Prosecutors want to keep Fitzroy Salesman locked up until he has served his federal prison sentence for public corruption, saying he is a flight risk and a danger to the community.
The former Miramar city commissioner faces eight to 10 years in prison if the trial judge follows the recommendation of federal probation officers.
Salesman's own words — recorded in the undercover FBI sting that snared him — are being used against him by prosecutors after he asked to be briefly released from jail to try to rent out his Miramar house and move his elderly father to a new residence.
"I ain't going to jail for no [expletive] body. Nobody. You gonna just have to kill me first," Salesman told an undercover agent in a February 2006 meeting that was secretly recorded.
That statement, and others Salesman made during hours of recordings made by agents, must be considered by U.S. District Judge James Cohn in light of Salesman's conviction following a jury trial, prosecutor Jeffrey Kaplan wrote in court documents filed Wednesday.
Salesman also made what Kaplan called "an extremely frightening statement" that indicates he was "vengeful and potentially dangerous." In a May 2007 recording, Salesman gave undercover agents an expletive-laden account of what a person who had been cheated out of money might face if he showed up at Salesman's door. Salesman said the person would be met with firearms including an AK-47, a .357 Magnum and a Smith & Wesson .45.
Salesman's financial problems were evident and his home was already in jeopardy before his September 2009 arrest, Kaplan wrote.
Salesman, 53, had a negative cash flow of about $1,200 per month and "was unable to explain how he covered his expenses," according to the court documents. His home is estimated to be $74,100 "underwater" on the mortgage. Salesman's sister and brother live in the same home with Salesman's father, the prosecution said.
Salesman's attorney, Jamie Benajmin said the other family members are unable to help Salesman's father, who he thinks is in his 70s.
Benjamin argued that Salesman, who has been jailed since his April 6 conviction, is being treated differently than former County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion and former School Board member Beverly Gallagher. All three Democrats were caught in the sting but Eggelletion and Gallagher were allowed to surrender to prison after pleading guilty.
Prosecutors said Salesman's case is different for several reasons, including that he faces a much longer sentence for his bribery and extortion convictions. The law also says a convict must be detained unless he can prove he is unlikely to flee and poses no danger to the safety of anyone.
Gallagher and Eggelletion had no prior criminal convictions but Salesman has been arrested on three prior occasions and was convicted of a misdemeanor firearm offense after pulling a handgun in a dispute with another customer in a Winn-Dixie.
Salesman is a longtime U.S. citizen but has relatives in his native Jamaica, as well as Barbados and Canada. Prosecutors suggested that means he may be a flight risk.
The judge will rule on Salesman's request prior to his July 8 sentencing.
Paula McMahon can be reached at pmcmahon@SunSentinel.com or 954-356-4533.