HardisonInk.com

--UPDATED--
MONDAY  JUNE 21  10:11 p.m.  Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties


Three seriously injured in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 21, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
Three people suffered serious injuries and one person sustained minor injuries in an early evening crash on Saturday (June 19) in Levy County, the Florida Highway Patrol noted in a press release.

 

 



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     A 22-year-old Williston man was driving a 2013 Fiat 500 at 4:40 p.m. on June 19 and a 19-year-old Chiefland man was the passenger in that vehicle, the FHP said.
     A 22-year-old Gainesville woman was driving a 2011 Ford Fiesta with a 22-year-old Gainesville man as a passenger, the FHP said.
     The Fiat was eastbound on Levy County Road 335 and failed to stop at the intersection of Levy County Road 241, the FHP said.
     The Ford was passing CR 335 on CR 241, the FHP said, when it was hit by the Fiat in the right side.
     Both vehicles went onto the southern shoulder of CR 335 east of CR 241, the FHP said, and the Ford overturned onto its right side.
     The man from Chiefland, and the man and woman from Gainesville were transported to UF Health with serious injuries, the FHP said. The man from Williston sustained minor injuries, the FHP said.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Two burglary suspects arrested
Suspected Burglars from levy County Florida
Tiffany Kinney White (left) and Michelle Angelic Dowell

Story and Photos Provided By LCSO
Published June 16, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.
     BRONSON --
On June 14, deputies with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office arrested Tiffany Kinney White, 50, during a traffic stop after it was discovered she was driving with an invalid license.
     White also had an outstanding arrest warrant from Citrus County for Violation Of Probation. After she was taken into custody, deputies found drug paraphernalia (syringes, cotton balls, smoking pipes and methamphetamine residue) in her purse.
     The vehicle White was driving was a very distinctive looking Nissan four-door. It was black and white in color and had a large “Punisher” decal on the hood.
     This vehicle matched the description of a vehicle that was used in an earlier burglary and theft from a residential construction site in the town of Bronson. During that crime, construction materials and tools had been stolen by two female suspects.
     Detective Justin Douglas of the LCSO Criminal Investigations Division and several other detectives began a follow-up investigation with White. Using eyewitness statements, interviews and physical evidence, Detective Douglas developed probable cause for the arrest of White for the reported burglary and theft.
     Detectives developed probable cause for a second suspect, Michelle Angelic Dowell, 47. Conveniently, Dowell already was incarcerated at the Levy County Detention Center (also known as the Levy County Jail) on other charges.
     Detective Douglas arrested Dowell at the Detention Center for burglary and theft. White is being held on a combined bond of $32,500, while Dowell’s bond was set at $30,099.
     Due to the current building boom as well as the shortage and high cost of building materials, construction sites have become very attractive targets for thieves. Residents and visitors are encouraged to secure their tools and materials as much as possible.
     Any individuals who may have information regarding similar crimes or these suspects are asked to contact the LCSO at 352-486-5111 or 911. Reports can also be made anonymously through CrimeStoppers at 1-877-349-8477.  

 


LCSO catches suspected fleeing felon
Teamwork credited with apprehension



 

 

 

 


James Ray Carson
Mug Shot By LCSO

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© June 16, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
     BRONSON –
A 49-year-old man with a residential address in the unincorporated part of Levy County known as Morriston was captured thanks to teamwork by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Alachua County Sheriff’s office and the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, according to information provided by LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond, public information officer.
     On Wednesday (June 9), Tummond noted in a June 15 press release, LCSO deputies responded to an early morning 9-1-1 call to respond to a residence on Northeast 107th Court in Bronson.
     The 9-1-1 caller told LCSO dispatchers that a person had just kicked their front door down and fired a gun while struggling with her roommate, Tummond said. The caller told dispatchers the gunman and her roommate struggled out into the yard, Tummond said, where the gunman then got in his vehicle and fled the scene.
     LCSO detectives interviewed the homeowner and the roommate who identified the gunman as James Ray Carson, 49, of Morriston, Tummond said.
     Carson eluded immediate capture.
     Levy County detectives worked with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force to apprehend Carson, Tummond said.
     He was found at a home in Marion County later this same day and arrested for active felony warrants issued in Alachua County, Tummond said.
     A search warrant was served at the home in Marion County and a firearm was recovered, Tummond said. Carson is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm, Tummond said.
     Testing of the weapon is being performed and if the weapon is identified as the same one used in the armed burglary in Levy County, then Carson will face more charges, Tummond said.
     An arrest warrant has also issued in Levy County and when Carson is transferred to the LCSO Detention Bureau (also known as the Levy County Jail), he will be held on a $1,775,000 bond, Tummond said.

 


Two men suspected of raping children
Two Men Suspected of Raping Children in Levy County Florida
William Alfred Brown (left) and Kevin Randall Shryock

Mug Shots By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © June 14, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Two men are in the Levy County Jail after detectives conducted investigations and found reason to believe they committed sexual battery on children, according to information in a Monday (June 14) press release from the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
     On June 7, LCSO detectives responded to the home of William Alfred Brown, 55, The residence is on 91st Terrace in Bronson, the LCSO said.
     Detectives learned that Brown sexually battered a child who is older than 12 years old but younger than 16 years old, the LCSO said. Brown being held in the Levy County Detention Bureau (also known as the Levy County Jail) in lieu of a $750,000 bond.
     On Saturday (June 12), detectives responded to the home of Kevin Randall Shryock, 37, in Morriston.
     Morriston is a census-designated place in the unincorporated part of Levy County.
     Shyrock’s residence is on 40th Street in Morriston, the LCSO said. Detectives learned that Shryock sexually battered a child older than 16 years old but younger than 18 years old, the LCSO said.
     Shryock was arrested and is being held in the Levy County Detention Bureau in lieu of a $525,000 bond.

