Those who choose a career in law enforcement are generally held to a higher standard of conduct than the general public. This is one reason why it may come as a surprise when an officer is accused of breaking the law and finds him or herself facing allegations of federal crimes. That is the situation one Florida deputy is currently facing.
According to officials, the 42-year-old Palm Beach man is accused of committing identity theft and related offenses. Details have not yet been made public. However, the authorities say they conducted an investigation that led to the filing of the charges. They further claim they found multiple cellular phones at his residence.
At this time the deputy, who is currently on paid leave, is facing charges of identity theft, improper use of an electronic device and alleged conspiracy to engage in fraud. The authorities requested that the deputy remain detained as they allege he may attempt to flee the country. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office cited a purported danger threat as another reason to keep the man in custody.
The accused Florida deputy stated through his attorney that he would not attempt to leave the country nor did he pose any danger to the community at large. He is an experienced deputy with approximately seven years of service with his department. He will likely now work closely with his legal team to determine the best way to fight these allegations of federal crimes. Additionally, he and his attorney are entitled to review the evidence the prosecutors intend to use against him in order to prepare a focused defense and determine which course of action is best in his current serious circumstances.
Source: wptv.com, “Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Frantz Felisma arrested on federal charges“, Sam Smink, Dec. 22, 2016