Articles Posted in Hillsborough County

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A member of the San Francisco 49ers was arrested Saturday night in Tampa and charged with domestic violence.

Reuben Foster, a 24-year-old linebacker out of Alabama, was taken into custody just after 9 p.m. at the team hotel, the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 2900 Bayport Drive.

The 49ers played the Buccaneers Sunday at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. The team announced Sunday morning that it would be releasing Foster.

According to the arrest report, Foster and a 28-year-old woman were involved in a verbal altercation.  

The alleged victim, who was Foster’s former girlfriend, stated that during the altercation Foster slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the right side of her face.  

Officers allegedly observed a one inch scratch on the woman’s left collar bone.

During the investigation officers learned that Foster and the victim lived together in the past and they were involved in an on-again-off-again relationship over the past three years.

Foster was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail. Foster was given a $2,000 bond and no contact order with his ex-girlfriend.

The 49ers’ 1st-round draft pick last year, Foster was charged with domestic violence after an arrest last year and was suspended for two games earlier this season due to those charges.

Domestic violence is classified as any violentaction that is committed against a family or household member.Family or household members can include:

  • Spouses or former spouses
  • Parents, children, stepchildren, and other family members
  • Those who share or formerly shared a common dwelling
  • Those who have a child together
  • Those who share a blood relationship through a child
  • Those who have dated

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Nearly two dozen men are accused of massive construction fraud, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

They were arrested last week as part of an undercover sting, and now authorities are warning the public about protecting themselves against unlicensed contractors.

The nine-day undercover sting was designed to catch unlicensed contractors that authorities believe were targeting senior citizens in the area.

Detectives posed as homeowners and responded to advertisements placed by the alleged unlicensed contractors.

The contractors gave the detectives $117,000 in alleged fake estimates, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sixteen people were arrested and six more are facing charges related to this alleged scam.

Contractor laws in the state of Florida are very important to follow. These laws can be confusing, though. If you are a contractor, it is important to follow all laws related to your profession so that you can avoid any unwanted run-ins with the law. However, mistakes do happen and if you find yourself facing criminal charges, our Tampa Bay Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help.

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A 49-year-old Tampa man is facing federal charges after being accused of inappropriate behavior on a flight.

The man appeared in federal court Monday in Albuquerque, N.M., on a criminal complaint charging him with abusive sexual contact.  

The charge against the man arose out of an in-flight incident while traveling on a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Albuquerque on Sunday. The criminal complaint alleges he groped a woman in the seat in front of him. The woman then requested that flight attendants move her to a different seat.

A conviction on the abusive sexual contact charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department.

Crimes aboard aircraft fall within the FBI’s jurisdiction. Sex crimes on flights are surprisingly common. In 2014 there were 38 cases of in-flight sexual assault reported to the FBI. In 2015, that number increased to 63.

While there are certainly people that are sexually assaulted on airplanes, not every accusation of sexual assault or unlawful sexual conduct has merit. Sex crimes cases are rarely as black and white as that.

That why if you’re facing a charge of sexual assault or rape, it is absolutely vital for you to call a Tampa Bay Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton. Don’t even think about trying to explain things to the police before you call us at 813-221-3200. We will put our decades of trial law and former state prosecution experience to work for you to fight for your rights and your freedom. We understand the severity of the charges you are facing and what it takes to build a successful case on your behalf.

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A Clearwater doctor has pleaded guilty to one count of health-care fraud and has agreed to surrender her DEA registration number, her Florida medical license and to a permanent exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid programs, according to the justice department.

The 66-year-old woman violated a Florida law that requires doctors to perform an in-person office visit and examine the patient before prescribing a Schedule II controlled substance, according to the Department of Justice.

The woman owned a pain management clinic on Druid Road East in Clearwater.

From as early as July 2011 through December 2017, she billed Medicare for face-to-face patient visits to prescribe controlled substances like oxycodone, but some of those visits didn’t take place on those dates, according to the Department of Justice. Instead, she filled the prescriptions for patients’ families who came by her office, without examining the patients.

She also submitted at least $51,500 false and fraudulent Medicare claims, according to a department of justice news release.

The case was investigated by the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit.

Being a healthcare professional means you are subject to extensive regulations and civil statutes. If you fail to comply with the current health care regulations, you can expect to be the target of a federal prosecution. Our Tampa Bay Medicare Fraud Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you fight allegations of health care fraud, including allegations relating to:

  • Medicare fraud
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Billing fraud
  • Kickbacks and Gratuities
  • Bribes
  • Conflicts of interest

Prosecutors also file charges against health care providers who allegedly lie about the number of patients they treat or the types of services they perform. We are ready and able to defend doctors and other healthcare professionals who find themselves wrapped up in such inquiries.

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A former Hillsborough County teacher arrested last week on charges of probation violation has had the charge dismissed.

The 39-year-old was in court Tuesday for a hearing that she violated her probation for taking pictures with a friend’s 12-year-old daughter in a Clearwater Beach restaurant.

A judge dismissed the violation Tuesday, and she’ll be released Wednesday.

The woman made news in the Bay area in 2010 when she pleaded guilty to having sex with teen students.

She served six years in prison on lewd and lascivious battery charges and was released in 2016.

The woman reported the recent incident to her probation officer. Her probation prohibits any contact with minors unless approved by the court. She was arrested July 19.

The terms of probation can be very restrictive. You are expected to live your normal life while following strict procedures. You cannot travel too far from a fixed point, you must report regularly to a probation officer, and you must not be arrested for or charged with any further offenses, among other things. Failure to comply with any of these areas could be considered a probation violation.

