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Bounty on detective's life?
The Sheriff's Office accuses a man of plotting to kill an undercover officer.
By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
Published December 22, 2007
David Ford is charged with threatening a public servant.
HOLIDAY - Where does the detective live? What does he drive? What's his number?
Does he have kids?
These probing questions helped land David Eugene Ford Jr. in jail on Thursday, accused of threatening the life of an undercover Pasco sheriff's detective.
While investigating Ford in another case, the Sheriff's Office said it learned that the alleged plot against one of its own was hatched last month.
An unidentified female witness said Ford asked her for detailed information about the vice detective. Deputies believe Ford wanted to use this witness as bait in some sort of trap.
The detective, Ford told the witness, had locked up a lot of his "peoples."
The witness said Ford claimed a cash bounty was put on the detective by a local offshoot of Folk Nation, a gang alliance born in an Illinois prison in 1978.
Ford, according to the witness, said he was going to collect it.
"It sounded like David was trying to come up with a plan that if he held this female hostage, this detective would come over and help her," said sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin, "and he was going to kill the detective to collect this alleged bounty."
"The suspect denies that. But we're still investigating the entire case. It's obviously a serious threat."
For security purposes, the Sheriff's Office is not identifying the detective in this case or the amount of the bounty.
Is the bounty real? Lt. Frank Laton, commander of the sheriff's vice, narcotics and intelligence unit, said it doesn't matter.
"We're still investigating the legitimacy of the bounty," he said. "But any time someone makes threats to a law enforcement officer, we take it very seriously."
Laton said the intelligence indicated that Folk Nation is active in Pasco County, but he declined to comment further.
Ford, 34, is a frequent visitor to the Pasco County jail, according to records. Since 2005 he has been arrested on charges such as domestic battery, reckless driving, forgery and fleeing to elude.
It was a new allegation of kidnapping, the Sheriff's Office said, that uncovered the threat.
Ford was accused of forcing a former beau to drive him around Port Richey at gunpoint on Tuesday, according to a sheriff's report. He was arrested Wednesday after a brief chase on foot, the report said.
Ford, of 5839 Mariposa Drive, was arrested on charges of threatening a public servant, armed kidnapping and resisting arrest without violence.
He was in the county jail late Friday, held in lieu of $110,500 bail.