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Kelly Mathis and Nelson Cuba have both posted bail and been released from Seminole County jail.

They are among 57 defendants in the racketeering and money laundering investigation of Allied Veterans of the World, which runs dozens of gaming centers in Florida.

Mathis, 49, is a Jacksonville attorney accused of being the mastermind behind the $300 million racketeering and money laundering operation. His original bail of $1 million was reduced to $200,000, according to his attorney, Mitch Stone, who was waiting out the jail Friday afternoon for Mathis to be released.

Mathis had to turn in his passport and is not allowed to travel outside of Florida, Stone said, a restriction placed on all of the defendants.

Mathis was accused of having ties to “virtually every aspect” of what officials say is a massive gambling operation. But Stone said Mathis was acting as an attorney who gave advice to his clients.

The Florida Bar said Friday it had started an investigation into Mathis, which is standard when an attorney is accused of a crime. Mathis, who is a past president of the Jacksonville Bar Association, was admitted to practice law in Florida in 1988.

Cuba’s bail was dropped from $500,000 to $250,000, which he posted Friday afternoon, said his attorney Warren Lindsey.

Cuba, 48, is president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police. He was removed as president of the FOP Foundation.

“He intends to plead not guilty and to vigorously defend the charges,” Lindsey said.

Meanwhile, Johnny Duncan, the former national commander of the group, remains in South Carolina with no bail set. He is expected to be brought to Florida next week, said his attorney, Curtis Fallgatter, who also represents Duncan’s wife, son and son-in-law.

Bass is the national commander of Allied Veterans; Freitas is first vice president of the FOP

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-03-15/story/kelly-mathis-and-nelson-cuba-released-jail-after-posting-bail#ixzz2PNy0qYUs

Private bail bond companies may have an edge when it comes to getting criminal defendants to show up for their court dates, according to a new study by UT Dallas criminologist Dr. Robert Morris, director of the Center for Crime and Justice Studies.

The study was conducted by Dr. Robert Morris, director of the Center for Crime and Justice Studies.

The study examined differences in failure to appear (FTA) in court and re-arrest among over 22,000 Dallas County criminal defendants released from the county jail during 2008 through different release mechanisms.

“The study isolated the effects of particular bond, or release, types,” Morris said. “We found that similarly situated defendants released via a bail bond company were significantly less likely to fail to appear in court compared to attorney bonds, cash bonds and pretrial services bonds, respectively.”

Jailed defendants typically have several options available to secure release before their court hearings, including attorney bonds, cash bonds and commercial bonds.

Each time a defendant fails to appear for a court date it costs the county approximately $1,775, on average, in operating expenses. Over the course of a year, this adds up to millions of wasted tax dollars.

In Dallas County, about 25 percent of all defendants released pre-trial failed to appear, but the rate varied between felonies and misdemeanors.

“Many factors go into whether a defendant appears and/or re-offends down the road. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a particular release mechanism itself played a role and if so, what are the associated costs,” Morris said. “These initial findings suggest that in Dallas County, commercial bail bonds may be the most cost-effective means of pretrial release in terms of getting defendants (both felony and misdemeanor) to show up to court.”

About 25 percent of defendants released from the Dallas County jail failed to appear for their trials, the study reported.

The findings on recidivism were not as clear cut.

“Recidivism is more complicated, and timing plays a role,” Morris said. “For example, when looking at recidivism for felony and misdemeanor defendants separately, there were no differences in rates between pretrial services and commercial bonds.”

Commercial bonds, as it turns out, are the most commonly used mechanism among defendants for pre-trial release. About two-thirds of eligible inmates are released through bondsmen in Dallas County, followed by cash bonds, pretrial services and attorney bonds.

Morris added that caution is needed before applying these findings to defendants across the board – both inside and outside Dallas County. Differences across specific offense types will also need further examination.

“We hope these findings will lead to more cost-effective practices for pre-trial release mechanisms, all of which play a vital role in the criminal justice process,” Morris said. “This was one data set, and it provided a solid baseline. The next steps are to replicate the study with newer data and for other major jurisdictions. Then we can start to explore why many defendants are not showing up for court.”

The full research report is available at the Center for Crime and Justice Studies’ website.

A rock of crack cocaine hidden inside a baby’s sock was one of numerous drug related items confiscated by Florida police during a home raid at approximately 6:15 am on Thursday.

The raid, conducted by Charlotte County Sheriff’s Narcotics, Street Crimes, and K9 Unit investigators, resulted in the arrests of three residents. The Port Charlotte home was found to contain an extensive array of illegal drugs, paraphernalia, cash, and a firearm.

An article by NBC News writes that authorities arrested Rodney Dewayne Rogers, 42; Alisha Denise Herrmann, 22; and Joseph Alan Cmehil, 50. The three individuals are reportedly residents of the raided house.

The trio was transported to the Charlotte County Jail where each received several charges including possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of narcotics equipment.

According to authorities, previous felony narcotic convictions resulted in Herrmann and Rogers being held without bail. Police records reflect that both detainees have been booked in Charlotte County numerous times in the past. Joseph Cmehil was released from custody after posting a $4,500 bond.

The Huffington Post reports that in addition to the crack rock found inside a baby’s sock, police also recovered a “recently stolen .25 caliber handgun with seven rounds in the magazine”.

Along with unspecified amounts of cocaine and marijuana the house contained a handmade smoking pipe, a grinder with marijuana residue, and two digital scales containing cocaine residue. The search also yielded $3,126 in cash and three boxed cell phones valued at $2300.

While Florida authorities continue to investigate the case, Sheriff Bill Prummell commented on Thursday’s raid:

“My commitment to the citizens of Charlotte County, as well as Parkside, is to make our neighborhoods safe and remains a top priority to me. Through our drug enforcement efforts, I believe we will have a positive effect on our overall crime rate throughout the county.”

Officials have not commented on why the trio would use a baby sock to hide a rock of crack cocaine.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/508521/crack-rock-in-baby-sock-discovered-during-florida-drug-raid/#tDH67hcYqYJkK20V.99

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