Tag Archives: greg eagle

Dane Eagle Arrested, Charged with DUI

  • State Rep Dane Eagle (Cape Coral), arrested for DUI
  • Prosecutors will make a filing decision in the next few weeks
  • Eagle refused Field Sobriety Exercises and a Breath Test
Dane Eagle Mugshot

Dane Eagle Mugshot

Dane Eagle was pulled over at 1:50 a.m. Monday morning by officers in Tallahassee, where he is currently representing Cape Coral for the ongoing legislative session. He was pulled over after coming out of a Taco Bell. No word on whether the officer was deliberately targeting Taco Bell… Eagle has been charged with DUI: driving under the influence to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired. He is innocent until proven guilty, and has released a statement to the News-Press claiming that there is not a “clear and accurate picture” of events.

The Huffington Post points out that Eagle recently statedWe need to be as elected officials held to a higher standard” relating to his sponsoring of a bill to require legislators to submit to drug testing. The arresting officer indicates that Eagle refused to take a breath test, in addition to refusing to submit to field sobriety exercises when he was pulled over. Eagle claimed to have nothing to drink, but the officer alleges he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage when Eagle spoke to him, and that he did not detect the odor in Eagle’s vehicle after he got out. That’s what looks worst for Eagle: if he was telling the truth and had not had anything to drink, why didn’t he take the breath test? An officer could be mistaken about an odor of alcohol, but blowing .000 would prove whether he’d had anything to drink.

The officer further alleges that Eagle nearly struck the curb a couple of times before he pulled him over, and that Eagle was speeding. He finally pulled Eagle over after he allegedly ran a red light, without braking. The officer said Eagle was swaying, and stumbled into the door of his vehicle when he tried to walk.

While he has not been convicted yet, the state can make a consciousness of guilt argument. When Eagle was asked to take the breath test, he was informed of the consequences: a one-year driver’s license suspension. So, the prosecutor can argue that even though Eagle knew they were going to take his driver’s license, he still refused the breath test. That’s not the behavior of someone who had nothing at all to drink.

Eagle has defenses to work with, so a conviction is not a foregone conclusion. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to point out how difficult the case is to prove. Since Eagle didn’t do any exercises, the State is short on proof that his normal faculties are impaired. Since he is facing criminal charges, Eagle cannot really respond in full to the allegations, but he will likely dispute some of the details of the officer’s statement. The officer apparently recorded the incident, so the case will really depend on how bad Eagle looks on the video.

The case is a long way from a possible trial, the prosecutor will have some time to make a filing decision, then it’s usually a couple of months before a case resolves. The case may still be pending when Eagle’s primary come around for his seat: he faces a Republican challenger Jim Roach. Eagle’s father is currently in Federal prison for fraud charges related to land deals in Lee County. We have covered Greg Eagle’s case extensively on this blog.

Taco Bell continues to be ground zero for DUI busts:

DUI Checkpoint at Taco Bell?

DUI Checkpoint at Taco Bell?

Full article, statment, and report on News-Press: http://www.news-press.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/22/rep-dane-eagle-of-cape-coral-charged-with-dui/7999339/

 

Greg Eagle Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Cape Coral real estate developer Greg Eagle was sentenced to 6 years in Federal Prison, followed by 5 years of supervision after his release from custody. There will also be a restitution hearing at a later date to determine the amounts owed and which victims should receive restitution payments. There was some repayment made previously to some victims. Eagle previously pled to 6 counts related to falsifications he made on bank documents, claiming he was the owner of a property that he was really a trustee for. He faced up to 30 years on each count. I haven’t heard what the court ultimately decided should be his guideline sentence range, but due to the $17 million dollar amount in question, and the number of victims, it was likely substantially higher. It sounds like his attorney at the Wilbur Smith firm did a good job of getting him a departure sentence below the guidelines, in spite of the earlier difference of opinion. Eagle has a few weeks to turn himself in to begin his sentence.

Greg Eagle Update : UPDATE

Greg Eagle was to be sentenced today for his plea to fraud charges in a land deal he brokered. He is facing 30 years on 6 counts he plead to. However, today he is requesting that his plea be withdrawn, as he wants to fight the case. His defense team is arguing that new information revealed in a different case, in New York, have led him to rethink his plea. Normally, it is difficult to withdraw a plea, and requires some significant change in circumstances. This new information may be sufficient to convince the court to allow him to withdraw. If he does, the case will be in a trial posture, but will be many months before any resolution is worked out, especially if it goes to trial. The dozens of people, many elderly, who lost their life saving when Mr. Eagle completed the deal will likely be disappointed if the case is not resolved today, or by plea.

In the meantime, Eagle’s realty license remains active, and he is still listed on the company website, http://www.eaglerealtyflorida.com/ , where “satisfaction soars”.

UPDATE: The judge will rule on the motion to withdraw plea next month.

Cape Coral Broker’s Federal Sentencing Delayed Again

Former Cape Coral real estate broker Greg Eagle, who has already admitted to the fraud charges he is facing in Federal court, got another reprieve on his sentencing. Originally set in July, it was reset for Monday, but it has been continued again, to November 12. It is not unusual for such sentencings to be continued in Federal court, especially on such large and complex financial cases. The continuance can still be seen as a victory for the Defense, as Eagle is facing a potentially long prison sentence, that could put him away fro the rest of his life. The News-Press article has a good summary of the case.

Law Student Charged for Angry Statements, but Is She Constitutionally Protected

Anya Bargh mug shot

Anya Bargh mug shot

Connecticut Law Student Anya Bargh was arrested and charged with Harassment and breach of the peace for a series of online statements she has made. They were definitely in poor taste, some offensive, but there was not a pattern of conduct over time that would usually warrant a harassment charge. I won’t repeat them, but you can see what she said in the ATL story. We recently covered an injunction case in Lee County that was based on the new stalking law in Florida, and that speech was not found to constitute stalking by harassment. Speech, even offensive or critical speech, cannot be the basis for a crime: it is protected by the First Amendment. That speech won’t be protected if it is perceived as a threat.

Anya Bargh

Anya Bargh

Blogger Eugene Volokh does a good breakdown of the applicable statutes and Constitutional issues in this case. His conclusion, and one that is hard to legally disagree with, is that these words are protected speech, and cannot be criminalized under the Constitution. The analysis would be different in other countries. We may disagree with the statements of others, but unless they are making true threats, they have a right to share the offensive thoughts they might have. We, in turn, are permitted to vocalize our disagreement. That’s the way the founders set it up.

Greg Eagle Admits to Fraud Charges in Federal Court – Faces Prison

Mr. Eagle has previously admitted to actions that certainly sounded like fraud in State civil court, but today a plea agreement was filed in Federal criminal court admitting to several counts of charges for fraud. Mr Eagle has admitted to 6 counts of fraud, in total, putting him at risk for up to 30 years in prison on each count. His agreement guarantees a recommendation for the low-end of his sentencing guidelines, which have not yet been determined. Federal sentencing guidelines use the value of the money in question as an enhancement, and it appears that the charges stem from 2 loans he obtained totally 19 million dollars. The low-end of his guidelines could still include a substantial prison sentence.

We have discussed Greg Eagle before on Crimcourts, when he filed for a restraining order against a Cape Coral resident who criticized him at the Octoberfest event, and online. The restraining order was denied, as it would likely have run afoul of 1st Amendment protections of Free Speech and expression. The issue was elevated because at the time, Greg Eagle’s son Dane Eagle was running a campaign for office. The Eagle Realty web site still proclaims on its home page, “Satisfaction Soars With Eagle’s Strength“.

Eagle Realty web page

Eagle Realty web page