 


Williston man dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 11, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
A 76-year-old man with a Williston residential address died from injuries suffered in a head-on crash Thursday night (June 10), according to a press release provided by the Florida Highway Patrol.
     The Williston resident was driving a pickup truck westbound on Southeast Second Street, near Southeast 183rd Terrace, the FHP said, negotiating a curve to the right.
     Another pickup truck driven by a 35-year-old woman with a 12-year-old boy, both with Live Oak (Suwannee County) residential addresses, was eastbound on Southeast 183rd Terrace approaching a curve to the left, the FHP said.
     The pickup truck driven by the man from Williston crossed the centerline causing the front of that vehicle to collide with the front of the pickup truck driven by the woman from Live Oak, the FHP said.
     The pickup truck driven by the man came to final rest in the intersection of Southeast second Street and Southeast 183rd Terrace facing a south, the FHP said. The pickup truck driven by a woman with a boy as a passenger came to final rest in the eastbound travel lane facing an east, the FHP said.
     The woman and the boy did not suffer any injuries from the crash, the FHP said. The man who died was not wearing a seatbelt, the FHP said. The other two people involved in the crash were wearing seatbelts, the FHP said.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Early morning crash
ends life of pedestrian

By Jeff M. Hardison © June 10, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
An early morning crash today (Thursday, June 10) involving a pickup truck, a car and a pedestrian resulted in death for the pedestrian and no injuries for the drivers of the two vehicles, according to information provided by the Florida Highway Patrol.
     Today at approximately 4:40 a.m., the FHP responded to a fatal crash on Levy County Road 341, near CR 346A, north of the city of Chiefland involving a pedestrian.
     A pedestrian was lying in the roadway in the northbound lane, the FHP said, when a northbound Chevrolet Silverado, driven by a 28-year-old man with a Chiefland residential address, hit the man lying in the road.
     A northbound Nissan Altima, driven by a 32-year-old man with a Trenton residential address, was behind the Chevrolet Silverado and it struck the man too, the FHP said. The pedestrian, also a 32-year-old man with a Trenton residential address, was pronounced dead on the scene by personnel from Levy County Fire Rescue, the FHP said.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


WPD inducts new officer
WPD Inducts Nick Duncan
Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson (left) reads some of Nick Duncan’s qualifications before administering the oath of office to the new Williston Police Department officer on Tuesday night (June 8). Seen here are Neil Duncan, Neil’s brother Nick Duncan, who joined the WPD, and their grandparents Jerry and Bonny Worzella.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 9, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
All Rights Reserved
     WILLISTON --
Mayor Jerry Robinson inducted a new police officer to the Williston Police Department on Tuesday night (June 8) as WPD Chief Dennis Strow and others watched the administration of the oath to the young man.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EsrpeFJ9lY
In this video, which can be seen by clicking on the photo above, the new officer takes the oath of office.

WPD Inducts Nick Duncan

WPD Inducts Nick Duncan
Nick Duncan’s grandfather Jerry Worzella pins the WPD badge on his grandson, and then they hug.



     Joining Nicholas L. "Nick" Duncan in the ceremony conducted at the front of the Williston City Council Meeting Room were his brother Neil Duncan, who held the bible, and Jerry Worzella, their grandfather, and Bonny Worzella, Jerry's wife.
     As for WPD Officer Nick Duncan, the mayor read about the officer’s prior accomplishments as a professional law enforcement officer, and some of his training as a member of the United States Army, from whence Duncan was honorably discharged in 2017.
     In the Army, Duncan operated and maintained sophisticated equipment designed for tactical operations; trained in intelligence collection; trained in writing intelligence collection reports per the United States Department of Defense standards; and trained in basic interrogation collection techniques (verbal) and tactical debrief scenarios.
     WPD Officer Duncan served with the Clermont Police Department as a police officer from September 2020 to January 2021.
     He attended the College of Central Florida in Ocala. In the Law Enforcement Academy, he graduated on the Dean’s List for Academic Success from Cochise College, at the United States Army’s Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Among his other studies, he attended the University of North Florida with a major in biology. He graduated from Coffee County High School with a diploma, from that school in Douglas, Georgia.
     WPD Officer Duncan has a broad skill set that the mayor mentioned the police chief is very happy to see as the WPD gains another great officer to its ranks.

