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Pasco man accused of threatening probation officers

Michael Joe Wynperle, in the words of his probation officers, "has deep-seated issues with the justice system."

Wynperle, after all, was once accused of threatening to blind Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober in 2005.

Now authorities say the Wesley Chapel man is still making threats, this time against his probation officers.

Wynperle, 35, was arrested June 24 for violating his probation on charges unrelated to the Ober case: He was accused of disobeying probation officers and tampering with the electronic monitoring device that is supposed to track his every move.

But while he was being arrested in the Dade City probation office, according to a Florida Department of Corrections report, Wynperle delivered this threat:

"I'm going to take the maximum sentence (and) when I get out, I'll take care of business.

"What are you going to do about it? You may have to shoot me."

Wynperle has not been charged in connection with these threats. But according to the Department of Corrections' reports, probation officers consider Wynperle "an imminent threat to himself and the community if he remains on the street."

Authorities investigate threats against their own ranks all the time. But considering Wynperle was once accused of concocting a plot against Hillsborough's top prosecutor, Pinellas-Pasco prosecutor Mike Halkitis said this latest threat has their attention.

"I don't think there's anything concerning about his threat," Halkitis said. "But it has to be taken into consideration that this guy has made a threat before to Mark Ober."

Wynperle was belligerent with probation officers in the weeks before his arrest, according to their reports, and repeatedly cursed at them. He even threatened them during a call to a judge's assistant, according to a spokesman for the 6th Judicial Circuit.

But the reports say that Wynperle, who was also ordered to undergo mental health counseling, was frustrated by having to wear an electronic monitor. The equipment had many technical issues, the reports say.

"He said he could not deal with the stress of electronic monitoring," one probation officer wrote.

Wynperle once threatened to cut the monitor off.

"You know why I'm on this monitor don't you?" he reportedly told a probation officer. "Because I can hurt people."

Wynperle, of 1243 Ambridge Drive in Wesley Chapel, is being held in the Pasco County jail without bond.

In February 2005 detectives say Wynperle told them that he had done surveillance on Ober, knew where he lived, what he drove, and planned to blind the prosecutor by putting lime powder in his car vents.

But authorities later dropped the charge of corruption by threat against a public servant. Wynperle went to prison anyway, agreeing to two years in prison and three years of probation for fraudulently obtaining a driver's license and fraudulent use of personal I.D.

This is Wynperle's second violation of probation charge this year. He was put back on probation 21 days before he was arrested on the latest charge.

He originally faced up to 10 years prison in the I.D. theft case. If he's convicted of this latest probation violation, Wynperle could be sent back to prison to serve the remainder of that sentence.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco man accused of threatening probation officers 07/31/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 2, 2008 5:37pm]

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