SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. -- One by one, the Allied Veterans of the World racketeering defendants appeared before Judge James Declava.
Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba's bond has been set at $500,000.
The bond was the same for Robbie Frietas, the FOP vice president. Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis had his bond set at twice that amount.
"Your bond is set at $1 million, must give up your passport, must stay in Florida, there is a Nebbia hold as well," Declava told Mathis.
Cuba and Freitas were also ordered to give up passports and a Nebbia hold was placed on their accounts as well.
Mathis is represented by Jacksonville attorney Mitchell Stone, who said family and friends of Mathis are willing to pay his bond.
"Our objective is to try and get that lowered. A million dollars is tantamount to no bond. Once again, this is the second day of not having a meaningful hearing."
Stone was upset about not being allowed to argue for a lower bond or present witnesses, saying the presiding judge was given marching orders by another judge.
"I am pretty disappointed in the way it was handled, rules set by the Legislature, the Supreme Court and by the Constitution," he said. "We are afforded certain rights and those rules are not followed in my view."
Stone says he plans to argue for a lower bond before Judge Kenny Lester. He said Mathis was not the ringleader of this operation, he was merely working as a lawyer for Allied Veterans of the World, seeking to run a legal business. Stone said that has been happening for years as established by the courts.
"He is not doing well. Sitting in jail is not a good thing. He is not guilty of these offenses. We will establish that from what I read, he is subject to a law enforcement opinion he is guilty, seems to be a rush to judgement."
Stone takes exception to law enforcement and prosecutors saying Mathis was the ringleader in this case.
"Mathis was not the ringleader, Mathis was the lawyer for an organization who were trying to establish how to legally do business. He was advocating, he was advising, he was counseling,
doing things an attorney does for clients. It is a sad day in America if you are a lawyer, subjected to being prosecuted for representing your client's interests," Stone said.
First Coast News