 


DTF busts 12 suspected drug dealers
and alleged drug possessors

12 suspects busted by DTF
Mug Shots By LCSO
Graphic Design By Sharon Hardison


By Jeff M. Hardison © June 7, 2021 at 11:11 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
Deaths from overdosing on methamphetamine and cocaine in Levy County may be reduced for a while now, after the recent arrests of 12 people who allegedly sold drugs to undercover agents of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force (DTF), according to information in a Monday (June 7) press release from the LCSO and public records.
     What happens in this type of scenario usually includes members of the community feeling like the law enforcement agencies are not working, because people see illegal drug activity continuing within certain areas. Meanwhile though, the law enforcement personnel are gathering evidence to prove parties are guilty of committing those drug crimes.
     The DTF quietly concluded a lengthy drug investigation recently, LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond noted in a press release Monday (June 7).
     This investigation targeted dealers who were selling illegal drugs to people in Levy County, Tummond sad.
     This most recent set of 12 suspected drug law violators were picked up one-by-one from various locations around Levy County and booked into the Levy County Jail.
     Following is a list of the names, ages, residential addresses listed their charges, as listed in public records.
     ● Omar Blake, 42, of Chiefland – sale of cocaine.
     ● Jerome Brown, 70, of Williston – sale of cocaine.
     ● Marty Days, 57, of Williston – possession of a controlled substance.
     ● James Foster, 37, of Trenton – three counts of sale of cocaine.
     ● Sadie Harris, 61, of Williston – two counts of sale of cocaine.
     ● Cha Cha Latson, 55, of Williston – two counts of sale of cocaine.
     ● David Lewis, 20, of Bronson – seven counts of sale of methamphetamines, five counts of sale of MDMA.
     ● Kirkland Neal, 49, of Bronson- two counts of sale of cocaine, two counts of sale of marijuana.
     ● Jeffrey Robinson, 33, of Williston – sale of cocaine, sale of MDMA and failure to appear.
     ● Eugene Rowe, 62, of Williston – two counts of sale of cocaine.
     ● Leola Smith, 35, of Chiefland – possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
     ● Malinda Walker, 44, – sale of cocaine and sale of marijuana.
     Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said the LCSO personnel are bringing individuals to justice because they are suspected of feeding addicts the poison of illegal drugs.
     “This is a never ending battle that results in prolonged investigations,” Sheriff McCallum said. “These investigations eventually result in holding those in the drug business accountable for their illegal activities.
     “Overdoses and overdose deaths are skyrocketing in Levy County,” McCallum added. “As sheriff, I can assure our citizens that we will do everything possible to continue to bring to justice those criminals that are facilitating deaths and overdoses through their sales of illegal drugs.”

 


Two motorcycles and one bicycle crash
Two riders seriously injured
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 7, 2021 at 6:11 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Two motorcycles and one bicycle became quickly involved with one another in a crash on May 28, according to information released June 7 from the Florida Highway Patrol after being requested about a week ago.
     A 2019 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by a 32-year-old man with a Bronson residential address and a 2001 Suzuki driven by a 33-year-old man with a Bronson residential were both westbound on State Road 24 on May 28 at 9:17 p.m., the FHP said.
     A bicycle driven by an as-yet unidentified man also was westbound on SR 24, approximately 500 feet west Northeast 109th Court at that time on that night, the FHP said.
     The Harley driver to drive within his lane, the FHP said, and that motorcycle hit the with the bicyclist.
     After the initial collision, the FHP said, that driver and the bicyclist both were ejected from their vehicles.
     Then, the Suzuki drove over the Harley driver’s legs, the FHP said.
     Both the Harley driver and the bicyclist were transported to
Shands of UF, listed in serious condition, the FHP said.
     The Harley driver was cited for failure to drive within a single lane, the FHP said.
     For a year-plus now, as of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


LCSO arrests suspected UTV thief,
and alleged drug possessor

LCSO photo of UTV crash
The wrecked UTV is seen on its side.

Mug Shot Other Photos Provided By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © June 4, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
     BRONSON –
William Justin Ford, 30, of Bronson was arrested on a few felonies Wednesday (June 2) by Levy County Sheriff’s Office Lt. James Anderson, according to records.

Suspected Criminal Ford Levy County Sheriff's Office HardisonInk.com

William Justin Ford mug shot (at left)

William Justin Ford is seen at the point of being arrested (at right)


     Ford is in the Levy County Jail in lieu of $70,000 in bonds on the charges of grand theft auto, two counts of possession of illegal drugs, damage to property in excess of $1,000 as criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to records.
     This Ford has a track record with the LCSO capturing him as a suspect, and he even escaped from being detained once, according to records.
     In March of 2017, the LCSO reported his escape from the rear seat of a patrol vehicle after he had been arrested for possession of drugs, according to records. He was returned to custody in May of 2017, and he remained incarcerated until his release from the Florida Department of Corrections in December of 2019, according to records.
     Ford has a lengthy criminal history with multiple felony convictions, the LCSO noted in a June 4 press release regarding the most recent set of charges.
     On Wednesday afternoon (June 2), Lt. Anderson, who is the commander of the LCSO Patrol Division, observed a man driving a John Deere Gator (UTV) on U.S. Alt. 27 near Bronson, the press release noted.
     The operation of a vehicle of this type on any public road in Levy County is prohibited.
     Lt. Anderson watched the man operating the UTV pull onto a dirt side road off the highway, the LCSO noted, and the UTV driver approach a closed gate.
     It appeared to Lt. Anderson that this person was opening the gate to access private property, the LCSO said. As Lt. Anderson continued to watch the subject in the rear view mirror of his patrol vehicle, he saw this person return in the UTV to the highway and accelerate away.
     Lt. Anderson turned around and attempted to stop the UTV, the LCSO said. The UTV driver fled and tried to elude Lt. Anderson by abruptly turning onto another dirt road south of Blue Springs Road, but lost control of the UTV and crashed, the LCSO said.
     The driver fled from the crash scene on foot and was last seen by Lt. Anderson running westbound into the woods, the LCSO said.
     Units from the LCSO responded to the area to assist in the search for the fleeing subject, the LCSO said.
    The Florida Department of Corrections K-9 Unit responded to assist in the search as well as a helicopter from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The subject eluded capture for several hours as a downpour of rain began shortly after he fled, the LCSO said.
     Shortly after 10 p.m. on June 2, an LCSO detective observed a male walking on State Road 24 west of Bronson.
     He called for additional assistance, the LCSO said, and deputies confronted the individual.
     The man was identified as Ford. Ford was sweaty, scratched, bleeding and breathing heavily, the LCSO said. He had no reasonable explanation for his condition, the LCSO said.
     Lt. Anderson was contacted and identified Ford as the person who had fled in the UTV from him hours earlier.
     After his initial arrest, deputies found 12 grams of methamphetamine (less than half an ounce) and two grams of Fentanyl, according to records.
     The UTV was confirmed as a stolen vehicle, recently taken from a farm just east of Chiefland.
     Detectives are looking into the activities of Ford the day prior to his arrest – Tuesday, June 1.
     Any person who has information about William Ford is asked to contact Lt. Mike Narayan at 352-486-5111 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477.


