Inglis May 18 crash
investigated by LCSO;

* Updated

LCSO Deputy Kevin Sheppard is seen as the first professional first-responder at the scene of the crash.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 21, 2017 at 1:37 p.m.
* Updated May 26, 2017 (At Bottom Of This Story) at 1:47 p.m.
     INGLIS --
A small, beautiful woodpecker fluttered away from the park behind Inglis Town Hall, 135 Levy County Road 40 West early Thursday afternoon (May 18).

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     A visiting journalist preparing to open a laptop computer in the park as he prepared for some post-lunchtime news coverage noticed the bird and thought "Wow."
     Within a second, the sounds of screeching tires, the beep of a vehicle’s horn and then the unmistakably horrible sound of metal crashing into metal resounded through the peaceful quiet park just as that instantaneous crash indicator reverberated for a quarter mile out from the central point of impact – U.S. Highway 19 and Levy County Road 40.
     Three vehicles attempting to occupy the same space at the same time resulted in crushed metal and injured humans.
     Within 10 seconds of the thud of metal smashing into metal, the sound of a Levy County Sheriff’s Office cruiser’s siren added to the echoes through the air – confirming there was a problem.


In this video, the last second of the siren from the Inglis Fire Rescue engine is heard as it stops. Inglis Fire Rescue personnel are seen going to help the injured people by providing first aid prior to the Levy County Department of Public Safety’s EMS crew arriving. Deputy Kevin Sheppard is seen assisting witnesses with what they need to do.


A red pickup truck with its front end smashed (at right) is seen as a Town of Inglis Public Works employee walks around the city truck he was driving. Tools are scattered on the highway, intermingled with crash debris.







Inglis Fire Rescue arrives to help accident victims.


This Dodge Ram 1500 is seen at its final resting point, one quarter of the way into the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 19 at the intersection with Levy County Road 40. One of the injured accident victims is lying on the pavement of the highway on the other side of this crash at this time.




Levy County Department of Public Safety EMS arrives to help accident victims.



     LCSO Deputy Kevin Sheppard must have been so close that he saw the accident or was able to initiate the cruiser’s warning sounds to alert drivers to the danger in the area.
     Joining Deputy Sheppard at the scene after some number of minutes was LCSO Deputy Nelson Macias. The deputies were among the first responders who helped divert traffic around the accident.
     The Inglis Fire Rescue Department arrived to provide first aid to the injured before the the Levy County Department of Public Safety sent ambulances to care for the injured and transport them to hospitals.
     And just as the Chiefland Police Department investigated a fatal crash and provided details from that sorrowful accident six days after the crash, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office began its investigation of that Thursday afternoon accident in Inglis, and information from that accident is destined for release at some point in the future.
     On Friday morning (May 19), LCSO spokesman Lt. Scott Tummond said the LCSO is investigating the crash. Just as the CPD provides a level of law enforcement at the municipal or urban level of care, the LCSO has taken over that duty formerly assigned to the now-disbanded Inglis Police Department, as the Town of Inglis pays the LCSO for this higher level of service than the LCSO provides countywide.
     Tummond said all of the next of kin of the victims in the accident had been notified and there were no fatalities. There was one truck from the Town of Inglis involved in the crash. Mayor Drinda Merritt said the vehicle may be a total loss if its frame is bent. Her first concern, however, is for the driver and he appears to have been injured but is going to be alright, from all preliminary indications.
     Sometimes, the Florida Highway Patrol investigates accidents within the borders of Inglis and sometimes the LCSO investigates accidents within the town.
     Final information about crashes that is provided to the media by the FHP is always more quickly released than from municipal or county law enforcement agencies.
     The vision statement of the FHP is “A Safer Florida through Courtesy, Service, and Protection.”
     The mission statement of the FHP is “We will promote a safe and secure Florida through professional law enforcement and traffic safety awareness.”
     The values of the FHP are “Courtesy; Treat others fairly and professionally; Service; Render aid and assistance to members of the public; Protection; Protect life and property.”
     The strategic goals of the FHP are “Improve Traffic Safety; Interdict Criminal Activity; Enhance Homeland Security; Provide Communications; Retain, Develop, and Recruit Quality Employees; and Efficiently Acquire and Deploy Resources.”
     Details from the accident are provided below:


