Thursday, May 31, 2012

Florida Bar Lawyer Disciplinary Actions March 9 – May 1, 2012

The Florida Bar, the state's guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 13 attorneys, disbarring four and suspending seven. Some attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One attorney was placed on probation; two attorneys were publicly reprimanded and one attorney was ordered to pay restitution.
As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the 93,000-plus lawyers admitted to practice law in Florida. Since Aug. 1, 2007, case files have been posted to attorneys' individual Florida Bar profiles and may be reviewed at and/or downloaded from The Florida Bar's website,
Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam. Historically, fewer than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.

Jessica Ann Bennett,
13194 U.S. Highway 301 S., Riverview, disbarred, effective immediately, following an April 3, court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) Bennett was the subject of several Bar complaints. After being retained by multiple clients, Bennett failed to adequately communicate and took no action to move matters forward. She also converted client property, made unauthorized withdrawals from client accounts, and engaged in other unethical conduct. Bennett repeatedly failed to respond to official Bar inquiries and those of opposing counsel. Bennett was also ordered to pay restitution of $50,800 to a client before any possible readmission. (Case No. SC11-1428)

Haynes Edward Brinson,
28 N. John Young Parkway, Kissimmee, suspended for 30 days, effective 30 days from an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2003) After being retained, Brinson failed to adequately communicate and respond to requests from a client in an escrow matter. Brinson took no substantive action on behalf of the client to collect or determine entitlement to the escrow funds, refusing to even file an action with the civil court. In another case, Brinson also failed to respond to numerous official Bar inquiries and failed to comply with appellate court orders, causing an appeal to be dismissed. (Case No. SC11-1991)

Russell Flint Crump,
4404 N.W. 36th Ave., Suite B, Gainesville, disbarred effective immediately, following an April 19 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2005) Crump was found guilty in circuit court of one count of felony child abuse. (Case No. SC11-1988)

Kimberly S. Daise,
8323 S.W. 64th Place, Gainesville, suspended effective 30 days from a March 9 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Daise pleaded guilty in a federal case to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. As a condition of her plea agreement, Daise agreed to resign and surrender her license to practice law. She also agreed to pay restitution of more than $1.8 million to two financial institutions. (Case No. SC12-461)

Jason Steven Dalley,
35 S.E. 6th Ave., Delray Beach, publicly reprimanded following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) Dalley failed to competently and diligently represent a client. After being retained to represent a woman in a personal injury matter, Dalley allowed the statute of limitations to run out on her claim, because of inadequate case monitoring. (Case No. SC12-16)

John D. Hooker,
13610 E. U.S. Highway 92, Dover, suspended for one year, retroactive to Nov. 9, 2011, following an April 3 court order. Upon reinstatement, Hooker is placed on probation for two years. (Admitted to practice: 1974) Hooker is further directed to complete a trust accounting workshop. Upon receiving nearly $2 million dollars in settlement funds on behalf of a married couple, Hooker made preliminary disbursements to third parties, the married clients, and himself without having his clients execute a closing statement. Hooker's payments to himself exceeded the amount ultimately approved by the closing statement, requiring him to pay non-trust money to the clients for their final disbursement. (Case No. SC11-2445)

George Granville Lewis,
401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Suite 130-501, Fort Lauderdale, suspended for three years, effective immediately, following a May 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1995) This suspension will run consecutive to the one year suspension ordered by the court on Oct. 20, 2011. Lewis was held in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of the previous suspension. He was required to submit a sworn affidavit to the Bar listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that were furnished a copy of his suspension order. (Case No. SC12-327)

Shawn Louis Michaelson,
7274 Bedlington Road, Miami Lakes, disbarred effective retroactive to March 11, 2011, following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2001) Michaelson was found in contempt for failing to comply in a timely manner with an earlier suspension order and for failing to respond to orders of the Supreme Court of Florida. (Case No. SC11-1389)

Julio R. Ferrer Roo,
8500 W. Flagler St., Suite 105A, Miami, suspended until further order, effective immediately, following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1971) Roo repeatedly failed to respond to official Bar inquiries and was held into contempt for failure to show good cause for non-compliance. (Case No. SC12-283)