Suspected Child Rapist Jailed
Suspected Child Rapist in Gilchrist County Florida

 

 

 

 


On Tuesday (June 1), deputies with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ryan Christopher Taylor, 24, of Trenton, on one  count of sexual battery by a person older than 18 years old on a child younger than 12 years old, and one count of felony child neglect. Taylor is at the Gilchrist County Jail, where he is being held without bond. 
Published June 3, 2021 at 7:11 p.m.


Photo and Information Provided By GCSO

 

 

 


Final two suspected thieves from
Operation Thou Shalt Not Steal
are arrested in Mexico

By FDLE Office of Public Information
Published May June 3, 2021 at 7:11 p.m.
(This is an update for the story May 26 below)
     TIJUANA, Mexico -
On Saturday, May 29, Catalin Trandafir and Simona Trandafir were taken into custody in Tijuana, Mexico with the assistance of the United States Department of Homeland Security and Mexican law enforcement officials.
     Catalin and Simona Trandafir are in the custody of Mexican authorities pending extradition to Florida.
     Both suspects had been wanted following the May 26 arrests of four other suspects accused of stealing donations from hundreds of churches throughout the United States.

 


FDLE arrests four
in Operation Thou Shalt Not Steal

FDLE Cptures suspected thieves
Story and Graphic Provided
By FDLE Office of Public Information
Published May 26, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
Updated June 3, 2021 at 7:11 p.m.
     FORT MYERS –
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement today (Wednesday, May 26) arrested four suspects who traveled throughout Florida and across the country stealing donations from hundreds of churches and parochial schools.

 


 FDLE agents say to date more than 1,500 checks were stolen from 636 churches, including 355 Florida churches. The total amount stolen was more than $740,000.



     Two suspects, Catalin Trandafir and Simona Trandafir were captured and arrested in Mexico (see updated story above this story).
     The FDLE investigation began in December 2020 after Cape Coral Police Department identified 24 victim churches within Lee County plus additional victims outside their jurisdiction.
     Investigators determined the suspects, all Romanian citizens, traveled to churches and stole donation checks from church mailboxes. The suspects operated out of Orlando but traveled throughout Florida and the United States, sometimes to as many as 85 churches a day. Many churches were victimized multiple times.
     Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Churches depend on donations from generous members of the community to operate and serve those in need. It is despicable that this crime ring would exploit the selfless acts of kindness displayed through these donations for selfish greed. Thank you, to the law enforcement agencies that worked with my Office of Statewide Prosecution to bring these criminals to justice.”
     FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said, “This low-tech yet well-organized effort to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of mailed-in charitable donations—at a time when donations may have been most needed—has been stopped. I appreciate the commitment of our investigators, analysts, Cape Coral PD and the Office of Statewide Prosecution for putting these criminals behind bars.”
     Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore said, “I am extremely proud of the hard work our detectives put into this investigation. I am equally grateful for the longstanding partnership our agency has with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Together, our agencies put forth a solid case for our partners in Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.”
     Suspects used a variety of aliases to deposit stolen checks into numerous bank accounts. The suspects used ATMs and then withdrew the funds as soon as they were posted but before the banks recognized the discrepancy.
     While suspects purchased vehicles, food and clothing with the stolen donations, they frequently sent high-value wire transfers to Romania.
     FDLE agents say to date more than 1,500 checks were stolen from 636 churches, including 355 Florida churches. The total amount stolen was more than $740,000.
     Following is information about the suspected thieves.
     ● Ionut Raducan, 33, Orlando, booked into Orange County Jail - Charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering;
     ● Marius Dumitru, 27, Orlando, booked into Orange County Jail - Charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering;
     ● Marius Dumitru (also known as Viorel Dumitru), 34, Orlando, booked into Orange County Jail - Charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering;
     ● Panait Dumitru, 32, Orlando, booked into Orange County Jail - Charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering;
     ● Catalin Trandafir (also known as Ionut Trandafir), 45, Orlando, WANTED - Charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering; and
     ● Simona Trandafir (also known as Simona Nitoi), 39, Orlando, WANTED - Charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information, money laundering and structuring transactions to evade reporting or registration requirements.
     FDLE agents and Cape Coral Police Department officers were assisted in this investigation by Department of Homeland Security Investigations and Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
     The case will be prosecuted by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

 


 


Drug Task Force makes arrests
LCOS DTF Busts three
(from left) Erik Lambert, Alan Dones and Dana Corrigan

Mug Shots By LCSO

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published June 1, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
     BRONSON --
On Friday (May 28), members of the Levy County Drug Task Force executed a drug search warrant at a home on Shiloh Road in Rosewood.