* One driver charged after Inglis crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 26, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.
     INGLIS --
One man was charged after a crash that injured four people in a three-vehicle accident on May 18 at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and Levy County Road 40 in the Town of Inglis, according to a crash report completed by the Levy County Sheriff's Office and provided on May 25 after a public records request soon after the crash.
     The accident happened at 12:17 p.m. and LCSO Deputy Kevin B. Sheppard was on the scene immeditately, according to the report, which he filed.
     Michael Shane McCoy, 46, of Ocala was driving a 2012 Dodge pickup truck.
     Albert A. Bertaut Jr., 73, of Thibodaux, Louisiana, was driving a 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck. Marion C. Bertaut, 73, of Thibodaux, Louisiana, was a passenger in this truck.
     Michael Anthony Ray, 64, of Inglis an employee of the Town of Inglis was driving a 2015 Ford F-250 pickup truck
     McCoy was charged with driving while license suspended or revoked; failure to obey a traffic control device (ran red light); and failure to have proof of insurance).
     McCoy was northbound on U.S. 19 at approximately 60 mph in a 35 mph zone as he approached CR 40, Deputy Sheppard noted. He entered the intersection, failing to stop for the active red light, the deputy said.
     Ray was driving the town’s vehicle eastbound at approximately 20 mph, Sheppard said. The front center of McCoy’s pickup truck hit the right rear of the truck being driven by Ray, Sheppard said, and the truck Ray was in then spun 90 degrees until it made contact with Bertaut’s truck.
     Bertaut had been westbound on CR 40, Sheppard said.
     Ray was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center with critical injuries.
     Ray was taken to Seven Rivers Hospital (north of the City of Crystal River on U.S. 19), because he complained of neck and back pain, Sheppard said.
     The Bertaut couple also was taken to Seven Rivers Hospital with on-life-threatening injuries, Sheppard said.

 

Seven go to jail
after LCSO patrols

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published May 26, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
     BRONSON --
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Uniformed Patrol Division and Drug Task Force investigators conducted proactive patrols throughout Levy County last night (Thursday, May 25).

     Deputies made multiple traffic stops for various infractions, issued 22 written warnings, wrote five uniform traffic citations and arrested seven individuals.
     The following individuals were arrested:
     ● Steven Blumenberg, 19 - possession of marijuana fewer than 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     ● Nevina Tease, 37 - possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     ● Alan Forney, 34 - warrants from Dixie, Polk and Columbia counties for failure to appear, dealing in stolen property, giving false information to a pawn broker and violation of probation.
     ● Brittney Gottman, 25 - warrant from Levy County for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     ● Rowdy Morris, 27 - driving while license suspended or revoked (DWLSR).
     ● Rayburn Corbin, 32 - DWLSR, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     ● Carlos Diez, 33 - Warrants from Hendry County for DWLSR, burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property.
     Proactive patrol operations like these will be conducted by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office often. The Patrol Division utilizes deputies who would normally be off duty to be in problematic areas of the county as they work to identify, and then either cite or arrest individuals who refuse to abide by the law.
     "Last night’s operation was a huge success," Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said. "I will continue operations like these as I strive to make Levy County a safer place."


3 arrested after warrant is served
Sheriff pledges to jail lawbreakers

It may not look like a drug store, but the LCSO DTF has reason to thinks drugs were sold here.
Photos by LCSO
~
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 24, 2017 at 11:57 p.m.
     BRONSON --
"We will find you, arrest you and prosecute you if you choose to violate the law," Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said, according to Levy County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Lt. Scott Tummond.

     Sheriff McCallum wants this to be a clear message to those individuals who sell drugs in Levy County, Lt. Tummond noted in a May 24 press release.
     On Tuesday (May 23), three people were arrested for allegedly violating Florida laws in regard to drugs, Tummond said.
     The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force (DTF) conducted drug investigations in the Manatee Farms area of Chiefland after receiving numerous complaints, Tummond said.
     This investigation culminated in a search warrant being issued which was executed by the Sheriff’s Tactical Response Unit  on May 23, 2017 at 8751 N.W. 132nd Place, in the Chiefland area.
     DTF investigators searched the home owned by Harold and Joyce Moore and located 160.3 grams (about six ounces) of marijuana which was pre-packaged for street-level sales, Tummond said.
     Investigators arrested Christy Moore, 28, during the same search warrant execution. She was identified as selling narcotics from this same location. Christy Moore sold narcotics to a confidential informant and warrants were issued for her arrest prior to the execution of the search warrant, Tummond said.


Bags of pre-packaged marijuana is pulled from a Pringle's potato chip can.

