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Schrenker to face Florida charges

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By Angye Morrison

When Indiana businessman Marcus Schrenker is released, he will likely face charges in Tallahassee or Pensacola, says Assistant Chief Deputy Frank Chiumento of the U.S. Marshals Northern District of Florida.

Schrenker, who was found Tuesday night at a Chattahoochee KOA after an apparent suicide attempt, is wanted in Indiana in connection with a fraud investigation involving millions of dollars, Chiumento said. Schrenker was charged in a Florida court Wednesday with making a false distress call to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The deputy said today that once Schrenker is released, he could be housed in Tallahassee or one of several county jails in the area that are contracted by the federal government.

“We don’t know exactly where he will be housed,” Chiumento said.

The Indianapolis Star reported that Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita said he would prefer Schrenker be extradited to Indiana first to face the charges there, because “the victims are here.”

“Crashing a plane because you jumped out is a pretty clear-cut (offense),” he said, especially compared to financial fraud, which is “a lot harder case to prove.”

Rokita also said it would be “easier” to try Schrenker in Florida on the charges related to the crash. The plane went down in Santa Rosa County.

In Indiana, Schrenker is facing charges of financial fraud. The case there is still in process. The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are analyzing the wreckage, and the FAA will determine whether Schrenker’s actions violated air safety regulations.

According to an affadavit from a U.S. Coast Guard Investigator, released Wednesday, items seized at the site of the wreckage included an atlas including maps of Alabama and Florida, which had been ripped out.

Schrenker’s motorcycle, which he had reportedly retrieved from a rented storage unit on Monday from a small town in Alabama, a large amount of cash and clothing were among the items seized in Chattahoochee.

Schrenker is expected to be released from Tallahasee Memorial Hospital today.

Updated Friday, Jan. 16

Schrenker will remain in the hospital through the weekend for obervation.