Dumb Criminals: Florida Edition
Just weeks after Port Richey’s mayor was arrested, the man serving as acting mayor was taken into custody and the former mayor is facing new charges, according to reports.
Terrence Rowe, 64, was Port Richey’s vice mayor, but recently became acting mayor following the arrest of Mayor Dale Massad last month, according to WFLA News Channel 8.
Rowe was arrested Wednesday and faces charges of obstruction of justice, conspiring to commit obstruction and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, jail records show.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents received information Rowe was conspiring to interfere with an ongoing investigation, according to ABC Action News.
“This is a big piece of the former case which is still active and ongoing,” FDLE special Agent Mark Brutnell told FOX13. “What I can say about this is if you’re not a witness or a subject of any criminal investigation please don’t inject or insert yourself into one.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office will handle the prosecution, Spectrum Bay News 9 reported.
Rowe has been released from jail on a $15,000 bond.
Rowe’s arrest comes less than three weeks after Port Richey’s former mayor’s arrest on Feb. 21.
Massad was arrested after firing at SWAT team members who were at his home to serve a search warrant, according to the Miami Herald. Massad, 68, was under investigation for practicing medicine without a license.
FDLE investigators believe Massad had patients come to his home for treatments and procedures. He voluntarily surrendered his license in 1992 after a 3-year-old patient died, the Miami Herald reported.
Former mayor faces more charges
On Thursday, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office announced Massad is facing new charges after a recorded phone call he made to Rowe from jail.
On March 3, Massad called Rowe from a jail phone around 10:48 p.m., according to an affidavit from the sheriff’s office.
Massad told Rowe he believed a Port Richey police officer was hired, fired and re-hired illegally, the affidavit stated.
“I don’t know why but he is in on everything,” Massad said in the call, referring to his own arrest.
Rowe replied he is “on it,” according to the affidavit.
“OK, so anything you can do is good,” Massad said.
“You know, this doesn’t go down without somebody answering for it,” Rowe replied.
Massad faces additional charges of conspiracy to obstruction of justice and the use of a two-way communication device to facilitate the commission of a crime, according to the sheriff’s office.