     Rosewood is a community in the unincorporated part of Levy County relatively near the intersection of State Road 24 and State Road 345.
     The investigation leading to securing the search warrant spanned several months. It began as a result of complaints by area residents and was combined with anonymous tips -- reporting suspicious activities.
     The Tactical Response Unit (TRU) entered the home shortly after 5 a.m.
     The TRU found homeowner Erik Lambert, 49, in the master bedroom. Lambert’s house guests, Alan Dones, 44 of Davie (Broward County), and Dana Corrigan, 36, of Rosewood, were located in other parts of the home and they were detained.
     The investigation showed Lambert was selling methamphetamine from the home.
     Dones and Corrigan were active participants in this activity too.
     Lambert was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     Detectives discovered that as law enforcement entered the home, Dones dashed into the bathroom and began flushing illegal drugs down the toilet.
     Detectives recovered evidence not destroyed by Dones’ actions.
     Dones was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     Corrigan was arrested for possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     Detectives are continuing this investigation as evidence was found that multiple drug sales were made from this home. The LCSO and Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum applaud the courage of individuals who contacted the LCSO office and alerted the Levy County Sheriff’s Office about what appeared to be illegal drug activity at this residence.
     Sheriff McCallum wants to ensure the general public that the LCSO will aggressively investigate and arrest those who choose to sell drugs in Levy County.

 


Roofing business owner arrested
for grand theft in multiple counties

Roof company owner suspected of crimes
Jason Lee Beville

Mug Shot By CCSO

By CCSO Community Relations Specialist Brittney Carman
Published May 28, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.

     CITRUS CONTY -- In late 2018, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) began an investigation into a local roofing company -- Elite Roofing and Gutters Inc. --owned and operated by Jason Lee Beville, 38, of Crystal River, for fraudulent business practices.
     "Beville has shown a total lack of integrity and a willingness to take advantage of our trusting citizens,” Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “Fraudulent activity and the targeting of homeowners will not be tolerated here in Citrus County. Detective Ramos, in partnership with our fellow sheriffs’ offices and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has invested countless hours and resources to ensure Beville is held accountable for his actions."
     Detective Robaldo Ramos with the CCSO Major Crimes Unit was assigned several cases in which Beville, operating in his official business capacity, was the suspect. Multiple victims told officials that Beville had taken thousands of dollars in deposits for roof repairs or replacements, and never actually completed the contracted work.
     During the course of his investigation, Det. Ramos discovered that Beville's fraudulent practices were not just limited to Citrus County, but also involved additional victims in both Brevard County and Osceola County.
     Based on the two Citrus County cases involving the roofing business' fraudulent practices, Det. Ramos obtained an arrest warrant for Beville.
     On April 23, 2019, CCSO officials arrested Beville on the arrest warrant and charged him with two felony counts of grand theft.
     As a result of the fraudulent practices occurring in various counties, the two Citrus County cases, along with a third later-reported case were turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for investigation and statewide prosecution.
     Based on the findings of FDLE's investigation, a second warrant was issued for Beville's arrest on May 26, for the charge of grand theft over $20,000 but less than $100,000.
Yesterday Thursday, May 27), Beville turned himself in at the Citrus County Detention Facility where he was placed under arrest for his warrant with a set bond of $10,000 per the warrant.

 


Two motorcyclists die in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 28, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
Two motorcyclists died Thursday night (May 27) when their vehicle was hit by a pickup truck, the Florida Highway Patrol said in a press release.
     The driver of the motorcycle was a 38-year-old man and the passenger on the motorcycle was a 31-year-old woman, the FHP said. They both had Weirsdale residential addresses, the FHP said.
     Weirsdale is a town in Marion County.
     The pickup truck was southbound on State Road 200, in the area north of Southwest 147th Lane in Marion County at 9:10 p.m. on May 27, the FHP said, based on information from crash investigator FHP Cpl. J. Bard and homicide FHP Cpl. J. Sabo.
     The motorcycle was northbound on SR-200, the FHP said. It was driven by a 56-year-old man with a Hernando address. Hernando is a census-designated place in Citrus County.
     The pickup truck entered the northbound lane to pass other southbound traffic, the FHP said. The pickup truck was at a high rate of speed when it struck the motorcycle head-on, causing the
driver and passenger of to suffer fatal injuries, the FHP said.
     Both motorcyclists were pronounced dead on the scene, the FHP said.
     The pickup truck driver suffered minor injuries and was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center, the FHP said.
     The roadway was closed for investigation and clean up, the FHP said, until the roadway was reopened at 3 a.m. on Friday (May 28).
     The FHP no longer provides the names of people involved in crashes.
     For a year-plus now, as of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
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https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Pinellas Park man
arrested for sexual battery

