- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A South Florida sheriff’s deputy has withdrawn his guilty plea in an identity theft case and will go to trial.

Court documents show a federal judge on Friday approved a request by Palm Beach County deputy Frantz Felisma to withdraw his March guilty plea on fraud and identity theft charges.

Felisma had faced up to 12 years in prison, but could get a longer sentence if convicted at trial.

Authorities say Felisma used a law enforcement database to steal personal identification information of people and sold it to an accomplice. The scheme was used to obtain credit cards fraudulently.

Felisma has been on paid leave since his December arrest and is in jail. Felisma’s lawyer says he felt pressured to plead guilty and maintains his innocence.

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