Former St. Petersburg Homicide Detective Sentenced to Prison
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Anthony V. Foster (40, St. Petersburg) to two years in federal prison for public corruption. As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $500, the proceeds of the public corruption not yet recovered by law enforcement. Foster pleaded guilty to one count of public corruption on October 20, 2011. That count, Count One of the indictment, charged a wire fraud scheme to deprive the public of honest services.
According to court documents, 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 in which the Source was being charged 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 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.