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Oracle International Facts and Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Kristina Waddell 1998

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Florida & International Corporate & Financial Fraud Investigators

PO Box 10728, Naples, FL. 34101

Opening Report
Interim Report
Closing Report


Tel: 239 304 1639

Interview Memorandum
Analysis Memorandum
Surveillance Report


Fax: 239 304 1640

Collateral Request

Report Number: 98-129-001


July 31, 1998 Closed:

Case Agent:

Bill E. Branscum


Law Firm of Patrick E. Geraghty

Report Title:

Facts and Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Kristina Waddell

On July 31, 1998, the Reporting Investigator (RI) met with Kathy and
Larry Waddell, and Attorney Pat Geraghty at the Law Firm of Patrick E.
Geraghty (the Firm), 2069 First Street, Suite 100, Fort Myers, Florida 33902.
Atty. Geraghty agreed to undertake the Waddell’s case related to the death of their
daughter Kristina, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident in the vicinity of
Fort Myers Beach on July 5, 1998.
According to the associated police report, Kristina Waddell was the
passenger in a vehicle driven by Erik S. Hemerson that was traveling south on
San Carlos Boulevard when it was hit by a vehicle operated by Terry Lynn Garnto
that had been traveling north on San Carlos Boulevard. Garnto, who was reported
to be intoxicated at the time, evidently lost control of his vehicle, crossed the
centerline, and struck Hemerson’s vehicle.
Atty. Geraghty requested that Oracle International (the Agency) review
the matter and evaluate the assets of the potentially culpable parties. In so doing,
the Agency discovered that that facts and circumstances surrounding this accident
were far more complicated and convoluted than they initially appeared to be.
This report delineates the results of those inquiries that have been initiated
thus far.
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Page 1 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
The driver of the at fault vehicle was identified as being Terry Lynn Garnto, a
thirty-three year old white male born in Florida on February 2, 1965. His social security
number, 266-57-7887, was issued in Florida in 1974. His current Florida driver’s license,
G653-812-65-042-0, was issued September 10, 1996; it expires February 2, 2000. Prior
to the accident, Garnto lived with his mother, Joyce Ervin, in her mobile home at 813
Redish Circle in Clewiston, FL 33440. His phone number at home was (941) 902-0779.
An inquiry related to his driving history revealed that Garnto has been involved in
several motor vehicle accidents in the past and has had numerous citations related to
moving violations.
An inquiry related to his criminal history revealed that Garnto has been arrested
forty-two times as an adult. This document, his driving history and his state criminal
incarceration history are attached to this report as Exhibit 2.
His arrest record includes charges related to, inter alia:

Grand Larceny
Armed Robbery
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
Escape – (multiple)
Petty Larceny
Aggravated Battery
Dealing in Stolen Property
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Aggravated Assault
Child Abuse
Battery on a Spouse
Forced Entry into a Dwelling
Fleeing/Eluding Police
Drug Possession
Failure to Pay Child Support
Numerous Probation Violations

Page 2 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
On September 20, 1996, Garnto was arrested in Hendry County for aggravated
battery – he was alleged to have assaulted an informant who lapsed into a coma for
approximately three weeks and had a stroke as a consequence of the beating. Garnto
evidently managed to post bond as evidenced by the fact that he was arrested again on a
drug charge while waiting to stand trial on the battery charge.
Specifically, on April 23, 1997, Garnto, using the name Terry Simms, was
arrested by the Belle Glade PD for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud – he used, or
caused to be used, a bogus prescription for a controlled substance. He was released
pending trial and disappeared; a warrant was issued for his arrest.
On October 14, 1997, Garnto was convicted by jury of battery in Hendry County
related to the assault on the informant. This was a first degree misdemeanor; Garnto
could have been sentenced to no more than a year. He was remanded to the custody of
the Hendry County Jail - sentencing was scheduled for November, 1997.
On October 16, 1997, Garnto signed a document entitled, Rules and Regulations
for Trustees that concisely outlines the Hendry County Policy related to the award of
“good time” and “trustee time.” In reviewing this document, attached as Exhibit 3, the
reader will note that there is nothing vague or ambiguous regarding the rate at which
these creditable times are awarded. Garnto acknowledged that:
¾ “Good Time” is awarded at a rate of “five days for each twenty-five day
period of time served” (paragraph 1) and
¾ “Trustee Time” is awarded at a rate of “five additional days of good time
for working as a trustee for each twenty-five day period of time served”
(paragraph 2) and
¾ “Trustee Time” does not begin to accrue until “once I have been sentenced”
(paragraph 2)
On November 10, 1997, Hendry County Judge John Carlin sentenced Garnto to
serve the maximum possible sentence - 364 days in the Hendry County Jail. Judge Carlin
remanded Garnto to the custody of the Hendry County Sheriff and granted Garnto “a
total of 29 days for time served,” see documents attached as Exhibit 1.
Note that the twenty-nine days included the basic good time as there are twentyfive days between October 16 and November 10. In other words, when Garnto began
serving his sentence on November 10, 1997, he had 335 more days to serve.

