Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Saturday, July 13, 2013
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Burglar gets 2 years' prison

A former longtime mailroom manager at The Citizen was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison after burglarizing the newspaper's Northside Drive office building in January 2012.

Circuit Judge Mark Jones sentenced Lazaro Morffi, 52, of the Bay Point neighborhood on the Saddlebunch Keys, to two years in state prison followed by three years' supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution, said Assistant State Attorney Mark Wilson.

A hearing was set for Aug. 1 to determine how much restitution Morffi will have to pay The Citizen, Wilson said.

"I'm pleased with the sentence," Wilson said.

Assistant Public Defender Kimberly Sloan, who defended Morffi, did not return a message seeking comment.

A jury found Morffi guilty of third-degree felony burglary after deliberating about 90 minutes on June 19. He had faced a maximum sentence of five years in state prison.

Morffi entered an office at The Citizen without authorization to steal keys for newspaper coin boxes.

The newspaper contacted the State Attorney's Office and Key West police after conducting its own investigation, State Attorney's Office investigator Christopher Weber said shortly after Morffi's Jan. 22, 2012, arrest.

Police installed motion-activated surveillance equipment in the circulation director's office, in addition to security cameras the newspaper already had installed.

Those cameras captured images of Morffi entering an office without permission.

According to an arrest report, Morffi agreed to a search of his vehicle and to an interview with Weber.

"During the interview, he denied ever accessing any interior office at The (Key West) Citizen for any purpose, but said, 'If I see an open door, I close it,'" the report states. "He also denied ever accessing any newspaper boxes for the purpose of removing monies from the boxes."

Morffi was remanded to the custody of the Monroe County Sheriff Office's after his conviction, under no bail, Wilson said. He had been out on $50,000 bail pending the trial.

Morffi was fired from The Citizen after his arrest.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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