Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers Head Speaks About Eating Tip in Court

Richard Masten is back in court Thursday morning on contempt of court charges.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The executive director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is facing up to two weeks behind bars on a contempt of court charge after he ate a tip. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos spoke with Richard Masten about the bold move. (Published Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014)

    The executive director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is heading back to court Thursday morning, and he says he is fully prepared to do time.

    Richard Masten is facing up to two weeks in jail on a contempt of court charge after he stuffed an anonymous tip in his mouth instead of handing it over to a judge Friday.

    Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers Head Facing Contempt of Court

    [MI] Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers Head Facing Contempt of Court
    The executive director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is facing a contempt of court charge after he refused to turn information over to a judge Friday. Ari Odzer reports. (Published Friday, Mar 14, 2014)

    "[The] bailiff will take me into custody, I imagine I'll be led away and led away and taken to the Dade County jail," Masten said.

    He said he's hoping the judge will reconsider shortening the sentence, but he still stands by his decision.

    "We've never compromised a tipster's identity," he said. "We've never given in to revealing their identity and I certainly wasn't going to be the first one."

    Richard Masten was appearing before Judge Victoria Brennan when he refused to share information related to a tip in a cocaine possession case. Instead, he stuffed the paper containing the tip into his mouth while sitting in court.

    "I think sometimes passion can cloud judgment," Brennan said about the act.

    The judge was not asking for the identity of the tipster but rather to review the information herself.

    But Masten declined to show the tip to the judge so she could consider whether releasing it would compromise the tipster's identity. He said he couldn't trust the process and that he worried agreeing in this case would be a slippery slope.

    "Not on my watch," Masten said. "That's the importance of not setting that precedent because today it was a small case, tomorrow it could be a huge case."

    Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers was started in 1983 and has received tens of thousands of tips and led to thousands of arrests.