Jury trials suspended for COVID-19 until Feb. 22CLAY TODAY – The continued rise in positive COVID-19 cases prompted Chief Judge Mark Mahon of the Fourth Judicial Circuit to remain in Phase II …
Jury trials suspended for
COVID-19 until Feb. 22
CLAY TODAY – The continued rise in positive COVID-19 cases prompted Chief Judge Mark Mahon of the Fourth Judicial Circuit to remain in Phase II of protocols and to suspend all jury trials until at least Feb. 22.
All jurors summoned in Clay County through Jan. 15 have been excused, and no further jury summons will be sent in the next six weeks.
The Fourth Judicial Circuit includes Clay, Duval and Nassau counties,
Bright light warning leads to arrest for weapon, drugs
MIDDLEBURG – A man was seconds away from driving away from a traffic stop with a warning wound up the Clay County Jail on an assortment of drug and weapon charges.
Gino Nick Rocca II, 30, of Hampton, was charged with possession of a stolen firearm and ammo by a convicted felon, as well as possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and possession of cocaine and marijuana with the intent to sell, manufacture or deliver after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office stopped him on Jan. 8 on Southlake Drive at County Road 220 for not dimming his bright lights for oncoming traffic.
As the deputy came back to the car with the warning, he found a plastic bag with later tested positive for methamphetamine on the ground by Rocca’s door. The arrest report said the baggie was dry although it had just rained.
A search uncovered cocaine and marijuana packaged for sale and a handgun on Rocca or in his backpack, according to CCSO.
Orange Park man indicted for wire fraud
JACKSONVILLE – U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced the return of an indictment charging Brian Roy Lozito, 51, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 12 counts of wire fraud. If convicted, Lozito faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count and payment of restitution to the victims he defrauded. Lozito was arraigned on the charges on Jan. 11. His trial is set for March 1.
According to the indictment, Lozito owned and managed American Investigative Services. AIS purported to offer consumers mortgage auditing services in exchange for a fee. Lozito and his conspirators solicited customers nationwide through mailings and telephone calls. In these solicitations, Lozito and AIS employees under his direction made false and fraudulent representations to consumers, including that AIS would perform “forensic audits” of mortgage documents in order to uncover evidence of deficiencies in the mortgage documents. Lozito claimed AIS would obtain quitclaim deeds and other remedies, so the mortgage holders would be relieved of their mortgage debt and own their properties free and clear. If AIS could not help the consumer, Lozito promised to refund their money. In reality, AIS did not perform the services paid for by consumers and did not refund money to consumers. Money collected from consumers went to bank accounts controlled by Lozito, and he spent the money.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service’s Jacksonville Field Office and the Office of the Florida Attorney General – Consumer Protection Division, with assistance from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin C. Frein.