Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Probation Sweep
Keeping track of the thousands of people on probation here in South Florida is no easy task, so authorities rely on surprise searches to make sure the rules are being followed. Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case with an exclusive look at what a recent sweep turned up.
WSVN -- Melvin Addison was handcuffed and detained in the front yard as his home was searched.
Sarah Harrington, Probation Specialist: "You guys check up in the attic?"
Authorities say he has been working as an electrician.
Sara Harrington: "He has, like, $10,000 in cash."
Robin Sallenbach, Probation Administrator: "He comes here from Georgia. His charges were murder, first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm."
The Probation Department says he was serving a life sentence when a parole board released him from prison.
Now, after the discovery of loaded weapons in his house, Addison could end up back behind bars for good.
Carmel Cafiero: "Why would you risk your freedom and have a gun in the house like that? A shotgun, no less?"
Addison was one of a dozen people arrested on this night in a sweep that started as the sun was setting.
Carmel Cafiero: "What do you have here?"
Probation officers: "Here's the marijuana. There's five small baggies of marijuana, and then he's got these other ones for packing for his sale."
It was found under Horace Sibley's mattress and could put an end to his probation.
Robin Sallenbach: "He has very serious charges. He's on for robbery with a firearm, burglary of a dwelling and two counts of grand theft."
They also found what appears to be a prayer that gang members say on the wall.
Sarah Harrington: "'Trust nobody but my family, my bullets and my fye.' It means his homeboys on the street."
At another house, authorities found a safe.
It took hours to get a search warrant to open it, and when it was, there was marijuana inside.
As a result, Herbert Hicks, who is on probation for selling cocaine, was on his way to jail.
Probation officers are backed up on the sweeps by the Broward Sheriff's Office and local police agencies.
There was just one oxycodone pill discovered during the sweep, but BSO says in South Broward, it is finding a relationship between pain pills and crime.
Sgt. Rob Furman, Broward Sheriff's Office: "And they're confessing that they have a pill problem, they have a drug problem that's been driving them to commit the burglaries. They need the money for it."
That single pill was found next to Ivan McCutcheon's bed. He's on probation for the sale of cocaine.
He also had a machete.
Sarah Harrington: "That's possession of a controlled substance, so that violated the conditions of his probation, and this is definitely considered a weapon."
Carmel Cafiero: "What do you have to say about being taken into custody tonight?"
Ivan McCutcheon, On Probation: "It's not fair, but it's life. I really wish it would be the other way. Everybody has a life."
Carmel Cafiero: "Judges will now have to decide if McCutcheon and the others should stay locked up for violating probation. It's not a given. Officers say sometimes, they repeatedly violate the same criminals, but judges keep releasing them."
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