Clermont man dies
in Marion County crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 19, 2017 at 8:47 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
A Clermont (Lake County) man died as a result of injuries he suffered in a single-truck crash Saturday night (Nov. 19), the FHP said.



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     Justin Cole Delaney, 22, of Clermont was driving a 1994 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in Marion County at 9:40 p.m. Saturday night, according to information in a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Jonathan Young, based on information from crash and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Richard S. Crawford.
     The vehicle was northbound on Southwest Seventh Avenue Road, the FHP said.
     As the pickup truck was traveling, it drifted to the west across the southbound lane and collided with a large tree trunk that was lying next to the road near Southwest 45th Street, the FHP said.
     After colliding with the tree trunk, the FHP said, the Tacoma began to overturn. The Toyota came to rest on its roof facing to the northeast, the FHP said.
     Delaney was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, the FHP said.
     The driver was not wearing a seatbelt, the FHP said. Results from a blood-alcohol test are pending, the FHP said. This investigation is ongoing, the FHP said in the press release sent by email Sunday (Nov. 19) at 8:07 a.m.


Suspected ‘Robed Robber’
captured quickly
after allegedly
committing armed robbery


Novel Williams

Mug Shot by MCSO

By Lauren Lettelier
MCSO Public Information Officer
Published Nov. 18, 2017 at 8:17 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) deputies and Major Crimes detectives located and arrested Novel Williams, 32, less than 30 minutes after he committed an armed robbery in the early morning hours Saturday (Nov. 18), at the Kangaroo gas station, located at 10143 S.E. Sunset Harbor Road in Summerfield.

     Distinguishing tattoos on his hands and the peculiar choice of clothing he wore during the robbery were key factors in identifying him as the suspect.
     Witnesses at the Kangaroo convenience store told detectives that at approximately 2:08 a.m., Saturday morning, an armed suspect, later identified as Williams, entered the business and pointed a handgun at the employees.
     During the robbery, Williams demanded money and cigarettes, and witnesses say he was apologetic for his actions.
     Once he received the items he demanded, Williams fled the store on foot. The witnesses described the suspect as a tall black male with a slim build and tattoos on his hands.
     The suspect was also wearing a black hair cap on top of a baseball hat, a black bath robe, light-colored pajama pants and a dark slipper- type shoe.
     Witnesses also said the suspect sounded “sick” when he spoke.
     Approximately 30 minutes into the search, deputies located Williams in close proximity to where the robbery occurred.
      Williams matched the physical description of the suspect and his tattoos matched the ones the witnesses saw on the suspect’s hands. During a Post-Miranda interview with detectives, Williams admitted to robbing the store so he could afford a loan for school.
     He also directed detectives to the location of the items he used during the robbery, to include the gun, the robe and the cigarettes he took. Detectives also noticed that Williams had a nasally voice, which was likely why the victims described the suspect as sounding “sick.”
     Williams was arrested and charged with Robbery with a Weapon. He is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on $50,000 bond.


Man charged with murder

Jeffrey Rewis

Mug Shot by MCSO

By Lauren Lettelier
MCSO Public Information Officer
Published Nov. 18, 2017 at 2:47 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
On Friday (Nov. 17), Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Major Crimes detectives arrested Summerfield resident Jeffery Jack Rewis, 49, and charged him with the murder of William Lolley II, who was 29 at time of his death.

     Lolley was shot at Rewis’ residence, located at 13660 SE 80th Avenue, on July 31, 2017. Lolley later passed away from his injuries at a local hospital.
     During the investigation, multiple witnesses indicated to detectives that Lolley and Rewis got into an argument, which quickly escalated. When the victim went to leave the location in a van with several others, witnesses say Rewis retrieved an AK-47 type weapon and began shooting at the victim from the back patio on the second floor of the home.
     The witness’ statements were consistent with the evidence found at the scene, specifically the bullet trajectory evidence taken from the van. Detectives also located a modified assault rifle hidden on Rewis’ property, and forensic analysis confirmed it was the murder weapon.
     Rewis’ initial statement given to detectives was inconsistent with witness statements, and he continuously altered his story during his interviews. Rewis was arrested the day after the shooting, due to detectives finding drugs and ammunition in Rewis’ possession as a result of a search warrant. Rewis is a convicted felon and is not allowed to possess weapons or ammunition.
     Rewis is being charged with second degree murder, possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.
     He has also been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Rewis is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on no bond.


