Judge suspends use of GPS monitoring in new criminal cases



APOPKA, Fla. - Chief Judge Belvin Perry has suspended use of GPS technology for new criminal cases.

Perry, chief judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, said that those who are currently on GPS monitoring will continue to be monitored by approved monitoring companies.

The suspension of GPS monitoring came about as result of a shooting in Apopka on Easter when, according to police, Wilfred Gregory shot and critically wounded 45-year-old Calvin Johnson.

Police said Gregory, who was on GPS monitoring at the time, then cut off his GPS device and has not yet been apprehended.

An administrative order requires GPS companies to alert law enforcement immediately if defendants tamper with or destroy their GPS monitor.

But police said Marcel Aponte, of Court Programs of Central Florida, waited more than six hours to alert them.

Apopka police are looking into charging Aponte, possibly for tampering with evidence. They said Gregory left his GPS monitor on for about 20 minutes after the shooting and then cut it off.

Aponte found it in a wooded area but waited several hours to notify police of the violation, even though he knew they were still searching for the monitor, authorities said.

"He cut that GPS off 20 minutes after the shooting," said Officer Ed Chittenden. "Had we known right at that time, we would have been able to go right to that area and track him."

Apopka police said more than 20 federal, state, county and city law enforcement officers are on the lookout for Gregory, who they said is armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact authorities.

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