South Florida Crime Stoppers Director Going to Jail for Swallowing Tip

By Jaime Lutz

Mar 15, 2014 11:18am
ABC miami dade crimestoppers jt 140315 16x9 608 South Florida Crime Stoppers Director Going to Jail for Swallowing Tip

The director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers was sentenced to 14 days in jail Friday, March 14, 2014, on a contempt of court charge. (ABC News)

It was, he said, a “pretty dry” lunch.

Richard Masten, the director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, was arrested for contempt of court on Friday after refusing to hand over an anonymous crime tip to the judge – instead, choosing to put the paper tip in his mouth, chew it and swallow it, according to ABC affiliate WPLG.

Masten will spend 14 days in jail for his crime, which he said was done on principle as the agency processes anonymous tips for law enforcement.

“The issue is the court asking Crime Stoppers to go back on their promise,” he said to the judge. 

When someone calls Crime Stoppers with a tip, they are supposedly guaranteed anonymity and told they won’t be included in the investigation.

Martin, a former Miami Shores police chief, told WPLG that he ate the tip because he was worried about being taken into custody, where the tip would be confiscated.

His sentence will begin next week.

Crime Stoppers said it could not comment on the issue until Monday when administrators returned to the office.

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