Sheriff Announces Promotion

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz recently announced the promotion of Noel Ramirez to the rank of sergeant. Sgt. Ramirez has approximately eight years of patrol and investigative experience. Sgt. Ramirez will be assigned to the patrol division.
Published Nov. 18, 2017 at 2:47 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided By Sheriff Bobby Schultz


FDLE investigates
LCSO shooting near Chiefland;

One suspect is dead

Michael Goodale

Photo Provided by LCSO

Published Nov. 17, 2017 at 9:27 a.m. 
Updated Nov. 17, 2017 at 1:27 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
Deputies with the Levy County Sheriff's Office responded to 7450 N.W. 110th St., Chiefland, in reference to a domestic disturbance on Thursday (Nov. 16) at 8:40 p.m., LCSO spokesman Lt. Scott Tummond noted in an email at 8:03 a.m. on Friday (Nov. 17).

      Undersheriff Brett Beauchamp provided an update via email at 11:32 a.m. on Friday.
      Three deputies responded to the scene and were confronted by an armed male subject.
     After attempting to subdue the suspect with less lethal weapons, two deputies were forced to discharge their firearms at the suspect.  Michael Wesley Goodale, 34, was transported to Shands at UF as a trauma alert, but he did not survive the injuries.
     At this time (Friday morning) there is no further danger to anyone in the neighborhood related to this incident. 
     Two deputies were injured during the encounter. They were treated and released from a local hospital.
    Pursuant to LCSO policy, the deputies involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation and the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office review.
     Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said he is saddened by these events and extends his condolences to the families affected by this incident. He expressed his appreciation for the other agencies that assisted LCSO during the incident and commended the courage and professionalism exhibited by all of the involved personnel. 
     HardisonInk.com has submitted a request for the FDLE to provide more information.



This map from Google Maps shows the location of an officer-involved shooting that is currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Map By Google Maps


High Springs man dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 18, 2017 at 9:27 a.m.
     ALACHUA COUNTY --
A 51-year-old High Springs man died Friday night (Nov. 17) after suffering from injuries in a crash, the FHP said.

     Michael Wynne, 51, of High Springs was driving a 2003 Chevrolet (or Chrysler) Cruze (or PT Cruiser) in Alachua County at 11:26 p.m. on Friday, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. L. Ward noted in a press release based on information from an FHP crash investigator and FHP traffic homicide investigator.
     Jennifer Hodge, 37, of Deland was driving a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta, the FHP said.
     Lewis Curl, 20, of Gainesville was driving a 1999 Lexus RX 300, the FHP said, with Neva Kelly, 46, of Gainesville as a passenger in the Lexus.
     At approximately 11:33 p.m. in Alachua County, the FHP was dispatched to a call of a three-vehicle collision that occurred on U.S. Highway 441, north of Micanopy, the FHP said.
     Upon the arrival of FHP to the scene, all north and southbound lanes were shut down due to the severity of the crash, the FHP said.
     The FHP investigation showed Wynne’s vehicle was southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. 441.
     The Volkswagen and Lexus, the FHP said, were traveling northbound on U.S. 441.
     Wynne's vehicle sideswiped the Volkswagen, the FHP said.
     After colliding with the Volkswagen, Wynne's vehicle struck the Lexus head-on, the FHP said.
     The momentum of the collision caused the Lexus to overturn, the FHP said.
     The wrong way driver (Wynne) was pronounced dead on scene, the FHP said.
     Kelly was transported to UF Health Shands with serious injuries, the FHP said.
     If charges are to be filed, they are pending the completion of the accident investigation, the FHP said. Results of an alcohol-to-blood ration are pending from Wynne’s blood, and no other driver or passenger in the accident has that type of test pending, the FHP said.


Felonious shoplifting
suspect posts bond;

Suspected prowler nabbed at TSC

Hants Harrelson

Mug Shot by LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 17, 2017 at 9:37 a.m.
* Updated Nov. 17, 2017 at 3:47 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
Some number of people are captured after they become suspected of stealing from Walmart, and one of those suspected shoplifters posted a $20,000 bond to get out of jail after he was charged with felony shoplifting, according to records.

