Fake Amber Alerts Are Costing You Thousands

5:42 PM, Sep 10, 2018

Half-a-million dollars.

That's how much taxpayers paid for Largo police to put out an amber alert and searched for Jordan Belliveau.

A few days later the mother, Charisse Stinson admitted to killing her son, Jordan Belliveau.

Fake Amber Alerts Are Costing You Thousands

She lied to police about what happened.

According to Largo Police, about $300,000 went to paying the salaries of state and local officers across the state who searched for Jordan.

Approximately $200,000 went for overtime, gas, search equipment and things like that to try and find the toddler.

Jeremy Burns, with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said amber alerts go to highway signs, lottery machines and local media. The cost to use all of these resources can add up. However, if the claims are false, it’s all for nothing. Crime in Fort Myers has had these problems, despite its decrease overall, as well as other cities in SWFL.

The mother, Charisse Stinson, is going to prison for the death of her son. She could get charged with a felony for lying to officers. The misconception may increase her sentence by five years.

The Florida Department of Children and Families said, "anyone who makes a false report regarding the well-being of a child could see these same consequences."

Scott Dressel works for the Highlands County Sheriff's Office. Scott said that luckily Highland County hasn’t had any issues where they've needed to go to the amber alert route very frequently, "usually, when we have any kind of false reports involving children it’s going to be a child custody case or a particularly messy divorce and somebody’s trying to get the upper-hand.”

Scott said the best way to prove a false allegation is to get a confession without it. The case could be hard to prove, but if you’re found guilty, the police or sheriff department the person lied too could add on a fine of up to $10,000 plus jail time.