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Riemer downplays the influence of the money. He says that long before he filed the affidavit, he and Lamberti met with lead investigator Dave Nicholson about the Reyka case. He declined to reveal what occurred during the meetings, but he said he shared some information and ultimately didn't hear anything back from BSO.
In other words, there wasn't the kind of cooperation one might hope for during such a sensitive and important murder investigation. And though Riemer downplays the possible reward payoff, the prospect of it was surely hovering over the meetings.
Another point of contention may have involved the Jones case. Leljedal confirmed that BSO is offering her no deals for cooperation in the case.
Jones, a nail technician who works in a salon and lives in Coral Springs, has denied she had anything to do with the guns. Jones' half-brother is the half-brother of the gang's leader, Timothy Johnson.
I reached Jones, who has bonded out of jail, and she declined to comment on the case. "I'm not going to say anything, and I don't know anything," she said.
She described her interrogation during a January 30 bond hearing, saying that two detectives tried to extract a confession from her. She claimed one of the detectives "looked like he might have drunk a little." They were unsuccessful: Jones denied any involvement with the guns and said she didn't know of any link between Timothy Johnson and the Reyka murder.
"I'm not this huge criminal I'm being made out to be...," she said during the hearing. "I'm being railroaded."
While investigating the case, Riemer took numerous sworn statements and gathered what he says is more than enough evidence to convict the killers. In addition to the dismantling and disposal of the gun, my source says:
• Riemer established that the suspects had secured the use of a white sedan from an area car lot shortly before Reyka's murder. A surveillance camera caught the killers speeding away from the scene of the crime in a white sedan, believed to be either a Crown Victoria or a Grand Marquis. BSO saturated the media with photographs of the car, but the vehicle has yet to surface.
• The P.I. culled details about the crime from associates of the gang. For instance, Riemer learned that gang members were changing into their black robbery masks when Reyka approached. Riemer was told the number of shots that were fired and where Reyka was hit.
• One associate claimed that Joshua, the 28-year-old alleged shooter, said he had killed "a cracker" shortly after Reyka's murder.
History will tell if Riemer and Pappacoda made the right move in filing papers with the court, but there's no question it's an extraordinary measure. Florida law has no mention of civilian arrest warrants, Reimer says. Such arrests are, however, allowed under English common law, and Florida statutes dictate that such laws, so long as they don't conflict with the U.S. Constitution, are "of force" in the Sunshine State.
The duo's probable-cause affidavit has been a hot potato at the courthouse. Riemer and Pappacoda initially filed their affidavit with Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato. She bowed out of the case last Thursday, handing it to fellow Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes.
Holmes didn't hold the probable-cause affidavit very long either. Last week, it was transferred to the most powerful figure at the Broward County Courthouse, Chief Judge Victor Tobin. Conceivably, Tobin could order arrest warrants if he believes Pappacoda and Riemer have proven the case.
But don't count on it. Such a ruling would be a hard slap in the face to Lamberti and BSO. I don't see Tobin making that move, whether it's warranted or not. What needs to happen, obviously, is for all parties to put the squabbling aside and use every shred of evidence available to put away the killers. That might just lead to justice for Reyka's family and Broward County.
Then let the credit — and reward — fall where they may.