     In another arrest by an officer with the Chiefland Police Department, a suspect was seen to be suspected of loitering and prowling at the Tractor Supply Co. retail outlet after normal business hours, according to records.
     Hants Quincey Harrelson, 31, of Chiefland is charged with stealing property from Walmart worth in excess of $300, according to records. The arresting officer in this case was CPD K-9 Officer K. Schultz, according to records
     On Monday (Nov. 13), CPD Officer Schultz made contact with two members of the Chiefland Walmart asset protection team, according to records.
     The shoplifting-reducing team told Schultz they saw Harrelson filling a grocery cart with tents and other camping equipment, according to records, and he left the store with the items without attempting to pay for them.
     As Schultz interviewed the suspected shoplifter, the officer determined with a relative degree of ease that Harrelson was intoxicated. The man had attempted to leave the store without paying for equipment worth $664.55, all of which was returned to the store, according to records.
     Schultz issued a no trespass warning to indefinitely ban Harrelson from being on Chiefland Walmart property, according to records.
     The Levy County Jail rejected Harrelson for intake due to the level of his inebriation, Officer Schultz noted. A preliminary breath test for alcohol content registered .30 A level of .08 is enough to suspect a person of being too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle in Florida.
     As for Harrelson, after he could not be delivered to the jail, Officer Schultz took the suspect to a Williston medical facility. That is where staff members rendered aid to the intoxicated man, according to records. Once cleared at that location, Harrelson was returned to the Levy County Jail where he was booked for felony shoplifting, and then he posted a $20,000 bail to be released, according to records.
*      Lt. Scott Tummond, a spokesman for the LCSO said that if a subject comes in and appears to be intoxicated well beyond their normal faculties they do a breath test to determine their blood alcohol level. If that person's blood alcohol level is greater than .3 they refuse admission and require the arresting officer to transport the arestee to a medical facility until such time that person's blood alcohol level drops below .3 




Shaon Rice
Mug Shot by LCSO

     In a separate incident, Shaon Michael Rice, 36, of Chiefland was arrested Nov. 14 after CPD Officer T.L. Brown observed him, according to record, at approximately 10:20 p.m.
     Officer Brown and CPD Cpl. J. Dean responded to a report of a suspicious person at the Tractor Supply Co., located at 2202 N. Young Blvd.
     During this same shift of his duty, Officer Brown previously had received a similar call about a person, but the officer did not find the person when he responded to that first call, according to records.
     The two officers saw Harrelson pacing back and forth on the south side of the business, according to records, and “The unknown white male subject seemed very uneasy and appeared to be up to no good,” Officer Brown noted in his incident report.
     CPD Cpl. Dean requested another unit and Levy County Sheriff’s Office Deputy M. Adams drove to the front of the structure to see how that would affect the subject, according to records.
     When Deputy Adams drove up, Harrelson started running toward Cpl. Dean and Officer Brown, according to record, where the two CPD officers had positioned themselves across Northwest 14th Street from Tractor Supply.
     The two CPD officers chased the running man, according to records.
     “I pulled my X26 Taser out and gave clear verbal commands for the subject to get on the ground,” Brown noted.
     There was no notation of the officer needing to use the X26 Taser.
     Harrelson complied with the command and was taken into custody. Rice said he had done nothing wrong and asked why he was being arrested, according to records.
     He was told that he was seen loitering and prowling around a closed business. Rice said he was unaware that he was not allowed to be at the place of business after closing hours, according to records.
     Officer Brown noted in his report that his body camera was not functional during his shift, and that is why there is no body camera evidence from this arrest.
     Bond for the charge of loitering or prowling was set at $2,000, according to records. As of 8:41 a.m., on Nov. 17, the roster for active inmates at the Levy County Jail showed Rice was not in custody.


CDL testing company loses
license for fraudulent practices

Story By DHSMV Communications Office
Published Nov. 16, 2017 at 2:07 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has issued a final order terminating its agreement with Key Power Driving School Inc., a third-party commercial driver license (CDL) testing company with locations in Miami and Labelle.

     During an investigation into third-party CDL testing sites in Florida, the department found that Key Power Driving School’s practices posed an immediate, serious danger to public health, safety and welfare.
     “Driving a commercial vehicle is a tremendous responsibility and privilege, and the proper administration of knowledge and skills testing for drivers is critical to maintaining safety on Florida roads,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “The revocation of DHSMV’s agreement with Key Power demonstrates our commitment to ensuring appropriate testing standards are maintained in the pursuit of A Safer Florida.”
     During the investigation, conducted in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the department learned that Key Power violated its agreement with the state and conducted fraudulent testing activities such as omitting vital portions of the required three-part skills test and manipulating testing data on CDL skills test score sheets.
     With department representatives on-site, the pass rate for tests dropped significantly, from 60 percent to just 11 percent, which is a key indicator that Key Power may have given passing scores to individuals who had not taken the test, not completed mandatory portions of the test or had not performed required driving maneuvers.
     “The correlation between DHSMV presence at testing sites and extreme pass-rate fluctuation indicates rampant manipulation of information and data,” stated Robert Kynoch, Director of Motorist Services. “The department is committed to ensuring that Florida’s commercial drivers are properly trained and tested and will not tolerate any disregard for public safety.”
      Individuals tested by Key Power on or after Jan. 1, 2017, will be notified by the department that they must be retested by a compliant third-party CDL testing administrator. If individuals fail to be retested within 60 days of receiving the notification, their CDL will be cancelled.
     DHSMV is responsible for compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations and Florida Statutes and does so by monitoring all third-party administrators and third-party testers who administer the CDL skills test to more than 500,000 CDL drivers in Florida.
     DHSMV maintains agreements with more than 150 private and governmental third-party CDL testing administrators throughout the state. Anyone with information about fraudulent or unsafe practices conducted by any third-party CDL testing site in Florida should immediately contact the CDL Help Desk at 850-617-2606.