     All three subjects were transported to the Levy County Jail and have been charged with the following crimes:


Christy Dawn Moore, 28
Charge (1) from drug investigation conducted on 04-05-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
Charge (2) from drug investigation conducted on 04-21-17
Sale of cocaine
Possession of cocaine with intent to sell
Unlawful use of a two way device to commit felony
$195,000 total bonds


Harold Wayne Moore, 60
Charge (1) from drug investigation conducted on 03-15-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
Charge (2) from drug investigation conducted on 03-22-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
Charge (3) from drug investigation conducted on 05-17-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
$346,000 total bonds


Joyce Ann Moore, 57
Charge (1) from drug investigation conducted on 03-01-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
Charge (2) from drug investigation conducted on 03-06-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
Unlawful use of a two way device to commit felony
Charge (3) from drug investigation conducted on 03-15-17
Sale of oxycodone
Possession of oxycodone with intent to sell
Unlawful use of a two way device to commit felony
Charge (4) from drug investigation conducted on 03-22-17
Unlawful use of a two way device to commit felony
Charge (5) from drug investigation conducted on 03-30-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
Charge (6) from drug investigation conducted on 04-20-17
Sale of marijuana
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
$586,000 total bonds


Needle-syringe
found on suspect


Cory Martin Sears

Mug Shot by DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 24, 2017 at 10:07 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY
-- A 26-year-old man from Old Town went to jail on May 17 as a result of a deputy with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office finding probable cause to arrest him, DCSO spokesman Maj. Scott Harden said.

     On May 17, a DCSO deputy made contact with Cory Martin Sears, 26, of Old Town.
     Sears was wanted on two active warrants out of Dixie County for violation of probation on petit theft, and failure to appear on battery.
      Once the deputy arrested Sears on these two warrants, he conducted of search of his person before transporting him to the jail, Maj. Harden said.
     During this search of Sears, the deputy found a small baggie containing methamphetamine and a syringe (complete with the needle) in the man's front pants pockets.
     Sears was then arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug equipment, Harden said, and he was transported to the Dixie County Jail.


Man dies in single-car crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 24, 2017 at 8:27 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
Driving a car through a puddle of water at a high speed contibuted to a man's death on Wednesday afternoon (May 24), according to information provided by the FHP.

      A 32-year-old Archer man died Wednesday afternoon in a single-car crash, the FHP said.
     Miguel Comas, 32, of Archer was driving a 2007 BMW 750i southbound on U.S. Highway 41 approaching the Levy County line from Alachua County, according to a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Daniel DeWeese, based on information from FHP Cpl. W. Dill, the crash investigator and homicide investigator.
     There was heavy rain at that time 1:45 p.m., the FHP said.
     The BMW was traveling at a high rate of speed when Comas drove the car into the northbound lane and passed a semi tractor-trailer and a passenger car, the FHP said.
     Comas moved the car back into the southbound lane after completing the passing maneuver, the FHP said, however he then lost control of the vehicle when it traveled through standing water.
     The BMW began rotating counterclockwise as it traveled onto the eastern grass shoulder, the FHP said.
     The vehicle traveled over a cement culvert and then began to overturn, the FHP said.
     As the BMW was overturning, the FHP said, its left side collided with a tree.
     The car came to rest upside down facing south on the eastern shoulder, the FHP said. Comas was pronounced dead at the scene, the FHP said.


8 juveniles arrested for burglaries and auto theft;
Suspected Inglis car thief captured
By Lauren Lettelier, MCSO Public Information Officer
Published May 24, 2017 at 9:07 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY -
Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Property Crimes detectives arrested eight juveniles on Tuesday (May 23) on felony charges in relation to three separate and unrelated incidents across Marion County.
     Detectives say that it is typical to see a spike in crime involving juveniles in the summer months due to school not being in session.
     Two 17-year-old boys and one 16-year-old boy were arrested after they burglarized a house located at 18 Bahia Loop and stole a Hookah Pipe and miscellaneous jewelry.
     Two female juveniles (one 15 years old and one 16 years old) were arrested after they were found driving a stolen car at the Walmart located at 11012 N. Williams St. The vehicle was reported stolen from the driveway of a home located in Inglis.
     Additionally, two 16-year-old suspects and a 17-year-old suspect committed an occupied burglary of a home located in the 10200th block of Southwest 78th Court.
     They entered the home using the garage door opener that was in the victim’s vehicle parked outside the residence. Once inside, they stole two laptop computers. They were apprehended by responding deputies as they were leaving the scene.
     Nelson Severando Ferguson, 17, was charged with 23 felony counts for additional burglaries and grand theft autos of golf carts. All of these crimes and arrests occurred on Tuesday.
     “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” said Sheriff Billy Woods. “It’s absolutely vital for parents to involve their children in constructive activities during the summer months to keep them out of trouble. Knowing what your children are doing and who they are with can make all the difference. We would also like to encourage our citizens to lock the doors to their cars and homes to prevent these types of crimes from happening to you.”


FWC uncovers major
alligator violations in long-term
covert investigation


Baby alligators hatch from eggs.

Photos courtesy of FWC

By Rob Klepper of the FWC
Published May 24, 2017 at 4:17 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
Today (Wednesday, May 24), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers arrested nine suspects for violations of Florida’s laws pertaining to possession of American alligator, alligator egg harvesting, interstate transport of alligator eggs and hatchlings, falsifying official records, dealing in stolen property, conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering and other wildlife violations.