By CCSO Community Relations Specialist Brittney Carman
Sent May 27, 2021 at 5:03 p.m.
Published May 28, 2021 at 6:11 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY –
A Pinellas Park man was arrested in Pinellas County on Wednesday (May 26) after the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office found reasonable cause to charge him with sexual assault.
     On May 25 (Tuesday), the Citrus County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) was contacted in reference to a sexual assault that had occurred in the early morning hours at a residence in Homosassa.
     CCSO deputies responded to speak with the adult victim, who disclosed details of the assault. Based on the nature of the allegations, Detective Anthony Ricci, with the CCSO Special Victims Unit (SVU) was assigned to further investigate the incident.
     The victim told the detective they knew the suspect, 28-year-old Matthew Daniel Lee Hogue of Pinellas Park, and had allowed him into the residence the night prior due to him not having a place to stay. The victim told officials that Hogue had forced his way into a locked bedroom where the sexual assault took place.
     During the investigation, Detective Ricci obtained evidence, along with statements from Hogue that supported the victim's allegations. Based on this information, Detective Ricci secured an arrest warrant for Hogue for the crime of sexual battery.
    Believing Hogue would flee to Pinellas County, Detective Ricci coordinated with CCSO members of the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force to assist in locating and apprehending Hogue.
     The United States Marshals Service (USMS) oversees the nation's regional fugitive task forces, established under the the Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000.
     On May 26, Task Force Officers located Hogue in Pinellas County, where he was taken into custody for the arrest warrant and brought to the Pinellas County Jail. His bond was set at $10,000 per the warrant.
     "Sexual offenses are particularly vile and affect not only the victims and their families, but our entire community,” Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “Detective Ricci, along with his fellow SVU detectives are advocates for victims of these heinous crimes, and (they) work swiftly to make sure these violent offenders are arrested and held accountable. Thanks to our partnership with the United States Marshals Service, we are able to find and capture fugitives like Hogue wherever they run."

 


Fleeing pickup truck crashes,
driver critically injured

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 27, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
A three-pickup truck crash resulted after the driver of one pickup truck fleeing from a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy caused injuries and damage Wednesday (May 26), according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release.
     A 29-year-old man with an Ocala residential address crashed a pickup truck into another pickup truck while fleeing from law enforcement on May 26 at 3:28 p.m. in Marion County, according to crash investigator FHP Sgt. M. Weber.
     The driver of that truck suffered critical injuries during the crash, the FHP said.
     That pickup truck was westbound on State Road 40 at a high rate of speed, approaching the intersection of Southwest 80th Avenue, the FHP said, while the driver was actively fleeing and eluding an MCSO deputy.
     Meanwhile, another pickup truck driven by a 33-year-old woman with an Ocala residential address was turning left from SR 40 onto Southwest 80th Avenue for a green traffic signal, the FHP said. A 10-year-old girl, and a female with an unlisted age, both also listed as Ocala residents, rode as passengers with the woman driving that pickup truck, the FHP said.
     Simultaneously, a third pickup truck, driven by a 37-year-old man with an Ocala residential address, was southbound on Southwest 80th Avenue and was stopped for a red traffic signal at the intersection of 80th and SR 40, the FHP said.
     The truck with the man fleeing from the deputy ran the red light, the FHP said, and that pickup hit the right front section of the pickup with the woman and girl with its front section.
     Debris from the crash struck the third pickup truck's hood, causing minor damage, the FHP said.
     As noted, the man fleeing from the deputy suffered critical injuries during the crash and was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center, the FHP said.
     The 33-year-old female driver and the two female passengers of that pickup truck were transported to Shands UF Hospital with non-incapacitating injuries, the FHP said.
     The man driving the pickup truck that was hit with crash debris did not sustain any injuries during the crash, the FHP said.
     For a year-plus now, as of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Firefighter helicopter
crashes in Leesburg

By FDACS Communications
Published May 26, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
Yesterday (Tuesday, May 25), a firefighting helicopter crashed during a training exercise in Leesburg with four people on board.
     One fatality has been confirmed and three individuals remain unaccounted for. The Federal Aviation Administration will begin investigating the incident and officials have not immediately released additional information.
     (A Sikorsky UH-60 firefighting helicopter crashed into a marsh near Leesburg Airport in Leesburg, during a training exercise around 4 p.m. local time, the FAA said yesterday.)
     At the direction of Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, flags will be lowered to half-staff at all Florida Forest Service facilities, offices, forestry centers, and state forests in memory of the fallen individuals. Officials with the Florida Forest Service, the state’s lead wildland firefighting agency and a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, released the following statements.
     “We are devastated to hear of yesterday’s firefighting helicopter crash in Leesburg,” Commissioner Fried said. “On behalf of the State of Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Florida Forest Service, we extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones and colleagues affected by this immeasurable loss. These brave souls training to protect our communities will not be forgotten.”
     The director of the Florida Forest Service added his comment.
      “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy within our wildland firefighting family,” Florida Forest Service Director Erin Albury said. “These firefighters put themselves on the line to serve and protect the lives of others. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and the entire community.”

 


Florida Forest Service urges caution
with outdoor activities
this Memorial Day weekend

Florida Forest Service Warns About Fire Danger

Information and Graphics Provided
By Ludie Bond, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist/Public Information Officer
Waccasassa Forestry Center, Florida Forest Service
Florida Division of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Published May 26, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
     GAINESVILLE --
The Florida Forest Service’s Waccasassa Forestry Center is urging the public to be careful with fire and all potential heat sources due to the continued lack of rainfall, low humidity and increased temperatures.