Man dies in motorcycle crash
in remote area

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 15, 2017 at 11:17 p.m.
     GILCHRIST COUNTY
-- A Gilchrist County man died after a motorcycle crash believed to have occurred during the early afternoon or overnight hours of Tuesday (Nov. 14), however the crash site was not discovered until Thursday evening (Nov. 15), the FHP said.

     Kevin B. Sherrell, 28, of Bell was driving a 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle in Gilchrist County on Tuesday, according to a press relesae from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. M. Hathcock, based on information from homicide investigator FHP Cpl. D. MacLaren.
     The crash occurred on Northwest 55th Avenue and 57th Place in Gilchrist County, the FHP said.
     When the crash was found at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the FHP noted it appeared that the 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle was traveling northbound on Northwest 55th Avene approaching a sharp right turn.
     For a reason that appears unclear at this time, the FHP said, the driver of the motorcycle failed to negotiate the sharp right curve. As a result, the motorcycle traveled onto the north shoulder of Northwest 55th Avenue, traveled through a barbed wire fence, and struck a tree.
     Sherrell was pronounced dead on scene, the FHP said. This crash is believed to have occurred during the early afternoon or overnight hours of Nov. 14, the FHP said.
     Due to the dense foliage in the area and remote location, the FHP said, this crash was not discovered until Nov. 15.
     The Florida Highway Patrol Traffic Homicide Unit is handling this crash investigation.
     This crash investigation is still ongoing.


No bond for
suspected meth possessor


Marion Donahe

Mug Shot by DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 15, 2017 at 9:47 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
A woman wanted by Levy County went to jail in Dixie County due to a dysfunctional tag illumination device and the subsequent discover of her being suspected of crimes, according to records.

     On Friday night (Nov. 10), a Dixie County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped a vehicle on Dixie County Road 55A because the vehicle failed to have any operational tag lights, DCSO spokesman Maj. Scott Harden noted in a press release.
     During the course of the stop, Harden said, the Dixie County deputy learned that the driver, Marion Donahe, 32, of Fanning Springs, was wanted by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, as noted on an arrest warrant for possession of a controlled substance and petit theft.
     While searching Donahe prior to transport to the Dixie County Jail, the deputy found that Donahe was in possession of a small container that contained a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, Harden said.
      Donahe was then arrested and charged with the possession of methamphetamine, Harden said, and she was transported to the Dixie County Jail where she is being held under a $3,000 bond for driving on a suspended license and no bond on the methamphetamine charge.


Man suspected of
hurting woman
while hiding from deputies


Jeffery Long

Mug Shot by DCSO

By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published Nov. 15, 2017 at 9:37 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
On the evening of Nov. 9, deputies with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a residence in Jena in attempts to serve an arrest warrant, on Jeffery Long, 37, on behalf of the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.
     Deputies arrived at the residence and knocked several times at the door and announced their presence.
     After failing to get a response from within, the deputies began returning to their cars when they heard what they thought was a female crying.
     At that time they went to an open window and listened further and during this time asked “Are you O.K.?”
     After they heard a response of “No,” the deputies announced their entry if the subject did not exit with his hands up.
     Once they secured Long, they located a female in the residence who said that she was going to open the door when the deputies arrived, but Long grabbed her and held her down while holding his hands over her mouth while the law enforcement officers were at the door.
     As a result of this, Long was charged with domestic battery and false imprisonment in addition to being held on the warrants from Taylor County.
     Long is currently being held at the Dixie County Jail on the Dixie County charges under an $8,000 bond before being transferred to Taylor County to answer to the original charges.


