The former mayor of a Florida town -- who was arrested last month after allegedly opening fire on deputies who were trying to serve a search warrant at his home -- is facing new charges after being accused of conspiring with the town's acting mayor to interfere with the active criminal investigation against him.
Former Port Richey Mayor Dale Glen Massad, 68, was re-arrested Wednesday after police said he and Terrance Rowe, 64, conspired to intimidate a city police officer involved in Massad’s Feb. 21 arrest.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it received information the two men had discussed ways to intimidate a Port Richey police officer during a recorded phone call in March at the Pasco County Jail.
"I don't know why, but he is in on everything," Massad said of the officer, in reference to his arrest, the Tampa Bay Times reported, citing the FDLE.
"I'm on it," Rowe replied.
When Massad said anything Rowe could do would be "good,” Rowe replied: "You know, this doesn't go down without somebody answering for it."
Massad is now facing charges of criminal attempt, solicitation or conspiracy and using a two-way communication device as part of a crime.
Meanwhile, Rowe was arrested on charges of obstructing justice, conspiring to obstruct justice and using a two-way communication device as part of the crime.
"This is a big piece of the former case which is still active and on-going," FDLE special Agent Mark Brutnell told FOX 13. "What I can say about this is if you're not a witness or a subject of any criminal investigation please don't inject or insert yourself into one."
Massad’s legal team is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for the charges related to his February arrest. He is not expected to appear in court, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Massad was arrested last month after authorities said he fired at a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team that had gone to his house to serve a warrant related to allegations he was still practicing medicine despite having his medical license revoked more than 27 years ago.
No one was hurt in the barrage of bullets and Massad surrendered to police, officials said. He was held at the Pasco County Jail without bail.
“He’s lucky he’s not dead,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said after the arrest. “Every day those members put their lives on the line. They’re lucky to go home.”
Port Richey is a town of 2,800 about 40 miles north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast. Massad was elected mayor in 2015 and served on the city council from 2000 to 2008.
Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Massad from office and Rowe – who at the time was the vice-mayor – was named the acting mayor.
Rowe paid a $15,000 bond Thursday morning.