Page 3 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
To calculate the minimum number of days he would have been required to serve
as a trustee, beginning on November 10, 1997, one would solve for X where:
[X +(X/25 x 10)]= 335
[25X + (X x 10)]= 335 x 25
25X + 10X = 8375
35X = 239.29
This is basic algebra; the simpler solution is to recognize that a trustee serves 25
days and receives credit for 35 which is to say that a trustee serves twenty-five/thirtyfifths (or five/sevenths) of his sentence. 5/7 x 335 = 239.29; Garnto had 240 more days
to serve.
As of November 10, 1997, according to the Hendry County document entitled
Rules and Regulations for Trustees, the Honorable Judge John S. Carlin had accounted
for the next 240 days (or eight months) of Terry Lynn Garnto’s life. Had Garnto served
the minimum number of days required to satisfy this sentence, he would have been in jail
on July 5, 1998 – the day he killed Kristina Waddell.
According to Garnto, whose statement is attached as Exhibit 10, he had been
incarcerated about two months when HCSO investigators approached him in an effort to
recruit him as a Confidential Informant (CI). The HCSO wanted him to arrange drug
deals in Clewiston in an effort to deal with the epidemic of crack cocaine that plagues the
area. In return, Garnto claims that Hendry County authorities offered to put him on a
work release program that would give him an opportunity to live at home while engaged
in this activity. He also claims that they promised to shorten his sentence.
The reader should note that Garnto originally testified in a sworn statement that
he approached County authorities and offered to be an informant and made no mention of
any “deal” to get out of jail early. Hendry County authorities have vehemently denied
that there was any deal whatsoever. Sheriff Ronnie Lee is quoted as saying, “That simply
is not true. Terry Garnto served his time in our jail. He only became an informant the
last three weeks of his stay here.”
Garnto states that Sheriff Lee’s assertion to the effect that, “he only became an
informant the last three weeks of his stay here” is dispositively belied by a document he
signed when he agreed to become an informant. Specifically, he claims that he signed a
CI Agreement in early February acknowledging the rules and limitations associated with
his role as a Confidential Informant. The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has
acknowledged the existence of the document itself but has not yet provided it; the
Agency expects to receive it on or before October 17, 1998, pursuant to a 119 request.

Page 4 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
Although the CI Agreement has not yet been produced, it has been established
that Garnto was released from the custody of the Hendry County Jail on February 3,
1998. He was allowed to live at home and report to duty each morning at the Clewiston
sub station. Had Judge Carlin wanted Garnto sentenced to community control, he could
have ordered it – the county effectively amended his sentence.
On February 3, 1998, Garnto signed an agreement outlining the terms of the
Hendry County Work Release Program. In this agreement, attached as Exhibit 4, Garnto
agreed that he would:
a. “at no time be under the influence of alcohol or drugs” [see line 1]
b. “show up at the Clewiston Sheriff’s sub station promptly by 8:00 AM
everyday and not quit work until 4:00 PM every day.” [see line3]
c. “bring a bag lunch from home.” [see line 4]
d. refrain from entering “any establishment where intoxicating beverages are
furnished or hang around any place where intoxicating beverages are sold or
furnished.” [see line 5]
e. abide by these terms “for the duration of [his] sentence with the Hendry
County Sheriff’s Office.
Admittedly, this document does not prove that Garnto’s claim that they released
him is true since the fact that he signed the agreement does not prove that he was ever
actually released. There is, however, ample, irrefutable evidence to establish the fact.
On February 8, 1998, five days after his release, Garnto was arrested again.
According to Hendry County Arrest Report number 98E000952, attached as Exhibit 5,
Deputy Sheriff Ronald Evans observed Garnto walking eastbound on West El Paso
Avenue, Clewiston, FL at 01:32 AM. Deputy Evans reports that he was “staggering” and
“exhibited a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage.” Deputy Evans discovered the
existence of the outstanding felony warrant, arrested Garnto and transported him to the
Clewiston sub station.
Clewiston resident Mark Dennis provided a sworn statement in which he asserts
that he was arrested in February, 1998, and was in the holding cell at the Clewiston sub
station when Garnto was arrested. He states that Garnto had a “$20 rock” in his sock at
the time of his arrest and further states that Garnto gave the crack cocaine to him because
he (Garnto) knew he was going to be strip searched.

