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Motion could put case against ex-cop ‘security guard’ in jeopardy

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The case against an ex-cop turned felon who’s accused of impersonating a security guard in a Kissimmee neighborhood could be in jeopardy due to the actions of a state investigator.

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Joseph Conover and Sherry Raposo are facing charges after 9 Investigates exposed complaints of them harassing homeowners inside Turnberry Reserve. A judge could decide next week to throw out some major evidence against them.

Just days after our initial story aired back in 2019, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services launched an investigation into Conover and Raposo. That’s the state agency that regulates licenses for security officers, but they also have the ability to investigate and pursue criminal charges.

A motion to suppress evidence says a criminal investigation was launched illegally.

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An attorney argues the statements made by Raposo and Conover during an interview with Department of Agriculture investigators on September 26, 2019, were ‘illegally seized’ and ‘obtained only as a result of illegal law enforcement activity.’

The motion goes on to claim that the interview was done under the guise that this was a regulatory investigation, and that a criminal investigator hid a recording device before the interview without ever reading the duo their Miranda rights.

It’s a process Conover is familiar with. He was a company police officer in North Carolina, where investigators say he abused his power. He was convicted in 2017 of obstruction and assault charges after being accused of improperly tasing and arresting people.

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Those charges are the reason residents questioned him appearing to work as a security officer inside Turnberry in the first place.

A judge will review the motion to suppress the interview next week.

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Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.