Rolando Jose Santiago,
240 Apollo Beach Blvd., Apollo Beach, to receive a public reprimand by the Board of Governors, following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2002) After being paid a retainer fee of $2,500 to represent clients, Santiago admitted that he failed to adequately communicate with them. In a real estate matter, another couple retained Santiago at a rate of $2,500 and subsequently discharged him and retained new counsel. (Case No. SC11-1444)

Joseph Dan Turner,
13317 Lake George Lane, Tampa, suspended for one year, effective immediately, following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1986) Turner was held in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of an October 2011 suspension order. It required Turner to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and provide to The Florida Bar within 30 days of his suspension, a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that received a copy of his suspension order. (SC12-325)

William Bedford Watson, III,
4131 N.W. 28th Lane, Suite 2, Gainesville, permanently disbarred effective immediately, following an April 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1966) Watson engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. He deliberately and intentionally misused client trust funds and in serving as the administrator, protecting the interests of the lender and the borrower in a real estate deal, Watson failed to explain the nature of the transaction until long after the funds were disbursed. (Case No. SC11-1186)

Ross Alan Willner,
5543 N. Military Trail, Apt. 2202, Boca Raton, suspended for 91 days, effective immediately, following an April 3 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1993) Willner was found guilty of misdemeanor DUI on two separate occasions and failed to notify the executive director of The Florida Bar about either DUI conviction. (Case No. SC11-1473)

Four People Dead In Orlando Car Crash

TITUSVILLE, Florida and ORLANDO, Florida --  The Florida Highway Patrol is reporting that another passenger has died in addition to three who were reported dead last Thursday.  
Four 18-year-olds, Keyonda Fordum of Titusville, Florida, Frank Whack of Orlando, Florida, and Jason Carr, Jr. of Orlando, Florida, and now Treyshall Pond of Orlando, Florida, died as a result of injuries they sustained in a vehicle crash that occurred at about 7:10 p.m. that night.

A yet-to-be-identified driver of a 2006 Chevy Impala was traveling westbound on Princeton Street in Orlando. FHP troopers say that the driver of the Impala failed to maintain control of the vehicle.  The Impala crossed over the center median and continued across the eastbound lanes of Princeton Street and traveled into a ditch, overturning on the south shoulder. 

FHP has determined that all occupants of the crash were not wearing their seat belts.

At this time, FHP troopers are still determining who was driving the Impala at the time of the crash.  This crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

Florida Tech Adds New Master's Degree in Aviation Safety

MELBOURNE, FLA.—A major government and private sector need for professionals trained in aviation safety has prompted a new degree at Florida Institute of Technology: the Master of Science in Aviation Safety, which is taught 100 percent through online learning.  The degree, offered by the Florida Tech College of Aeronautics, is a companion degree to its Master of Science in Human Factors in Aeronautics which is also available on line.

Participants will become expert in safety management systems (SMS); aviation safety analysis, complex aviation systems, accident prevention, human factors and decision-making.
Program benefits include:

Online convenience
Experienced, professional faculty
Research opportunities
Theory combined with application
A 30-credit, non-thesis program
The goal of the program is to prepare individuals for advanced leadership positions in the public, private, and military aviation sectors through specific skill and competency training in aviation safety.
Class sizes are limited to 15 students. Admission requirements and curriculum information available at:

For more information, contact Steve Cusick, associate professor, at (321) 674-770 or at

FDA: Over-the-Counter Teething Medications Can Kill Babies

When a baby is teething, many a mom or dad reaches for a pain remedy containing benzocaine to help soothe sore gums.  Benzocaine is a local anesthetic and can be found in such over-the-counter (OTC) products as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase.

But the use of benzocaine gels and liquids for mouth and gum pain can lead to a rare but serious—and sometimes fatal—condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced.  In the most severe cases, says FDA pharmacist Mary Ghods, R.Ph., methemoglobinemia can result in death.  And children under 2 years old appear to be at particular risk.

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first warned about potential dangers in 2006, the agency has received 29 reports of benzocaine gel-related cases of methemoglobinemia.  Nineteen of those cases occurred in children, and 15 of the 19 cases occurred in children under 2 years of age, says FDA pharmacist Kellie Taylor, Pharm.D., MPH. 

