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    Indictment follows inquiry into Jacksonville officers

    Robbery and murder are among the crimes a federal grand jury examined, a newspaper reported.

    ©Associated Press

    © St. Petersburg Times, published December 14, 2000


    JACKSONVILLE -- A federal grand jury has returned a 26-count indictment after an investigation into allegations that members of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and associates were involved in crimes including robbery and murder, a newspaper reported.

    Details of the indictment are under court-ordered seal until those named in it are arrested.

    Steve Cole, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, declined to comment Wednesday on the indictment or when it would be unsealed.

    One of the crimes investigated was the robbery and slaying of Sami Safar, a Jacksonville convenience store owner who was found dead July 4, 1998, a day after withdrawing $50,000 from a SouthTrust Bank, the Florida Times-Union reported Wednesday.

    A second unsolved homicide, the July 10, 1998, shooting of Jeffrey Reed, also was reviewed, the newspaper said.

    Other cases include a May 15, 1998, attack on Safar's nephew, who was robbed of $50,000 in the bank's parking lot, and a robbery and attempted robbery in 1998 involving men who identified themselves as police and were dressed in police garb.

    The grand jury also looked into allegations that at least one police officer was accepting payoffs for providing information to drug dealers.

    Sheriff Nat Glover has taken five officers off the street during the investigation. Karl Waldon, 37, and Reginald Bones, 33, have resigned. Jason Pough, 33, and Eric Maddox, 30, are on administrative duty. Aric Sinclair, 32, remains on leave.

    An indictment against Bones was unsealed Wednesday, but it was separate from the 26-count indictment.

    Bones was released on a signature bond after pleading innocent to charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number. He is accused of providing false information to obtain a loan for a $22,000 vehicle. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison and fines as high as $1.5-million.

    Glover and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kane refused to discuss either indictment.

    The grand jury of 14 men and six women had been meeting for 15 months.

    The case that led to the grand jury investigation began more than 18 months ago when narcotics detectives started to suspect that one of their own was passing on information about cases.

    In the summer of 1999, police developed additional suspicions that there had been what Glover told the Times-Union was a "breach of confidence" among his officers.

    On Aug. 27, 1999, police arrested three drug dealers -- Abdul "Blue" Robinson, Derrick "Smiley" Smith and Dondreka "Marlo" Bates.

    The three decided to cooperate with prosecutors in hopes of getting less time.

    Bates gave police details about the dealings of Robinson and Smith and got seven years in prison. Robinson and Smith told authorities they were paying off at least one officer for information about drug cases. Robinson got 21 years in prison and Smith, who eventually stopped cooperating, got 30 years.

    A task force of federal, state and local officers found witnesses and developed other evidence that led them to investigate a series of crimes.

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