Former Deputy Sheriff Charged with Accepting Bribes
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 31, 2010|
GAINESVILLE—Josue Ostolaza, a former deputy sheriff with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested today on a federal indictment charging him with soliciting and accepting bribes while employed with the sheriff’s office, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.
The six count indictment filed in the case also charges Ostolaza with conspiracy to commit bribery and with four counts of unlawful access of a protected computer. The indictment alleges that between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2007, Ostolaza accepted more than $14,000 from Robert Alexander Krasnow in exchange for using his influence as a deputy sheriff for Krasnow’s benefit. According to the indictment, Ostolaza misused his position to protect Krasnow from domestic violence investigations and possible arrests. The indictment also alleges that on four separate occasions, Ostolaza intentionally accessed the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles Driver and Vehicle Information Database in a manner that exceeded his authority, and that he did so for the purpose of private financial gain and in furtherance of a criminal act.
If convicted, Ostolaza faces a maximum term of five years’ imprisonment for the conspiracy to solicit bribes as charged in count one of the indictment; a maximum term of 10 years’ imprisonment if convicted of the substantive offense of soliciting bribes as charged in count two; and a maximum of five years’ imprisonment on each count of accessing a protected computer, as charged in counts three through six.
Ostolaza is scheduled to have an initial appearance on these charges before Senior United States District Judge Maurice M. Paul, in federal district court in Gainesville at 11:30 tomorrow.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the cooperation of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a criminal offense. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.