Could the RICO Act investigation be in jeopardy?

Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 07:42:40-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Could months of police work putting suspected gang members behind bars all be in jeopardy? That's the big question involving the Lake Boyz case and whether some Fort Myers Police officers involved in that case - may also be under investigation themselves. 

Four In Your Corner sat down with former state attorney Joe D'Alessandro to see if it could complicate the case after the local NAACP asked the State Attorney's office to confirm if any of the Fort Myers Police officers on administrative leave were involved in the case. 

Angela McDuffie's son, Natyri Pitts was arrested back in January along with several other men suspected of being in the notorious Lake Boyz gang. McDuffie says her son wasn't part of the gang and was unfairly arrested. 

"If they really was doing research for two and a half years, they didn't see him walk the stage to graduate? Didn't they see him getting college sports scholarships for track?"

There are other parents who believe their sons were wrongfully arrested. Many parents reached out to the NAACP to voice their concerns. Shortly after, an independent audit of the Fort Myers Police Department found instances of corruption, favoritism, and discrimination by some officers.

"If your agency is showing corruption, we have issues with that," James Buchhannon, the second Vice President of the Lee County NAACP said.

The NAACP is sending a letter to the State Attorney's Office asking to confirm if the officers placed on administrative leave were connected to the Lake Boyz investigation. 

"You really have to question those officers' integrity about how well did they do this investigation," Buchannon said. "What was put in that investigation and what was said about these young men who was arrested.

Four In Your Corner asked former State Attorney D'Alassandro what this could mean for the case. D'Alassandro says its a complicated case that could take a year before more information is released. He says while confirming if those officers names wouldn't hurt the investigation, he says its something that legally just wouldn't be done. 

"They'll ultimately get the information but while something is under investigation the State Attorney doesn't have to release it," he said.