Florida Forest Service Warns About Fire Danger


     These dry and hot weather conditions increase wildfire concerns because fires can ignite easily and spread quickly.
     Wildland firefighters will likely battle an increase in wildfires in the coming weeks as these unfavorable weather conditions continue. Residents and visitors in the area can do their part by keeping preventable human-caused wildfires at bay and preparing their families and homes for wildfire.
     Since January, approximately 1,269 wildfires have burned 52,879 acres in Florida. In the Waccasassa Forestry Center’s five-county coverage area of Alachua, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion and Putnam counties, Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters have responded to 136 wildfires that have burned 494 acres.
     Forty-six of those wildfires occurred in May alone. To view the Florida Forest Service Active Wildfire Points Dashboard go to https://www.fdacs.gov/WildfireDashboard.
     “When citizens are careful with fire, they are doing more than just protecting themselves and their property,” said Waccasassa Forestry Center Manager Rick Dolan. “They are helping to protect the lives of Florida’s wildland firefighters and first responders.”
     The Florida Forest Service is urging the public to be cautious with all fire and help reduce the chances of a catastrophic wildfire. You can be ready for wildfire by learning how to:
• Prepare Your Yard – create defensible space that will slow down or stop the spread of a wildfire.
• Prepare Your Home – harden your home and outbuildings to reduce the impact of a wildfire and its spread.
• Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit – pack essentials and follow your local emergency management officials to know when and how to evacuate.
• Avoid Burning During Periods of High Fire Danger – know Florida’s outdoor burning laws and learn to burn safely and responsibly.
• Report a Fire or Suspicious Smoke – call 9-1-1 or your local Florida Forest Service dispatch office.

     To view current wildfire conditions and activity, visit FDACS.gov.
     The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland, and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.

 


BUI suspect allegedly threatens
a woman with a gun

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 24, 2021 at 11:11 p.m.
     GILCHRIST COUNTY –
A 48-year-old Lake City (Columbia County) man was charged on Saturday night (May 22) with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs; boating while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while causing damage to another person’s property; and failure to report a boating crash, according to records.


Gun Seized As Evidence
This is the .45 caliber pistol and ammunition clip taken from Joseph Stephen Little.

Photo From GCSO

     Joseph Stephen Little, 48, of Lake City had combined bonds initially set at $500,000 on those charges, according to information from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.
     Little is suspected of crashing a boat while he was under the influence of alcohol, brandishing a .45 caliber semiautomatic weapon at a woman who was in the boat that his boat allegedly hit. He is also believed to have attempted to leave the scene of the crash that caused damage to another person’s boat. Witness testimony and evidence gathered at the scene showed reasonable cause to charge the man with these crimes, according to records.
     GCSO Deputy Jason Gallup was on the way to assist the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regarding two boats that crashed, according to records. As the deputy was headed toward Ellie Ray's RV Resort and Lounge, 3349 N.W. 110th St., Branford, he received information on the radio directing him to a different boat ramp.
     Deputy Gallup’s report of this incident and arrest showed the initial reporting indicated one of the two boats involved in the crash had sped away, and that both boats were close to shore At Ellie Ray’s boat ramp.
     While on that scene, GCSO dispatch updated the deputy to let him know that the subjects and boats involved were on shore at the Butler Boat Ramp (GC Butler Boat Landing) in the area of Northwest 38th Terrace.
     While responding to the Butler Boat Ramp, updated information provided by dispatch indicated that sometime after the boat crash occurred, 9-1-1 calls were received at 7:45 p.m. Saturday night.
     A female who said she was involved in the boating incident told 9-1-1 dispatchers that once on shore, she confronted the male subject operating the second boat, the deputy reported.
     That man, later identified as Little, became agitated, brandished a handgun, and then left the scene in a large, white-colored Ford pickup truck with his boat in tow, according to the deputy’s report.
     Within minutes, as GCSO Deputy David Reeves and Deputy Gallup were approaching the boat ramp access heading west on Northwest 102nd place, the deputies’ attention was drawn to a white Ford pickup truck with a boat in tow that was passing them going eastbound, Gallup reported.
     Deputies then changed direction, catching up to and conducting a motor vehicle stop of the Ford at about Northwest 35th Avenue, Gallup noted in his report. Deputy Reeves made contact with a female driver of the Ford as Gallup made contact with a male passenger, the report notes.
     Upon request, the male passenger – Little – exited the truck and Gallup detained him, handcuffing his wrists behind him.
     “I immediately observed him to have a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath,” Deputy Gallup noted, “and (Little) was unsteady on his feet with glassy eyes. Upon making cursory visual inspection of the passenger side (of the pickup truck), I observed a compact handgun in plain view on the floorboard just beneath the passenger seat.”
     The handgun was a Smith & Wesson .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol with a tan colored grip and a black finish upper portion slide.
     Deputy Gallup secured the handgun along with its magazine containing seven rounds. He then seated Little in the rear of Deputy Reeves’ patrol vehicle.
     Further investigation revealed that Little was a convicted
felon in Florida. Deputy Gallup then spoke with three awaiting females involved in the confrontation at the Butler Boat Ramp.
     One woman described coming on shore and recognizing Little as being the male operator of the boat that hit her boat while on the water. According to the victim, Little was in the driver seat of the white Ford when she confronted Little about him speeding away after colliding with her boat. She further states he became highly agitated and at one point produced what she described as a black handgun pointing it in multiple directions and described Little as being a thin build, shirtless man with a mustache.
     The victim described fearing she would be shot, Deputy Gallup reported. And she ran away as she warned others of the gun.
     The deputy then spoke with a woman who identified herself as the 9-1-1 caller in reference to the confrontation on shore.
     She described witnessing the confrontation consistent with the victim's account and described the handgun as black. The third female involved, Gallup noted, also described witnessing the confrontation and was also able to describe the handgun as being a black pistol.
     Upon further interview of the female pickup truck driver, she stated she did not personally know Little but offered to drive his truck as a sober driver to help him -- but she otherwise did not witness the confrontation on shore, the deputy reported that woman said.
     At the scene, FWC Officer Tanner Robson charged the suspect with BUI with property damage and leaving the scene of a boating accident, according to information provided by the FWC.
     Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said Monday (May 24) that the GCSO is working with the FWC from now through the Memorial Day weekend to catch suspected intoxicated boaters.
     Sheriff Schultz said he wants everyone to enjoy the waterways in Gilchrist County while practicing safety. Sheriff Schultz mentioned that he would like boaters to be respectful of one another, and to consider houses on the banks of the rivers as they leave wakes.
     If people know about intoxicated boaters or other illegal activity on the waterways of Gilchrist County, the sheriff said he would like them to call the GCSO at 9-1-1.