Page 5 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
Dennis stated that he and Garnto were subsequently transported to the Hendry
County Jail where he (Dennis) was released immediately after his initial appearance.
Dennis’ associated arrest and booking reports, attached as Exhibit 6, support his story in
all respects.
On February 9, 1998, Garnto was transferred to the Bell Glade Jail in West Palm
Beach County to await trial. Garnto states that one of the investigators he had agreed to
work for visited him at the Belle Glade Jail and assured him that he would be allowed to
return to Hendry County where he would continue working as a CI while on the work
release program.
On February 25, 1998, Lt. Susan Sibbald, Hendry County Jail Administrator,
wrote a letter to West Palm Beach Asst. State Attorney Tim Beckwith acknowledging
their verbal agreement that she would accept Garnto back in her facility after he was
sentenced with the understanding that the Belle Glade sentence would run concurrent
with the sentence Garnto was serving at that time. This correspondence documenting this
understanding is attached as Exhibit 7.
In reviewing this document, note that Lt. Sibbald states that:
¾ “Mr. Garnto was serving time in my jail facility prior to being brought to
West Palm Beach on warrant charges [see paragraph 2]

“Mr. Garnto will be serving time in our facility until the end of May” [see
paragraph 2]

¾ “Mr. Garnto has been working with us on several projects and has been very
cooperative in completing tasks that are asked of him.” [see paragraph 4]
The evidence certainly appears to support Garnto’s claim that he was working as
an informant when he was arrested. Were it not for his utility as an informant, why else
would the HCSO be so eager to have him back and so willing to forgive the fact that he
had violated the terms of his work release agreement?
On April 2, 1998, Garnto was sentenced by Bell Glade authorities to serve 365
days with credit for time served from October 14, 1997 to April 2, 1998 (171 days
according to Lt. Sibbald’s handwritten note on the attached sheet). On this same sheet,
note that Garnto was expected to serve an additional 194 days. Also note that Garnto was
given credit for 19 days gain time while incarcerated in Belle Glade – 19 days that Lt.
Sibbald’s note says was “denied.” These documents are attached as Exhibit 8.

Page 6 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
The representation that the gain time awarded in Belle Glade was denied is a bit
misleading – Hendry County apparently credited him with gain time as a trustee instead.
It is not clear how Hendry authorities can justify awarding Garnto trustee time for time
spent at another facility in which he was not a trustee and was not credited with trustee
time by the facility. In actuality, the issue is purely rhetorical, once Garnto was returned
to Hendry County, he never served another day in jail.
On April 19, 1998, Garnto was returned the Hendry County Jail. He was
immediately released from jail and delivered to his mother’s house by County authorities.
In spite of the fact that he had violated the terms of his previous work release agreement,
Garnto was once again assigned to the Clewiston work release program as evidenced by
the previously referenced agreement (Exhibit 4) that he signed on February 3, 1998, and
again on April 19, 1998.
Garnto was undeniably working as an informant in April as evidenced by the
averments of DEA Task Force Agent Dennis Eads in the sworn affidavit attached as
Exhibit 9. The records related to his informant activities make it clear that Garnto was
walking the streets and buying drugs during this time period.
On May 26, 1998, Garnto was released from custody entirely after serving 224
days of the 364 day sentence related to the battery charge. Garnto claims that he was
released early due to his efforts as a CI but his claim that he was released prior to the
termination of his sentence is vehemently contested by Hendry County authorities who
claim that he served his time and received no special treatment whatsoever. In an effort
to obtain documents that would explain this situation, this Agency served the Hendry
County Sheriff’s Office with a “119 request.”
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office responded with an “accounting” in the form
of a document that appears to be a computer printout showing that Garnto was credited
with 70 days gain time and 70 days trustee time. 70 + 70 = 140 + 225 days served = 365.
Although the numbers add up, nobody seems able to account for where they come from.
In an effort to determine the etiology of the figures provided by Hendry County,
the Agency served the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office with a second “119 request.” Thus
far, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has not provided any explanation as to how they
arrived at these figures. The evidence suggests that someone merely subtracted the
number of days served from the sentence and claimed that he accrued the difference.
The mathematics involved are not complicated. According to the existing policy
of the Hendry County Jail, as set forth in the document Garnto signed the day he was
incarcerated, a trustee is awarded five days trustee time and five days gain time for every
twenty-five days physically served after their sentencing date.

