Crime Stoppers Administrator Jailed for Defying Judge on Tip Info

Richard Masten as he eats a piece of paper in court

Richard Masten as he eats a piece of paper in court

An administrator for Crime Stoppers in Dade County feels so strongly about keeping his tips anonymous, he is willing to go to jail for it. When a judge ordered Richard Masten to turn over a paper containing tip information, he refused, and proceeded to gobble down the paper in court! The judge found him in contempt, and he faces 14 days in jail if he doesn’t comply by Thursday.
The attorney seeking the info represents someone facing a felony drug charge, and is not seeking the identity of the tipster, but some of the related information. Masten believes the identity of the tipster could be determined if he were to give over the info.
There’s a tension here, because for Crime Stoppers to work, they need to be sure to guarantee anonymity; otherwise the tips could dry up. If you watch the First 48, you know how invaluable those tips can be. Conversely, the defendant has Constitutional rights related to her fair trial and search and seizure. She could be facing prison time and her Constitutional protections may legally outweigh the privacy concerns of a private entity, especially one working the law enforcement. The State may want to consider whether this drug prosecution is worth the damage to the Crime Stoppers’ reputation.

One response to “Crime Stoppers Administrator Jailed for Defying Judge on Tip Info

  1. Pingback: Update on Crimestoppers Admin Who Ate a Tip in Court | crimcourts : A Criminal Law Blog

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