FDLE Arrests Six In Forged Documents Escape Scheme
By Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florida // December 20, 2013
investigation into escapes using forged documents
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Thursday announced the arrests of six current and former prison inmates in a continuing investigation into two escapes using forged documents last fall.
The six face a combined 37 charges of conspiracy, escape, forgery and harboring an escaped prisoner.
Those charged include Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins, who were serving life sentences for murder from Orange County and now face additional charges.
The two men escaped from Franklin Correctional Institution using bogus court paperwork indicating their sentences had been reduced: Jenkins on Sept. 27 and Walker on Oct. 8.
They were captured in Panama City Beach on Oct. 19. Authorities know of five other attempted escapes using the same method, including two that were underway when the fraud was discovered. One of the prior attempts was by Jenkins.
The attempts occurred at the Franklin Correctional and Gulf Correctional institutions and the Pinellas County Jail. FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the “very complex investigation” will continue.
“These arrests represent significant progress in this case, and we definitely have a more clear understanding of the fraud,” Bailey said.
“But it’s important that you understand this is still an active investigation. We still have numerous leads and evidence to filter through.”
Bailey described Nydeed Nashaddai, 48, as “the engineer of the scheme” and “the first to use it before passing his knowledge on to his fellow inmates.”
Nashaddai is at Suwannee Correctional Institution and faces an additional four counts in connection with Walker and Jenkins’ escapes.
Also arrested: Willie Slater Jr., 36, who faces nine counts for his outside role, which included ensuring that the forged documents arrived at the Orange County Clerk of Court’s office. Terrance Goodman, 37, who drove Jenkins and Walker to Panama City and rented them a motel room.
He faces one count of harboring a fugitive and two counts of conspiracy to commit escape.
Jeffrey Forbes, 30, an inmate at Florida State Prison, who faces four counts including escape, conspiracy and forgery.
The forged documents used by Walker and Jenkins were created at Franklin Correctional Institution and included the seal of the Orange County clerk of court’s office and signatures of circuit officials, including Ninth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. and Orange County State Attorney Jeffrey Ashton.
THE SIX FACE 37 CHARGES COMBINED
“These arrests represent significant progress in this case, and we definitely have a more clear understanding of the fraud,” — Gerald Bailey
Bailey said so far, the investigation hasn’t pointed to anyone in authority in the criminal justice system being a part of the scheme.
“We have no indication…that anyone in the prison system or at the clerk’s office was involved with this fraud,” he said. But Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews said authorities are still examining the role of the access that inmates had to computers and printers in the prison.
“We’re looking at what we legally have to provide,” he said.
The state expects to begin using a “secure e-system” in February 2014 to transmit court orders so as to close the door on similar attempts in the future. Lawmakers will consider stiffening penalties for people who are involved in creating false court documents.