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Tag: Miami-Dade

Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Appeals 40-Year Prison Sentence, Says He’s Not Guilty

John Connolly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent John Connolly is trying to convince a Florida appeals court that he should be released from prison because he is not a murderer.

The Miami Herald reports that appeals judges in Miami-Dade are revisiting the former agent’s conviction of murder with a firearm in a case connected to notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Connolly’s defense attorney, Manuel Alvarez, is arguing that there’s no way Connolly could have killed a suspected “snitch” in Florida because the agent was in Boston at the time.

“My client had a gun three weeks before, 1,200 miles away — nowhere near Fort Lauderdale,” Alvarez told the entire panel of the Third District Court of Appeal.

Prosecutors said Connolly, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence, was very much involved in the murder, and a jury properly decided that he was guilty.

“John Connolly is not an innocent FBI agent sitting at his desk 1,000 miles away from the murder,” said Assistant State Attorney Joel Rosenblatt. “He was a primary mover.”

Miami Fed Prosecutor Off the Hook After Arrest for Jumping in Pool With Boxers

Sean Cronin/miami-dade corrections

Sean Cronin/miami-dade corrections

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Good news for the Miami fed prosecutor who was arrested after jumping into a pool in his boxers: You’re no longer in hot water.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has decided not to formally charge Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Cronin, the Miami Herald reported.

The paper reported that Assistant State Attorney Laura Adams said Tuesday in a court filing that her office decided not to charge Cronin because of “insufficient evidence” that he “intentionally exposed his genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner.”

Cronin, 36, was arrested Sept. 26 after the parents of a young girl accused him of exposing himself as he came out of a public pool in his boxer shorts, the Herald reported.  He was arrested on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior in front of a minor younger than 16.

Cronin’s lawyer, Joel Denaro, told The Miami Herald after the arrest that the charges were “beyond absurd. He went swimming in his boxer shorts, for God’s sake. He did nothing wrong.”

The incident happened on a recent  Sunday afternoon at Finnegan’s River, a restaurant and bar on Southwest Third Avenue in Miami. The New England Patriots football game was on the big screen, and Cronin, a Boston native, was watching. At some point, the 5-foot-5, 160-pound Cronin jumped into the pool at the bar, wearing only his boxer shorts. A woman and her young daughter were at the pool.

Then, according to a police report, when Cronin “came out of the pool, his penis was exposed and appeared to be erect.”

The mother “covered her daughter’s eyes,” then alerted pool staff members, who tried to detain Cronin until police arrived, the report said.

“While trying to detain the defendant, he tried escaping through a back exit,” the report said. “At this time Officer Arzola … arrived on the scene in a marked police vehicle wearing full uniform [and] observed the defendant running out the back of the establishment … and [he] continued fleeing southbound, jumping over multiple fences.” The officer apprehended him.

FBI Accuses Miami Officer of Scamming Crime Stoppers Program

We always hope members of law enforcement can be innovative and industrious. But not in this way.

miami-crime-stoppers

BY JENNIFER LEBOVICH AND JAY WEAVER
Miami Herald
MIAMI — Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers doles out cash for tipsters who turn in criminals.

But one of their own — a Miami officer taking tips — used the inside information to rip off thousands of dollars in reward money, authorities said.

Officer Wayne Fortella, an 11-year Miami police veteran, was charged Wednesday with wire fraud and conspiracy in Miami federal court. Two of his friends, who allegedly collected the Crime Stoppers payments at Wachovia banks, were also charged. One is at large.

Cellphone calls and text messages between Fortella and each of the two other men — with details for picking up the rewards — helped authorities track the trio.

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