Palm Beach County
Local, state and federal law enforcement officers have arrested Ivan Levy, the 55-year-old owner of Regency Financial Services. Levy operates two websites that assist people having trouble making their car payments. For a $499 fee, he negotiates and prevents repossessions. Nine people from around the country filed complaints alleging Levy had taken their money, but did not provide any assistance or services.
After responding to reports of suspicious activity on Peanut Island, police officers found 11 Haitians, three Ecuadorians and two Dominicans believed to be from the Bahamas hiding in the mangroves. The island is located along the Intracoastal Waterway between Riviera Beach and Palm Beach Shores. Federal and local authorities detained the migrants.
In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced disparities for the amount of cocaine required to trigger mandatory-minimum penalties. The president recently commuted the sentences of 22 people who were convicted of crack-cocaine related offenses. One of them is Valerie Bozeman, 48, of Pompano Beach. She was commonly known as Theresa Brown when sentenced to life without parole over a 1993 conviction, where she played a minor role in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. After serving more than 20 years, she is coming home. Bozeman will be released on July 28 and must still serve 10 years’ probation.
Hallandale Beach City Manager Renee Crichton-Millerity has placed Fire Chief Dan Sullivan on administrative leave. The reason is that he allegedly discussed a gender discrimination case under investigation by the city attorney’s office.
The body of a man was found inside a car parked in the 200 block of Southwest 22nd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. It is believe to be that of 24-year-old Jamai “Brick” Francis, who lived in the area. He suffered several gunshot wounds. Fort Lauderdale police are asking anyone with information to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
The City of Deerfield Beach retired Parks and Recreation Director Vincent Kendrick Sr. has passed away. Kendrick served the city for 10 years and was a calming influence during times of turmoil and chaos within that city. The Miami native was a basketball and football star in high school and earned a scholarship to the University of Florida. He was drafted into the NFL and played running back for the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he scored the Buccaneers’ first ever touchdown. After his football career, he made history as the first ever black coach at the University of Florida; working as an assistant for head football coach Charley Pell. His list of contributions to the city are too vast to list, but he will be remembered as a dedicated change agent.
Former Miami-Dade Police Lt. Ralph “Milkman” Mata, 45, has admitted to being a part of a drug trafficking ring. He also used connections to buy and smuggle weapons through airport security. The Broward County resident has pleaded guilty to three federal counts and faces up to life in prison at his sentencing on July 14.
Two men, 19-year-old Brian Boyd and 20-year-old Rovantai Payne. have been denied bail. Both were arrested over the violent road rage beating of 55-year-old Roger Flores in Pinecrest. Following a minor car accident, the men allegedly beat Flores with a baseball bat and smashed his car.
After numerous politicians were found not to be living in the districts they represented in recent years, some of those same politicians support change that does away with the requirement for write-in candidates. If a bill pending in the Florida House of Representatives becomes law, write-in candidates could run for office without living in the district in which they are running. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura.
While national dealer AutoNation is preparing for its 10 millionth car sale, its closest competitor, Group 1 Automotive based in Houston, has purchased Prestige Audi in North Miami Beach. Prestige is one of the premier Audi dealerships in the country and Group 1 expects it to generate more than $160 million in business annually.
Key West City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley sponsored a resolution placing a ban on any city-funded travel to Indiana, where Gov. Mike Pence signed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Even though the law has been revised, it is viewed as a license to discriminate against people whose views or lifestyles conflict with biblical teachings.
The Florida Department of Health has issued a warning about black henna, which is used for hair dyes and tattoos. The leaves and other ingredients together produce the toxic chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which is unsafe, but exempt from FDA approval. It can cause itching, burning, blistering and leave permanent scars on scalp and skin.