Sheriff: 3 Jacksonville detectives arrested for tampering with evidence after deadly shooting

Updated:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three undercover Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives -- Lance Griffis, 33, Bryan Turner, 48, and Kyle Kvies, 26 -- are suspended without pay and charged with evidence tampering and conspiracy.

(4:03 p.m., Feb. 16): President of Fraternal Order of Police Steve Zona spoke after three detectives were arrested for compromising a crime scene. He asked for the public to "reserve judgment" since there are limited details regarding the deadly shooting that led to the arrests.

He added that his organization feels JSO should have waited to investigate the case before making the arrests.


Police union defends Jacksonville detectives accused of evidence tampering after deadly shooting


(3:20 p.m., Feb. 16): JSO said 26-year-old Kyle J. Kvies, 33-year-old Lance A. Griffis and 48-year-old Bryan E. Turner are the detectives involved in the illegal tampering. The mugshots have not been released since they are not public record. Action News Jax obtained and confirmed photos of the officers.

(2:36 p.m., Feb. 16): Williams said the detectives moved evidence from a crime scene. Williams said that there is a possibility that the detectives were drinking and multiple cans of beer have been recovered.The investigation is still ongoing.

(2:30 p.m., Feb. 16): Mike Sheriff Williams announced the arrests of three detectives for compromising a crime scene. Williams said the detectives have been stripped of their authority. "We've had a clear cut case of officers violating the law and there's lots of work left in the investigation," Williams said. The officers are on leave without pay and pending dismissal.

(2:10 p.m., Feb. 16): Several sources tell Action News Jax that three Jacksonville officers are in trouble after a deadly shooting in Jacksonville's Durkeville area. 


3 JSO detectives accused of evidence tampering after deadly shooting; suspect's mother reacts


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Original story: 

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly shooting involving a narcotics officer.

Three narcotics detectives were out in the Hogan’s Creek neighborhood Monday night around 9:45 p.m. doing undercover work. In the parking lot of a closed business in the 1800 block of Kings Road, they met with an individual they have worked with in the past, who has served as a middleman for buying drugs, JSO said.

The man, who JSO identified on Tuesday afternoon as 57-year-old Ronnie Cornell Brown, led detectives to an area where they were going to do a drug buy with the suspect.

Ronnie Cornell Brown

Ronnie Cornell Brown

Brown agreed to facilitate the purchase of $40 of powder cocaine for the detectives and took the detectives to North Myrtle Avenue and West 3rd Street, according to JSO Director Ron Lendvay, who oversees the Department of Investigations and Homeland Security. Brown left the vehicle to purchase cocaine, came back and told the detectives he had been unsuccessful.


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Brown directed detectives to another location in the 1500 block of West 5th Street. He was sitting in the rear passenger side of the vehicle and told detectives that something was on the floorboard of the vehicle, Lendvay said.

A detective who was also seated in the back of the vehicle was distracted by what appeared to be two baggies of powder cocaine on the floorboard when suspect Jerome Keith Allen approached the passenger side of the vehicle, Lendvay said.

Jerome Keith Allen

Jerome Keith Allen

Detectives said Allen walked out of the shadows and pointed what appeared to be a small, dark-colored handgun through the open passenger's side front window at detectives. Lendvay said the detective was able to get his weapon, fired seven shots and hit Allen once in the right arm and once in the torso. Allen was taken to a hospital and later died.

No one else was injured.

The handgun carried by Allen was determined to be a replica firearm. Brown later admitted to purchasing the cocaine that was found on the floorboard of the vehicle and he was charged with sale of cocaine, Lendvay said.

The detective involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave per JSO policy. 

Lendvay said the undercover narcotics officers were working in their normal function and it is not known if the officers had a chance to identify themselves as officers. The investigation is ongoing.


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