The agency repeated the warning in April 2011 and remains particularly concerned about the use of OTC benzocaine products in children for relief of pain from teething, says Taylor. This concern is fueled by the serious potential outcomes and the difficulty parents may have recognizing the signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia when using these products at home. These symptoms may not always be evident or attributed to the condition.

For these reasons, FDA recommends that parents and caregivers not use benzocaine products for children younger than 2 years, except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional.

Danger Signs

Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include:
  • pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • headache
  • light-headedness
  • rapid heart rate
“Symptoms can occur within minutes to hours after benzocaine use,” Ghods says. “They can occur after using the drug for the first time, as well as after several uses.”

If your child has any of these symptoms after using benzocaine, she adds, stop using the product and seek medical help immediately by calling 911.  

Methemoglobinemia caused by benzocaine may require treatment with medications and admission to a hospital. Serious cases should be treated right away. If left untreated or if treatment is delayed, methemoglobinemia may cause permanent injury to the brain and body tissues, and even death, from the insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood.

Teething: What’s a Parent to Do?

As for the crying baby, what’s a mom or dad to do? The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some alternatives for treating teething pain:
  • Give the child a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator.
  • Gently rub or massage the child’s gums with your finger.
If these remedies don’t provide relief, contact your health care professional for advice on other treatments.

Adults Can Be Affected Too

Benzocaine products—which are sold as gels, liquids, sprays and lozenges—are also widely used by adults.  Doctors and dentists often use sprays containing benzocaine to numb the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat during such procedures as transesophageal  echocardiograms, endoscopy, intubation, and feeding tube replacements. 

Even though children are more at risk, it’s still a good idea to talk to your health care professional about using benzocaine, especially if you have heart disease; are a smoker; or have breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. These conditions put you at greater risk for complications relating to methemoglobinemia, says Taylor.

FDA advises consumers to:
  • store any products containing benzocaine out of the reach of children.
  • use benzocaine gels and liquids sparingly and only when needed. Do not use them more than 4 times a day.
  • read the label to see if benzocaine is an active ingredient when buying OTC products. Labels on OTC products containing benzocaine are not currently required to carry warnings about the risk of methemoglobinemia.  If you have any concerns, talk to your health care professional before using them.

Cocoa Beach DoubleTree Hotel Reopens After 'No Name' Storm Damage

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront, located on what is commonly referred to as Florida's "Space Coast," welcomes guests to celebrate and enjoy its multi-million dollar hotel transformation. The property features comprehensive upgrades throughout the hotel's guest rooms, public areas, functional space, dining outlets, landscaping and includes a new boardwalk to its private access beach. Situated in the home to Kennedy Space Center, near Patrick Air Force Base and Port Canaveral, and offering the closest beach to Orlando, home to Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios, this Cocoa Beach hotel is the perfect setting for business and leisure.

An unnamed hurricane-like storm, referred to as "fascinating" by the Weather Channel, hit the hotel and surrounding area in October 2011 leading to a complete hotel-wide property update, making DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront one of the freshest hotel destinations on the Florida coast.

"Our doors are open and we are welcoming guests to enjoy our rejuvenated space, impressive amenities and refreshing, contemporary and inviting look and feel at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront," said Christy Galzerano, hotel general manager. "Our team members have worked hard to prepare for our recent re-opening and are committed to delivering a memorable experience for our guests

The 148-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront offers ocean views and private balconies in almost all of its guestrooms and from all suites and rooms on the executive floor. All rooms feature all-new carpet and upholstery; new bathrooms with fresh granite and lighting; new balcony furniture; comfortable plush bedding and combed cotton linens; ergonomic work desks and chairs; complimentary wireless service; 37-inch, high-definition, LCD TVs; MP3-compatible alarm clocks; Wolfgang Puck gourmet coffee and tea service; and Crabtree & Evelyn Citron bath and body products. All guests have access to the hotel's new fitness center featuring Precor equipment, heated outdoor pool, and private sandy beach and can easily find local surfing, deep sea fishing and relaxation under giant palm trees.

