A former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office records clerk has pleaded guilty to leaking confidential information, including pictures of undercover officers. Kenitra Casper was arrested in June and pleaded guilty last week to 12 counts of disclosing or using confidential law enforcement information, according to the Florida Times-Union. The technical title of these crimes is “Disclosure or use of confidential criminal justice information” and each count is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Casper is facing up to 60 years in prison, but the newspaper story said it is possible Casper will only receive Jacksonville probation. In order to convict someone of this Florida crime, the prosecution must prove that you were a public servant and while working for the city, you did with intent to obstruct, impede, or prevent a criminal investigation or a criminal prosecution, disclose active criminal investigation information that is not available to the public. Casper was leaking pictures of undercover narcotics detectives, confidential photos of juveniles, suspect names and other records that were not supposed to be public. She used her JSO password to cull the information from a police database, the newspaper reported. Police told the newspaper the five detectives were reassigned and have not been injured.
Casper has entered pleas of “guilty” to all the charges against her. It is now up to the judge in the case to decide what sentence she should receive. When a criminal defendant enters a plea to the judge, it is always risky. The judge in Casper’s case can sentence her to “time served”, place her on probation in Duval County, sentence her to jail time or even send her to prison. A “Pre-Sentence Investigaion Report” (PSI) was ordered in Casper’s case. This is a report that is completed by the Florida Department of Corrections. An officer from the Department talks to the defendant and family members to discover what kind of person the defendant is. The Department also runs a background investigation. The purpose of the PSI is to present the judge with enough information to make an informed decision about the defendant he or she is about to sentence.
Cases such as this are a nightmare for the sheriff’s office, showing that the criminal element has someone on the inside feeding them information. One rouge employee can severely damage the credibility of the office, and raises the question of what else may not be above board inside the department. From a defense perspective, it warrants a look at all of the cases involving the detectives whose identities were leaked and involving the suspects whose names were put out there by Casper. There may be something there, there may not be.
Our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys take a complete look at all of the moving parts that go into an arrest and the state’s criminal case. In some instances, that means looking at the background of the officers making the arrest and any ongoing issues in the police department that may taint the case. Often times, individual police officers have been the subject of complaints, even discipline.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.