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Can't get enough of ANS?

Ansjpg The prolific blogger that I am, I've decided to add to our glorious Anna Nicole Smith coverage with this exclusive tidbit!

Miami-Dade police report that their police motorman escort of Smith's body from the county line to Miami International Airport March 2 cost taxpayers a whopping $1,721.69 in overtime.

I can retire now, fulfilled.

Posted by David Ovalle at 01:44 PM on March 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Double duty for former PIO

Miami police Sgt. Herminia "Amy" Salas-Jacobson helped lead a multiple-shooting investigation tonight. She also crossed over the crime tape to give reporters information about the case.

Several young men were shot near Melrose Park, around Northwest 25th Avenue and 30th Street, after two sparring groups pulled out guns and opened fire, Salas-Jacobson said.

Salas-Jacobson left the Miami PD's public information office a few months ago after being promoted to sergeant. Her replacement in media affairs, veteran Officer Martha Carbana, was on call tonight. But since Salas-Jacobson was already on the scene, she decided to save Carbana the trip and handle PIO duties herself.

Salas-Jacobson gathered information from fellow investigators, then came over and gave an update to the reporters, then went back and continued the investigation. Carbana also monitored the situation and called reporters to make sure they had the information they needed.

Here's a coincidental quirk: Carbana's first big crime scene as PIO back in January took place a block away from tonight's shooting. 

Posted by Evan Benn at 10:38 PM on March 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What you don't read in the paper

The final results of a night's work may look thrilling in the paper, but a lot of checking on not-so-thrilling tips goes into them.


For example, on Thursday I got a page about a child drowning in Miramar. The public information officer at Miramar Fire-Rescue checked it out and came back with the news that the drowning victim was a youngster -- as in a young puppy.

"Unfortunately, the puppy didn't make it," Fire-Rescue spokesman Romeo Lavarias said.

Posted by Diana Moskovitz at 07:55 PM on March 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

retired Hollywood cop appears in federal court Friday

     Retired Hollywood police officer Thomas Simcox arrived in federal court Friday, a day
after three of his colleagues appeared in the same courtroom, seeking to delay legal
action against them for their alleged roles in a fake organized crime sting run by the

   Simcox, 50, sat with his attorney, dressed casually in dark slacks and a pullover red
striped short-sleeved shirt, unlike the other three officers who wore dark suits with
bold-colored ties. For example, Thomas Harrison wore a pink and purple tie.

And at Thursday's proceedings, Jeffry Courtney and Kevin Companion, sat in the courtroom almost mute. Their faces looked like they were chisled out of granite. Behind them sat Harrison, who laughed and whispered in his wife's ear appearing unfazed by his surroundings.

   On Friday, U. S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer, agreed to Simcox's request for a postponement, delaying his arraignment hearing until March 30.

  The three others -- Companion, 41, Courtney, 52, and Harrison, 46 -- will appear before Seltzer on March 29. Seltzer approved a two-week delay for the arraignments of Companion, Harrison and Courtney on Thursday.

   Simcox's hearing was held a day after the others because his attorney, Bruce Udolf, did not want his client to have to be in the same courtroom with the others. Simcox had been cooperating with investigators for about a month prior to the arrests.

Simcox is alleged to have worn a wire and tried to solicit other officers into joining the operation. Although the officers  face no criminal action since they turned Simcox down, they could be fired for not reporting his actions to a supervisor.

   The FBI sting, dubbed Operation Tarnished Badge, was part of a two-year probe in which
the officers are accused of providing protection for what they thought were illegal
gambling and drug-dealing operations run by a New York crime family.

   They face charges of extortion; taking bribes; dealing in stolen property; protecting a
rigged, high-stakes card game; cargo theft; and transporting several pounds of heroin from
Miami-Dade to Hollywood.

   Until recently, Simcox had been the only one of the four cooperating with authorities. Now all four are working with prosecutors and offering up what they know in an attempt to cut a deal and avoid lengthy prison sentences.

Posted by wanda J. DeMarzo at 06:51 PM on March 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Is there a doctor in the house?

Goulet Not Marc Goulet, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Goulet, left, presented himself as "doctor" to patients at six medical clinics and to radio listeners throughout South Florida.

An undercover investigation found Goulet treating people for sexual dysfunction, pain and other ailments despite not having a medical license. Detectives arrested him Monday and charged him with practicing medicine without a license.

Goulet's act apparently fooled South Floridians for years. In 1996, he was interviewed for a 1,600-word Miami Herald section-front story about male impotence. The story mentioned ads Goulet aired on the Steve Kane radio show, where Kane's wife marveled at how Goulet's treatments improved her husband's sexual performance.

RgouletIn recent years, Goulet bought radio time on local AM stations and called it the Dr. Marc Goulet Show.