Upon entering the hotel, guests are greeted at the completely renovated front desk and lobby area offering an inviting setting and as well as the DoubleTree signature welcome with the legendary warm chocolate chip cookie presented to every guest at check-in. The hotel also features a host of specials for guests to choose from, including a Cruise and Stay package, Bed and Breakfast package, Advance Purchase Rates and Double Your HHonors for guests who sign up or are already enrolled in Hilton HHonors.

The 3 Wishes Oceanfront Restaurant and Lounge is all new and features fresh Florida seafood, pastas and coveted brick-oven pizzas. This on-site restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual, yet sophisticated setting and caters to poolside diners as well. The bar has been transformed and now opens up to the lobby. Guests also will find an expanded patio lounge with a new fire pit and landscaping at poolside. The hotel upgrades extend to include new banquet menus, welcoming guests to its meeting and banquet rooms for great lunches, dinners, banquets, meetings and receptions of 10 to 500 guests in up to 6,100 square feet of meeting space.

Guests of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront are in the center of Cocoa Beach's natural haven for eco-tourism. The area is home more than 50 threatened and endangered species, a number of wildlife conservation parks, the Brevard Zoo with more than 400 animals, and kayak tours allowing for up-close-and-personal views of Mother Nature and her inhabitants.

The hotel is located just 45 minutes from Orlando and Melbourne International Airports.  More information and reservations can be made via travel professionals, by calling the hotel directly at +1-321-783-9222 or visiting the hotel's website at

PHOTO CREDIT: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront


Large Drop In Cocoa Beach Hotel Prices Explained

Afternoon Thunderstorms For Central Florida

MELBOURNE, Florida - The National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida has issued a  Hazardous Weather Outlook for Brevard County and surrounding counties which forecasts scattered afternoon thunderstorms due to daytime surface heating.  Severe thunderstorms could develop over Brevard County late in the afternoon:

548 AM EDT THU MAY 31 2012

OUT 20 NM-
548 AM EDT THU MAY 31 2012






Cocoa Beach Surf and Fishing Report for Thursday May 31, 2012

COCOA BEACH, Fla. -- As of 5:00 a.m. on Thursday May 31, 2012, jelly fish, including Portuguese Man-o-War,  are not present in the water throughout Cocoa Beach from Coconuts on the Beach northward to Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral due to prevailing southerly winds pushing the jellies closer to shore.
Look for purple flags flying at nearby lifeguard stations which would indicate the presence of jelly fish in the immediate area.  Red Flags indicate dangerous surf conditions including rip currents.

Sargasso seaweed is barely present on shore and in the water.

Winds are from the west-southwest this morning at 10 miles per hour.

A near shore current is moving northward.
Breaking waves are 1-3 feet and glassy. 
44th FSFA SLAM Fishing Tournament At Sunrise Marina / Grill's In Port Canaveral 


Today will be an 'O.K.' day day for surf fishing due to less clouded water, light winds, and no sea weed. 

If you are planning a land-based fishing trip today with friends and family, it would be better to fish from Jetty Park, Cocoa Beach Pier, Port Canaveral locks, Indian River Lagoon, or Sebastian Inlet for Flounder and Sheepshead near rocks and pilings. 

In the open near-shore ocean waters, Sea Trout, Black Drum, Red Drum, Whiting and Pompano have been hitting up and down the Brevard County coastline and inlet mouths during the last four months from Sebastian Inlet to Port Canaveral.  

Always check the Front Page of Brevard each morning for the latest Surf and Fishing Report, or follow us on Facebook , Twitter , or use your news reader to receive automatic updates. 

Current Temps: Water 80 F    Air 76 F

20 Mile Cape Canaveral Buoy: 3.3 Ft. swell every 5 seconds. 
120 Mile Cape Canaveral Buoy: 3.9 Ft. swell every 7 seconds.

04:07 AM High
10:33 AM Low
04:59 PM High
11:06 PM Low 

Humidity: 95 %
Wind Speed: W 9 MPH
Barometer: 29.87" (1011.7 mb)
Dewpoint: 73 °F (23 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Florida Tech Introduces Football Founders Club

MELBOURNE, Florida -- A dozen donors have pledged to help launch a new era for Florida Tech Athletics. At a special “Inside the Huddle” football banquet May 25, President Anthony J. Catanese introduced and honored members of the Panthers Football Founders Club.

