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Sunday, Oct 04, 2015

Elaine Silvestrini

Tribune Staff

Nude photos stolen from cellphone haunt Tampa woman


TAMPA — The restaurant was abuzz as reporters showed up to cover the arrest of an employee at a neighboring cellphone store on charges of stealing a customer’s nude pictures from her phone.

Jury candidate in Dontae Morris trial admits to contempt


TAMPA — A former jury candidate pleaded guilty to contempt of court Friday, saying she was so overhwhelmed at the possibility she’d have to recommend the death penalty that she violated a judge’s ord...

Fisherman sues Tampa after police detained him during open-carry event

- A Polk County man says he was exercising his right to openly carry a gun while fishing at Ballast Point Park in June when police detained him.

Attorney says jailed Polish suspect should be freed


Until his arrest in July, Stanislaw Kasprzak was homeless, living out of motels in the Tampa and Orlando areas.

Sarasota woman latest to file suit against Volkswagen


A Sarasota County woman who bought a 2014 Volkswagen Passat has joined the dozens of people filing lawsuits against the German carmaker for misleading them over emissions from the company’s diesel cars.

Tampa trio in DUI setup casts light on legal discipline


Some lawyers steal from clients.

Former charity worker admits to misleading Social Security


TAMPA — A former employee of a nonprofit group that provides services to the mentally disabled has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge she misled the Social Security Administration over how clients’ ...

Third member of ring smuggling guns to Middle East pleads guilty


TAMPA — The third member of a ring that smuggled weapons to the Middle East by hiding them in cars pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal conspiracy and gun export crimes.

Tampa woman pleads guilty, contests amount in welfare fraud case


TAMPA — When Latashia Green came into hundreds of thousands of dollars five years ago, she bought some property and moved out of her public housing.

With information a click away, impartial juries in jeopardy

- Jurors who create the problems can face troubles of their own — anything from reprimands to fines to jail time.

Many apartment managers getting rid of drop boxes after wave of thefts


In December 2013, the management of a Clearwater apartment complex notified several residents they were late paying their rent.

Gun shop owner who sold weapons to survivalist sentenced


TAMPA — As owner of AR Tactical gun shop in Plant City, John Russell Richards supported law enforcement, his lawyer says.

Lutz man preyed on those facing foreclosure, prosecutors say


TAMPA — Some people facing foreclosure and desperate to keep their homes have become targets for crooks.

Former civilian employee for Tampa police department indicted on fraud charges


TAMPA — A former Tampa police civilian employee has been indicted on charges she conspired to commit fraud and illegally used police databases in connection with the scheme.

Scam fleeced Anna Maria vacationers out of $200,000


Enticed by the sugar sands of Gulf of Mexico beaches and stunning sunsets, some would-be vacationers have instead become acquainted with another Florida feature: scoundrels.

Student aid fraud growing; feds haven’t fully addressed ‘serious vulnerability’

- Authorities say Avangia L. Jones has continued to steal from federal taxpayers using a scheme that exploits holes in government oversight of how aid is awarded to students who attend college online.

Drug dealers, con men went to Tampa dealer to buy cars, government says

- When drug dealers and tax fraud crooks wanted to buy snazzy used cars, one dealership hooked them up.

Your next text message might be from a lawyer trying to get work

- You've just been in a car accident or accused of a crime.

Former employee gets life in prison for Avila double murders

- Julian Ospina-Florez will serve the rest of his life in Florida prison for murdering his employer and her husband at their Avila mansion in 2012.

Man convicted of Avila double-murder: ‘You just convicted an innocent man.’


TAMPA — Convicted of two murders, Julian Ospina-Florez wanted to tell jurors who will next decide whether he should be put to death that their verdict was wrong.

Former driver found guilty in Avila couple’s murder

- Julian Ospina-Florez was found guilty of premeditated first-degree murder this afternoon in the 2012 shooting deaths of Debra and Hector Rivera.

Prosecutor: Defendant in Avila double homicide killed with a purpose


TAMPA — The murders of Debra and Hector Rivera were personal, a prosecutor said Monday, and the killer had a purpose.

Judge: Permanently disbar all three lawyers involved in DUI setup

- Three lawyers accused of orchestrating the DUI arrest of an adversary should receive a professional death sentence — permanent disbarment, a judge recommended.

Federal affidavit details Tampa tax fraud involving police employee

- A newly filed federal search warrant affidavit describes how investigators say a civilian Tampa police employee used law enforcement databases to get personal identifying information for her friend, Rita Girven, to use for ...

Rollback means drug offenders get early release

- On Nov. 1, 120 federal drug offenders sentenced in Tampa will be released from prison as part of a rollback of federal drug penalties.

Trial begins for employee charged in 2012 Avila murders


TAMPA — The case against Julian Ospina-Florez is built on physical and forensic evidence that points irrefutably to him as the sole killer of Hector and Debra Rivera at their Avila mansion Jan. 9, 2012, a prosecu...

Trial of man accused in 2012 Avila slayings begins


TAMPA — About a year before she and her husband were shot to death at their mansion in Avila, Debra Rivera hired Julian Ospina-Florez to help with her jewelry business.

A twist in child porn sentences: paying restitution to victim


Every time someone is arrested on federal charges for possessing her image, “Vicky” is notified.

Men sentenced to federal prison for stealing FBI weapons, gear


TAMPA — When Pasco County deputies pulled James Weed over in a stolen car, they found handcuffs that had been stolen five days earlier from an FBI agent’s car.

Tampa fund manager to plead guilty to Facebook investment fraud


TAMPA — When Facebook went public in 2012, investors were eager to get in on the action.

Advocate vouches for Diaco, says Campbell ‘should have said no’


CLEARWATER — As far as Tammy Rosian is concerned, three lawyers accused of orchestrating the DUI arrest of an adversary are not to blame.

Lawyers seek to have ‘illogical’ Morris murder conviction overturned

- Saying the jury’s verdict was illogical and inconsistent, lawyers for Dontae Morris are asking a judge to overturn his first-degree murder conviction handed up last month.

Lawyers in ‘Bubba’ case tout character to save careers


CLEARWATER — Trying to avoid severe punishment for setting up the DUI arrest of an adversary, three lawyers presented testimony Thursday portraying them as pinnacles of generosity and contributors to the community...