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Felon who informed in Aisenberg case is sentenced to prison

TAMPA — A felon who figured prominently last year in leads about the disappearance of baby Sabrina Aisenberg was sentenced Thursday to 37 months in federal prison on an unrelated weapons charge.

Scott Overbeck, 44, of Tampa pleaded guilty in October to being a felon in possession of a firearm or destructive device. Investigators found a commercial firework mortar shell with an 8-inch fuse and shotgun shells duct-taped around the shell's perimeter while searching Overbeck's home for drugs in December 2007.

Overbeck's name became intertwined with Sabrina's disappearance this summer, after the St. Petersburg Times first reported that felon Dennis Byron, a longtime friend of Overbeck's, told detectives that Overbeck said he disposed of Sabrina's remains. Overbeck has not been charged in the child's 1997 disappearance.

Sabrina remains missing.

In court on Thursday, Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich focused on Overbeck's criminal history. She outlined his arrests dating back two decades, which included multiple drunken driving arrests, aggravated assault, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

"Mr. Overbeck, you've got a bad career," Kovachevich said. "This is the last chance you're getting."

Overbeck blamed his most recent run-ins with the law on his friendships over the past five years. He has said in court that it was a friend who built the improvised device as a joke.

"I forgot it was around," he told the judge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Riedel called it a homemade bomb.

"He thought it wasn't really anything much more than a firework," David Secular, Overbeck's public defender, told the judge.

To which Kovachevich replied, "It's a good thing he doesn't celebrate on the Fourth of July."

Overbeck asked to serve his time near Wichita, Kan., to be close to his mother. He will receive credit for the 14 months he's already been in custody.

Reach Kevin Graham at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Felon who informed in Aisenberg case is sentenced to prison 01/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 7:32am]
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