Democratic congressional candidate Rebekah Jones is set to face off against Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz this November after winning her party’s primary in August.
Yet even if Jones does manage to unseat her vocally pro-Trump opponent, she still has a criminal trail to contend with.
Jones goes on trial in January
The News Service of Florida reported that Jones must appear in Leon County circuit court this coming January to face charges that she hacked into an official computer system belonging to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).
A former data analyst, Jones gained national prominence in the spring of 2020 for claiming that state officials were manipulating COVID infection rates to speed up reopening plans.
Jones was subsequently fired by the DOH; while Jones insisted that her dismissal stemmed from a refusal to participate in data manipulation, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said it was due to insubordination.
What’s more, NPR reported how Jones’ home was raided by law enforcement in December of that year following allegations that she had unlawfully accessed a state computer system. Jones went on to post video footage of the raid in a series of tweets from her now-suspended Twitter account.
“At 8:30 am this morning, state police came into my house and took all my hardware and tech,” she stated. “They were serving a warrant on my computer after DOH filed a complaint.”
Jones went on to accuse law enforcement personnel of having “pointed a gun in my face,” adding, “They pointed guns at my kids.”
Authorities deny that weapons were pointed
However, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen issued a statement disputing Jones’ assertions.
“Agents knocked and called Ms. Jones both announcing the search warrant and encouraging her to cooperate,” Swearingen wrote. “Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung-up on agents.”
“After several attempts, Ms. Jones allowed agents inside. Agents entered the home in accordance with normal protocols and seized several devices that will be forensically analyzed,” he continued.
“At no time were weapons pointed at anyone in the home. Any evidence will be referred to the State Attorney for prosecution as appropriate.”