----- Original Message -----
From: Kay Lee
To: MTWT Getting Close
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:04 PM
Subject: GOOD WORK CULMINATING!?!?!?!?!
For years the Florida Department of 'Corrections' has been dirty. Recently many officers of the department have joined us in our worries about the safety factor presented by rogue guards. We have been working together to bring legal attention the the shinanigans of the leaders of the department.For years the Florida Department of 'Corrections' has been dirty. Recently many officers of the department have joined us in our worries about the safety factor presented by rogue guards. We have been working together to bring legal attention the the shinanigans of the leaders of the department.
Nearly every bit of information the FDOC officers have given me for the website has come to light in the FDLE/FBI investigations, even the illegal hunting! Plea bargains have been struck and guards are talking. Good for all the officers who have helped and to all of us in Florida who have worked for years to bring this department to the attention of the FBI. If we ever had a chance to clean up the FDOC now is the time! After closing down Moore and exposing Crosby's boys, if we let the new staff know we have hopes in them but are keeping our eye on them, we may emerge from this with a much more ethical department.
If you have any further information to share, contact me.
2683 Rockcliff Road Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30316
Making The Walls Transparent
on Allen Clark and his Bad Boys
on James Crosby and his Cronies
Former prison officer involved in steroid distribution makes deal
By KAREN VOYLES and JOE FOLLICK
Sun staff writers
November 17. 2005
TALLAHASSEE - A man at the center of an alleged steroids-distribution ring involving former state Department of Corrections officers has reached a plea agreement and will cooperate with investigators.
Marcus Dwayne Hodges' trial was to begin this month in Jacksonville. With his agreement to avoid trial, all five men charged in the steroids ring earlier this year have agreed to plea agreements. One man, Oscar Shipley, is facing a hearing this month on charges that he violated the condition of his release.
The other three men arrested are Michael Chambliss, Clayton Manning and Benjamin Zoltowski. Hodges' attorney, Tom Edwards of Gainesville, said Tuesday that Hodges wished to avoid the trial in an effort to turn his life away from negative influences within the DOC. Besides the steroids arrest, Hodges - a former correctional officer - had been charged with hunting illegally in two states, fighting with Gainesville police and playing softball for a prison team whose behavior was so unsportsmanlike that the team was banned from competition for two years.
''When you get caught up in a subculture, which is what the Department of Corrections really is - a closed, a very closed community - Mr. Hodges was put in a situation where he did things he would not normally do,'' said Edwards. ''People in the department can retaliate directly or indirectly and that is a practice that has been associated with the department since it was organized.''
In late October, Hodges, 32, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute steroids and other drugs. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in prison, but will likely qualify for five years or less under federal sentencing guidelines. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20 by U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. at the federal courthouse in Jacksonville. Hodges was nabbed earlier this year and charged with distributing drugs to corrections officers and others between May 2002 and May 2004, including steroids, painkillers, sedatives and Viagra.
Hodges, who has also been known as Marcus Starling, is a former minor league baseball player in the Minnesota Twins farm system and was a member of the 2002 Big House softball team that was coached by Allen Clark, the former Region I director who resigned his position in late August amidst a sprawling state and federal investigation into the department. In addition to the use and sale of steroids, the investigations are focusing on the illegal use of inmate labor and state materials by DOC employees, the hiring of employees to play softball and embezzlement of recycling and employee funds.
The Clark-coached team also included Richard Frye and James Bowen, who were arrested last week along with Clark for allegedly instigating a fight at an April 1 softball banquet in Tallahassee.
Last month, Frye and Bowen were placed on paid leave from their posts at Apalachee Correctional Institution. But that was changed to unpaid leave this week and they were told to leave their state-provided housing on the ACI grounds, according to DOC spokesman Robby Cunningham.
On Sept. 11, 2002, Gainesville Police arrested Hodges and another former prison employee and softball player, Del Beggs, for failing to move off a downtown street after bar closing time. Hodges was charged with resisting without violence but was never prosecuted in the case.
The softball connection was not the only one between Hodges and Clark.
Two days after the Gainesville arrest, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers began investigating Hodges and Shipley, another team member and former correctional officer arrested in the steroids case. Their investigation focused on possession of deer during closed season.
Hodges already had a misdemeanor arrest for illegal night hunting in South Carolina in 1992 when he applied for a job in the Florida prison system. Acting on a tip, wildlife officers found six sets of deer antlers on a propane tank and gas grill outside the Bachelors Officers Quarters at Florida State Prison. After taking photos of the antlers, the investigators spoke with Clark, who was then the colonel at Florida State Prison.
Union County court records show that when the wildlife officers told Clark they wanted to speak to Hodges and Shipley, Clark left his office for 20 minutes and upon his return said Shipley was gone for the week and Hodges had not reported for work. The officers also noted that Clark asked several times what the penalties would be for illegally taking deer.
Hodges said at the time that the deer had either been shot in South Carolina or found dead on the road. But DNA tests done by the University of Florida Genetic Analysis Lab confirmed that the six sets of antlers were from Florida deer.
Both Hodges and Shipley were arrested and subsequently paid fines and restitution in the case.
Lise Fisher of The Gainesville Sun contributed to this story. Voyles works for the Gainesville Sun and can be contacted at email@example.com . Follick works in the Tallahassee bureau and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .