ORLANDO — Two Brevard Sheriff's deputies were fired for their alleged ties to a prostitute, weeks after a fellow deputy was shot during an undercover prostitution sting, authorities said Sunday.
Deputy John "Casey" Smith was ambushed while serving a warrant last month. The shooter, 65-year-old John Franklin Derossett, allegedly opened fire on Smith, who was undercover as a potential client. Derossett is the uncle of 42-year-old Mary Derossett, who was arrested on prostitution charges.
Her uncle, who is charged with three counts of attempted murder, also was injured when deputies returned fire. Smith, who was wearing a protective vest, has undergone several surgeries.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Sunday that the two deputies believed to be involved in the criminal activities of Mary Derossett had been fired after an extensive investigation. Their names were not released, nor were details of their alleged crimes.
"The conduct of these two employees is criminal, and their actions as a representation of our agency is disgusting," Ivey said in a news conference. "I am extremely proud of the nearly 1,500 members of our agency who work around the clock to protect our citizens, and the actions of these two individuals sicken me."
The Orlando Sentinel reports the investigation resulted in more than 250 arrests over six weeks and was initiated after the robbery and murder of a person who was lured for an act of prostitution.
Authorities said records from the investigation led them to multiple people, including the two deputies. One had been with the department for 14 years and the other for just under two years.
The agency also has opened an internal investigation
"To know that there are participating agencies and officers who have placed their lives on the line to protect our communities, and knowing that we have a deputy who has fought for his life for performing his duties, and then to learn that we had two employees who supported such criminal activities is absolutely reprehensible," Ivey said.
The sheriff also asked for as strong a prosecution by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as the law allows.