“These outstanding individuals have demonstrated their support not only for football, but also for Florida Tech and for our community,” Catanese said. “We are honored by their contributions and grateful for their leadership.”

The dozen donors collectively committed $1.2 million to help launch the new football program, which begins competitive play as a member of the Gulf South Conference in Fall 2013.

“Successfully establishing our Founders Club was a critical first step in building our football boosters effort,” said T. Dwayne McCay, chief operating officer and executive vice president. “This gives us tremendous community momentum as we look forward to kick off in 2013.”

In addition to honoring the Founders Club the May 25 banquet, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne, also featured legendary football coach Howard Schnellenberger as keynote speaker. Schnellenberger won two Super Bowls and four national championships in five decades as an NFL and NCAA coach. He coached under Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama, served as the offensive coordinator during the Miami Dolphins’ 17-0 season, led the University of Miami to its first national title and built Florida Atlantic University’s football program when Catanese was FAU president.

Also at the banquet, Head Football Coach Steve Englehart gave an overview of the program’s development as the Panthers approach 2013, and season tickets were available for the first time.
“We continue to welcome additional support from the community,” said Matt Kilcullen Jr., assistant vice president for athletic fundraising. “This is a terrific time to invest in the future of Florida Tech Athletics.”

For additional information on athletic fundraising, contact Kilcullen at or (321) 674-8427.

Founders Club Members and Quotes:

Stephen K. Badolato, M.D., Premier Sports Medicine:
"This is a remarkable time in the history of the Florida Tech Panthers athletic program. The chance to support the new football program is an honor and privilege. The advent of Panther Football is exciting for our community and will be sure to add even more members to an already loyal fan base. This is a unique opportunity to support a program that will shed even more light on one of the best academic universities in the entire country, right here in our own backyard."

Thomas Biddix, Biddix Charity Foundation:
“My wife and I are honored and proud to be part of this FIT major milestone. With our three boys born and raised in Brevard County, this is something they will cherish forever."

Carol Craig, Craig Technologies:
“It’s exciting to be in on the ground floor of the next step in Florida Tech’s evolution. I’m pleased to support football at our hometown university.”

John Fielding:
“Having grown up in this area, I have firsthand knowledge of the positive influence Florida Tech has on this community. It has undertaken every endeavor with the highest level of commitment and perseverance. I am proud to be even a small part of its introduction of college football to Brevard County. As dictated by its rich history, I am confident that Florida Tech will achieve a highly successful program with exhaustive dedication and community support.”

Chip Lafferty, Hill York:
“An excellent university plays a major role in the overall well-being of the community in which it resides. Florida Institute of Technology is one such university! With a curriculum that has a major orientation in the aerospace industry, FIT enriches the lives of the citizens and businesses of Brevard County. A strong football team is one more key to rounding out the cohesive role that FIT serves in the community. As a local business interested in Making Life More Comfortable for the community’s citizens, Hill York considers it a privilege to be a member of the Football Founders Club.”

Bruce Nelson Jr., Brevard County Hyundai:
“I am very excited about the addition of college football at FIT and being a part of getting it up and running! This will have a very positive impact not only for the students and the campus community, but for everyone who lives in Brevard County.”

Steve Ryland, Beachside Health Studio:
“This is good for Florida Tech and it’s good for Brevard. Panther football will be an excellent addition to our community.”

Mahesh “Mike” Shah, Southeast Petro Distributors, Inc./M&R Enterprises, Inc.:
“I am very much excited and feel privileged that I was asked to be a part of football’s start at FIT—a team sport that is action-packed. Go Panthers!”

Scott Sorensen, Sorensen Corporation:
“Brevard is a dynamic community, and creating a football program at Florida Tech is something that everyone can get excited about. I look forward to the positive impact it will have both economically and socially.”

Mike Valletutti:
“Having grown up in Merritt Island and returning after college, I jumped at the chance to help FIT build a football program. Sports bring in away visitors for games, exposing them to our wonderful community, which leads to an increase in our county’s population. And I can’t think of a more football-friendly area than Brevard County.”