Wonder if Goulet will give up the clinics and move to a full-time radio career. Perhaps a tribute show highlighting the music of Robert Goulet (left)?

Posted by Evan Benn at 04:33 PM on March 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Photojournalist arrest update

Miller The Society of Professional Journalists has stepped into the ring to help defend Miami photojournalist Carlos Miller, left, who claimed he was unjustly arrested while taking photos in Miami's Upper Eastside last month.

The SPJ's local chapter fired off an open letter to Miami Police Chief John Timoney asking him to intervene and calling Miller's arrest "simply outrageous."

Last week, the SPJ's Legal Defense Fund announced it was donating $1,000 to help Miller with his legal fight. Category 305, the Miami web publication Miller was working for the night of his arrest, will pitch in another $1,000 (here is Cat305's update on the case).

The legal battle will likely begin this week, with Miller due in court Wednesday morning. He has already pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him, including disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence.

Posted by Evan Benn at 09:12 PM on March 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Fake game, real guns

Playstation Two Miami men are recovering from gunshot wounds to their legs after shooting each other tonight at a home in the 400 block of Northwest 33rd Street.

The shootings capped off an argument the two men had over a PlayStation game, according to Officer Willie Moreno, a Miami police spokesman.

"A stupid thing to fight about," Moreno said.

No word yet on what game sparked the fight. Maybe someone should tell these guys about the old Nintendo Zapper. It's plastic, non-lethal and, c'mon, what's the worst that could happen from a game of Duck Hunt?

Posted by Evan Benn at 08:44 PM on March 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gawkers galore at Pompano Beach crime scene

RogerdeanmurrayJust an hour after this man - Roger Dean Murray - walked into a Pompano Beach appliance store and allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend multiple times, dozens of gawkers gathered near a convenience store, where he ditched his getaway car.

Some said they were just curious after seeing breaking news coverage of the shooting on TV. Others, like Wes Ponder, said they want to make sure law enforcement handled the situation correctly.

"Sometimes police get out of hand in situations like this,''  Ponder, 50, said, while standing near a group of TV and newspaper reporters. "They can be too aggressive. I want to make sure everything is done right."

Still, Ponder admitted he was a tad nosy.

"I heard some guy shot his old lady," he said. "It's a love thang, a love quarrel."

Turns out Ponder was right.

Murray, 27, of Miami Gardens, shot Derica Edwards-Clark, 26, of Fort Lauderdale, at the Florida Builder Appliances showroom at 1742 W. Atlantic Blvd. The two dated for about a year and a half, but broke up in January, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

No details yet on what caused Murray, who has no prior criminal record in Florida, to snap.

Posted by Jennifer Mooney Piedra at 03:35 PM on March 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Beer bandit uses fake gift cards

Giftcardbandit_2 The Broward Sheriff's Office says the man captured in this surveillance video is using inactive gift cards to steal beer and cigarettes from several gas stations.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Feb. 16, the man walked into a BP gas station in Lauderdale Lakes, grabbed two 12-packs of beer and walked to the counter, BSO said. He handed the cashier an American Express gift card and said he was going to pump gas into his car. The man then walked out of the store, with beer in hand.

When the cashier was processing the sale, she realized the card was invalid, BSO said. She went outside of the store to notify the man, but he got into his pick-up truck and drove off.

Deputies believe the man has committed similar thefts in Cooper City, Oakland Park and Davie. In each incident, he has used the same gift card scam and gotten away with beer and cigarettes, BSO said.

Witnesses have told deputies that the getaway vehicle is likely a pick-up truck, maybe a Ford Ranger that is silver of gray.

Anyone with information is asked to call BSO Lauderdale Lakes Detective Ian Burres at 954-497-1646, or Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477. Tipsters can also log onto www.browardcrimestoppers.org.

Posted by Jennifer Mooney Piedra at 12:06 PM on March 8, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hoofin' it

Fire2Nothing too spectacular about a fire that broke out late last night in an unoccupied, under-construction condo in downtown Miami.

Except, of course, the brave and apparently fit firefighters who climbed 44 flights of stairs to get to the blaze, which started in the top floors of the highrise at 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., a block east of Biscayne Boulevard.

"They had to get up there by foot," Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Iggy Carroll Jr. said last night at the scene. It was a minute or two before 11 p.m., and the local TV crews were clamoring around Carroll so they could put him on-air live at the top of their broadcasts. 

Climbing those 44 flights wasn't an easy StairMaster workout in gym shorts and sneakers, either. The firefighters had to lug pounds of heavy equipment up all those stairs while wearing their fire boots and thick jackets.

The fire was under control in about 25 minutes, and no one was injured while putting it out. The cause is under investigation. (Photo credit: NBC6.net)   

Posted by Evan Benn at 10:58 AM on March 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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