     These serious charges include first-, second- and third-degree felonies.
     These charges are the result of a multiyear undercover operation initiated in 2015 by the FWC Division of Law Enforcement’s Investigations Section. FWC undercover officers managed to become part of the alligator-farming community to gain information and evidence about poachers who were breaking the law in regard to the FWC’s public and private lands alligator egg harvesting program and alligator farming.
     During the course of the investigation, FWC undercover officers documented numerous criminal violations, resulting in the arrest of nine individuals for 44 felony violations.
     Investigators documented in excess of 10,000 illegally harvested eggs during the course of the undercover operation.



      “Many of these suspects were part of a criminal conspiracy,” FWC Maj. Grant Burton said. Maj. Burton heads the FWC’s Investigations Section. “Their crimes pose serious environmental and economic consequences. These suspects not only damage Florida’s valuable natural resources, they also harm law-abiding business owners by operating black markets that undermine the legal process.”
     Wildlife conservation laws are in place to protect and manage Florida’s precious natural resources for legitimate use by the public. When people break those laws, they jeopardize the ability of the state to manage those resources for the future. If left unchecked, this valuable natural resource could have been severely damaged.
     There are aspects of this investigation that are still ongoing, and the FWC expects more arrests to be forthcoming.
     The public can help by reporting suspected violations to the FWC. To make a report, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com.
     The suspects and their charges are as follows:
Robert Kelly Albritton, 36, of Arcadia
     ● One felony count of Racketeering.
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.     
     ● One felony count of Scheme to Defraud.
     ● 14 felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs/Alligators.
Robert Thomas Beasley, 36, of Arcadia
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.
     ● Six felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs/Alligators.
David Wentworth Nellis, 73, of Punta Gorda
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.
     ● One felony count of Uttering a Forged Instrument.
     ● One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs.
Carl Wayne Pickle Jr., 47, of Arcadia
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.
     ● Four felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs/Alligators.
Wayne Andrew Nichols, 41, of Arcadia
     ● Three felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.
     ● One felony count of Unlawful Killing of White Ibis.
     ● One first-degree misdemeanor count of Attempting to Take White Ibis.
Christopher Lee Briscall, 22, of Fort Denaud
     ● One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.
Matthew Edward Evors, 24, of Cape Coral
     ● One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.
Isaiah Joseph Romano, 22, of Fort Denaud
     ● One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.
Jacob Oliver Bustin-Pitts, 23, of Fort Denaud
     ● One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.
     ● One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.


DCFS helps people
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 24, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
The men and women of Dixie County Fire Services, which includes volunteers and career firefighters, helped people as the firefighters responded to various calls during the past week of reporting.

     In the most recent set of records provided by Dixie County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Darian Brown on Monday (May 22), there were 10 brush fire calls in that week.
OTHER CALLS
     As a result of the countywide ban on outdoor burning, as a result from the drought over the past several weeks before then, there were three reports of illegal burning to which the DCFS responded and cared for.
     During this week, there were also six responses by the DCFS personnel to motor vehicle crashes in that one-week span of time.
     And among the many things the firefighters did, they responded to an electrical hazard. Central Florida Electric Cooperative sent linemen to remove a branch that was touching a wire and causing leaves to catch on fire.


Woman Suspected
Of Obstructing Deputies


Deputies with the Levy County Sheriff's Office obtained information through a confidential tip which led to the arrest of fugitive William Justin Ford. Ford had escaped from custody on March 28, and had remained free for 51 days. Investigators learned Ford was at a home owned by Tiffany Nicole Davis, 29, of Morriston. Deputies arrived, announced their presence and gave Davis specific orders to exit the home. Davis refused and stalled the deputies’ attempt to enter the home, which allowed Ford a second chance at escape. Ford was captured after running a short distance from that residence. Davis was given a ride to the Levy County Jail for her part in Ford's period of freedom from incarceration. Davis was found to have a knive-brass knuckles combination of weapon concealed in her waist band. She was booked in the Levy County Jail on May 18 for resisting officers without violence and possession of a concealed weapon other than a firearm. Her bond has been set at $35,000 for the two charges - interference with a law enforcement officer without violence and , and as of May 24, Davis is listed as residing in the jail rather than in a place where she has more freedom. This information and mug shot were provided by the Levy County Sheriff's Office on May 24.
Published May 24, 2017 at 1:47 p.m. on the Police Page of HardisonInk.com

 


