Police were investigating a possible prostitution ring in North Florida. “Police said they began using a website Thursday for escort services in Gainesville and Jacksonville. They made contact with three separate services offered in advertisements and set up three appointments with an undercover officer at a local hotel.” On Friday night, four women arrived at the hotel and were arrested on Florida prostitution charges. “Those arrested were 32-year-old Michelle Treece, of Yulee, 23-year-old Linda Lewis, of Jacksonville, and 32-year-old Sarah Walsh and 34-year-old Amy Franssen, both of Gainesville.” Two men were also arrested in connection with the case.
Prostitution stings occur often in Florida. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has a TASC force with undercover officers for this purpose. This incident occurred in Strarke. In this case, there were “external surveillance members observing the vehicle arrivals and the suspect approach.” Lewis’ interaction became more violent than the other women’s encounters. “During the operation involving Lewis, the external surveillance units saw Lewis in a white passenger vehicle. Police approached the vehicle with two men inside and separated them to conduct interviews.”
Jeremiah Jones and Roudoloshire John Henry Brown were the two men inside the vehicle. They are both Jacksonville residents. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I want to know if the police were legally permitted to remove the two men from the vehicle and separate them. Depending on the facts of the case, there may be a 4th amendment violation. When a Florida attorney gets this case, he or she will have more information to be able to research the topic.
While Sgt. James Hooper was interviewing Jones, police stated that Jones became violent. He pushed an investigator and then “attempted to flee on foot, lowering his shoulder as he ran into Officer Samantha Clark, causing her to fall back. He then turned from that impact, which redirected him back toward Hooper…. Jones dropped his shoulder and tried to ram Hooper, who attempted to restrain him, police said. They said he then head-butted Hooper in the face, causing Hooper to release him.” Other officers restrained him.
Jones was searched incident to arrest. He was found in possession of cocaine, 28.8 grams. He was “charged with 8 counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, cocaine trafficking, tampering with evidence, resisting an officer with violence, and transporting a person to a place for the purpose of prostitution.”
Brown was arrested for Florida resisting an officer without violence. I have not read the arrest and booking report, but based on the News4jax article, I do not see how Brown resisted a lawful arrest or order. The article states that Brown was “restrained during the initial onset of Jones’ resistance.” It does not say that he tried to flee in any manner.