Tony Weight:
“Football is a natural for Florida Tech. Having seen firsthand what Dr. Catanese accomplished with Coach Schnellenberger at FAU, there isn’t any doubt in my mind that he and Coach Englehart can accomplish the same type of success at FIT! I am thrilled to be a part of it!”

Mike Williams, M. H. Williams Construction Group, Inc.:
“Florida Tech is a growing institution and resource not only for Central Florida, but for the world. Building a first-class football program at a world-class university will benefit everyone.”

Officer Involved Shooting In Cocoa Beach

COCOA BEACH, Florida -- An officer involved shooting occurred just after 3 p.m. today at the 7-11 convenience store located at 3177 North Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, Florida.

The area around the gas pumps in front of the 7-11 have been roped off with crime scene tape.  The suspect who was involved in the shooting, 30-year-old Oliver H. Babadjide, was airlifted via First Flight medical helicopter to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida and is in custody and hospitalized. 

Babadjide was previously arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer on April 13, 2012. Below is his mugshot from last month's arrest:



Shooting At The Fawlty Towers Motel In Cocoa Beach

Bath Salts Ban Held Up In Congress

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida --Although U.S. Representative Sandy Adams (FL-24) and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi released a joint statement over a year ago after Adams introduced the “Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act of 2011”, H.R. 1571, that would place MDPV and Mephedrone, two unregulated ”designer drugs” found in some bath salts, on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the legislation has been stalled in in the U.S. House of Representatives since July 11, 2011.

Bath salts are suspected of causing the gruesome act of the 'Florida Zombie' where one naked man allegedly was eating another naked man's face while uttering primitive growls in Miami, Florida which made national news earlier this week. 

Adam's Bath Salts Ban bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on July 11, 2011 after being introduced onto the House floor. The following are U.S. House subcommittee members:

Mr. Sensenbrenner, Chairman
Mr. Gohmert, Vice-Chairman
Mr. Goodlatte Mr. Scott
Mr. Lungren Mr. Cohen
Mr. Forbes Mr. Johnson
Mr. Poe Mr. Pierluisi
Mr. Chaffetz Ms. Chu
Mr. Griffin Mr. Deutch
Mr. Marino Ms. Wasserman Schultz
Mr. Gowdy Ms. Jackson Lee
Ms. Adams Mr. Quigley
Mr. Quayle

These unregulated and sometimes deadly bath salts that contain MDPV or Mephedrone, commonly referred to as “Ivory Snow,” “Bliss,” and “Vanilla Sky,” are sold recreationally and can be easily purchased for as little as $25 to $50.  Legitimate producers of bath salts do not use these two drugs in their product and this legislation is not expected to affect companies manufacturing legitimate bath salt products. The issue of bath salts altered with MDPV and Mephedrone being abused has become so prevalent that Florida Attorney General Bondi issued an emergency 90 day ban in the state of Florida in 2011.

“Substance abuse is a serious problem and these drugs pose deadly risks to our teenagers and other abusers,” said Adams.  “The ‘designer drugs’ MDPV and Mephedrone found in some bath salts have been known to produce the same feelings of euphoria experienced by users of cocaine and methamphetamines, and at higher doses can cause panic attacks and psychosis.  Numerous cases have been documented where users have taken their own lives, the lives of others, or participated in self-mutilation or assault.  This is why I have introduced legislation to add these chemicals to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, ensuring that online merchants and convenience stores do not sell these deadly drugs to our children.  As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with Chairman Lamar Smith to see that action is taken on this important legislation to protect our children and crack down on drug abuse.” 

“Dangerous drugs containing MDPV and marketed as 'bath salts' are in the process of being permanently banned in Florida; however, they must be made illegal throughout our nation to protect all citizens,” said Bondi.  “I am truly grateful to see Congresswoman Adams' great efforts to ban these dangerous drugs at the federal level.”

