PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – On June 28, 2022, a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy was terminated after an investigation revealed a violation of Duties and Responsibilities and Conduct Unbecoming Members of the Agency, according to PCSO.
According to the Administrative Investigation Division, on March 30, 2022, Deputy Sacino was directed by his supervision to conduct proactive initiatives, focusing on traffic enforcement in the area of Seminole Boulevard. Deputy Sacino ignored these instructions and sat idle in his agency-assigned patrol vehicle for over four hours surfing the internet.
Upon completion of the initiative, Deputy Sacino was instructed to provide statistics and related case numbers to his supervisor. Deputy Sacino lied and told his supervisor that he conducted one traffic stop and provided a motorist with a “verbal warning,” when he did not actually conduct any traffic stops.
Deputy Sacino ignored the requests from his supervisors when asked for the case number and documentation for the traffic stop.
The Administrative Investigation Division determined that after being questioned by his supervisors about his inactivity that night, Deputy Sacino drove to a Walmart and found a vehicle lawfully parked in the parking lot.
The vehicle’s owner had not actually done anything wrong or illegal. He never exited his patrol vehicle, ran the license plate of the vehicle, and then left the parking lot.
Deputy Sacino later fabricated a report and entered it into the agency’s report management system (ACISS), falsely documenting that the vehicle’s owner was involved in drug activity.
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In the report, Deputy Sacino stated an anonymous transient flagged him down regarding a suspicious vehicle involved in narcotics activity, which was a lie, according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Sacino then documented that he located this vehicle and falsely documented the owner’s involvement in drug activity.
Deputy Sacino was questioned by his supervision after reviewing his Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) activity, body-worn camera activity, and in-car camera activity for the shift.
When questioned whether or not the traffic stop really occurred, Deputy Sacino originally stated he pulled up next to a vehicle, made contact with the occupants, and gave them a verbal warning for a traffic violation.
When confronted further, Deputy Sacino admitted that the traffic stop did not occur and he fabricated the entire incident.
Additionally, Deputy Sacino intentionally and knowingly falsified the narrative of the suspicious vehicle report. He admitted there was no transient who flagged him down, it was just a vehicle legally parked in the parking lot, and he had no reason to suspect anyone related to the vehicle was involved in narcotics activity. Deputy Sacino intentionally attached a citizen and their vehicle to a narcotic-related report that could have adversely impacted the citizen.
According to PCSO, the report has been deleted from the system and there is no adverse impact to the innocent citizen
During the Administrative Interview, Deputy Sacino admitted to fabricating information into official documents to include CAD and ACISS and stated, “It is very serious, and it’s criminal grounds and grounds to be fired. It’s a serious matter.”
Sheriff Gualtieri stated, “Deputy Sacino did this for self-serving reasons, to conceal his lack of activity and incompetence, with no regard of the consequences this report could have had for the citizen involved, or for any citizen operating that vehicle in the future.”
As a result of the investigation, the Administrative Review Board determined that Deputy Sacino committed these violations and Sheriff Gualtieri terminated Deputy Sacino effective Tuesday, June 28, 2022.