Page 7 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
It is simply not possible, under the existing Hendry County policy, to be credited
for 140 days after serving 225 days. A Hendry County trustee who served 225 days after
he was sentenced would be entitled to ten days total gain time for every twenty five
served. 225/25 = 9 and 9 x 10 = 90.
Finally, it should be noted that 364 days is a commonplace sentence in any county
jail – it is the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor conviction. If the HCSO actually
believes their calculations are accurate, they must have released an enormous number of
inmates prior to the end of their sentences.
The math is not the only problem; the two remaining probative questions are:
1. According to what authority was Garnto awarded trustee status?
2. What standards and criteria formed the basis for this decision?
Florida Statute §951.21 provides that each prisoner incarcerated in a county
correctional facility shall receive 5 days gain time per month as described above and
§951.21(3) further provides that:
“The Board of County Commissioners, upon recommendation of the
warden or sheriff, may adopt a policy to allow for county prisoners, in addition to
time credits, an extra good time allowance for meritorious conduct or exceptional
industry, in accordance with the existing policy of the Department of Corrections
for such awards for such prisoners.”
In other words, there is no statutory provision for extra good time in the absence
of a policy adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. A county sheriff has no
authority to award any extra good time allowance except as set forth in such a policy.
The Hendry County Attorney, Carl Kern, has verified that no such policy had ever been
enacted prior to Garnto’s release. Therefore, it would appear that the Hendry County Jail
has never had any statutory authority to credit any inmate with anything more than the
standard time credit of five (5) days per month – Garnto, as well as everyone else
similarly sentenced, should have served at least 304 days.

Furthermore, even if such a policy had been enacted prior to Garnto’s release, he
would not have qualified for it. As set forth in §951.21(3), any policy adopted by a
Board of County Commissioners must be enacted in concordance with the existing policy
of the Department of Corrections related to these awards. According to the criteria set
forth in the Florida State Model Jail Guidelines, Garnto did not qualify to be awarded
trustee status.

Page 8 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
According to Collier County Jail Administrators for example, trustee status in
Collier County must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners on a case by
case basis. No inmate with any sort of prior conviction related to drugs or violence can
qualify. No inmate with an extensive criminal history is considered.
Terry Lynn Garnto did not serve his Hendry County sentence, or any substantial
part of it and, other than the time he spent in their correctional facility, he served none of
the West Palm Beach sentence whatsoever. If he had, Kristina Waddell would not have
been killed in the car accident on July 5, 1998 -- the situation is actually far more
complicated than that.
The evidence suggests that Garnto was actively attempting to broker a drug deal
at the behest of the DEA immediately prior to the accident and the people involved have
all testified that it was his involvement in this activity, coupled with the fact that he had
neither supervision nor backup at the time, that led to the accident in which Kristina
Waddell was killed. The following chronology of events is derived from the witnesses’
During the weeks prior to the 1998 Fourth of July weekend, Garnto worked as an
informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and negotiated the purchase
of relatively small quantities of cocaine from Marcus Lynn Dennis whose statement is
attached as Exhibit 14. The target of the DEA investigation was Dennis’ alleged
supplier, Jesus Antonio Sanchez whose statement is attached as Exhibit 15. Both agreed
to be interviewed on the condition that the questions be limited to those they could
answer without incriminating themselves.
It is standard practice to attempt to “flush” narcotics suppliers out into the open by
negotiating a large enough “buy” that the supplier will reveal himself and deal with the
ultimate purchaser directly. Garnto reportedly bought increasing quantities of cocaine
from Dennis on behalf of his buyer, DEA Task Force Agent (TFA) Eads, and represented
to Dennis that his buyer was interested in purchasing half a kilogram of cocaine for
$11,000. Obviously, nobody would entrust Garnto with $11,000 in cash so a face-to-face
meeting with the buyer would be necessary to consummate the transaction.
Unfortunately, Dennis and his girlfriend Melissa Garrett had reason to believe that
Garnto was an informant. In her statements, attached as Exhibits 12 & 131, Garrett states
that she believed Garnto was an informant because he called their house to set up drug
deals from phone numbers that caller ID could not identify.


