Ex-deputy enters not-guilty plea in bribery case

Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 12:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 12:43 p.m.

A former Alachua County deputy entered a not-guilty plea Wednesday morning to federal charges of soliciting and accepting bribes.

Josue Ostolaza was arrested Tuesday on a six-count indictment that included charges that he conspired to commit bribery and unlawfully accessed a protected computer.

Ostolaza did not speak during the 10-minute-long hearing in front of Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice M. Paul. Instead, Ostolaza's attorney, Henry Ferro of Ocala, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Ferro also asked that Ostolaza be allowed to remain free until his trial, which was set for Oct. 12. After Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Smith said he had no objection, Paul ruled that Ostolaza would be allowed to remain free as long as he does not travel outside the court's jurisdiction. Paul made one exception. He approved a plan for Ostolaza to attend the funeral of his wife's grandmother in Virginia over the next few days.

According to the indictment, Ostolaza accepted more than $14,000 between January 2003 and December 2007 in exchange for using his influence as a deputy. Specifically, Ostolaza is accused of taking money from Robert Krasnow in exchange for protecting him from domestic violence investigations and possible arrests.

Ostolaza was fired by Sheriff Sadie Darnell in 2007 following an internal investigation into allegations involving the Krasnow family.

If convicted on all charges, Ostolaza faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

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