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  • 2 deputy sheriff's arrested

    2 more broward county, fla ( ft lauderdale ) deputy sheriff's have been arrested in a on going investigation involving inflated crime statistics.

    they have been accused of pinning crime's on criminals to clear their
    case loads. such as burglaries and theft.

    more BSO deputies charged with misconduct in crime statistics scandal

    By Brian Haas
    Staff Writer
    Posted October 6 2005

    Two Broward Sheriff's Office deputies were arrested Wednesday on felony misconduct charges. They are the fifth and sixth deputies arrested as part of the Broward State Attorney's Office investigation into improper clearing and downgrading of crimes.

    Prosecutors ordered the arrest of former Weston district detectives Lee Martin, 39, on 16 counts of official misconduct and Shane Campbell, 32, on two counts of official misconduct. Both men are accused of soliciting fake confessions from suspects.

    Attorneys for both men said they would fight the charges Wednesday evening.

    "We're going to fight it vigorously," said Martin's attorney, Hilliard Moldof. "I've known him as a good deputy for 15 years and he's a fine, fine man."

    Howard Greitzer, who represents Campbell and several other deputies who are under investigation, declined to address the specific charges.

    "We have previously disputed any allegations and we will continue to litigate these charges," Greitzer said. "[Campbell's] position always was that the investigation conducted by the State Attorney's Office was a witch hunt. They were biting at the bottom of the bark instead of dealing with the real issues at the Sheriff's Office."

    Both men have long been known to be under investigation in connection with the Sheriff's Office crime statistics scandal, in which deputies are accused of clearing crimes by soliciting confessions from suspects who did not, or could not have, committed them.

    Sheriff's Office spokesman Elliot Cohen said Martin and Campbell are on paid leave. Cohen declined to address the charges, referring those questions to prosecutors.

    "At this point the only comment we have is that we're cooperating fully with the State Attorney's Office regarding these cases," Cohen said.

    Prosecutors were not available to comment.

    Martin and Campbell were among 29 detectives and sergeants Sheriff Ken Jenne transferred in January to restore credibility and discipline to the detective bureau. By that time, widespread problems with the Sheriff's Office crime statistics were apparent. Documents show that detectives blamed crimes on suspects who could not have committed them and improperly cleared crimes.

    Both men's arrest affidavits say the two did just that.

    Martin, who was hired by the Sheriff's Office in 1991, pinned 82 crimes on one man, according to the arrest affidavit. The affidavit said Martin blamed a man for a theft that occurred while he was in jail.

    In another case, Martin said a Colombian national confessed to 60 crimes, including stolen bikes and wallets that weren't actually stolen, and several thefts and burglaries committed when the suspect lived in South America.

    Campbell, who was hired in July 2002, worked only about a year before clearing crimes using fake confessions from two juveniles, according to his arrest affidavit.

    In one case, Campbell reported driving around with the boy, who confessed to several thefts, the affidavit said. But the boy's parents were with him that night, and he never left the substation with the deputy, the affidavit said.

    Campbell has been an outspoken critic of the investigation into the Sheriff's Office manipulation of crime statistics, at one point refusing to testify against a fellow deputy. He has since been ordered to testify.

    Martin and Campbell join deputies Christopher Thieman, Edwin Arias and Christian Zapata in facing felony charges in connection with the statistics scandal.

    Another former deputy, Joseph Isabella, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in the investigation. Isabella is the only deputy implicated by prosecutors who has been fired.

    Prosecutors started investigating the Sheriff's Office's clearance rates and crime statistics in 2003, but the investigation now includes the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Jenne at first downplayed the agency's problems, blaming it on a small group of deputies. Later, he conceded that the problems were "institutional and systemic," stretching back 20 years.

    Brian Haas can be reached at [email protected] or 954-356-4597.

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