Source March. 18 (UPI) — A former Florida police chief could be spending two weeks behind bars after he ate a piece of evidence during a court appearance on Friday instead of letting a judge see it.
Richard Masten of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers ate a piece of paper with a tip that had information about a cocaine possession case instead of handing it over to Judge Victoria Brennan.
Masten refused to reveal the tip because he wanted to protect his informant’s identity.
“We promise the people who give us information to solve murders, serious violent crimes in this community, that they can call with an assurance that they will remain anonymous and that nothing about them or their information would ever be compromised,” Masten said. “The case today started creeping into that… it’s not going to happen on my watch and I understood the consequences.”
Brennan found Masten in contempt of court for swallowing the tip.
“The court would be remiss to turn a blind eye to a flagrant refusal to honor a court order, and give more value to an individual’s opinion on what is right, rather than to the dictates of the laws enacted by the people of Florida,” Brennan wrote in her decision.
If Masten is sentenced to serve time when he heads back to court next week, he’s ready. “I’ll bring a toothbrush and some pajamas in case I do.”
If you think a couple pieces of a paper and a contempt of court charge are going to turn Richard Masten into a snitch then you got another thing coming. If I ever turn government informant I will only work for Richard Masten. He has everything you’d want in a friend: loyalty, wit (he ate paper in court!) and an insatiable appetite to uphold the law. As a side note, I’ve eaten paper before. The circumstances were not as drastic but I’ve done it. Feels good to get that off my chest.