Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy Frantz Felisma arrested on federal charges

Deputy arrested in identity theft scheme
Posted at 12:37 PM, Dec 22, 2016

A Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy is facing federal charges of aggravated identity theft, among other things.

Deputy Frantz Felisma, 42, of Boynton Beach, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday morning.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says they are charging Felisma with aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, access of a protected computer for furtherance of fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity theft.

The alleged crimes happened between January 2013 to July 2014. The U.S. Attorney's Office says they confiscated multiple Apple phones from Felisma's home.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says Felisma is a road patrol deputy and joined the department in July 2009.

The U.S. Attorney's Office asked for Felisma to be held while the case is ongoing. They called Felisma's charges "very serious allegations," and believe Felisma may be a flight risk. Felisma was born in Haiti and his mother still lives there.

The U.S. Attorney's Office also cited "a threat of danger" when asked why the request he be held. Felisma has a detention hearing on Dec. 28.

Felisma is currently on paid administrative leave.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office released this statement in regards to his arrest:

"The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust.  Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct.  This misconduct was reported, investigated and subsequently determined to be criminal in nature, resulting in the charges.  The Sheriff’s Office will remain vigilant to insure that our efforts are professional and meet the high standards that the public has come to expect."

The criminal complaint, outlining the allegations, will be released Thursday afternoon.

Below is a statement from Felisma's attorney:

"Deputy Felisma contests the government's allegations that he is a flight risk and a danger to the community. To the contrary, Deputy Felisma was awarded Deputy of the Quarter and has been a highly regard member of the Sheriff's Office and the community."