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Most Evidence Eaters Do It to Protect Themselves
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Richard Masten is facing up to two weeks in jail on a contempt of court charge. According to Lowering the Bar, the former Florida police chief could be spending two weeks behind bars after he ate a piece of evidence during a court appearance on Friday instead of letting the judge see it. Masten felt that he was “Bound by Honor to Defy a Judge … and Eat a Document,” according to Ari Odzer of NBC6 in South Florida.

Richard Masten is now the executive director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers reportedly collects thousands of anonymous tips every year in an effort to help law enforcement. According to the report, Richard Masten was ordered by a judge to turn over a tip after it was requested by a defendant’s attorney. He wasn’t required to turn over the source’s name, but he felt that it would be much too easy for the defendant to figure out who the source was based on the information the tip provided. So Richard Masten ate it.


“We promise the people who give us information to solve murders, serious violent crimes in this community that they can call with an assurance that they will remain anonymous and that nothing about them or their information would ever be compromised” Richard Masten said according to

Most evidence eaters do it to protect themselves, but Richard Masten says he swallowed the document out of a sense of obligation to the Crime Stoppers project and those who contribute to it. Doing this in defiance of a court order is contempt of court.

“I probably shouldn’t have eaten that piece of paper,” Masten shared with CBS4′s Lauren Pastrana, but he doesn’t regret his courtroom snack.”As for the two weeks the former police chief may spend behind bars, “I’ll bring a toothbrush and some pajamas,” Richard Masten said.

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