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Four indicted in prison industries corruption case



TAMPA _ A statewide grand jury has indicted three former supervisors of Florida's prison industries organization and one other person on racketeering, grand theft and fraud charges. The three employees worked for the south agricultural group of Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE). The fourth defendant is the wife of one of the former employees. A grand jury in Orlando charged that between 1986 and 1991 the defendants formed several shell companies that provided services and products to PRIDE at inflated prices. They defrauded PRIDE of about $230,000, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said. Charged are Byron R. Walker, 56, of South Bay in Palm Beach County; Joyce A. Hunter, 47, of Arcadia, in DeSoto County; and Gralmon "Zack" Tucker, 63, and his wife Mary Tucker, 60, both of Fort Ogden, also in DeSoto County. All four were arrested Friday morning. An audit sparked by a former employee's complaint disclosed discrepancies in the program. The case will tried in Pinellas County, PRIDE's headquarters, by the Tampa office of the Statewide Prosecutor. PRIDE markets products and services of inmates.

Competency hearing set

in extortion case

TAMPA _ The mental competency of former boys' home operator Gene Jandreau will be judged later this month. Jandreau is charged with trying to extort $5-million from Tampa businessman Bob Thomas after he was abducted last year. U.S. Magistrate Charles Wilson set a hearing Feb. 28 to consider whether Jandreau is competent for trial. Jandreau, 52, was examined in December at Miami's Metropolitan Correctional Center after his attorney said Jandreau had been delusional. Thomas, 66, was taken from his Palma Ceia home at gunpoint Jan. 14, 1991, but returned home unharmed about 48 hours later. The FBI arrested Jandreau in June. Gustav W. Kloszewski, 32, of South Florida also was indicted earlier this month on extortion charges.


St. Petersburg resident

charged in conspiracy

A St. Petersburg resident was one of more than 50 people arrested or sought in a conspiracy to bribe an undercover U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officer to obtain documents. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta said people from six states were arrested or sought in the case. Officials said Khan Hsueh, also known as Khan Chan, 27, of St. Petersburg was among those charged with conspiracy and bribery to "procure documents and benefits for individuals who were in the United States or who were otherwise seeking to remain in the United States." The prosecutors many of the illegal aliens paid more than $50,000 apiece for the documents.

Man pinned under truck

when stands collapse

PINELLAS PARK _ A 33-year-old man was injured Friday when the front of a truck collapsed on top of him, firefighters said. Rick Dudley was working underneath the front of a truck at Tom's Sod, 12156 66th St. N in Pinellas Park, when the jack stands it was resting on collapsed, said firefighter Jerry Lubicki. Dudley was pinned underneath the truck until workers lifted it off him with a forklift. Dudley stable condition late Friday at Bayfront Medical Center.