Frank Ranzie, a Boynton Beach Police Sargent, was placed under investigation after explicit images, which may include child pornography, were found on his city-issued laptop, news sources indicate. Investigators have since shipped the computer off for examination, stating it was not clear whether the pornographic images depicted persons under the age of 18. A police spokesperson indicated that Ranzie, 48, might still face ramifications from the department even if the alleged pornography is lawful, as having explicit content on a work computer is against city regulations. Ranzie has not been arrested as of press time; It is not yet known whether he has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
Ranzie has been involved in law enforcement for decades and has sustained an exemplary record. He joined the Boynton Beach Police Department in 1988, reports state. Prior to that, he served as a Housing Authority officer for four years in New York City. In 1992, the department promoted him to Sargent. Two years later, the city awarded him to Partnership for a Drug-Free Community for his contributions to the area’s anti-drug campaigns.
In 2009, Ranzie made headlines after the bust of Dalia Dippolito. In that case, the 26-year-old suspect allegedly tried to hire an undercover agent posing as a hit man. Dippolito tried to pay the agent several thousand dollars to murder her 38-year-old husband. Afterwards, a video clip depicting an undercover Ranzie informing Dippolito that the job was done and her spouse was deceased became an online sensation. The husband was not actually harmed; Dippolito was charged and convicted in the case.
Recently Ranzie took his city-issued laptop into work after he reported finding a virus on it, sparking the current controversy. An unknown party discovered what appeared to be pornographic images on the computer. Sources say it was not apparent to the investigator whether the images contained depictions of children or adults, but they apparently showed sexual acts. The investigator handed the PC over to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, who in turn handed it over to a Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office public integrity division. The investigation into whether the pornographic images featured children remains ongoing.
According to reports, Ranzie is still actively serving at the department. It is unclear what, if any, legal action will arise as the investigation moves forward. One spokesperson from the department claimed that Ranzie might still face some sort of punishment from the department for having pornography on a work computer, even if it is not child pornography, as it is a violation of the department’s guidelines.
This is not the first time Ranzie has faced scrutiny for alleged sexual dealings with minors. Detectives placed Ranzie under arrest in 2001 after a 13-year-old girl accused him of sexually abusing her. Ranzie upheld his innocence and investigators purportedly discovered evidence that the child’s claims were faulty. A court dropped the charges against and removed the arrest from his records, sources say. Despite the verdict, Ranzie was demoted following the allegations.
Reports say Ranzie has also faced other problems at the department. He purportedly got himself suspended in 2003 when he recommended that two policewomen calm their nerves by drinking prior to posing as prostitutes in an undercover operation. In December of that year, he received another suspension when he and another officer allegedly went to a strip club while on duty.