One ATV ride ends
with four people in jail

 
'Buddy' Whitby (left) and Jaemi Dillon

 
Jason Jenkins (left) and Zachery Moore

Mug Shots By DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 22, 2017 at 8:17 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A Thursday morning (May 18) ATV ride ended with four people in jail, according to information in a Monday (May 22) press release from Dixie County Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Scott Harden.
     Charles Sidney "Buddy" Whitby, 32, of Old Town is charged with driving while license suspended or revoked(DWLSR) ; fleeing and attempting to elud a police officer; resisting arrest without violence (RWOV); possession of drug equipment; possession of methamphetamine; tampering with evidence and a warrant from Lafayette County for Failure To Appear on a DWLSR charge. Whitby's combined bonds equal $3,000, according to records.
     Jaemi M. Dillon, 36, of Old Town was arrested for RWOV. Bond $1,500.
     Jason Jenkins, 39, of Old Town was arrested for aiding and abetting a fugitive. Bond $1,500.
     Zachery N. Moore, 18, of Old Town was arrested for aiding and abetting a fugitive. Bond $1,500.
     Before these four suspected criminals wound up in jail, there was a series of events. Following is what happened, according to Maj. Harden.
     On Thursday morning (May 18), a DCSO deputy attempted to stop an ATV being driven by Whitby and occupied by a female.
     Whitby had an outstanding warrant out of Lafayette County for failure to appear on a DWLSR charge.
     As the deputy was attempting to make the traffic stop, Whitby fled from the deputy. The man and woman on the ATV then turned into a field with planted pines, where Whitby and the female fled on foot when they reached a fence at the rear of the property.
     Additional units were responding to establish a perimeter while awaiting the arrival of the Cross City Correctional Institution’s K-9 Tracking Team.
     When the tracking team arrived, they tracked Whitby and the female to a residence some distance away.
     After speaking with the occupant of the residence, deputies learned that a male and female subject had been there. Those two were there for a short time until two males in another vehicle came to get them.
     After receiving a description of the vehicle, deputies began looking for it. Meanwhile, tracking team members found a vehicle in a yard that matched the description. They notified deputies.
     Deputies then approached the residence and made contact with a male subject who told the deputies that Whitby and the female were in the residence.
     The subject allowed the deputies into the home where they located the female – Dillon, and she was arrested.
     During a search of the remainder of the home, Whitby was found hiding in the attic of the home and removed without incident. He was arrested.
     As a result of aiding and abetting the efforts of Whitby and Dillon, Jenkins and Moore were both arrested.


New Badge Provided

Cedar Key Police Officer M. Brown (above) shows the new badge given to her by CKP Chief Virgil Sandlin (below).


Chief Sandlin and Officer Brown were among the law enforcement officers helping to keep people safe in Cedar Key on Saturday morning (May 20). The weekends are generally busy on Cedar Key, one of the many destinations for tourists who are visiting the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties. The docks and Cedar Key City Park were especially full of people, in part due to the annual fishing tournament by one of the five local Rotary Clubs in the three-county area.

Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © May 22, 2017 at 7:57 a.m.


Dixie County man
arrested for DUI

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 21, 2017 at 11:37 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 52-year-old man from Old Town was arrested late Sunday afternoon (May 21) after he was allegedly involved in a single-vehicle crash, allegedly left the scene and became suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol, the FHP said.
     Grant Thomas, 52, of Old Town was driving a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup truck at 4:13 p.m., Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Weber said in a press release, sent via email at 11:25 p.m. on Sunday, based on information from FHP Trooper Earl Mash.
     Thomas was driving the pickup truck north on Northeast 592nd Street and veered off the roadway onto the eastern shoulder of Northeast 592nd Street, the FHP said.
     The truck then collided with its front into a barbed-wire fence and fence posts, the FHP said, before continuing to travel through the private property owned by the victim (Lawrence Storey).
     The driver of vehicle then turned the wheel to the left and traveled off of the private property, the FHP said, and collided with the barbed-wire fence before exiting back onto Northeast 592nd Street without stopping. The driver fled the scene, the FHP said.
     The vehicle continued traveling north on Northeast 592nd Street, the FHP said, where the suspect's vehicle was later stopped by members of the Cross City Police Department and the Dixie County Sheriff Office.
    Thomas stated that he ran into the fence and damaged it with the pickup truck, the FHP said, and then left the scene because he and his wife were fighting earlier at their residence and he was mad.
     Upon further investigation, Trooper Mash discovered that Thomas was driving while under the influence of alcohol.
     The property owner said the vehicle that damaged his fence was a maroon-colored truck, the FHP said.
     The victim said that a piece of that vehicle was on his property after it fled the scene, the FHP said.
     Upon further investigating the crash from the driver testimony, crash damage, and evidence left at the scene in conjunction with the vehicle that was missing the same part, Trooper Mash confirmed the pickup truck was the hit and run vehicle driven by Thomas, the FHP said.
     Thomas was arrested on scene and taken to the Dixie County Jail, the FHP said, where he was charged with fleeing the scene of a crash with property damage and driving under the influence of alcohol.


MCSO seeks information
By Valerie Strong, MCSO Public Information Officer
Published May 21, 2017 at 3:57 p.m.
on the Police Page of HardisonInk.com
    MARION COUNTY -
At approximately 2:30 a.m., this morning (Sunday, May 21), the Marion County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) received a 9-1-1 call in reference to a shooting in the area of Marion Oaks Lane and Southwest 39th Circle in Marion Oaks.
     Upon arrival, deputies located the body of Leon Roberts, 29.
     MCSO Major Crimes detectives are diligently following up on any and all leads in regards to this incident.
     If anyone has any information in reference to this incident, they are encouraged to call Detective Aaron Levy at 352-368-3546. They can also contact Crime Stoppers of Marion County anonymously at 352-368-STOP or 352-368-7867. Text tips to 274637 using keyword 368STOP.
     Tips can also be submitted at www.ocalacrimestoppers.com. For Crime Stoppers, please reference 17-63 in your tip.


Two charged
with double homicide

 
Angelo Tuggerson (left) and Isaiah Ismael Richard

Mugshots by MCSO

By Valerie Strong, Public Information Officer with the MCSO
Published May 18, 2017 at 11:17 p.m.
on the Police Page of HardisonInk.com
     MARION COUNTY --
Detectives with the Marion County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Major Crimes Unit have identified Emanuel Angelo Tuggerson, 19, and Isaiah Ishmael Richard, 20, as suspects in the homicides of Baily Zylo, 18, and Andy Fockler, 38, on Jan. 29 in Weirsdale.

     Richard was located and arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and Tuggerson is at the Marion County Jail on unrelated charges, and will be served with an arrest warrant for these charges while in custody.
     On Jan. 29, deputies responded to 14241 S.E. 151st Place Road in Weirsdale after receiving a 9-1-1 call.
     Deputies discovered that an apparent home invasion robbery had occurred with two fatalities inside the home.
     Zylo and Fockler were pronounced dead on scene. Richard and Tuggerson are being charged with two counts of murder in the first degree and are being held on no bond.
     At this time MCSO Major Crimes detectives are still collecting information.


Man dies in Citrus County crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 18, 2017 at 10:27 p.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY --
A 48-year-old Inverness man died Thursday as the result of injuries he suffered in a crash early Thursday morning (May 18), the FHP said.

     Daniel Joseph Edmondson, 20, of Inverness was driving a 1999 Jeep Laredo at 5:18 a.m. Thursday, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins, based on information by crash investigator FHP Trooper J. Whitmore and FHP homicide investigator FHP Trooper M. Meier.
     Steven Wesley Ekeli, 48, of Inverness was driving a 1989 Toyota 4 Runner, the FHP said.
     The Jeep was eastbound on Main Street in Inverness as it approached the intersection of Seminole Avenue, the FHP said.
     The Toyota was westbound on Main Street in the inside lane, the FHP said.
     The Jeep entered the intersection of West Main Street and Seminold Avenue, the FHP said, and it went into the westbound lanes of Main Street where it collided nearly head-on with the Toyota.
     Ekeli died at the scene of the crash, the FHP said.
     Charges are pending completion of the investigation of the accident, the FHP said.
     Ekeli, was Seven Rivers Christian School’s athletic complex manager, according to the school's website.


