Dear Members and Advocates,

You know a scenario has played out far too often when a Federal Appellate Court decision begins with the words, “This is another of those cases…”

Before a case gets to a Circuit Court of Appeals it had to have gone through the District Court, and according to Pew Research, 90% of federal criminal defendants take a plea. So for an appellate judge to say, ‘here we go again’, this must be one of tens of thousands of the same common situation. The common situation in the case of US v. Castaneda, which was decided in the 11th Circuit last week, is the online sex sting, or as the Court’s opinion reads, “this is another of those cases where a defendant propositions someone on the internet in an attempt to sexually abuse a child, only to discover too late that the person on the other end of the conversations is a law enforcement agent.”

Now let’s be clear… We are fully behind the apprehension and prosecution of actual sexual offenses with real victims. But if the Courts are beginning to recognize these manufactured sex offenses with fictional victims as ‘another one of those’, perhaps it’s time law enforcement resources were applied towards fighting actual crimes and not creating fake ones? The same holds true with the multi-agency “operations” with the stupid names that are touted as huge successes. Take this one out of Tennessee, for example, “Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. is pleased to announce the May 21 conclusion of an immensely successful operation with the United States Marshals Service and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which focused on a two-week Sex Offender Registry compliance and fugitive warrant operation named, “OPERATION ROCK & ROLL”.”

How successful is “immensely” successful you ask? Well for the week they spent doing compliance checks of people on the registry (which was on top of the “weeks in advance gathering key information”), they found 10 violations! Is that Ten missing children recovered or ten minors rescued from human trafficking, you ask? No, actually. The 10 violations were “3 Driver’s License/Sex Offender Identification “Code 88” Violations, 5 Address Violations, 2 Vehicle Violations”. To be clear, these are not actual sex crimes they solved, but technical reporting requirements they “solved”. As taxpayers, all this should beg the question; is this worth the time and money it cost the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the US Marshall’s Service and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and are the results worthy of the snazzy name, “Operation Rock & Roll”? I think not!

I know we spend a lot of time ridiculing these stings and operations, but there is a purpose. The more we point out just how immense the resources that go into them and just how underwhelming the results, our hope is that more people will question their value and insist their tax money go towards their local police fighting actual crimes and not their local police manufacturing crimes for themselves to solve. Also, when the public reads a news headline that says “Operation Results in Arrest of XX Sex Offenders” they will take the story with a grain of salt. To reiterate… law enforcement should absolutely be finding actual missing children, rescuing real human trafficking victims and solving true crimes… not inventing them!

Which brings us to the point. If we know this happening, and the Courts see this is happening, we need to do more to make the public aware that this is happening. For the next few months, we are calling on our members to help our Media Committee by responding to some of the news stories we cite to in our posts. You can do so by posting a comment (in the original story, not just in our forum), by writing to the journalist or the editor, or by forwarding the story to friends, family or lawmakers and sharing your thoughts. The more we can expose these “operations” for what they are, the more we can influence public perception. The more members take an active role in assisting our Media Committee in spreading the word, the more effective we will be. And most importantly, to ensure we are immensely successful in this task, let’s call it “Operation Rock & Roll!”

Let’s get Rocking!

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

Housing is Needed – We receive calls daily from members looking for housing.  If you have housing to rent or purchase, please contact email [email protected]  or call 833-273-7325, option 1.  We will only share the information with the FAC Outreach team and the County Coordinator in your area.

Research Studies – Voluntary Participation.

Shelley Kavanagh (Doctorial Candidate) is conducting one-on-one phone interviews with mothers of registered citizens living in Florida.  For more information about the study and how to schedule an interview, click here.

Monthly Membership Calls 

June 3 Thursday at 8:00pm ET – Monthly Membership Call. Topic: Restorative Justice with Guest Dr Alissa Ackerman.  Phone 319-527-3487. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

June 10 Thursday at 8:00pm ET – New Member Orientation Call – phone 319-527-3487. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

June 12 Saturday – 11:00am-1:00pm ET. Therapist-led Family Support Session via Zoom. Limited participation. Email [email protected] or leave message at 833-273-7325 Option 1 for access to the Monthly group session.

Meet and Greets are Resuming:

May 29 Saturday 1:00-3:00pm Fort Myers – Meet and Greet.  For location, text “RSVP Ft Myers”  with your name and number of attendees to 941-315-8253 or email [email protected]

June 19 Saturday 1:00pm-4:00pm Titusville (Brevard) Meet and Greet.  For location, text “RSVP Brevard”  with your name and number of attendees to 904-452-8322 or email [email protected]

June 26 Saturday 1:00-3:00pm Apopka – Local FAC Meeting.  For location, text “RSVP Apopka”  with your name and number of attendees to 904-452-8322 or email [email protected]

Need to Talk? 

FAC has peer volunteers that are here to talk one-on-one, call 904-452-8322.  Volunteers are not available 24/7 but you will receive a call as soon as possible.  If you have an emergency, call 911, or helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or a crisis center (Listing of Crisis Centers and Hotlines)


SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK

Maryland bans sex offenders from public schools after Project Baltimore investigation

Students throughout Maryland are now safer in school. Following a Project Baltimore investigation, Governor Larry Hogan has signed a new law making Maryland the first state in the country to ban registered sex offenders from being students inside public schools. The…

CO: Controversial Bill Surrounding Sex Offenders To Get First Committee Hearing

The council says the bill would allow the parole board to release people convicted of violent sex crimes as long as they’re signed up for community-based treatment and are considered a manageable risk. It would also prevent treatment providers from limiting an…

Killer of inmate incarcerated for a sexual offense convicted.

It took a Webster County jury a little over two hours to decide that vigilante justice has no place in the American criminal justice system. The jury convicted Eric Todd Hall, 45, of first-degree murder for the death of his fellow Fort Dodge Correctional Facility…

Lauren Book has conflict of interest as Republicans quietly shower taxpayer millions on her charity

Lauren Book, the newly anointed leader of Florida’s Senate Democrats, has a financial conflict of interest that’s raising questions about her loyalties… For the past two years, House and Senate Republicans decisively showered the Senate Minority Leader’s charity

Lauren Book, the newly anointed leader of Florida’s Senate Democrats, has a financial conflict of interest that’s raising questions about her loyalties… For the past two years, House and Senate Republicans decisively showered the Senate Minority Leader’s charity

Lauren Book, the newly anointed leader of Florida’s Senate Democrats, has a financial conflict of interest that’s raising questions about her loyalties… For the past two years, House and Senate Republicans decisively showered the Senate Minority Leader’s charity

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