If you have recently been charged with violating the terms of your probation, you face serious criminal consequences. Whether done so intentionally or by accident, you are likely to face harsh consequences, including extended probation, hefty fines, or sentenced to serve the remaining term of your original imprisonment. This all depends on individual circumstances – no two cases are the same.

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A former standout high school quarterback in Tampa Bay is out on bond after being accused of beating his ex-girlfriend.

The 29-year-old is facing domestic battery charges in connection with an incident in Key West earlier this month involving his girlfriend at the time.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the man attacked the woman in their hotel room after reading text messages on her phone.

He is accused of punching her several times and knocking her to the ground and stomping on her throat.

The man was released on a $50,000 bond.

After being arrested for domestic battery, it is absolutely vital to the outcome of your case to seek expert legal defense as soon as possible. Domestic battery is a serious crime that involves the harm of a household or family member.

Domestic cases are very sensitive in nature, and all too often involve false accusations as a result of relationship problems. Untruthful statements may be made out of anger, and when police are brought into the matter, there is usually always an arrest made for domestic battery.

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A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested Tuesday after officials claim she got into a physical altercation with her wife.

The alleged incident happened on March 3 at their home.

The alleged 29-year-old victim told officials that her 29-year-old wife forcibly restrained her, causing minor injuries, several times that day after they got into two arguments.

According to the report, the couple first got into a verbal argument which turned physical. The deputy is accused of forcibly restraining the woman by pinning her down against her will in the upstairs bedroom..

The argument subsided and the woman left their home.

Later that evening, the couple got into another argument where the deputy allegedly forcibly restrained her wife several times. According to the report, the deputy  first pushed her wife up against their living room wall, then again in their bedroom, and later pressed the victim’s forearm against her neck causing a restriction in air flow.

According to the report, the wife tried to fight back and received minor bruising to her jaw line, wrist and arms.

The wife contacted the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office on March 6 to report the incidents.

Officials said the deputy admitted to the alleged actions and was arrested and charged with battery by strangulation, domestic violence battery, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

She was also relieved of duty without pay pending an internal review.

A domestic violence or domestic battery conviction can leave you facing serious consequences. You could end up losing your job, your family and spending time behind bars. When the police come to your house and accuse or arrest you for domestic battery, you know that you’re in for an uphill battle.

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A former Tampa police officer was arrested on drug trafficking charges this week in Polk County, along with two other men.

The 66-year-old man and two others, 37 and 24, were arrested during an undercover drug transaction on Thursday, Jan. 10.

The 66-year-old bonded out of jail Saturday, while the other two men remained behind bars.

The 66-year-old former officer served with Tampa PD for five years before becoming an attorney.

The investigation occurred after detectives became aware of possible drug trafficking by one of the men. An undercover detective arranged to meet the man to make a narcotics transaction, and the man said that he would be coming with his supplier, who would have to see the money first.

The deal was for one-to-four kilos of cocaine at $25,000 a kilo.

All three men were allegedly seen at the meeting location, and the undercover detective was handed a backpack that contained 998.41 grams of cocaine, the report stated. All three suspects were arrested.

The 66-year-old  was charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, and possession of a vehicle knowingly used to traffic cocaine. His criminal history includes 1986 charges for disorderly conduct and resisting.

The 37-year-old was charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, possession of hydrocodone, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His criminal history includes charges for providing alcohol to a minor in 2010 and 2013.

The 24-year-old was charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, possession of cannabis, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His criminal history includes charges for drug possession, probation violation, battery, and failure to appear.

Federal drug crimes charges are quite severe, and if you are convicted you are facing serious consequences. If you have been arrested or have reason to believe you are under investigation for a federal drug crime, you need to retain legal help as soon as possible. Our Florida Drug Trafficking Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can begin helping you immediately.

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Lakeland Police charged a Valrico man with 100 counts of possession of child pornography following an investigation of alleged child porn images found on his work computer.

Officials said an investigation into the 55-year-old man began in April. The man’s work computer was turned over to Lakeland detectives on April 19 after the company IT manager claims he found images of child pornography on it while troubleshooting technical difficulties.

According to detectives,a forensic investigation of the man’s computer was conducted. During that investigation, an alleged 100 images of child pornography were identified.

Lakeland Police detectives concluded their investigation on July 8 and, based on the evidence, charged the man with 100 counts of possession of child pornography. The man is currently still in the custody of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and will reportedly be returned to Polk County at a later date.

Child pornography charges alone are enough to ruin your reputation and get you fired from your job. You must take these charges seriously, as they are not going to just disappear. The first thing you need to do after being charged is to retain sound legal counsel, and the sooner the better. Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that prosecutors take a harsh stance when it comes to sexual offenses. They will do everything in their power to seek a conviction and will push for maximum consequences.

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At least 13 people were arrested in a series of drug raids Thursday in Orlando and Tampa, according to reports.

Federal agents claim members of the group have been conspiring to sell heroin and cocaine since at least December 2015.

They are charged with conspiracy and intent to distribute a controlled substance.

At least $80,000 and a 2015 Acura ILX were seized, according to reports.

Have you recently been arrested in a drug raid? If so, you will definitely need the services of a highly skilled Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton who can help you. When you are arrested on drug charges, you need a defense attorney who can investigate every aspect of your case with the hopes of possibly getting your charges reduced or even completely dismissed. We can assist with your case and have extensive experience in handling drug cases on both the state and federal levels.

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