Former deputy United States Marshal sentenced in N. Dakota to 7 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography
By staff writers in the
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Newsroom
Published May 18, 2017 at 11:17 p.m.
on the Police Page of HardisonInk.com
     FARGO, N.D. —
A former deputy United States Marshal based in central North Dakota was sentenced Wednesday (May 17) to seven years in federal prison for receiving child pornography.
     This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bismarck (North Dakota) Police Department, the North Dakota Crime Bureau's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General.
     Michael David Rivera, 30, of Bismarck, North Dakota, was sentenced to seven years in prison on one count of receiving illicit images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors.
     "It is appropriate that this former federal law enforcement officer faced a federal judge in North Dakota for his offenses. This case proves that no one is above the law, including those federal officers who have previously sworn an oath to protect and serve our nation," said U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Seiler, District of South Dakota. "Here, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of North Dakota followed approved Department of Justice procedures to resolve any conflict or the appearance of impropriety it might have had, based upon its prior work alongside this disgraced officer. Appropriate steps were taken, as is done in every case, regardless of who the defendant is, to see that justice is done."
     Seiler also commended the federal judiciary in Bismarck, which took steps to transfer the case to Fargo, since Rivera had a working relationship with courthouse employees in Bismarck.
     In June 2016, state and federal law enforcement authorities learned that Rivera, who was at the time a deputy U.S. Marshal working at the federal courthouse in Bismarck, had been surreptitiously recording a variety of women, including juveniles, in various stages of undress while they were in fitting rooms of local retail stores.
     Authorities obtained search warrants for digital and computer media that were executed at Rivera's apartment, his vehicle parked at the federal courthouse, and on his person. At his apartment, officers seized a computer. Rivera was arrested on state charges related to the surreptitious recording of the adult and juvenile females, which were separately handled by state court authorities in Burleigh County, North Dakota.
     A forensic examination of Rivera's computer discovered downloaded videos and images, including 36 still images and 52 videos of child pornography. A review of some of the downloaded videos included the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers and other children ages 6 to 11.
     The search revealed bookmarks, cache records, web history, and web visits commonly associated with child pornography and voyeur searches. Internet access logs on the computer indicate some of the child pornography was received and accessed by Rivera between April and June 2016 in the District of North Dakota.  Rivera used the internet to access visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
     Rivera no longer is employed with U.S. Marshals Service.
     Rivera was indicted by a North Dakota grand jury on Oct. 6, 2016. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Dakota handled prosecution after the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of North Dakota recused itself from the matter. Rivera pleaded guilty to the charges on Jan. 26, 2017.
     Rivera's prison sentence will be followed by five years' of supervised release. He must also pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and a $2,500 special assessment to the Domestic Trafficking Victims' Fund.
     Rivera was remanded back to state authorities to face his state court sentencing later this summer.
     This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
     HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
     Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
     For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, visit the online suspect alerts page at https://www.ice.gov/predator/suspect-alerts.


13 Williston Students Taken To RGH
With Minor Injuries
After School Bus Crash


At 7:36 a.m. this morning (Wednesday May 17), the Williston Police Department, Williston Fire Rescue, Marion County Fire Rescue and Levy County Department of Public Safety responded to the 800 block of East Noble Avenue in Williston in reference to a vehicle accident. Vehicles involved were a 2006 Dodge truck and a Levy County School Bus (#0409). There were 52 students from both Joyce Bullock Elementary School and Williston Elementary School aboard the bus at the time, and 13 of those students were transported to Regional General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The bus was stopped at the railroad crossing -- per state law -- when it was struck from behind.


The driver of the Dodge truck was Tucker Evans of Ocala. He was cited for following too close. This accident is still under investigation. The WPD will release new updated information when it is available.

Information and Photos Provided by Williston Police Chief Dennis Strow at 9:11 a.m. on May 17, 2017. No updates as of 4:27 p.m. on May 17.


 

The people listed below are charged with the crimes listed next to their names. In the United States of America, every person maintains that presumption of innocense unless and until they are determined to be guilty through the judicial process. Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
BUI - Boating While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested Through May 21
Updated May 22, 2017 at 10:17 p.m.


MAY 15
     April Savina Arroyo, 24, of Palmetto was arrested for was arrested for marijuana - not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $1,000.
     Corinne Keeton Miller, 27, of Bronson was arrested for poss. blank prescription form, obtain controlled substance. ROR.
     Anthony Rodriguez, 44, of Reddick was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
MAY 16
     Corey Chase Barwick, 19, of Inglis was arrested for battery - touch or strike. Bond $10,000.
     Rosemary Halle, 53, of Chiefland was arrested for grand theft - $300 to less than $5,000, obtain property communication $300 or more. Bond $25,000.
     Stepheon Deon Rives, 30, of Williston was arrested for occupied structure or conveyance, obstruct without violence. Bond $50,000.
MAY 17
     Robert Ray Mann, 34, of Chiefland was arrested for battery - touch or strike. Bond $30,000.
     Justin Lee McDaniel, 29, of Yankeetown was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
     Michael Lee McKinney, 32, of Chiefland was arrested for grand theft - $300 to less than $5,000, controlled substance without a prescription. No bond amount was given.
MAY 18
     Jerry Lee Alexander, 57, Morriston was arrested for DWLSR - habitual offender. Bond $2,500.
     John Nicholas Arcangeli, 32, of Morriston was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. Cash only $200.
     Tiffany Nicole Davis, 29, of Morriston was arrested for electric weapon or device, interfere with LEO without violence. Bond 35,000.
     William Justin Ford, 26, of Bronson was arrested for DWLSR - first offense, petit theft - second degree - first offense, obstruct without violence, sell meth., marijuana - not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. and/or use, false ID given to LEO, escape. Bond $380,000.
     Kutura Lane Futch, 37, of Williston with intent - meth. or mecl. derivative - schedule I, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $21,000.
     Desiree Ann Wilbur, 32, of Beverly Hills was arrested for DUI - alcohol or drugs. Bond $5,000.
MAY 19
     Adarrius Quanya Clements, 21, of Gainesville was arrested for fail to stop/ remain at crash involving serious bodily injury, DWLSR - second offense. Bond $80,000.
     Christian Samuel Glidewell, 32, of Chiefland was arrested for w/deadly weapon without intent to kill, battery - touch or strike. Bond $115,000.
     Raven Sky Harris, 19, of Perry was arrested for operate motor vehicle without valid license, marijuana - not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $1,500.
     Misty Yvonne Hollingsworth, 41, of Perry was arrested for poss. harmful new legend drug without prescription, with intent methaqualone or mecloqualone derivative - schedule I, drug equipment - poss. And/or use, false ID given to LEO. Bond $11,000.
     Abdullah Salam Muhammed, 68, of Williston was arrested for battery - touch or strike, commit aggravated battery, Bond $150,000.
MAY 20
     Christopher Allen Daniels, 22, of Inglis was arrested for case bodily harm or disability. ROR.
     Christopher Glenn Kelly, 31, of Citra was arrested for DWLSR - habitual. Bond $2,500.
MAY 21
     Brian Lee Baxley, 39, of Hawthorne was arrested for battery - touch or strike. ROR.
     Derrick L. Galloway, 38, of Williston was arrested for DWLSR - habitual, non-support of children or spouse, misuse child support money - first offense. Bond $2,500. Cash only $5,070.
     Joshua Eric Martin, 29, of Inglis was arrested for disorderly intoxication in a public place causing a disturbance, $200 and under. ROR.