The “Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act of 2011”, H.R. 1571, has already received bipartisan support with 33 original cosponsors and has a companion bill in the Senate, S. 409, which was introduced by Senator Charles Schumer.  The original cosponsors are:

Spencer Bachus   (AL- 06)

Lou Barletta   (PA-11)

Gus Bilirakis   (FL- 09)

Marsha Blackburn  (TN- 07)

Corrine Brown   (FL- 03)

Vern Buchanan   (FL- 13)

Ann Marie Buerkle  (NY- 25)

John Conyers   (MI -14)

Mario Diaz-Balart  (FL -21)

Renee Ellmers   (NC- 02)

Marcia Fudge   (OH-11)

Trey Gowdy   (SC- 04)

Colleen Hanabusa  (HI- 01)

Eddie Bernice Johnson  (TX- 30)

Patrick McHenry   (NC- 10)

John Mica   (FL- 07)

Jeff Miller   (FL -01)

Richard Nugent   (FL-05)

Bill Posey   (FL- 15)

Mike Quigley   (IL- 05)

David Rivera   (FL - 25)

Peter Roskam   (IL- 06)

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  (FL- 18)

Dennis Ross   (FL-12)

James Sensenbrenner  (WI- 05)

Lamar Smith   (TX- 21)

Steve Southerland  (FL- 02)

Steve Stivers   (OH -15)

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-20)

Allen West   (FL-22)

Lynn Westmoreland  (GA-03)

Frederica Wilson  (FL-17)

Bill Young   (FL-10)

One Killed In SR 528 Early Morning Crash

CHRISTMAS, Florida - The Florida Highway Patrol is reporting that 22-year-old Russell Lee Newby of DeFuniak Springs, Florida has died as a result of injuries he sustained in a fatal crash that occurred at 4:25 a.m. this morning on State Road 528 just one-third of a mile east of State Road 520.

FHP troopers say that Newby was a passenger in a 2005 GMC Truck which was pulling a U-Haul trailer and driven by 58-year-old Cornel A. Burnett also of DeFuniak Springs, Florida.

According to the FHP report, Burnett was traveling eastbound in the left lane of State Road 528 behind a 2002 Ford F250 pickup truck which was also pulling a trailer.  Burnett failed to travel at a safe distance behind pickup truck. The front left of the GMC struck the rear of the Ford's trailer.  Burnett applied the brakes and steered right, where the GMC traveled off the south shoulder of the roadway. 
The GMC with the U-Haul continued down a slight embankment where it struck several trees.  The Ford slowed and pulled to the south shoulder of the roadway. 
FHP says that this crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

FDA Warns Against Fake Adderall

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers and health care professionals about a counterfeit version of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Adderall 30 milligram tablets that is being purchased on the Internet. Adderall, which is approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy, is a prescription drug classified as a controlled substance – a class of drugs for which special controls are required for dispensing by pharmacists.

FDA’s preliminary laboratory tests revealed that the counterfeit version of Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets contained the wrong active ingredients. Adderall contains four active ingredients – dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. Instead of these active ingredients, the counterfeit product contained tramadol and acetaminophen, which are ingredients in medicines used to treat acute pain.

Currently on the FDA’s drug shortage list, Adderall is in short supply due to active pharmaceutical ingredient supply issues. Teva continues to release product as it becomes available. Consumers should be extra cautious when buying their medicines from online sources.  Rogue websites and distributors may especially target medicines in short supply for counterfeiting.

The counterfeit Adderall tablets are round, white and do not have any type of markings, such as letters or numbers. Any product that resembles the tablets or the packaging in the photos below and claims to be Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets should be considered counterfeit. The counterfeit versions of Adderall should be considered as unsafe, ineffective and potentially harmful.

Authentic Adderall 30 mg tablets produced by Teva are round, orange/peach, and scored tablets with “dp” embossed on one side and “30” on the other side of the tablet. Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets are packaged only in a 100-count bottle with the National Drug Code (NDC) 0555-0768-02 listed.

The FDA says that the  Adderall 30 mg product may be counterfeit if:

1. The product comes in a blister package.
2. There are misspellings on the package.
  • “NDS” instead of “NDC”
  • “Aspartrte” instead of “Aspartate”
  • “Singel” instead of “Single”
3. The tablets are white in color, round in shape, and are smooth.
4. The tablets have no markings on them.

FDA Pictures of the counterfeit version of Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets and packaging:

FDA Pictures of authentic Adderall 30 mg tablets (immediate release) by Teva (front and back side of tablet):