Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Carmel on the Case: Caught On Camera
Secret deals between inmates and guards are not completely uncommon. But very seldom do we actually see them play out on tape. In tonight's Carmel On The Case, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero shows us what a private eye caught on camera right here in South Florida.
WSVN--You're looking at video shot by a private investigator. He got suspicious after a passerby dropped off a bag, one of the guards picked up the bag, and members of this prison work crew started smoking what was inside. Because he does undercover work, he asked we protect his identity.
Private Investigator: "An unidentified male riding a bicycle rode his bike next to the truck and threw a blue bag in front of the truck where the workers were."
Private Investigator: "I picked up my camera shortly after I saw the corrections officer pick up the package and hand it over to one of the prisoners."
Private Investigator: "I started documenting their activity."
Private Investigator: "That was extremely suspicious."
And because of the way the smokes were handled - the private investigator thought it might be marijuana.
Private Investigator: "It was the shape of the cigarette and I mean the way they were holding it and just passing it around. And just taking one puff and passing it around."
Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero: "This all took place in Brevard County. The prisoners and inmates are here at the county work camp. After the private eye turned off his camera - he picked up his cell phone and and reported what he had seen."
Robby Cunningham from Department of Corrections: "We opened an investigation to see exactly what was going on."
Spokesman Robby Cunningham says the corrections department has not released a report of its findings...But he does say the inmates were "not" smoking dope.
Robby Cunningham: "We did determine that the substance was tobacco."
The state told me the bag of smokes was a gift from a homeless man to thank the crew for palm fronds he had been given earlier. But the corrections department isn't saying what if any discipline the prison guard may face for letting the work squad smoke on the job.
Robby Cunningham: "Well it's an open investigation so I really can't comment any further on what, what we found at this point."
Private Investigator: It's very unprofessional and unethical for a law enforcement officer to actually allow this kind of behavior."
And with video cameras everywhere these days - you never know who is watching.
If you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE