HardisonInk.com

--UPDATED--
THURSDAY  JULY 29  8:11 a.m.  Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties


Exclusively First Published Here
Breaking News On HardisonInk.com
FDLE investigates
inmate death at Dixie County Jail
No update on other recent homicide

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 28, 2021 at 12:11 p.m.
     CROSS CITY --
Information provided from sources have proved an inmate who was in the Dixie County Jail died from something other than natural causes, including possible suicide by hanging.



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     The man's body was found Monday (July 26) at approximately 4 a.m., according to one source.
     Florida Department of Law Enforcement Public Information Specialist Jessica Cary noted in an email sent to HardisonInk.com at 11:11 a.m. today (Wednesday, July 28), the following, "I can confirm that at the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office’s request, we are investigating a death at the jail, but as our investigation is active we cannot provide information on it at this time."
     A request for a press release has been made if the FDLE ever concludes its investigation of the death of that inmate in that county jail.
     Meanwhile, in other DCSO homicide investigation news, DCSO Maj. Johnny Valentine said Wednesday morning that as of this morning (July 28), there is no update on the body found in the community of Suwannee (unincorporated Dixie County) on Sunday morning (July 25). That is an active investigation and records are exempt from disclosure to press and the public until the investigation is concluded.
     As noted on a Facebook page, which Maj. Valentine confirmed as representing accurate information, on July 25, deputies with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office responded to the community of Suwannee in reference to a missing adult. Deputies located the body of that missing adult a canal behind the residence where he was staying. The address is 126 S.E. 252nd St.
     Regarding that body of a man being found in Dixie County, FDLE Public Information Specialist Cary noted “At the request of DCSO, FDLE is providing forensic and investigative assistance” regarding the FDLE’s resources, which were seen in the community of Suwannee of Sunday evening (July 26). Information about whether another person was transported via ambulance to a hospital from that scene in the community of Suwannee cannot be confirmed, because this is an active crime investigation.

 


Nikki Fried
Commissioner Nikki Fried and FDACS
suspend licenses of 22 insurrectionists

By Office of Communications
Published July 27, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
Today (Tuesday, July 27), as the United States House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol holds its first hearing, Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Licensing announced the suspension of 22 licenses held by individuals involved in the insurrection.
     The FDACS Division of Licensing administers Florida’s concealed weapon licensing program and oversees Florida’s private investigative, private security and recovery services industries. The division’s regulatory oversight of private investigative, private security and recovery services includes licensing, enforcing compliance standards, and ensuring public protection from unethical business practices and unlicensed activity.
      “The deeply disturbing events that occurred at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism – and those individuals involved in the insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to subvert our democratic process,” said Commissioner Fried. “Since charges began being filed, we are using our lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. This is an ongoing effort, and as charges and sentences continue in the wake of this despicable attack, we will further suspend and revoke any additional licenses granted to insurrectionists.”
     The FDACS Division of Licensing has the ability to immediately suspend a license if the licensee is charged with a felony or certain other disqualifying offenses. Once a judgement is rendered, if the sentence disqualifies, FDACS can revoke the license.
     Pursuant to Section 790.0601, Florida Statutes, FDACS can neither confirm nor deny whether an individual has ever applied for or received a concealed weapon or firearm license, as this information is exempt from disclosure as a public record.

 


CFR gets new $500,000 fire truck
Chiefland City Commission and a new fire truck
Working as photographic models, members of the Chiefland City Commission provide a couple of photo ops on Monday evening (July 26). Out of the shot and to the left is CFR Fire Chief James Harris. Standing in front of the 2021 Pierce Saber model of fire truck are (from left) City Commission members Lance Hayes, Norm Weaver, Rollin Hudson, Lewrissa Mainwaring and Chris Jones.

Chiefland City Commission and a new fire truck
Continuing to pose as they provide photo ops are members of the Chiefland City Commission on Monday evening (July 26). Out of the shot and to the left is the front part of a 2013 Nissan Juke, one unit of the vehicular fleet of the best daily news website in Florida. Standing in front of the 2021 Pierce Saber model of fire truck are (from left) City Commissioner Lance Hayes, Vice Mayor Robert Norman ‘Norm’ Weaver, City Commissioner Lewrissa ‘Rissa’ Mainwaring, Mayor Christopher ‘Chris’ Jones and City Commissioner James Rollin Hudson Jr.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 27, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
Fire Chief James Harris, leader of Chiefland Fire Rescue (CFR), is a man of his word.
     As promised in June, the chief had a brand new fire truck ready for CFR action by the end of July, and he provided photographers with photo opportunities by having it in the parking lot of Chiefland City Hall (the Hardy Dean Sr. Municipal Building) on Monday evening (July 26).
     Photo ops of the five-member Chiefland City Commission were for HardisonInk.com, the daily news website, as well as for one of the local weekly tabloid-sized papers published in Citrus County, as well as for city employees who brought their cell-phone/cameras, and others.
     People with their feet on the ground to make this new fire truck ready to serve residents and visitors of Chiefland and the surrounding area are an army of positive-moving folk. In addition to Chief Harris, there were various other members of the CFR, former City Manager Mary Ellzey, current City Manager Laura Cain, Chiefland Deputy Clerk and Planning Project Coordinator Belinda Wilkerson and other city employees.
     Serving as the money source, there were all of the hardworking Americans who pay their taxes, and all of the hardworking Chiefland property owners who pay their taxes and assessments.
     As noted in a story published June 30 in HardisonInk.com, Fire Chief Harris shared information about the 2021 Pierce Saber model of fire truck. Chiefland Deputy Clerk and Planning Project Coordinator Wilkerson obtained $496,944 in a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Harris said.
     By working with the USDA Rural Development, Chief Harris said, Chiefland had its brand new fire truck by the end of July.
     The Saber model of the Pierce brand of firetruck, Harris said, “is the Cadillac of firetrucks” and this machine was entirely paid off when it backed into the parking space at Chiefland Fire Rescue.
     The Saber is noted on the Pierce website to have:
     ● Exceptional visibility is achieved through a large, bonded, single-piece, wrap-around windshield.
     ● The smaller engine tunnel is lower and more contoured for increased occupant space, particularly up front for the driver and officer.
     ● The forward roof design offers a cathedral ceiling feel with increased frontal visibility and more configurable space.
     ● Engine -- Cummins L9 with 370 to 450 horsepower.
     During his more than one decade of service to the residents and visitors of Chiefland, Fire Chief Harris has found the best prices for fire equipment, including engines, bunker gear and Jaws of Life,
including the Jaws being donated by Firehouse Subs.

 


8th Annual National Best Looking
Cruiser Contest starts
Vote through Aug. 3 at noon

Information Provided
By FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins
Published July 23, 2021 at 12:11 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
The American Association of State Troopers is conducting its annual "Best Looking Cruiser" contest for the eighth time.
     The Georgia State Police cruiser was voted the“2020 Best Looking Cruiser.”  The contest began a friendly competition between state agencies as a fun way to allow community support and interaction with law enforcement in a positive manner.
     Voting started Tuesday, July 20 at 12 p.m. (EST) and continues through Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 12 p.m. (EST).
     This year’s contest will be tabulated through the SurveyMonkey website. To cast a vote in the “2021 Best Looking Cruiser Contest,” individuals can access the website link by clicking HERE. Then, scroll through the state agency photos to find your favorite cruiser.
     At the bottom of the page, select your favorite cruiser from the drop-down menu.
     The winner will be presented with the "Best Looking Cruiser Award" and featured on the cover of the AAST’s “America's Best Looking Trooper Cruisers 2022 Wall Calendar."
     The calendars will be available for purchase at https://www.statetroopers.org/ beginning Oct. 1, 2021. Calendar sales will benefit the American Association of State Troopers Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to dependents of member troopers.


Fatal crash reported in Ocala
Ocala Fatal Crash Scene
Story and Photo Provided’
By Jeff Walczak, Public Information Officer
Ocala Police Department
Published July 21, 2021 at 7:11 p.m.
     OCALA --
On July 20, around 9:45 p.m., Ocala Police Department responded to the intersection of Northeast Third Street and 10th Avenue in reference to a crash that involved two vehicles.
     The vehicles involved were a Mitsubishi Mirage and a Ford Expedition.
     The Ford was rolled over on the driver side at the corner of the intersection and the driver, Isaiah Wiggins, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene.
      The driver of the Mitsubishi said he was traveling westbound on Northeast Third Street, when Wiggins, traveling northbound on Northeast 10th Avenue, ran the stop sign and crossed his right-of-way.
     That’s when the Mitsubishi’s front bumper hit Wiggins’ passenger side door, causing Wiggins’ vehicle to overturn.
     Wiggins was not wearing his seat belt. The other driver and passenger in the Mitsubishi were wearing their seat belts and had no injuries.
     Currently, the OPD is investigating this crash. The rate of speed is uncertain at this time (1 p.m. on July 21).
     Isaiah Wiggin’s family has been notified and the OPD is working closely with them during this difficult time.

 


LCSO uncovers
alleged murder-for-hire plot

Suspected criminal

 

 


Philip Don Quillen
Mug Shot By LCSO

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© July 21, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     BRONSON –
a 77-year-old Chiefland man is now charged with conspiracy to commit murder, according to information in a Wednesday afternoon (July 21) press release from Levy County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Tummond, public information officer.
     LCSO detectives filed the charge on July 20 against Philip Don Quillen, 77, of Chiefland, Tuimmond said.
     On July 14, detectives learned of a plot Quillen concocted to hire a person to murder several people whom he believed had wronged him, Tummond said.
     This most recent crime – conspiracy to commit murder – follows charges of charges of arson of a dwelling while occupied, burglary and felony criminal mischief from a 2020 case that the LCSO solved last month, Tummond said.
     The victim of that crime was one of his targets that Quillen was willing to pay to have killed, Tummond said detectives found.
     Quillen offered $5,000 for each of the four people he wanted killed, and the suspected arsonist and suspected burglar promised to pay an additional $5,000 bonus if all the murders were successful, Tummond said.
     Although Quillen has not been to his first court appearance in this new case of conspiracy to commit murder, Tummond said, the previous charges had a bond total of $1.375 million.
     The two previous two cold cases closed by LCSO detectives are from December of 2020, Tummond said, when detectives responded to a report of arson in the unincorporated area of Levy County south of Chiefland.
     The then-unidentified suspect used an accelerant in an attempt to set an occupied home on fire and burned a car in the yard, Tummond said.
     In February of 2021, the then-unknown suspect broke into the same home where the arson occurred and caused in excess of $5,000 of damage to property inside the home, Tummond said.
     Detectives linked Quillen to these crimes using biological evidence collected from these scenes, Tummond said.
     Quillen’s DNA had been submitted to the CODIS database for crimes he committed years earlier in Indiana. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that contains the biological instructions that make each species unique.
     CODIS is the acronym for the Combined DNA Index System and is the generic term used to describe the FBI’s program of support for criminal justice DNA databases as well as the software used to run these databases, according to information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
     Quillen was linked to the arson and burglary cases with forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene, Tummond said.
     While his bond is currently almost $1.4 million, the newest charge of conspiracy to commit murder may result in a bond increase after he goes to first appearance.

 


Attempted murder suspect
captured in Levy County
New charges added -
Bond now at $2.6 million


Adam John Scott felon and suspect

 

 

 

 


Adam John Scott
Mug Shot by LCSO

 


 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© July 16, 2021 at 9:11 p.m.
* Updated July 21, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
A man who allegedly fired a gun at deputies and who then escaped from the residence at 291 N.E. U.S. Highway 41, Morriston yesterday evening (Thursday, July 15) was captured this evening (Friday, July 16), according to information from Levy County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Tummond, public information officer.
     Adam John Scott, 39, experienced deputies firing weapons in response to him shooting at them yesterday evening, Tummond said. No one was hit by any bullets, Tummond said, and there were no injuries during Scott’s arrest tonight (July 16).
     An arrest warrant for attempted murder of a law enforcement officer with a $1 million bond was issued after the incident last night, according to records. In addition to that charge and the $1 million bond, other charges and bonds may be added before Scott has his first appearance in circuit court in Levy County.
     That warrant for attempted murder of a law enforcement officer was served this evening when Scott was safely taken into custody, Tummond said.
     All roads that were previously closed due to the search have been reopened to normal traffic flow patterns.
     Several LCSO deputies have been at the on scene of the shooting investigation on U.S. 41 south of Williston in the Morristown area.
     Among the resources brought into action to locate the man who shot at LCSO deputies, Tummond said were tracking dogs and a helicopter.
     Residents of the area who were concerned about this armed fleeing felon can rest easy now.
     Records from the Levy County Detention Facility show Scott was arrested 15 times from 2001 through 2015. Scott was sentenced in 2015 for felony possession of cocaine and a felony traffic charge for being an habitual traffic offender, according to records.
     * UPDATED -- Additional charges were filed July 20 on Scott, Lt. Tummond said.
     Scott was initially taken into custody Friday evening for a warrant charging him with the attempted murder of law enforcement officers. Circuit Court Judge W. Davis pre-set the bond on this warrant at $1 million dollars.
     Detectives filed the additional charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and tampering with evidence, Tummond said. An additional bond of $1.6 million has been set on these new charges, brining the combined bonds to $2.6 million.
     Scott continued to be held in the Levy County Detention Facility and is awaiting his first court appearance for these charges as of Tuesday afternoon (July 21), Tummond noted in the press release.

 


Sheriff set for presidential election
Levy County Sheriff bobby McCallum
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum says ‘Thank you’ during the Levy County Commission meeting Tuesday (July 20) to everyone involved in a recent arrest after an officer-involved shooting incident in the Williston area.
~
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 21, 2021 at 11:11 a.m.
     BRONSON –
Near the conclusion of the Tuesday (July 20) meeting of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said that if the other sheriffs in Florida will have him, then he will serve as the president of the Florida Sheriffs Association this year.


People who help others are seen here
Seated in the audience and seen here before the meeting are Levy County Maintenance and Construction Director Jimmy Jones (front and center), Levy County Emergency Management Director John MacDonald (rear, left), and Williston Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Willis Jr. Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum mentioned his appreciation for the Williston Fire Rescue and Williston Police Department for those agencies' help in responding to the recent incident. In Levy County, people work together for the common good of all residents and visitors. The Williston Fire Rescue members were among the people manning a roadblock in the area, the sheriff said, and the Levy County Department of Public Safety (Levy County Fire Rescue) were thanked as well.

Mitch Harrell of Levy County DPS
Chief Mitch Harrell, director of the Levy County Department of Public Safety speaks to the County Commission and receives approval to rescind a previous approval, so that he can buy a Chevrolet rather than a Ford for use as an administrative vehicle. The County Commission granted the request via a unanimous vote of approval. This saves taxpayers because the Ford price was $29,150 and the Chevy price was $24,616, according to records.


     Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz is the current Florida Sheriff’s Association president.
     Other FSA officers are Vice President – Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum; Secretary – Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis; Treasurer – Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper; and Immediate Past President – Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
     The ex-officio officers of the FSA this year are Chaplain - Sumter County Sheriff Bill O. Farmer Jr.; Sgt. at Arms – Lafayette County Sheriff Brian Lamb and FSA Executive Director (appointed position) Steve Casey.
     All 67 counties in Florida have a high sheriff, and all of them belong to the FSA.
     Sheriff McCallum’s comment about accepting the FSA presidency after serving this year as vice president came after some conversation subsequent to County Commission Chairman John Meeks asking the sheriff if he had anything to say near the end of the regular twice-monthly County Commission meeting Tuesday. Chairman Meeks said he it is an honor for Sheriff McCallum to again be among the leaders of the Florida Sheriffs Association, given that he is elected as president at the convention on July 26.
     The key message the sheriff had before that conversation, though, was his expression of his appreciation for all of the people involved in a positive manner that resulted in the capture of an armed fleeing felon recently in Levy County.
     That man from the Williston area shot at deputies, who returned fire and then he fled. Within 24 hours, he was taken into custody and no person suffered any injuries.
     Sheriff McCallum mentioned his appreciation for all of the neighboring law enforcement agencies coming to assist. Beyond those law enforcers, the sheriff mentioned Williston Fire Rescue and the Levy County Department of Public Safety (formerly known as Levy County Fire Rescue) for support rendered by people in those groups.
     People who live in the area or who were passing through were noted by the sheriff for their assistance in this successful manhunt, because the traveling public was inconvenienced for a while.
     The sheriff said he appreciates the public’s understanding of the road closures for their safety.

    


30 arrested
for illegal cockfighting ring operation
Two from Morriston, one from Williston

By FDACS Communications
Published July 20, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
Last week, investigators with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE), assisted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), and the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC), executed a search warrant at 1915 S.E. Calhoun Road, Mayo (Lafayette County) as part of “Operation Fowl Play,” a months-long investigation into illegal cockfighting rings operating in rural North Florida.
     When law enforcement officers entered the scene to serve the search warrant, they discovered a gathering of participants and onlookers actively engaged in the illegal blood sport of fighting or baiting of animals and immediately began effecting arrests. FDC canine assisted in apprehending several suspects who attempted to avoid arrest by fleeing on foot.
     After the scene was secured, the court-authorized search of the area resulted in the discovery of three deceased birds and the seizure of 41 birds that had been brought to the location for the sole purpose of pitting them against each other in cruel fights to the death.  Investigators also seized several firearms, large quantities of cash, and illegal controlled substances as part of the operation.
     “Every day, our department’s law enforcement professionals are working hard to track down and crack down on criminal activity in our state,” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried said. “Such abhorrent behavior will not be tolerated – be it illegal conduct hurting Floridians or cruelty against animals. Thanks to our law enforcement team and partners, this ring was broken up and the individuals involved are being brought to justice.”
     A total of 29 adult defendants and one juvenile defendant were arrested and charged as follows:
     ● Mario Martinez Alvarez, Hispanic male, 44, at large
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Ronald Amburgy, White male, 70, of Ocala
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Juan Avilar, 35, of Live Oak
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Octavio Besera, Hispanic male, 37, of Williston
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
    
● Preciliano Carrillo Jr., Hispanic male, 24, of Valdosta, Georgia
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
      ● Jesus Cavillio, Hispanic male, 41, of Valdosta, Georgia
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Angeles Diaz, Hispanic male, 50, of DeLeon Springs
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Thomas Equi, Hispanic male, 62, of Reddick
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Omar Alonzo Martinez-Gonzales, Hispanic male, 44, of Mayo, Florida
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Juan Gerardo Hernandez-Menendez, Hispanic male, 36, of Mayo
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Adela Monroy, Hispanic male, 35, of Mayo
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Alejando Moreno, Hispanic male, 29, of Live Oak
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Alejandro Landaverde Moreno, Hispanic male, 22, of Live Oak
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Anthony Thomas Moreno, Hispanic male, 24, of Satsuma
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Gonzalo Munoz, Hispanic male, 52, of Morriston
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.

     ● Ismael Nava, Hispanic male,  46, of Valdosta, Georgia
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Jose De Jesus Martinez Nunez, Hispanic male, 43, of Astor
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (b), F.S., Owning, possessing, or selling equipment for use in Animal Fighting - Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Juan Hernandez Oviedo, Hispanic male, 35, of Live Oak
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Juan Manuel Hernandez Oviedo, Hispanic male, 35, of Mayo
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Renee Ruska Pelzman. White female, 64, of Ocala
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Juan Aguilar-Perez, Hispanic male, 34, of Live Oak
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Scott Phillips, White male, 30, of Lake City
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (b), F.S., Owning, possessing, or selling equipment for use in Animal Fighting - Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
Violation of Section 893.13 (1)(a)(1), F.S., Distribution of Cannabis (Weight 65 grams), Second Degree Felony, 1 count
Violation of Section 790.23 (1)(a) - Felon in Possession of a Firearm (AR-15), Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Rickie Ramirez, Hispanic male, 29, of Tampa
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Jose Rodas, Hispanic male, 39, of Morriston
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.

     ● Antonio Sanchez, Hispanic male, 42, of Ocala
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Jose Luis Cruz-Torres, Hispanic male, 36, of Pierson
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
Violation of Section 827.03 (2) (d), F.S., Child Neglect, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Rene Turgios, Hispanic male, 45, of Mayo
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Reninel Tusio, Hispanic male, 45, of unknown residence
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Reymundo Cruz Zarate, Hispanic male, 52, of Crescent City
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.
     ● Juvenile
     Charges: Violation of Section 828.122 (3) (h), F.S., Attending the fighting or baiting of animals, Third Degree Felony, 1 count.

 


FHP announces participation
in Operation Southern Shield

FHP photo thanks to Troop C with the Major, Sergeant and Captain
(from left) FHP Captain Kristina Quenneville, Sgt. Steve Gaskins and Major Anthony Sapp speak to the press, both print and broadcast, in Tampa on Monday (July 19) about Operation Southern Shield.

Operation Southern Shield
FHP Major William Tierney speaks about Operation Southern Shield. Standing behind him is FHP Lt. P.V. Riordan at the Gainesville office of FHP Troop B.

Photos Provided By FHP

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 19, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
* Updated July 19, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
     GAINESVILLE-TAMPA –
Among the two metropolitan areas where the Florida Highway Patrol announced Monday (July 19) its intent to participate in Operation Southern Shield were Gainesville and Tampa.
     FHP Lt. Patrick V. Riordan and FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins invited members of the press to those two locations, as their public information officer counterparts in other troops welcomed members of The Fourth Estate to other headquarters around the Sunshine State on Monday as well.
     Today (Monday, July 19), the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as well as the FDHSMV’s division of the FHP are joining in Operation Southern Shield, a combined effort with the National Highway Traffic Administration and the states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, the FHP public information officers noted.



State and local law enforcement agencies in those five states are set to conduct a weeklong enforcement campaign to detect and cite drivers suspected of exceeding the posted maximum speed limits on all interstate corridors.



     In Gainesville, FHP Troop B Commander Maj. William Tierney spoke with the press about this operation and in Tampa, it was FHP Troop C Commander Maj. Anthony Sapp who led the informational event.
     Among the other leaders in the FHP, according to information on its website, are Director Col. Gene Spaulding, Deputy Director Col. Troy Thompson, and troop commanders, other than those noted earlier for Troops for B and C, are Troop A - Maj. Warren Fast; Troop D - Maj. Waxler Bright; Troop E - Maj. Christopher Dellapietra; Troop F - Maj. Joseph Franza; Troop G - Maj. Steven Harris; Troop H - Maj. Chris Blackmon; Troop I - Maj. Erick McGuire; Troop J - Maj. William Harris; Troop K - Maj. Kevin L. Blom; and Troop L - Maj. Robert Chandler.
* UPDATED
     Col. Spaulding addressed speeding as a problem for safety.
     “Speeding endangers not only the life of the speeder, but all road users around them, including law enforcement officers and other public safety workers,” Col. Spaulding said. “The Florida Highway Patrol is pleased to partner with our neighboring states
and local law enforcement agencies in our continued effort to make Florida’s roadways safer for all.”
     As you travel, here are some tips to stay safe on Florida’s roadways this summer:
     • Anticipate increased traffic during peak travel periods. Plan ahead and give yourself ample drive time.
     • Buckle up and make sure all passengers are buckled up the entire trip.
     • Slow down in construction zones. Keep in mind that construction increases during the summer.
     Please remember:
     • No matter how eager you are to get to your destination, speeding and driving aggressively is dangerous. Stay patient and give other road users plenty of space.
     • If you observe aggressive driving, do not engage with the other driver. Dial *FHP (*347) or 9-1-1 for local law enforcement.

 


Woman allegedly files
false kidnapping report

suspected filer of false police report

 

 

 


Alma Delia Duran
Mug Shot By MCSO

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© July 19, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     OCALA –
A 52-year-old woman who lives in Ocala was arrested Thursday (July 15) as the result of her alleged attempt to become a citizen of the United States of America, according to information shared Monday morning (July 19) in a press release from Marion County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Paul Bloom, director of the MCSO Public Information Office.
     MCSO Major Crimes detectives arrested Alma Delia Duran, 52, on the charge of for making a false report of a crime, Sgt. Bloom said.
     This plot started with an incident on On March 2, he said.
     That is when MCSO deputies responded to the Baseline Golf Course on Southeast 58th Avenue in Ocala. Deputies were investigating a report that Duran, an employee at the golf course, was missing, Bloom said.
     Duran’s coworkers called the MCSO after they found the lawnmower she uses at the golf course abandoned at the wash rack at the golf course, according to records.
     While the investigation into her disappearance was ongoing, deputies found her, nude, on the side of the roadway in the 8000 block of Highway 314, according to records.
     Duran claimed to have been kidnapped from work, rendered unconscious, and left on the side of the road, according to information in the arrest affidavit by MCSO Det. Cpl. B. Burlson.
     MCSO’s Major Crimes Bureau, the Aviation Unit, the K-9 Unit and the Field Force participated in the investigation, led by Det. Burleson, which continued for almost four months.
     Detectives utilized various investigative techniques and obtained multiple search warrants. Information obtained through these search warrants revealed that Duran was on the phone with a man named Luis Guerrero during the time of her alleged abduction, Bloom said.
     Further investigation revealed that in the preceding month, she and Guerrero had spoken on the phone in excess of 100 times. Based upon these discoveries, detectives reinterviewed Duran, Bloom said, and Duran initially maintained that she had been kidnapped.
     When Duran was confronted with the evidence regarding Guerrero, Bloom said, she admitted that she had not been kidnapped. Duran said she and Guerrero had been having an ongoing affair for the past five years and that he had picked her up from work that morning. MCSO detectives interviewed Guerrero, who confirmed he had been in a relationship with Duran, Bloom said.

 



Guerrero stated that Duran had confided in him that she was going to attempt to obtain United States citizenship by claiming to be the victim of a violent crime such as a kidnapping (a process known as a “U visa”), Bloom said.
 



      Guerrero stated that on the morning of March 2, he picked up Duran at 8:30 a.m., Bloom said, and they drove around having consensual sexual encounters. Guerrero said that while they were together, he told Duran he “couldn’t do this” and she told him to leave her somewhere up the road and she would take care of the rest, Bloom said.
     On Thursday (July 15), Duran was interviewed for a third time by MCSO detectives.
     At the conclusion of the interview, Duran was placed under arrest for making a false report of a crime and transported to the Marion County Jail, where she was held on a $1,000 bond.
     When this crime was initially reported, due to the circumstances, detectives investigated the possibility of a sexual assault, Bloom said. At this time, based upon the evidence gathered in the investigation and the inconsistent statements made by Duran, detectives do not believe there is any credible evidence to support any crime occurred, Bloom said.
     “Nothing is more important to me as the sheriff than ensuring violent criminals are apprehended and locked away in jails and prisons,” Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said. “When we received the initial report of this crime, I asked my deputies and detectives to leave no stone unturned in the search for the individual responsible. Ms. Duran’s false report took away resources that we could have used to investigate actual crimes that occurred against our citizens.
     “Were it not for the hard work of my detectives, it is possible that this woman could have succeeded in her attempt to defraud the U visa process,” Sheriff Woods continued. “This case serves as a reminder that the situation at our country’s borders affects what local law enforcement encounters every day.”

 


Man found dead
at Levy County crash site

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 18, 2021 at 1:11 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
The body of a 48-year-old man with a residential address of Trenton was found at a crash site Sunday morning (July 18) at 6 a.m., according to a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol about four hours after that.
     On July 18, the FHP responded to vehicle crash on Levy County Road 339 at the intersection of Northwest 172nd Lane, the FHP said.
     A white passenger car was northbound on CR 339, the FHP said. The vehicle traveled off of the roadway and hit a tree, the FHP said.
     The suspected driver of the vehicle was found dead at the scene. Investigation is ongoing as of 10 a.m. today (Sunday, July 18), 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/

 



Teen dies in three-car crash
Four others
suffer critical to minor injuries

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 17, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
One 17-year-old girl from Ocala died and another 17-year-old girl from Ocala suffered serious injuries in a crash late Friday night (July 16), the Florida Highway Patrol noted in a press release early Saturday morning (July 17).
     Three sedans were involved in the crash, the FHP said, and other injuries were to a 2-year-old Ocala boy, listed in serious condition; a 40-year-old Sanford man (Seminole County), listed in critical condition; and a 55-year-old Deltona woman (Volusia County), listed with minor injuries, the FHP said.
     The girl who died and the man who suffered critical injuries were not wearing seatbelts, the FHP said. It is unknown if the 2-year-old boy was in a child restraint, the FHP said, and everyone else involved in the crash was wearing seatbelts.
     A sedan driven by a 40-year-old Sanford man and a sedan driven by a 55-year-old Deltona woman were both eastbound on State Road 40 east of Southeast 196th Terrace Road in Marion County on July 16 at 10:42 p.m., crash investigator FHP Trooper C. Ball reported.
     No homicide investigator was listed on the press release.
     Neither the man nor the woman had passengers in their vehicles, the FHP said.
     The eastbound car driven by the man was behind the eastbound car driven by the woman.
     A sedan driven by a 17-year-old Ocala girl was westbound on SR 40 as it approached the two eastbound cars, the FHP said. The girl had another 17-year-old Ocala girl and a 2-year-old Ocala boy in that sedan, the FHP said.
     The sedan driven by the man from Sanford crossed over the double solid yellow line entering the westbound travel lane while attempting to pass the sedan driven by the Deltona woman, the FHP said.
     The front of the car driven by the man collided with the front of the car driven by the girl, the FHP said.
     After the initial collision, the car driven by the man then hit the car driven by the woman, the FHP said, and then came to final rest on the south shoulder and caught fire.
     The sedan driven by the girl came to final rest in the roadway and the sedan driven by the woman came to final rest on the southern shoulder of SR 40, the FHP said.
     The man was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center, the FHP said.
     The Ocala girl driving the sedan was pronounced dead at ORMC, the FHP said. The Ocala girl who was a passenger in that sedan was also transported to ORMC and the 2-year-old Ocala boy who was a passenger in that sedan was taken by helicopter to Shands in Gainesville, the FHP said.
     The 55-year-old woman from Deltona was taken to ORMC with 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 women arrested
for aggravated animal cruelty
and child neglect

Eww
This is one part of the scene uncovered by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. Photos of the animals that show the level of suspected cruelty are not published here.

Suspected Criminals in Citrus County Florida
Christine Anne Iverson (left) and Tabitha Kaye Iverson

Mug Shots By CCSO

Story and Photos Provided
By Brittney Carman
CCSO Community Relations Specialist
Published July 16, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.

     CITRUS COUNTY --
Shortly before 6 p.m. on Wednesday (July 14), Citrus County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Officers (ACO) responded to a residence off of West Green Acres Street in Homosassa in reference to a report of animal cruelty.
     The ACOs quickly realized they would need the full cooperation and teamwork of both Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Citrus County Animal Services for this investigation.
     Inside the residence, officials discovered 21 dogs, 27 cats, six of various species of birds, five rabbits, one turtle and one chicken. Four of the dogs located were caged in the kitchen, laying in their own urine and feces inside a cage. Another nine dogs were discovered inside the dining room, in the same condition.
     The remainder of the animals were located throughout the rest of the residence, including a dog in the master bathroom who was soaked in urine and so severely malnourished to the point it could not stand. Unfortunately, this dog was in such poor physical condition due to the neglect, it had to be euthanized.
     The majority of the other animals had multiple open sores on their bodies, legs and feet. Additional livestock outside were seized as well.
     During this investigation, officials discovered a juvenile who is living in the same deplorable conditions.
     "There are basic standards of humane care for both people and animals," stated Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. "These two individuals not only allowed 84 animals to suffer in this hazardous and unsanitary environment, but they even exposed a juvenile child to these unlivable conditions."    
     In total, 84 animals were seized and turned over to the county. Both Tabitha Kaye Iverson, 51, and Christine Anne Iverson, 42, were charged with 61 counts of aggravated animal cruelty, 13 counts of animal cruelty, and one count of child neglect. Their bonds were set at $137,000 each.
     The CCSO notes its appreciation for the service of the entire staff at Citrus County Animal Services and Animal Shelter for working with the ACOs as they safely recovered these animals and helped give them a new life in a loving, forever home.
     The Citrus County Animal Shelter was operating over capacity prior to taking on this case. They are in urgent need of adopters, fosters, and rescues to reduce the existing population and to make room for this new group of animals.
     Please email colleen.yarbrough@citrusbocc.com or call 352-746-8400 for more information about helping in this effort.

