State Attorney Melissa Nelson announces hotline, plans to prosecute Irma-related…

State Lawyer Melissa Nelson introduced a brand new hotline Wednesday to deal with crime associated to Hurricane Irma, and she or he devoted two of her prime prosecutors, together with herself, to deal with the instances.

Chief Assistant State Lawyer Leh Hutton will deal with instances in Nassau and Clay counties, particular prosecutor Joe Licandro will deal with Duval instances, and Nelson herself will oversee the prosecutions. The workplace will re-open Thursday.

Hutton often oversees juvenile instances, the 2 outlying counties and misdemeanor prosecutions, whereas Licandro focuses on prosecuting white-collar instances.

This isn’t the primary time the workplace has arrange a devoted hotline. Not lengthy after taking workplace this yr, Nelson additionally devoted a particular hotline for its human-rights division, which prosecutes police brutality, elder abuse, human trafficking and hate crimes. That very same hotline — 904-255-3099 — will now be used for storm-associated crimes.

The crimes she is prioritizing embrace burglaries, fraud, exploitation and “different associated crimes of alternative that notably occurred through the declared state of emergency that started Friday, Sept. eight, and ended Tuesday, Sept. 12,” the information launch stated.

“Throughout occasions of emergency, such crimes towards the weak can’t be tolerated,” Nelson stated within the information launch.

Nelson just isn’t alone in prioritizing hurricane-associated crimes. Harris County’s district lawyer, Kim Ogg, additionally stated she was prioritizing prosecuting looting in Houston after Hurricane Harvey wrecked the town.

“At a time when most in our group have rallied to assist each other throughout and after this devastating storm, it’s appalling that a couple of would use it as a chance to victimize our neighbors,” Nelson stated. In response to the information launch, the sheriffs of Jacksonville, Clay County and Nassau County help the brand new initiative.

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