In her second statement, Garrett states that she has heard that Sheriff Ronnie Lee is Garnto’s uncle; investigation
revealed that this is not true. The person she cited as the sourcce of this information was interviewed, he stated that
he had heard this speculation while in jail but had no reason to believe it was true.

Page 9 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
Being suspicious, they asked him where he was on several occasions and then
called those places immediately after he hung up and verified that he was not and had not
been there. Garrett and Dennis devised a scheme calculated to confirm their suspicions.
In the late afternoon or early evening of Friday, February 3, 1998, Garnto
purchased a small quantity of cocaine from Dennis under the supervision of TFA Eads.
According to Garnto, Eads maintained distant surveillance and electronically monitored
their conversations which were recorded.
One might wonder why they would sell to Garnto if they thought he was an
informant. According to Jesus Sanchez, he saw someone in a red Ford dual wheel pickup
truck meet with Garnto after one of Garnto’s buys. Believing this was a law enforcement
officer, Jesus Sanchez followed Garnto to his residence and confronted him. Garnto
responded by producing a wad of bills and a piece of pressed cocaine that Sanchez had
provided claiming that the vehicle Sanchez had observed was someone Garnto was
selling to. Sanchez knew that law enforcement never rewards informants with a percent
of the buy. One of the HCSO detectives involved does drive a red dual wheeled pickup –
Garnto was evidently holding back on them.
Believing that federal agents would not be available on a holiday weekend,
especially on short notice, Garrett and Dennis chose this opportunity to agree to attempt
to arrange a face-to-face meeting between Dennis’ source and Garnto’s buyer. This
meeting was to transpire at Fort Myers Beach on the Fourth of July weekend. Jesus
Sanchez traveled to Fort Myers Beach that evening and checked into a hotel; he states
that he remained there for three days.
On Saturday, July 4, 1998, Garnto, Dennis and Garrett traveled to Fort Myers
Beach in a car owned and operated by Garnto’s girlfriend, Mary A. Harper whose
statement is attached as Exhibit 11. The witnesses all agree that Harper had no idea that
there was an underlying reason for the trip – this assertion is supported by the fact that
whereas everyone else involved had extensive criminal records, Harper has no record at
all. The four of them shared a room paid for by Melissa Garrett.
On Saturday, July 4, 1998, the group spent the day on Fort Myers Beach. That
afternoon, Dennis told Garnto that his source was physically present at the beach and
willing to meet the buyer. As they suspected, Garnto was unable to contact TFA Eads.
In Dennis’ words, “Garnto failed the test.”
On Sunday, July 5, 1998, Garnto consumed a substantial amount of tequila and
was thoroughly intoxicated by mid-morning. Later that afternoon, Dennis confronted
Garnto and told him that Jesus Sanchez was now convinced that he was an informant.

Page 10 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
Everyone involved (other than Sanchez who was not present at the time) has
testified that Dennis did not want to be involved in a murder and warned Garnto that
Sanchez intended to kill him. Garnto, Dennis, Garrett and Harper prepared to leave the
At approximately 3 PM that afternoon, as they were preparing to leave, Garnto
saw Sanchez and another male in the parking lot. Garnto states that Sanchez was parked
in a green Ford Explorer at the time. Garnto panicked, ordered everyone out of the
vehicle including the driver, and fled the parking lot - Sanchez left the lot immediately
behind him and heading in the same direction. Sanchez, and everyone else involved,
corroborate Garnto’s statements. Sanchez does drive a green Ford Explorer.
Harper’s car had defective windshield wipers and a broken seat that had been
propped up with a brick. At the time Garnto sped from the parking lot it had begun to
rain. A few minutes later, Garnto lost control of the vehicle, crossed the center line and
struck the BMW in which Kristina Waddell was a passenger. Garnto, and the four
occupants of the BMW were seriously injured; Kristina Waddell’s injuries were fatal.
Sanchez was right behind him. In his sworn statement, he admits that he got out
of his truck and checked on the status of those involved. He made an effort to help some
of the passengers in the BMW; he states that he was a lot more worried about them than
he was about Garnto.
Garnto has testified that FTA Eads met him in his hospital room a few days after
the accident. This claim is corroborated by Mary Harper. Garnto further claims that he
met with Eads and another agent a few weeks later in the Burger King parking lot in
Labelle. At that time, Eads is reported to have given Garnto $1000 in cash which Garnto
now claims was an incentive to flee the jurisdiction of the court and those who might
harm him due to his role as an informant. Garnto claims that he “knew better.”
Garnto was ultimately arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter and remains
incarcerated in the Lee County Correctional Facility in Fort Myers, Florida pending trial.
The charges related to Garnto’s work as an informant have all been dropped including the
federal charges filed against Dennis and Sanchez.