 


Detectives seek information
in Marion Oaks homicide

By Zachary Moore
MCSO Public Information Officer
Published July 15, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
     OCALA --
On Wednesday, July 14, approximately 9 p.m., Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) deputies responded to the 15500 block of Southwest 46th Circle, Ocala, in reference to a shooting.
     Upon arrival, they located the victim, Briell Alexander Vickers 22, deceased in a vehicle from an apparent gunshot wound. Major Crimes detectives responded to the scene and initiated the homicide investigation.
     At this time Thursday afternoon, July 15, detectives are looking for persons-of-interest who may have information about the incident.
     Major Crimes detectives are asking for the community’s help. If you have any information on this homicide, please call Detective Annemarie Larocque at 352-369-6805 or to remain anonymous, call Marion County Crime Stoppers at 352-368-STOP and reference tip number 21-47.

 


Train hits USPS van
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 15, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
A CSX train hit a USPS van this afternoon (Thursday, July 15) in Marion County.
     No people were injured.
     The 2020 Mercedes Cargo Van, owned and operated by the United States Postal Service, was westbound on Southeast 147th Place, according to a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.
     The vehicle became stuck on the dirt road when the driver attempted a U-turn at Southeast 70th Avenue Road, the FHP said.
     The driver 1 exited the vehicle and called for a tow truck, the FHP said.
     Before the van could be removed, however, a northbound CSX train approached the area and hit the front of the van, which was very near to the rail line, the FHP said. The time of the crash is noted as 2:07 p.m. on July 15, according to the FHP.
     The train came to a controlled stop approximately 100 yards north of the point of contact with the van, 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/

 


Boy arrested for
torturing and killing a cat

Suspected Felon From Ocala

 

 

 


James William Basener
Mug Shot By MCSO

 


By Zachary Moore
MCSO Public Information Officer
Published July 14, 2021
at 4:11 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
On Tuesday (July 13), Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Deputy Andrew Rivera-Gomez arrested James William Basener, 13, of Ocala for aggravated animal cruelty, which is a felony offense.
     Basener was additionally charged with petit theft for stealing the cat from his neighbor, according to records.
     On Tuesday, around 7 p.m., Deputy Gomez was dispatched to assist Marion County Animal Control in reference to the death of a domesticated cat. Upon arrival, two Marion County Animal Control officers told the deputy they were investigating allegations that Basener had severely injured and ultimately killed a neighbor’s cat.
     The cat had a collar and when the neighbor asked about whether the boy knew about the whereabouts of the cat, he gave her the collar and said he threw it in the trash, according to records.
     Deputy Gomez began a criminal investigation and made contact with Basener and his parents, who agreed to speak about the allegations.
     Initially, Basener denied any incident involving a cat. However, he recanted his statement and stated approximately one week prior, he saw a cat in the neighborhood and brought it back to his home.
     Basener placed the cat in a trashcan and kept it trapped there for several days. A few days later, he used a pole to strike the cat inside the can and left it trapped. On July 13, Basener attempted to stab the animal and it bit him. At this point, he stuffed the cat in a garbage bag and started slamming it against the pavement.
     The cat escaped from the bag, but Basener recaptured it by the tail, slammed it on the pavement and blood began to flow from its mouth. After the cat was dead, Basener then threw the animal into the yard of a nearby home, where he believed dogs would further mangle the body.
     During the interview, Basener said he had injured another cat previously but did not kill it.
     After the interview, Deputy Gomez examined the dead cat and determined its injuries were consistent with Basener’s account of events. Basener was placed under arrest and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
     He was processed by the DJJ and released to his parents.

 


2-year-old girl shot with handgun
Two adults charged

Story By Jeff M. Hardison © July 13, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.

     DIXIE COUNTY -- On June 24 at approximately 11:46 a.m., a 2-year-old child became a victim of a gunshot wound, and it was witnessed by a 9-year-old child, according to information Dixie County Sheriff's Office records.
     The two children were inside a residence at 90 N.E. 512th St. in Old Town, the DCSO noted in the affidavit seeking an arrest warrant.
     The victim and the witness were watching a movie in the living room.
     De Anna Nicole Boxell, 27, and her boyfriend Gregory Allen Hall, 27, were present in the residence but did not have direct supervision of the two children, the DCSO investigation showed, according to information provided to Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jennifer J. Johnson in the affidavit for arrest.
     The 9-year-old boy heard a "pop" and then saw the 2-year-old girl holding a gun in her hand that was pointed at her leg. The 9-year-old boy told Boxell and Hall that the victim had shot herself, DCSO Deputy Steven Box noted in the report.
     Boxell is reported to have provided a sworn written statement indicating that she had gotten out of bed when she heard a shot, which was followed by the boy screaming that the girl had shot herself, according to records.
     Boxell admitted to Deputy Box that she and Hall had left the handgun in the chair the night before, according to records.
     Circuit Court Judge Johnson issued arrest warrants on June 29 for Boxell and Hall, charging each of them with one count of unsafe storage of a firearm, one count of culpable negligence and two counts of child neglect. Each of those two defendants were put in the Dixie County Jail in lieu of $10,000 combined bonds each, according to records.

 


COVID-19 hits
Levy County Detention Facility

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published July 13, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
     BRONSON –
Last Tuesday (July 6), medical personnel at the Levy County Detention Facility (Jail) began receiving complaints from both inmates and staff members of flulike symptoms.
     As of yesterday (July 12) at 2 p.m., the Levy County Sheriff’s Office nursing staff report 17 staff members have been tested for COVID-19 and eight have shown to be positive.
     Fifteen inmates have been tested and six were shown to be positive.
     The LCSO Detention Facility immediately began an aggressive regime sanitizing the entire facility with a backpack-style ionizer as well as all other recommended sanitation procedures of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
     The staff members who tested positive have been sent home to quarantine and the inmates who tested positive are isolated in a single dormitory.
     Mask usage and mandatory temperature checks have been reinstituted for all inmates and staff members in the detention facility as well as a mandatory quarantine period for all persons arrested since July 6.

