St. Petersburg Homicide Detective Pleads Guilty
Tampa, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that Anthony V. Foster (38, St. Petersburg) today pleaded guilty to one count of public corruption. That count, Count One of the indictment, charged a wire fraud scheme to deprive the public of honest services. Foster faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
Foster was first arrested pursuant to a federal complaint on June 8, 2011. He was later indicted on July 5, 2011. According to the plea agreement, during the period 2009 through June 2011, Foster worked as a homicide detective with the St. Petersburg Police Department ("SPPD"). During the same period, Foster made known to one of his sources (herein the "Source") -- who had a criminal history and pending state criminal cases -- that Foster would contact State of Florida judges and/or Assistant State Attorneys (collectively "state authorities") involved in the Source's state criminal cases and provide positive information about the Source in exchange for Foster's personal receipt of cash and property payments.
As acknowledged by Foster in the plea agreement, on April 6, 2011, following a series of cellular telephone calls and text messages, Foster met alone with the Source. During the meeting, Foster secured a cash payment from the Source totaling $7,075. Foster and the Source met alone again on April 15, 2011 in a grocery store parking lot where Foster secured another cash payment of $325 and a 40 inch flat-screen television. Unbeknownst to Foster, both meetings were monitored by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As further explained in the plea agreement, in exchange for the receipt of the cash and television, Foster then placed a telephone call on behalf of the Source to an Assistant State Attorney in Hernando County who was prosecuting an active state criminal case charging the Source with retail grand theft. During that telephone call, Foster identified himself as a homicide detective with the SPPD and provided positive information about the Source's involvement in various SPPD investigations. Foster also encouraged other officials with the SPPD to contact the same Assistant State Attorney and to provide positive information about the Source.
The plea agreement specifically notes that Foster never acknowledged to the Hernando County Assistant State Attorney or any official with the SPPD that Foster had received cash and property from the Source.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.