BSO Deputy Arrested for Drunken Drive-By Shooting From a Prius

via Youtube
PBSO has not released Stepelton's mug shot, so we can only assume he looks something like this.

Remember those wild and crazy BSO deputies who were suspected of leaving a West Palm Beach strip club and then shooting at a nearby Walgreens? Well, one of those deputies has turned himself in on charges of "discharging a firearm from a vehicle" -- a second-degree felony.

Deputy Norman Stepelton, a 26-year-old member of the BSO force for about one year, was on paid administrative leave for more than three weeks before he decided to walk into PBSO headquarters on the evening of January 28 and turn himself in for his involvement in the January 5 shooting. He was released the next day without having to pay any bail, according to PBSO arrest records. BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright tells us he's now on unpaid administrative leave.

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Off-Duty PBSO Cop Who Shot and Killed Son Being Investigated as On-Duty Cop

Thumbnail image for PBSO_squad_car.JPG
It might be several months before the autopsy results of Khamis Shatara, the 21-year-old shot and killed by his off-duty PBSO deputy father on Christmas Eve, are released to the public. That's because the death is being investigated as an "officer-involved shooting" even though the elder Shatara was at home and off-duty when he pulled the trigger.

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's office told New Times the status of the case when we attempted to get a copy of the autopsy results, which are considered public records.

"It's an officer-involved shooting, and the case is still under investigation," the records clerk said, adding that it might be before April the records are releasable, after having gone through the District Attorney's Office, which is the norm for all shootings involving on-duty police officers.

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Carnival Cruise Passenger Says She Was Raped by Crew Member While Her Kids Watched

Categories: Crime

Scott Lucht via Wikimedia Commons
Cruises pretty much sell themselves on their care-free vibes: Come stay with us on this floating five-star hotel, where you don't have to worry about anything except getting to the buffet before the cheese blintzes run out. The truth is that there's a shady underbelly attached to the cruise business involving missing passengers, crimes on in-country excursions, and sexual assault.

A recent case hitting federal court in South Florida throws that final category into stark relief. A woman says that not only was she sexually assaulted by a crew member on her Carnival cruise but that the ship's security actively tried to keep her from reporting the crime.

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After Years Hiding Out in Mexico, Two Sex Traffickers Plead Guilty in Federal Court

Categories: Crime

A brutal sex trafficking ring that was first busted in 1998 is finally coming to an official close with the last two leaders of the multinational network pleading guilty in federal court.

Alberto Cadena-Sosa, a 46-year-old Mexican national, was sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty to conspiring and holding a person in a condition of involuntary servitude. U.S. District Court Judge Joes E. Martinez also ordered Cadena-Sosa to pay $1,261,563 in restitution to 16 victims.

Carmen Cadena, 48 and also from Mexico, pleaded guilty to a slew of horrific charges. According tot the FBI, those charges include:

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The Family of a Black Teen Shot by Palm Beach County Police Wants Answers

Courtesy of Sunjee Louissaint
Devin Jolicoeur
It was December 13, 2012, when 40-year-old Sunjee Louissaint, a soft-spoken woman with gentle eyes, looked across the front yard of her West Palm Beach home and saw two green-and-gold-striped Palm Beach County Sheriff's cruisers.

Two deputies had pinned her 17-year-old son, Devin, to the ground. She heard a bang and, suddenly, his body shook violently.

Louissaint thought he had been hit with a Taser. Then she saw the blood. He's been shot, she thought.

"I ran over and put my face on the ground," she recalls, "because his face was on the ground, and I saw his eyes were dilated. He was gone."

Devin Jolicoeur died of gunshot wounds in the early evening that Thursday. Four bullets pierced his chest and one his hand. Not only his mother, but also his grandmother, aunt, and best friend were there. So were several other family friends and neighbors who had come out to see why police were questioning the teen.

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Rick Scott Is About to Break the Modern Record for Most Executions by a Florida Governor

Categories: Crime, Politics

Next month, Rick Scott will win the distinction of "Florida's Most Deadly Governor" when he surpasses Jeb Bush in the number of executions under his watch since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Since taking office in 2011, Scott has signed 21 death warrants -- the same number Bush did in two full terms as Florida's governor. But on February 26, Jerry Correll is scheduled to die for his 1986 conviction of stabbing to death five people, including his own daughter, his ex-wife, and her mother, sister, and niece. Unless Correll's execution is stayed, Scott's death penalty tally will go up to 22.

Needless to say, anti-death penalty activists aren't happy with this trend.

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Did Two Off-Duty BSO Deputies Shoot Up a Walgreens After Leaving a Strip Club?

Photo by CZmarlin via Wikipedia Commons
Back on January 5 at 3:37 a.m., a shot was fired in front of the Walgreens on Haverhill Road and Okeechobee Road in West Palm Beach. PBSO confirmed then that a shot was fired but didn't release any details. But this week, Florida Cop Watch reported something a little more interesting: Two off-duty Broward deputies were so excited after leaving a strip club, they just had to let one out of the chamber, which almost hit a PBSO cop and ended up hitting an innocent Walgreens.

The fun tale continues. After the post-stripper shootout, PBSO stopped the gun-firing revelers and then realized they too were cops. So instead of arresting them, a higher-ranking BSO official was called in and apparently took his boys home to sleep it off. No charges were filed, of course.

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Shatara K. Shatara, Off-Duty PBSO Deputy Who Shot Son, Faced Several Off-Duty Complaints

Shatara was accused driving his marked car to a sports bar to knock back a few.
Deputy Shatara K. Shatara shot and killed his 21-year-old son, Khamis, in his Delray Beach apartment last Christmas Eve. Other than that, not much is known about the shooter or the investigation, which is being conducted by the Delray Beach Police Department. But Deputy Shatara's personnel file reveals he had several complaints filed in 2011 that had some sort of combination involving drinking and his patrol car.

The most interesting of these complaints came on June 4, when Boynton Beach Police officers were investigating a "shots fired" incident at the residence of an acquaintance of Shatara's, according to PBSO files. When the Boynton Beach officers arrived, Shatara allegedly fled the scene in his PBSO vehicle without speaking to them.

The complaint continues: "It is also alleged Deputy Shatara previously consumed unknown alcoholic beverages and then drove his assigned PBSO patrol vehicle while impaired."

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Robert Woodring, DEA Informant Turned Fugitive, Arrested in Mexico After 37 Years

Categories: Crime

Pjotr Mahhonin via wikimedia commons
A South Floridian with a colorful criminal history has been scooped up by authorities in Mexico after spending nearly four decades running from police. Robert Woodring, now 81, was picked up in Guadalajara, Mexico late last year and will finally face arraignment this week.

Police had been looking for the Woodring 35 years after he was pulled some fast moves to keep his yacht from being seized by authorities . . . which is totally the most South Florida move ever.

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Data Show Nearly Every County in Florida Has at Least 1,000 Prisoners

Florida Department of Corrections
Everybody knows Florida likes to lock people up. It's the state with the third-highest prison population in the country that has the world's highest prison population. But some recent data analysis by the Washington Post points out an interesting fact: Nearly every county in the Sunshine State has more than 1,000 people locked up.

The data used combines state and federal prisons as well as local jails. The counties with the most prisoners are right here in South Florida. Miami-Dade unsurprisingly leads the way with 12,127 prisoners, which is by far the highest in the state. Broward, meanwhile, has 6,390 people locked up, and Palm Beach has 6,055. Combined, the two counties actually have more prisoners than Miami-Dade, with a total of 12,435.

The county with the lowest number of prisoners? That distinction goes to Highland County, which has about 388 people locked up.

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