 


Burglary suspects caught
with stolen appliances

3 suspected burglars caught in Levy County Florida
Timothy Pearson (right) - Triana Taylor - Douglas Dwayne Jordan

Mug Shots By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 8, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
Two men and a woman who all are currently suspected of committing multiple burglaries in Citrus and Hernando counties were arrested for fresh felonies in Levy County last Friday (July 2), according to information in a Wednesday (July 6) press release.



No tag overloaded with boxes of new appliances yep. it is suspicious
This gray Dodge truck was reported to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office when it appeared to be used in a suspicious manner. The LCSO captured three suspected burglars as a result. The LCSO is seeking more information regarding this trio of suspected felonious thieves and burglaries in Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties, according to information in a press release sent Wednesday (July 6).
Photo Provided By LCSO

     Timothy Pearson, 34, of Williston is in the Levy County Detention Facility (jail), charged with unarmed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft and resisting arrest without violence, according to jail records. Pearson’s combined bonds are $45,000, according to records.
     Triana Taylor, 35, of Williston is in the Levy County Jail charged with unarmed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft. Taylor’s combined bonds are $40,000, according to records.
     Douglas Dwayne Jordan, 32, of Homosassa Springs (Citrus County), is in the Levy County Jail charged with unarmed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft, driving while license suspended – third or subsequent offense, failure to register a motor vehicle and failure to have vehicle liability insurance on a motor vehicle, according to records.
     Jordan’s combined bonds are $40,000, according to records.
     This trio of suspected felonious thieves were captured and arrested by Levy County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives responding to reports from residents who saw something and called the LCSO dispatch, according to information in the press release from LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond, public information officer.
     On Friday (July 2) the LCSO received a call from a concerned person who reported a suspicious vehicle seen near her home, Tummond said.
     The reporting person told the LCSO Communications dispatcher she saw a gray-colored Dodge truck come into her subdivision early that morning, Tummond said.
     Several hours later, Tummond said the resident told dispatchers, she saw the same truck leaving with a load of large boxes in the truck’s bed.
     The caller told the LCSO the truck was driven by a white male, Tummond said, adding that she saw another male and a female inside the cab.
     In fact, the caller was close enough to these three to interact with them, Tummond said. The driver of this truck asked the resident to move her vehicle over on the narrow road so they could pass.
     LCSO Deputy Matt Adams went to the area and saw the described truck traveling north on State Road 121, Tummond said.
     Deputy Adams was attempting to run the tag on the truck, Tummond said, when the driver increased his speed and began to make evasive turns.
     Deputy Adams then conducted a traffic stop and when the vehicle came to a full stop, a male, later identified as Pearson, exited the passenger side of the truck and fled into the woods.
     LCSO detectives arrived on the scene to assist Deputy Adams, Tummond said. Investigators found that the trio entered into a home under construction and stole all of the new appliances that recently had been delivered, Tummond said.
     LCSO Det. Jarod Lee used tracking information found on the boxes to identify both the owner of the appliances, as well as the location from whence the items had been delivered and then stolen.
     Shortly after taking driver Jordan and passenger Taylor into custody, a second call was received of a suspicious person on a front porch as seen by a homeowner using their doorbell camera, Tummond said.
     Detective Lee and other deputies responded to the suspicious person call and located the man. He was identified as the person who fled from the traffic stop Deputy Adams made – Pearson, and he too was taken into custody, Tummond said.
     This investigation is ongoing, Tummond said, and anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Cpl. C.J. Perryman at 352-486-5111. Callers may remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477.

 


Attempted murder suspect
and two others arrested

Attempted murder and other felony suspects in Gilchrist County Flordia
(from left) Darrian Hollie - Ziryell Mincey - Dontavis Pollock
Mug Shots By GCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 7, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
     TRENTON –
Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz on Tuesday night (July 6) released information about three people arrested from an alleged shooting incident on June 27, the previous Tuesday.
     On June 27, at 1:27 a.m., Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to what sounded like gunfire in the northwest section of the City of Trenton, Sheriff Schultz said.
     Shortly thereafter, he continued, near the intersection of Northwest Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue, deputies found Ziryell Mincey, 24, of Gainesville, who had suffered injuries from multiple gunshot wounds.
     As GCSO deputies were rendering emergency medical aid and calling for emergency medical personnel to respond, the GCSO 9-1-1 Communications Center received a call from a convenience store on West Wade Street (State Road) concerning Dontavis Pollock, of Trenton, who had been injured by gunfire, Schultz said.
     Both of these men, as well as Darrian Hollie and Ja’Niya Sutton, also of Trenton, had been involved in an altercation near the intersection of Northwest Second Street and Third Avenue, which resulted in gunshots being fired, Schultz said.
     Ziryell Mincey was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond is set at $200,000.
     Darrian Hollie was arrested for being an accessory to a first degree felony after the fact. His bond is set at $250,000.
     Dontavis Pollock was arrested for attempted felony murder (discharging a firearm causing injury), attempted armed robbery, shooting into an occupied vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond was set at $3 million.
     This case is actively being investigated and additional charges will be forthcoming as the investigation proceeds, Sheriff Schultz said.
     Gilchrist County Sheriff Schultz noted his appreciation for the Florida Department Of Law Enforcements Crime Scene Unit, the United States Marshals Services Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the GCSO Patrol and Investigative Divisions for their tireless work during this investigation.

 


Sheriff Bobby McCallum brings
Harmony in the Streets to Levy County

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Levy County Sheriff’s Office Community Relations Division Supervisor Lt. Max Long, who leads the School Resource Officer Program as well as performing other duties, is seen with a few of the countless children who know and love him.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 2, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
     WILLISTON –
A cooperative venture with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, the Levy County Prevention Coalition and the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches known as Harmony in the Streets wrapped up at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon (July 1) at Williston Elementary School.



Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Tameka Days, a Levy County Prevention Coalition aide who participated in the Harmony in the Streets program, instructs children on where to sit. There were 203 children from Joyce Bullock Elementary School and Williston Elementary School registered for the four-day camp that was held at WES. Days, as well as other LCPC members and teachers from JBES and WES, and still other adults are among the more than 30 individuals helping the program succeed.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum is seen in one of the LCSO golf carts. Among the many uses for these carts is in a program the Sheriff’s Office provides to help teach young drivers about the dangers from being distracted or intoxicated while operating a vehicle.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Levy County Sheriff’s Office Community Relations Division Supervisor Lt. Max Long shows Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum where some of the activities for deputies and children are planned on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond speaks with some children who are seated and ready for the program to begin.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum speaks to the children. In the background are (from left) LCSO Fleet Maintenance Supervisor Lee Dunn (almost hidden behind the sheriff), LCSO Cpl. Danny Griffith, LCSO Det. Joe Barrera and LCSO K-9 Deputy Alton Horne. Three of the people in the background are part of the LCSO Marine-Dive Team. The sheriff answered questions from the children, too. When he was asked about the LCSO response to litterbugs, the sheriff said the offenders are asked to pickup the litter and they may be cited.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
LCSO K-9 Sgt. Kevin Kinik tells children about how much training the dogs and their handlers must undergo to earn certification in the various forms of actions they take. Sgt. Kinik stressed the importance to always reject offers to use illegal drugs, and he let them know that even as adults continuing education is helpful to career advancement.
LCSO Fleet Maintenance Supervisor Lee Dunn (in the background and on the left, and more visible in this photo) is the leader of the team that keeps the vehicles running on the land and on the water.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Deputy Gary Garboski’s partner K-9 Molly, a Labrador Retriever, investigates an area where illegal drugs may be located.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Deputy Gary Garboski’s partner K-9 Molly, a Labrador Retriever, alerts her handler that illegal drugs have been detected by her extremely sensitive nose. Molly, like the other dogs, then received a reward of a dog toy for her success in the mission to find illegal drugs.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
LCSO K-9 Deputy Alton Horne holds a pair of bite pants, which are part of the bite suit, used to train K-9s as they learn to take down suspects. The children were allowed to feel the pants and see how heavy they are. Sgt. Kevin Kinik told the young audience members that the full bite suit probably weighs more than most of them individually.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
K-9 Deputy Alton Horne holds up a bulletproof vest that the LCSO K-9 dogs wear. These bulletproof vests were donated to the LCSO. LCSO K-9 Sgt. Kevin Kinik holds the bite sleeve that he soon unused after showing it to the children. In training, the dogs go for the sleeve. In the field, the dogs take down the suspects, often chomping into whichever arm is holding a weapon first.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
K-9 Deputy Alton Horne and his German Shepherd K-9 Behr (bear) are seen soon after the dog is taken from the air-conditioned SUV. Here the canine is barking at an area he thinks has drugs hidden, and there were drugs hidden there for testing the dogs and their handlers. This 100-pound dog shows he has a relatively good bite range capacity and some teeth to deter a human from not cooperating with a law enforcement officer’s command to surrender.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
K-9 Deputy Alton Horne and his German Shepherd K-9 Behr (bear) make their way back to the SUV before driving out to a field for a demonstration on how the dog can stop a fleeing human.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
K-9 Deputy Alton Horne and his German Shepherd K-9 Behr (bear) are on the brink of launch to stop a ‘suspect’ (Sgt. Kevin Kinik wearing a bite sleeve).

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
K-9 Deputy Alton Horne and his German Shepherd K-9 Behr (bear) walk away from a successful takedown demonstration as Sgt. Kevin Kinik looks at the bite sleeve in the dog’s mouth. The sergeant was not injured, and the dog was rewarded for his success.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
LCSO Sgt. Kevin Kinik is seen with his dog Zombie. Sgt. Kinik and Sgt. Lauree Allen are the leaders of the four-member LCSO K-9 Team (actually, eight-member team with the four dogs that are all law enforcement officers too).

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
Levy County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer W. ‘Bubba’ Wells is seen near an open gate to Williston Elementary School as some other LCSO members prepare to take some vehicles out of the school property after an educational event that part of Harmony in the Streets day camp.



     This four-day, action-packed, fun-filled, educational four-day Camp included breakfast and lunch, games and more. It was for children from 6 to 12 years old.
     Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum as well as the four units of the LCSO K-9 Corps, and the LCSO Marine and Dive Unit provided children with information and entertainment Thursday.
     Harmony in the Streets provides day camp activities directly to local communities that may be socially and/or economically challenged. This event at WES was coordinated by Levy County Sheriff McCallum in partnership with the Levy County Prevention Coalition.
     During the part of the day where the LCSO helped them learn things through hands-on experiences and demonstrations, K-9 dogs alerted to drugs and took down a man who was pretending to be a fleeing felon.
     Sheriff McCallum was the chairman of the board for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches last year. He had scheduled this camp for 2020, but the global COVID-19 pandemic created too much danger for children and families to hold it then. Therefore, the camp moved to Summer 2021.
     During the very informative session Thursday, the children and others learned about the four-member LCSO K-9 team of Sgt. Kevin Kinik and K-9 Zombie, a German Shepherd; Sgt. Lauree Allen and K-9 Barli, a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois (pronounced MAL-in-wah) mix; Deputy Gary Garboski and K-9 Molly, a Labrador Retriever; and Deputy Alton Horne and K-9 Behr (pronounced “BEAR”), a German Shepherd.
     Sgt. Kinik and Deputy Horne spoke to the children and provided demonstrations, as did the other two members of the teams with their dogs.
     Dogs that were the most adept at locating drugs showed that skill and dogs best fit for taking down suspected fleeing felons shows their talent in that manner.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
This is one of the boats of the LCSO used to help people.

Harmony in the Streets of Levy County Florida
This is an airboat that, like the other boat, was able to be seen by the children as they learned about the action of the LCSO Marine and Dive Team.


     The LCSO Marine and Dive Team members present for the day of fun and learning on that final day of camp were LCSO Cpl. Danny Griffith, LCSO Det. Joe Barrera and LCSO Fleet Maintenance Supervisor Lee Dunn. LCSO Public Information Officer Lt. Scott Tummond, who also was present for the program, said other members of the LCSO Marine and Dive Team were performing other duties at the time of the camp demonstrations.
     These members of the LCSO protect lives and property by using boats and scuba equipment. There are occasions, too, when they must recover a body from water after a person or person drown.
     All of the children participating in the final day of fun at Harmony in the Streets at WES on Thursday were well-mannered. More than 30 members of the Levy County Prevention Coalition, the Levy County School System and others helped assure the children enjoyed a safe and fun experience during the four days (June 28, 29 and 30, and July 1) of camp from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     Among the other professional law enforcement officers helping children Thursday were LCSO Community Relations Division
Supervisor Lt. Max Long and LCSO School Resource Officer W. “Bubba” Wells, who was the school resource officer at Williston Elementary School during the 2020-2021 school year. Deputy Wells anticipates being the SRO at WES again, starting in the fall.

 




Suspected Criminals Put In The Levy County Florida Jail

Published July 26, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
 



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

Published July 26, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
 




Suspects arrested in Gilchrist County Florida
Published July 26, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.
 


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