Southwest Ranches Mother Sues Jenne, 2 Deputies for False Arrest: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Almost three years ago, Jaye Master, a mother of three, spent 31 days in jail after her arrest on charges of armed burglary and grand theft -- charges that were later dropped.

On Tuesday, Master filed suit against those she claimed were responsible: Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne, and sheriff's detectives Shane Campbell and Christian Zapata.

A state investigation looked into whether the two detectives were among sheriff's deputies who falsified charges in order to clear cases and improve crime rates.

Zapata resigned last fall after he was acquitted of eight criminal charges and the state dropped six others. Felony and misdemeanor counts are still pending against Campbell, who was suspended without pay last fall. Prosecutors have said he and other deputies made up confessions and blamed crimes on the wrong people.

Master, of Southwest Ranches, said she was among those wrong people. In May 2004, according to her lawsuit, Campbell and Zapata arrested her teenage son for a neighborhood burglary in which two pistols were stolen. Days later, they arrested Master on similar charges as her son, with Campbell reporting she had thrown the stolen firearms into a nearby pond.

Master later said it was two air pistols found in her house that she threw in the pond.

Master spent 31 days in jail after Campbell and Zapata failed to appear at two bond hearings, the suit says. When the detectives didn't show for a third, the state dropped charges against Master. The status of her son's case was not known.

Her Fort Lauderdale attorney, Bradford Cohen, said the suit should reveal whether the detectives were ordered by higher-ups to clear cases by filing false reports. Sheriff's spokesman Elliot Cohen said his office hadn't seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment.

Robert Nolin can be reached at rnolin@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4525.

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