Crime

18-year federal fugitive arrested in Bradenton

BRADENTON –- A woman who was wanted by the U.S. Marshal’s Service for more than 20 years on cocaine-related charges was recently arrested after attempting to obtain a Florida ID card at the Tax Collector’s DeSoto office, 819 301 Blvd. W.

The arrest is being credited to teamwork between a trained and observant employee at the Manatee County Tax Collector's Office and a Manatee County Sheriff's deputy stationed there, according to a Tax Collector's press release. Christine Marie Dickinson, whose photo and information were listed on the US Marshal’s Service Northern District of Florida website, was arrested Dec. 1. “Our extensive training on fraud detection and prevention combined with outstanding employees who truly care about ‘performing their duties with excellence,’ enabled us to assist law enforcement in apprehending this wanted person,” said Ken Burton, Manatee County Tax Collector in the press release.

“The customer had everything she needed to obtain the ID according to procedure, but the employee became concerned because of the amount of time it had been since she had possessed an ID Card or Driver License in any state,” Burton said. Early this year, the Tax Collector contacted Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube about permanently stationing a deputy at his busiest office because of increased threats against employees and the office related to the requirements of the Federal Real ID Act and the new driver license responsibilities mandated by the State. The Deputy position is underwritten by the Tax Collector to ensure that the same deputy works each day at the location. “We are fortunate to have a great deputy assigned to us,” said Burton. “Deputy Andrew Jacobus has assisted with 105 irate or hostile customer issues so far this year. On almost a daily basis his presence helps to defuse irate customers who do not want to comply with the myriad of federal and state laws we are bound to enforce.” Since the Deputy Program began in February, there have been 65 misdemeanor arrests, 37 felony arrests, 28 citations issued, 10 warnings issued and one stolen Mercedes recovered.

Other arrests include an unregistered sexual predator from out-of-state attempting to obtain a Florida ID, customers driving on suspended/revoked licenses (habitual traffic offenders), customers with warrants from around the state and nation, as well as arrests for title fraud and the presentation of counterfeit or fraudulent identity, driver license and immigration documents. The Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office received the Florida Governor’s Sterling Award recognizing best business practices and role model performance in May, 2011.

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