Page 11 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
The death of Kristina Waddell was a tragedy that could, and should, have
been avoided but there is no evidence of corrupt motive or evil intent on the part
of any of the law enforcement officers or agencies involved.
The Firm should be aware that I traveled to Hendry County and met with
Chief Deputy Grady Johnson on September 3, 1998. Chief Johnson indicated that
he was generally aware of the situation and acknowledged that there had been
allegations that his agency had released Garnto prior to the end of his sentence.
Chief Johnson stated that an internal investigation was underway and he assured
me that his agency would cooperate with regards to my efforts to establish the
facts. He suggested that I arrange a meeting with Sheriff Lee who was not present
at the time.
I subsequently met with Sheriff Lee who reiterated the position expressed
by Chief Johnson. Sheriff Lee stated that his “door would be open” at any time
and expressed concern regarding the situation and the associated allegations. He
asked that he be advised of any significant information as it was developed.
Throughout this investigation, Sheriff Lee’s door has been open and I have
apprised him of the facts as they were discovered; this cooperation has gone both
ways. Most of the documents attached to this report were provided by the Hendry
County Sheriff’s Office and many were in their exclusive custody and control.
While it is not clear who authorized Garnto’s early release, it is clear that I have
not been burdened or obstructed by any effort to cover it up.
In an effort to determine the facts, I have met with Garnto several times. I
have found it exceeding difficult to determine which version of Garnto’s various
stories is to be believed. Garnto continues to maintain that:
¾ He has no knowledge or reason to believe that Sheriff Lee or Chief Johnson
were involved in the decision to release him and
¾ The Hendry County authorities he did deal with agreed to represent that his
involvement as an informant was entirely voluntary as a condition of his
cooperation because he wanted to demonstrate to his mother that he had
“turned over a new leaf.”

Page 12 of 13 Pages

Oracle International, P.A.
If Garnto is truthful in claiming that Hendry investigators agreed to represent his
cooperation as being “right minded” and voluntary as an accommodation to him, it is
obvious that it would be difficult to reverse such a position once taken – especially when
such representations have been made to the media.
Misrepresentations to the media are one thing – perjury and subornation thereof is
quite another. I have not taken any sworn statements from any of the Hendry County
officials involved and I have no reason to believe that any sworn statements have been
made. I suspect that the full facts and circumstances will be revealed once the people
involved are compelled to testify.
This investigation has established compelling reasons to believe that Garnto was
released from the custody of the Hendry County Jail prior to the end of his sentence in
exchange for his cooperation as an informant as evidenced by the facts, statements,
circumstances and documentary evidence.
Furthermore, there is a substantial body of evidence that Garnto was actively
working as an informant for the DEA immediately prior to the accident, felt compelled to
flee for his life when the situation turned sour, and caused the accident that killed Kristina
Waddell as a consequence. If the federal government put Garnto in a position where his
life could reasonably be expected to be threatened, they should have made some
provision to protect him. Admittedly, it is difficult to make these sorts of arrangements at
the last minute prior to a holiday weekend but Garnto should not have been allowed to
proceed with this sort of undertaking without backup and supervision.
In actuality, there is more than enough blame to go around and a virtually
unlimited number of parties with a legitimate claim to it. Garnto had been arrested fortytwo times as an adult, he has an extensive juvenile criminal history as well. For anyone
to assert that Garnto was walking the streets in July of 1998 solely because law
enforcement officers set him loose would be disingenuous – these are the same law
enforcement officers that brought Garnto before the Court forty-two times in fifteen
Issues of fault notwithstanding, at this point in time a young mother is dead, a
child is orphaned, innocent people have been seriously injured and the tax dollars spent
have served no purpose other than to provide the drug trafficking community with an
invaluable lesson on the tactics and techniques of law enforcement.
This investigation is ongoing.

Page 13 of 13 Pages