 


Troopers catch partially clothed woman
after high-speed multi-county chase
Pursuit starts in Sumter County
after Gilchrist County S.O. alert

FHP Captures Suspect

FHP Captures Suspect

Photos Courtesy of FHP

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 22, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
     HERNANDO COUNTY –
A 24-year-old woman with a Plant City residential address was arrested today (Saturday, May 22) for grand theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, possession of methamphetamine and driving while license suspended, according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release.
FHP Captures Suspected speeder and more

 

 

Rachael Lynn Stefancich
Mug Shot From HCSO


     The suspect was only partially clothed when caught, and she outran troopers during a pursuit that went through a few counties, the FHP said.
     Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins noted that Rachael Lynn Stefancich, 24, of Plant City (Hillsborough County) was “nearly fully unclothed” when troopers caught her in Hernando County, after a chase that started from an alert issued in Gilchrist County.
     On Saturday, May 22, at just after 10 a.m., the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert regarding a stolen vehicle traveling southbound on I-75 in Sumter County, Sgt. Gaskins noted.
     FHP troopers located the 2009 Cadillac sedan near the 307 milepost and attempted a traffic stop near the 300 milepost in Hernando County, he said.
     Immediately the vehicle fled from troopers and reached speeds in excess of 110 m.p.h. while changing lanes and passing on the roadway shoulder, the FHP said.
      At Exit 285 in Pasco County, the vehicle exited onto westbound State Road 52, the FHP said, where the pursuit concluded following the employment of a PIT maneuver, the FHP said.
     A PIT (pursuit intervention technique) or TVI (tactical vehicle intervention) is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to turn sideways abruptly, causing the driver to lose control and stop.
     The suspected fleeing felon was delivered to the Hernando County Jail, the FHP said.

 


Suspected rapist arrested
Rape Suspect in Citrus County Florida Morris Randel Kinser Sr
Morris Randel Kinser Sr.

Mug Shot By CCSO

Information Provided
By CCSO Sgt. Lee Carey
Special Operations
Published May 22, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY –
On Thursday (May 20), deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) responded to a sexual assault call. The rape was interrupted by a witness.
     The witness told responding deputies that they found Morris Randel Kinser Sr., 70, of Beverly Hills, engaging in sexual intercourse with the adult victim.
     Beverly Hills is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Citrus County.
     Deputies found that the victim has a diminished mental capacity, which makes the crime sexual battery. Once discovered, Kinser apologized to the witness and left the home immediately, the witness told investigators.
     With this information, Detectives Tiffany Barry and Matthew Steelfox of the CCSO Major Cases Section responded to continue the investigation.
     The witness told detectives that Kinser often comes to the residence while they are not home, claiming he would check on the victim. Following up on information, Detectives Barry and Steelfox obtained evidence, including statements from Kinser.
     Kinser's statements corroborated the witness' allegations and revealed that this had occurred multiple times. Kinser was placed under arrest for Sexual Battery and is being held at the Citrus County Jail with a bond of $25,000 per the bond schedule.
     "Kinser betrayed the victim and her family's trust in him. Detectives Barry and Steelfox did an excellent job in this case and had Kinser in custody within hours," Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. "Their dedication to finding justice for victims in these cases is unmatched and helps the Citrus County Sheriff's Office provide our citizens a sense of safety. I hope that the victim and her family can find some comfort in the fact that Kinser is in custody and that we will continue to work with the (Fifth Judicial Circuit) State Attorney's Office throughout the judicial process."

 




Suspected Criminals Put In The Levy County Florida Jail

Published June 21, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.
 



#JailLog #DixieCountyFlorida Suspected criminals jailed and listed on HardisonInk.com

Published June 21, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.
 




Suspects arrested in Gilchrist County Florida
Published June 21, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.

 


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Here Inky the cat Hardison performs three Olympic jumps to rival the athletes in Brazil in 2016. Wait for it -- JUMP!
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