The people listed below are charged with the crimes listed next to their names. In the United States of America, every person maintains that presumption of innocense unless and until they are determined to be guilty through the judicial process. Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested Through May 21

Updated May 22, 2017 at 10:17 p.m.

MAY 15
     Benjamin Daniel Pratt, 28, of Cedar Key was arrested for burglary - dwelling/ structure or conveyance - armed, grand theft - $300 to less than $5,000, criminal mischief $200 and under, burglary tools - poss. with intent to use. $415,000.
MAY 16
     Makayla Lane Taylor, 21, of Newberry was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
     Kevin Daniel Walsh, 32, of Naples was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. Cash purge $200.
     Nickole Alice Avery, 42, of Bell was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $5,000.
MAY 17
     Rachel Lynn Braxton, 38, of Panama City was arrested for DWLSR - knowingly. Bond $1,000.
     David John Williams, 64, of Bell was arrested for DWLSR - first offense. Bond $500.
MAY 18
     Jimmy William Hayes, 44, of Trenton was arrested for battery - touch or strike, RWOV. Bond $5,000.
MAY 20
     Jessie Lee Rain, 32, of Trenton was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
 


The people listed below are charged with the crimes listed next to their names. In the United States of America, every person maintains that presumption of innocense unless and until they are determined to be guilty through the judicial process. Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested Through May 21
Updated May 22, 2017 at 10:17 p.m.


MAY 15
     James C. Tuten, 58, of Old Town was arrested for revoke pretrial release, hold for Levy County. No bond.
MAY 17
     Cory M. Sears, 26, of Old Town was arrested for poss. controlled substance, poss. drug equipment, VOP, FTA. No bond amount was given.
     Joseph Paul Broady, 28, of Old Town was arrested for aggravated assault on LEO, resist with violence, two counts of battery. No bond amount was given.
     Rodney Eddie Scott, 26, of Cross City was arrested for DUI. Bond $3,000.
MAY 18
     Jason Jenkins, 39, of Old Town was arrested for aid and abet. Bond $1,500.
     Zachery N. Moore, 18, of Old Town was arrested for aid and abet. Bond $1,500.
     Charles Sidney Whitby, 32, of Old Town was arrested for DWLSR, flee/ elude, RWOV, poss. drug equipment, poss. controlled substance, tamper with evidence, Lafayette County warrant. Bond $3,000.
     Jaemi M. Dillon, 36, of Old Town was arrested for RWOV. Bond $1,500.
MAY 19
     Herman Williams, 36, of Old Town was arrested for resist arrest without violation, grand theft III, grand theft. Bond $1,500.
     Richard V. Gandy, 59, of Old Town burglary residence, theft of others, three FTA. No bond.
     Lewis Wayne Kight, 45, of Horseshoe Beach was arrested for violation of domestic violence injunction. Bond $280.
MAY 20
     A 13-year-old juvenile, no address, was arrested for theft of vehicle. No bond amount was given.
     Lloyd Alonzo Grass, 76, of Old Town was arrested for trespass, disorderly conduct. Bond $1,500.
MAY 21

     Jessica Ann Jerrells, 30, of Old Town was arrested for battery, criminal mischief. Bond $3,000.
     Grant Stacy Thomas, 52, of Old Town was arrested for hit and run, DUI. Bond $1,500.

--UPDATED--
FRIDAY  May 26  1:47 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties




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