Woman jailed for
grand theft and more;

Juvenile released to DJJ


Tiffany Costenbader
Mug Shot by DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 15, 2017 at 9:37 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A deputy with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office located a woman wanted as a suspected thief and he caught a suspected juvenile cohort when they were in a vehicle pulled over when its driver was suspected of violating traffic laws in Nov. 9, according to information in a press release from DCSO spokesman Maj. Scott Harden.
     Tiffany Costenbader, 36, of Old Town and a 16-year-old boy or girl were arrested on unrelated charges, Harden said.
     Those two were passengers in a vehicle driven by Jeffry Henson on Nov. 4, from which Henson was arrested on a number of traffic charges and outstanding warrants, Harden said.
     Costenbader and the juvenile are each charged with grand theft of more than $20,000 in connection with their involvement in the theft of currency and/or items from the victim, Harden said.
     This incident was reported in October of this year when the victim learned about the two of them being in possession of large sums of cash, Harden said, and the victim knew that the two of them had access to his home.
     It was at this point, Harden said, when the victim checked the contents of his safe and realized that he had been victimized.
     Since that time, DCSO officials had been making efforts to contact and interview Costenbader and the juvenile, Harden said.
     The DCSO was able to do so on the night of Henson’s arrest.
     At the time of Costenbader’s arrest on Nov. 9, she was found to be in possession of a concealed weapon and a controlled substance, Harden said.
     As a result of this, Costenbader was charged with the additional counts of possession of a concealed firearm and possession of a controlled substance.
     Costenbader is in the Dixie County Jail in lieu of a $60,000 bond, Harden said, and the juvenile was released to the custody of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.


Suspected pot seller bonds out

Fulbert Joseph

Mug Shot by DCSO

Story By Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz
Published Nov. 15, 2017 at 9:07 a.m.
     GILCHRIST COUNTY --
On Nov. 8 at approximately 4:58 p.m., in the City of Trenton, Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Keagon Weatherford and Deputy Noel Ramirez observed Fulbert Joseph, 26, of Trenton sell marijuana to a juvenile who was later determined to be only 14 years old.
      The marijuana was confiscated from the juvenile, and then the juvenile was turned over to the custody of his guardian.
      Joseph was arrested and charged with sale of cannabis (marijuana) – a felony; and possession of an amount of cannabis (marijuana) that weighs less than 20 grams – a misdemeanor.
     Joseph’s bond was set at $60,000 by Gilchrist County Court Judge Sheree H. Lancaster.
     Joseph has since bonded out.


Coast Guard to offload
about 10 tons of cocaine
in Port Everglades;

With the 51 pounds of heroin
also to be offloaded,
this quantity of drugs would
net $300 million wholesale


A U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencer boat-crew interdicts a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel during the ship’s counter narcotics patrol. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecution.

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Second Class Timothy Midas
~
By Media Staff of
United States Coast Guard News
Department of Homeland Security
Published Nov. 14, 2017 at 7:27 a.m.
     MIAMI --
The crew of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Spencer is scheduled to offload approximately 10 tons of cocaine and 23 kilograms (almost 51 pounds) of heroin Tuesday morning (Nov. 14) in Port Everglades worth an estimated $300 million wholesale.



In excess of 2,200 kilograms of seized contraband lies on flight deck of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Spencer  with an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter from Jacksonville in the background. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdiction, to prosecution.
Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Second Class Timothy Midas.

     These large amounts of the two different drugs were seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
     The drugs were interdicted along Mexico and Central America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters.
     The offload on Tuesday morning, slated to start at 9 a.m. with media presence permitted represents 14 separate, suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:
     ● The Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) Steadfast was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 940 kilograms of cocaine;
     ● The CGC James was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 690 kilograms of cocaine;
     ● The CGC Alert  was responsible for six cases, seizing an estimated 3,305 kilograms of cocaine and 23 kilograms of heroin;
     ● The CGC Aspen was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 102 kilograms of cocaine;
     ● The CGC Vigorous  was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,150 kilograms of cocaine;
     ● The CGC Spencer was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 3,000 kilograms of cocaine;
     ● The CGC Thetis was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,060 kilograms of cocaine;
     Numerous agencies of the government of the United States of America from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime.
     The Coast Guard, United States Navy, United States Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations.
     The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in California, on the East Coast, and in the Caribbean.
     "This offload today is not just the result of one unit, but the combined efforts of multiple Coast Guard cutters, aircraft and support, as well as that of our partners and allied men and women who continue to work day and night to stop these criminal organizations from profiting off transnational crime and smuggling," USCG Cdr. John Mctamney, Commanding Officer Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, said. "While this offload represents approximately 10 tons of illicit drugs that will never hit out streets, it also represents a significant depletion to the cash flow to these criminal organizations."
     The Coast Guard increased the United States and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy.
     During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied, military or law enforcement personnel. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guardsmen.
     The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific are conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, Calif.
     The cutter Steadfast is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. The cutter James is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C. The cutter Alert is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. The cutter Aspen is a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in San Francisco, Calif. The cutter Vigorous is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Virginia Beach, Va. The cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Mass. The cutter Thetis is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West.


