he would put her back in the general population, meaning she would lose the opportunity to shorten her sentence, the report said.

Along with the threats, the report said, Kurns also began making sexual comments, grabbing the inmate’s buttocks and telling her they were ‘soft’ like ‘Charmin.’

One day in mid-April, the report said, Kurns told the inmate he was interested in oral sex and motioned for the inmate to follow him into the staff bathroom.

‘Come into my office,’ Kurns said, according to the report.

The inmate told detectives that Kurns then performed oral sex on her in a bathroom stall, while Kurns said that the inmate performed oral sex on him, according to the report.

Both said that the two then had sex.

Kurns made sexual advances toward the inmate two more times, the report said. Both times the inmate left the bathroom, which she is responsible for cleaning, before it went further, the report said.

Rodgers said the inmate has been moved to another jail in a neighboring county.
Kurns is one of many detention deputies arrested in recent years on serious charges ranging from battery and solicitation to smuggling contraband and disclosing confidential criminal justice information.

In 2006, one deputy was arrested and charged with offering money and sex in exchange for prescription painkillers.

Correctional officer charged with having sex with inmate

 SOUTH BAY — A 28-year-old officer at South Bay Correctional Institution was arrested on sexual misconduct charges after she allegedly had sex with an inmate.

Akina Wright was captured on video surveillance having sex with an inmate in the officer’s recreation office on Friday, according to a sheriff’s report. The pair tried to conceal themselves on the floor behind a desk during the 35-minute tryst, but a camera captured the act, the report says.

The camera also caught the inmate, whose name was not released, adjusting his pants and Wright spraying air freshener after the encounter, according to the report.

Palm Beach County Jail records show Wright was booked in shortly after 7 p.m. Monday and released a little more than an hour later on $3,000 bond.


Ex-Guard Gets 30 Years for Molesting Girl

A former Polk Correctional Institution officer was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday for molesting a 6-year-old girl.



Circuit Judge Neil Roddenbery also declared Derrick Andrew Brown, 27, to be a sexual predator, a designation that carries various restrictions.

A jury found Brown guilty of molesting the girl on Feb. 6, court records show.


Married deputies square off, charged with domestic violence

Two Polk County Sheriff’s detention deputies who are married to each other have been charged withbattery, domestic violence after an argument between the two of them escalated into a physical confrontation

According to their affidavits, William B. Pagoria, 39, was standing on the steps outside his home Friday, when his wife, Robin Pagoria, 42, attempted to get past him and go into the house.

Robin Pagoria says her husband blocked her entrance into the home. William Pagoria says his wife pushed him out of the way, causing him to lose his balance, so he pushed her back. From there the physical violence escalated, and Robin reported the incident to law enforcement.

Both Pagorias were interviewed, and both have been charged with misdemeanor battery, domestic violence. William Pagoria was booked into the Polk County Jail this morning, and Robin Pagoria was charged via complaint affidavit.

William Pagoria was hired in January 2005 as a detention deputy and is currently assigned as a tactical instructor at the STAR (Sheriff’s Training and Respect) Program. Robin Pagoria was hired as a detention deputy in August 2005, and is currently assigned to the Central County Jail in Bartow. They have both been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case and an administrative investigation.


Ex-fed agent pleads guilty in sex-assault case

A fired immigration agent pleaded guilty Thursday to having sex with a Jamaican woman at his home while he was transferring her from a detention facility in Miami-Dade to another center in Broward.

Wilfredo Vazquez, 35, of Tamarac, also pleaded guilty to ”placing the woman in fear” during the sexual encounter.

Vazquez cut a plea deal on the eve of trial this week, avoiding prosecution on the more serious charge of aggravated sexual assault. That’s the equivalent of sexual battery, or rape, in the state criminal court.

The plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office entailed dismissing two of the counts and recommending a little over seven years in prison to U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas. Had Vazquez gone to trial and been convicted for sexual assault, he could have faced about 30 years in prison.

”He now understands and regrets that this woman was in fear during the sexual act,” said Vazquez’s attorney, Joel DeFabio. “As the government stated in court, he never threatened her, struck her or used any physical force against her.

“He feels very remorseful for the victim and his family.”

Vazquez, a decorated Iraq war veteran who had served in the Air Force for 16 years, was fired by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after the woman alleged she was raped at his home in September. He had worked as an ICE agent for less than a year.

Vazquez was transporting her from the Krome Detention Center in West Miami-Dade to the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach on Sept. 21, the date of the incident.

She was being moved after serving a few months at the Miami Federal Detention Center in connection with a false claim to U.S. citizenship. Immigration officials planned to put her in deportation proceedings after having lived in the United States for 12 years. She has a daughter and son.

The woman’s immigration lawyer, who brought the case to the attention of U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta, said the victim was prepared to testify at trial but was relieved to put the ordeal behind her.

”She told me that she didn’t want this former officer to have the opportunity to sexually abuse anyone else,” said Miami attorney Cheryl Little, head of the Florida Immigration Advocacy Center.

”This is not a slap on the wrist. I do believe that justice has been served,” Little said. “Hopefully, this will send a serious message to other officers who abuse detainees — that they will pay a very high price for this type of misconduct.”

After the victim filed her complaint, immigration authorities granted the woman parole.

Little said her organization is helping the woman obtain a visa that could lead to her establishing legal residency.

”We’re certainly trying to get her a U visa because she has fully cooperated with law enforcement officials,” Little said, expressing her gratitude to prosecutors for making the case and writing a letter of certification supporting her visa.

When federal agents initially confronted the ICE agent about the woman’s complaint, Vazquez repeatedly denied he ever stopped at his home with the detainee, according to a Department of Homeland Security arrest affidavit.

But records from Florida’s Turnpike SunPass system showed Vazquez’s official vehicle left the highway at a Commercial Boulevard ramp near his home, according to the affidavit. The victim also described the interior of his home and neighborhood to investigators — along with the sexual encounter.

The sexual assault prosecution was the first such case since 2000, when officials at the Krome detention center opened an investigation into sexual misconduct by guards and officers at the west Miami-Dade detention facility.

At least one officer and one contract employee were convicted. The scandal prompted immigration authorities to remove female detainees from Krome. Most women are now housed at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, though some are first processed at Krome.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office first opened the investigation in late September after the victim disclosed the episode to authorities. The U.S. attorney’s office then developed the case under prosecutor Daniel Rashbaum.


Polk deputy arrested for providing tobacco to an inmate

A Polk County deputy sheriff was arrested Thursday after authorities said he provided tobacco to an inmate at the South County Jail.

Ranjit Navonza Young

Ranjit Navonza Young, 26, of Lake Wales was arrested on a charge of smuggling or introducing contraband into a detention facility, a third-degree felony. Bail is set at $1,000. Young, who had worked for the Sheriff’s Office for about 11 months, resigned March 26.

Investigators said Young told them he picked up legal papers for an inmate and delivered them on March 13 — a violation of sheriff’s policy, which prohibit personal package deliveries. He also told deputies the inmate’s wife paid him $40 to make the delivery, they said. A sheriff’s news release said the package really contained tobacco.


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