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Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Five Bills

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the following bills:

CS/HB 1347
Consumer Finance Loans
CS/SB 1600 – Interstate Mobility
CS/SB 7040 – Ratification of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Rules Relating to Stormwater
CS/CS/SB 736 – Services Provided by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or Its Agents

CS/CS/SB 770 – Improvements to Real Property

To view the transmittal letters, click here and here.

Florida

VIDEO ALERT: Protect Yourself from Summer Scams! Attorney General Ashley Moody Warns Floridians about Online Shopping Frauds

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla (FNN) — Attorney General Ashley Moody kicks off the 2024 Summer Scam Series: Sunny Days and Shady Deals edition, cautioning Floridians about prevalent online shopping scams. As summer brings enticing sales from online retailers, scammers exploit the surge in traffic by setting up fake websites to deceive consumers with malware and phishing attempts. Attorney General Moody’s “Scams at a Glance: E-Commerce Cons” provides essential tips to safely navigate these seasonal shopping events.

 

“Summer sales attract a lot of online activity, and scammers seize every opportunity to exploit unsuspecting shoppers,” said Attorney General Moody. “We’re launching our 2024 Summer Scams Series to warn about these scams and empower consumers to protect themselves.”

“Scams at a Glance: E-Commerce Cons” outlines common online shopping schemes expected this summer and advises:

  • Verify the legitimacy of online shopping sites before entering payment details.
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited messages.
  • Exercise caution if a deal seems too good to be true.
  • Use credit cards for safer transactions with additional consumer protections.
  • Refrain from paying through third-party sources when purchasing.

Access “Scams at a Glance: E-Commerce Cons” in English here and in Spanish here.

To report online shopping scams or fraudulent activities, visit MyFloridaLegal.com or call 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.

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Florida

Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution Charge Nine Individuals in Fentanyl Trafficking Ring

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution today announced the shutdown of a fentanyl trafficking ring. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested 64 individuals involved in the trafficking organization and Attorney General Moody’s Statewide Prosecutors are charging nine of the defendants with felony counts of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, conspiracy to commit RICO and fentanyl trafficking among other charges. The group, led by Hector Torres, Miguel Castro-Rivera and Luis Delgado, sold fentanyl throughout Polk and Osceola counties. The investigation uncovered that most of the transactions originated from two businesses, a fish-and-bait shop and a motorcycle shop, owned by two of the ring’s conspirators. Over the course of the investigation, authorities seized 742 grams of fentanyl, enough to kill 371,000 Floridians.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida leads the nation in fentanyl seizures, and this case is yet another example of how Sheriff Grady Judd and his deputies are leaders in helping us remove deadly drugs from our streets. Working with Polk County deputies and FDLE, we were able to seize 742 grams of fentanyl in two counties. That is enough poison to kill 371,000 Floridians, and I have no doubt that this drug-interdiction operation saved lives.”

According to the PCSO investigation, Torres, Castro-Rivera and Delgado, and co-conspirators Pilar Rivera, Wilma Fuentes Laureano, Norberto Otero, Jr., Luis Lopez Torres, Abel Flores and Jeimylee Rivera, sold fentanyl in Polk and Osceola counties. The group generally sold small quantities of the deadly substance in an attempt to avoid detection by authorities. The trafficking ring used countersurveillance techniques, such as cameras outside residences and businesses, multiple cellphones and changing the location of drug deals when possible. In addition to the 742 grams of fentanyl, authorities seized more than 3,500 grams of cocaine, 13 grams of methamphetamine, 57 grams of oxycodone and more than 228 grams of marijuana.

Attorney General Moody’s Statewide Prosecutors charged Torres, Castro-Rivera and Delgado with RICO, a first-degree felony. All defendants except Flores are charged with conspiracy to RICO, a first-degree felony. Rivera, Delgado and Fuentes are additionally charged with trafficking in fentanyl, a first-degree felony. Flores is charged with sale of fentanyl, a second-degree felony.

Attorney General Moody’s OSP will prosecute the nine defendants’ cases. The remaining single-judicial circuit cases will be handled by the local state attorney.

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NASA, SpaceX Launch NOAA’s Latest Weather Satellite

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NASA successfully launched the fourth and final satellite in a series of advanced weather satellites for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) at 5:26 p.m. EDT Tuesday. The GOES-U (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) will benefit the nation by providing continuous coverage of weather and hazardous environmental conditions across much of the Western Hemisphere.

The satellite launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Mission managers confirmed at 10:18 p.m. the spacecraft’s solar arrays successfully deployed, and the spacecraft was operating on its own power.

“As communities across the country and the world feel the effects of extreme weather, satellites like GOES-U keep a close watch to monitor weather in real time,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “NASA and NOAA have worked together for several decades to bring critical data back down to Earth to prepare for severe storms, fire detection, and much more. This fleet of advanced satellites is strengthening resilience to our changing climate, and protecting humanity from weather hazards on Earth, and in space.”

In addition to its critical role in terrestrial weather prediction, the GOES constellation of satellites helps forecasters predict space weather near Earth that can interfere with satellite electronics, GPS, and radio communications. The GOES-U satellite goes beyond the capabilities of its predecessors with a new space weather instrument, the Compact Coronograph-1, which blocks the Sun’s bright light so scientists can observe the relatively fainter solar atmosphere.

“There are so many applications for GOES data – many of which directly impact our everyday lives here on Earth,” said Nicky Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “GOES-U will add to the global data record, allowing NASA and NOAA to track changes in our climate and also provide critical information before severe weather and natural disasters strike. NASA looks forward to teaming up with NOAA again as we enter the next generation of Earth-observing satellites.”

Once GOES-U is in a geostationary orbit, about 22,200 miles above Earth, it will be renamed GOES-19. Following a successful orbital checkout of its instruments and systems, GOES-19 will go into service, keeping watch of the weather over most of North America, including the contiguous United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of Africa.

“The data that GOES-U will provide is critical to protecting the safety of people in the Western Hemisphere,” said John Gagosian, director, NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division. “With this successful launch, forecasters will have a resource to better inform and educate the public.”

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, oversaw the acquisition of the GOES-R series spacecraft and instruments and built the magnetometer for GOES-U and its predecessor, GOES-T. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy, provided launch management for the mission.

The GOES-R Series Program is overseen by NOAA, through an integrated NOAA-NASA office that manages the ground system, operates the satellites, and distributes data to users worldwide. Lockheed Martin designs, builds, and tests the GOES-R series satellites. L3Harris Technologies provides the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager and the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data reception.

For more information about GOES, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/content/goes

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