Suspected Thief Warned

Chiefland K-9 Police Officer Pete Barnes collects photographic evidence. (Photos of the suspect who was forgiven are not being published.) A young man suspected of stealing valuable coins from a vendor at the Chiefland Farmers Flea Market on Sunday morning (Nov. 12) came very close to being booked into the Levy County Jail. However, the victim told the investigating officer -- Chiefland K-9 Officer Pete Barnes -- that he forgave the thief. The victim's property was returned and the suspected thief was given a written ‘no trespass warning,’ which means he cannot return to the Chiefland Farmers Flea Market, or he will be arrested for trespass after warning. Flea Market Owner Sonny Griffith gave the suspect $5, because the young man said he had just been kicked out of his home and was hungry. That is why he alleged that he had tried to steal the silver coins. Officer Barnes told the young man in no uncertain terms that he will go to jail in the future if he returns to the Chiefland Farmers Flea Market. The officer confirmed that the young man understood what he was being told. A Levy County Sheriff's Office deputy had been dispatched and was ready to transport the suspect at about 10 a.m. Sunday. The young man was advised to find a job to earn money rather than stealing from people who work for a living. The young man was not charged with stealing the coins – even though there was clearly probable cause for Officer Barnes to complete that action.

Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 12, 2017 at 10:57 p.m.

 


Five suffer critical injuries
in Hawthorne crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 11, 2017 at 6:37 a.m.
     HAWTHORNE –
Five people suffered critical injuries in a crash in Hawthorne on Friday evening (Nov. 10), the FHP said.

     Lisa Embry was driving a 2003 Ford Focus at 6:07 p.m., according to a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. M. Hathcock, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Douglas Crandall and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Derek MacLaren.
     The four passengers in the Focus were  Tonya Cabrera-Smith, 49; Kole Ellingham, 8; Emanuel Cabrera, 9; and Jordan Strawder, 9, all of Hawthorne, the FHP said.
      Juan Raya, 22, of Hawthorne was driving a 2008 Ford pickup truck that was pulling a trailer, the FHP said.
     Stephen Cassels, 21, of Hawthorne was a passenger in the truck, the FHP said.
     The two-vehicle crash occurred on State Road 20 with a nearest cross street of Alachua County Road 325, the FHP said.
     The two occupants from the pickup did not sustain any serious injuries and were not transported. The five occupants from the Ford Focus were all transported to Shands UF Gainesville, all in critical condition, the FHP said.
     THI is further investigating the crash, the FHP said.


Man dies in Marion County
motorcycle crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 9, 2017 at 10:07 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
A 58-year-old man from Minnesota died late Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 8) in a motorcycle accident in Marion County, the FHP said.

     Christina E. Jones, 59, of Summerfield was driving a 2016 Kia Soul at 4:43 p.m. on Wednesday, according to a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. David Roberts, from information by crash investigator FHP Trooper Chris DelRusso and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Richard S. Crawford.
     Thomas D. Dunkle, 58, of Monticello, Minn., was driving a 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the FHP said.
     The Kia) was eastbound on Marion County Road 42, the FHP said.
     The Harley-Davidson was westbound on CR 42, the FHP said.
     As the Kia approached Southwest 105th Avenue, the FHP said, Jones attempted to make a left turn onto Southwest 105th Avenue.
     As she was making her left turn, she failed to observe the motorcycle approaching, the FHP said.
     Dunkle saw the Kia turning in front of him, the FHP said, and he attempted to avoid the Kia by applying brakes of the motorcycle.
      This caused the motorcycle to lie over on its side and to slide into the Kia, the FHP said.
      Dunkle was pronounced dead on-scene by Marion County Fire Rescue at 4:51 p.m.
     Jones was wearing a seatbelt and suffered no injuries, the FHP said.
     Results from a blood-alcohol content test on Dunkle are pending, the FHP said. Charges are pending completion of this accident investigation, the FHP said.


Three men earn
Medal of Heroism for action
during Hurricane Irma


The governor, Cabinet and three medal recipients and their department heads are seen on Tuesday (Nov. 7).

Photo and Story
By Ashley Carr
of CFO Jimmy Patronis' Press Office
Published Nov. 8, 2017 at 3:47 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
During Tuesday’s (Nov. 7) meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Gov. Rick Scott awarded insurance fraud detective Barry Lewis with the Medal of Heroism for his role in a joint rescue during Hurricane Irma.

     The Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Det. Lewis, alongside the Florida Highway Patrol’s (FHP) Cpl. John Schultz and FHP Sgt. David Contessa, waded into rising flood waters in Fort Myers to rescue FHP Lt. Greg Bueno and his parents when the roof of their house collapsed as Hurricane Irma pummeled Southwest Florida.
      “These men didn’t think twice before launching into action when they received their colleague’s call for help," CFO Jimmy Patronis said. "Without blinking, they did what they do best – rush to offer a helping hand to a fellow Floridian. In the heart of a hurricane, they walked through flood waters in the dead of night to perform this rescue, making them all heroes in my book. I’m proud to see one of our own recognized today, and I’m grateful to live in a state full of heroes like Detective Barry Lewis, Corporal John Schultz and Sergeant David Contessa.”
     “I am extremely proud and forever grateful for FHP Corporal John Schultz and Investigator Barry Lewis, who heroically rescued one of our own Florida Highway Patrol troopers and his family," Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes said. "These heroes answered the call for help in the midst of a hurricane, setting aside their own personal safety, and Florida is a better, safer place because of them.”
     On Sept. 10, FHP Lt. Bueno took shelter from Hurricane Irma at his lakefront Fort Myers home. He was joined by his parents and a family pet.
     During the time as the eye of the storm passed across the area, a large section of the home’s roof collapsed, allowing rain to pour in. The waterfront property was already at great risk as the overflowing lake had flooded the area and trapped the family inside. Lt. Bueno attempted to call for help, but poor signal prevented a clear call, and he hung up unsure whether anyone had heard his plea for assistance.
     While uncertain of the exact situation, Cpl. Schultz and Det. Lewis knew the lieutenant needed immediate assistance and left the Lee County Emergency Operations Center to offer aid. The two arrived at the entrance of the neighborhood, which was unpassable by car, so they proceeded to the home on foot.
     Corporal Schultz and Det. Lewis arrived at Lt. Bueno’s home shortly before FHP Sgt. Contessa, who arrived with a towing company to transport the group to safer ground. The family was unharmed and spent the night at the Lee County Emergency Operations Center.
      Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida as a category 3 storm. More than 800,000 Irma-related insurance claims have been filed, and damage estimates currently exceed $5.5 billion.


Suspected Sex Criminal Caught

The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division began an investigation in August of 2017 based upon a complaint of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation where Thomas Hollifield, 27, of Williston was listed as the suspect. In September, investigators applied for a warrant charging Hollifield with one count of molesting a juvenile female victim and two counts of lewd exhibition. These two charges of lewd exhibition formally identify two different juvenile female victims. Levy County Court Judge Tim Browning assigned bond for this warrant at $1.5 million. Investigators immediately attempted to locate Hollifield after securing the warrant. They found he had fled Florida. The LCSO participates in the United States Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force (FRFTF). The FRFTF assists local law enforcement when criminals flee a jurisdiction. The FRFTF began searching for Hollifield and located him today (Wednesday, Nov. 8) in North Carolina. Hollifield was taken into custody and is scheduled to be transported back to Levy County to face charges.
Published Nov. 8, 2017 at 1:37 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided by LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond, PIO


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
Nov 6 Through Nov. 12

Updated Nov. 13, 2017 at 11:37 p.m.

NOVEMBER 6
     Michael Harvey Bandy, 66, of Hillsboro, Ohio was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $500.
     Jacob William Sanders, 33, of Cross City was arrested for controlled substance without prescription, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $26,000.
     Robert Conway Tanner, 38, of Chiefland petit theft - first degree $100 to less than $300, FTA. Bond $3,000.
NOVEMBER 7
     Duncan Ryan Anderson, 28, of Gainesville was arrested for fail to stop/ remain at crash involving serious bodily injury, DWLSR - first offense. Bond $15,500.
     Katura Lane Futch, 38, of Bronson was arrested for DWLSR - knowingly. Bond $500.
     Bradley Dean Kruise, 27, of Chiefland was arrested for DWLSR - first offense, VOP. Bond $1,000. No bond on VOP.
     Steven James McMurry, 46, of Bronson was arrested for fail to register as required. No bond.
     Rhonda Kae Morett, 27, of Williston poss. firearm, poss. cocaine, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $126,000.
     Horacio Resendez Onorato, 37, of Williston was arrested for operating a motor vehicle without valid driver license, VOP. Bond $1,000. No bond on VOP.
     Vanesly Laticia Roman, 30, of Margate was arrested for marijuana - not more than 20 grams. Bond $1,000.
     Robert Paul Tedder, 73, of Old Town was arrested for controlled substance without prescription, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $16,000.
NOVEMBER 8
     Sylvia Renita Edmundson, 61, of Williston was arrested for insurance fraud less than $20,000. ROR.
     Paul Daniel Hord, 43, of Trenton was arrested for battery - touch or strike. Bond $30,000.
NOVEMBER 9
     Isaiah Desmond Jones, 20, Bronson was arrested for FTA, marijuana - not more than 20 grams. Bond $6,000.
     Kelly Robert Stewart, 49, of Ocala was arrested for controlled substance without prescription, marijuana - not more than 20 grams, drug paraphernalia - advertise. Bond $20,000.
NOVEMBER 10
     Matthew Thomas Whyte, 26, of Cedar Key was arrested for two counts of FTA, controlled substance without prescription, drug equipment poss. and/or use. Bond $46,000.
NOVEMBER 11
     Ronald Jack Davis, 28, of Archer was arrested for battery - touch or strike. No bond amount was given.
     Santos William Fanco-Trejo, 32, of Bell was arrested for operate motor vehicle without valid driver license. Bond $1,000.
     McKenzie Skye Klein, 21, of Williston was arrested for battery - touch or strike. Bond $5,000.
     Jermaine Tyrone Riley, 38, of Archer was arrested for controlled substance without a prescription, poss. cocaine, false ID given to LEO. Bond $30,000.
     Ashley Savanna Tellander, 26, of Chiefland was arrested for DUI - alcohol or drugs, marijuana - not more than 20 grams. Bond $10,000.
NOVEMBER 12
     Sephra L. Fitak, 30, of Gainesville was arrested for DWLSR - knowingly. No bond amount was given.
     Salena Y. Rosario, 20, of Reddick was arrested for DWLSR - knowingly. Bond $1,000.

 




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
Nov 6 Through Nov. 12

Updated Nov. 13, 2017 at 11:37 p.m.


NOVEMBER 7
     John Lubin Jr., 24, of Old Town was arrested on a warrant - FTA. Bond $1,000.
NOVEMBER 9
     Tiffany Lynn Costenbader, 36, of Old Town was arrested for grand theft - first degree - over $20,000, concealed weapon, poss. new legend drug/  habit form/ toxic dr. Bond $60,000.
     Jefferey Dewayne Long, 37, of Steinhatchee was arrested for false imprisonment, battery/ spouse abuse, three Taylor County warrants. Bond $5,000.
NOVEMBER 10
     Henery C. James, 58, Dothan, Alabama was arrested for DUI. Bond $3,500.
     Marion L. Donahe, 32, of Chiefland was arrested for an Levy County warrant, poss. methamphetamine. Combined total of No Bond.
NOVEMBER 11
     Billy W. Norton, 34, of Old Town was arrested for DWLSR, RWOV. Bond $1,500.
NOVEMBER 12
     Matthew Cohick, 36, of Newville, Pennsylvania was arrested for an out-of-state warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Jacob Lubin, 21, of Old Town was arrested for three counts of battery - spouse abuse. No bond amount was given.



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
Nov 6 Through Nov. 12

Updated Nov. 13, 2017 at 11:37 p.m.


NOVEMBER 6
NOVEMBER 7

     Houston Lee Myers, 21, of Chiefland was arrested for DWLSR; poss. methamphetamine and misdemeanor poss. marijuana. Bond $45,000.
NOVEMBER 8
NOVEMBER 9

     William Howell Cannon, 53, of Bell was arrested for aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony. Bond $5,000.
     Fulbert Fabian Joseph, 26, of Trenton was arrested for sale of marijuana, and poss. of marijuana under 20 grams. Bond $60,000.
     David Michael Montgomery, 27, of Trenton was arrested for poss. cocaine. No bond amount was listed.
     Charles Matthew Johnson, 18, of Trention was arrested for misdemeanor poss. marijuana; poss. drug paraphernation. Bond $5,000
     Sean Ryan Turchin, 29, of Trenton was arrested for DWLRS second conviction. Bond $2,000.
NOVEMBER 10
NOVEMBER 11

     Brian Alphonso McGee, 33, of Trenton was arrested for cruelty toward a child; aggravated stalking; kidnapping a minor and burglary. Bond $1 million and $5,000.
     Michael Todd Larson, 54, of Trenton was arresteed for battery. Bond $3,000.
NOVEMBER 12
     Melverd Jerome Anders, 50, of Trenton was arrested for DUI. Bond $2,500

--UPDATED--
SUNDAY  Nov. 19  8:47 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties




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The people shown above are the most wanted currently by the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Updated Nov. 13, 2017 at 11:47 p.m.





 




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