Last minute warning
issued about Crab Fest

Published April 25, 2015
     LEVY COUNTY --
The Levy County Sheriff's Office issued a one-day warning about a festival that had grown into an event heavy with drug and alcohol abuse over the years.

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     As a result of some of the less desirable activity during the 2013 version of this gathering in the unincorporated area just outside of Williston, Devonte Trevane Ocasio of Reddick remains in jail facing six felony charges – first degree murder; attempted first degree murder; and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm,
     The LCSO noted on Friday (April 25) its Facebook page that the annual "East Williston Crab Festival will be conducted Saturday afternoon/night, April 25,"
    Residents and visitors to Levy County, according to the Facebook posting, "... can expect heavy traffic in the area of County Road 318, County Road 331A, and U.S. Alternate 27. Motorists who are not traveling to the event are encouraged to avoid the area during that time due to potential traffic congestion."
     There were no deaths or injuries reported from the 2014 event.


Man hurt in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 24, 2015 @ 3:07 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY -- An accident Friday morning (April 24) in Levy County resulted in one man with minor injuries going to a hospital in Gainesville, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace, from information provided from crash investigator FHP Trooper Glen Ganus.
     James Matthews, 69, of Trenton was driving a 2008 Dodge Ram west on Levy County Road 346A, and was at the intersection of U.S. Highway19 and  CR 346A, where a stop sign gives the right-of-way to vehicles on U.S. 19, the FHP said. Shirley Matthews, 67, of Trenton was a passenger. They were both wearing seat belts, the FHP said.
      Christ Bennett, 54, of Orland was northbound on U.S. 19 in the inside lane, the FHP said, as he drove a 2004 Toyota Corolla.
     The Ram traveled onto U.S. 19 and was attempting to cross both northbound lanes of traffic and enter the southbound lanes of traffic, the FHP said. That Dodge crossed the outside lane and when it entered the inside lane, the Toyota struck the left side of pickup truck with its front, the FHP said.
     The Ram rotated counterclockwise and came to final rest in the median crossing and was facing east, the FHP said. The Toyota rotated counterclockwise slightly came to final rest facing northwest with its left front against the Ram's left front, the FHP said.
     Matthews was cited for allegedly violating the right-of-way of the other driver, the FHP said. Bennett was taken to UF Health at Shands, the FHP said.
     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Hi readers. Thank you for the emails and telephone calls about a crash a couple of days ago on U.S. Highway 129, where the victim appeared to have been taken by ShandsCair to that hospital. This is not that crash. The FHP has not released any information about that accident yet (April 24 at 3:07 p.m.).


Meth lab dismantled;
Two suspects arrested
Published April 23, 2015 @ 10:57 p.m.
     BRONSON -- Levy County Drug Task Force Investigators responded to 9590 N.E. 78 Lane in Bronson to investigate a possible clandestine methamphetamine lab recently.
     Investigators made contact with the home owner Joseph Heath Morgan, who celebrated his 39th birthday on April 22. He agreed to speak with the investigators, according to Levy County Undersheriff W.O. "Brett" Beauchamp III.

LCSOmeth042315

     During the interview, investigators observed several indicators of recent methamphetamine manufacturing in plain view outside the residence, Beauchamp said. These indicators included:  stripped lithium batteries, pseudoephedrine blister packs, aluminum foil and coffee filters. Morgan subsequently admitted that there was an active methamphetamine lab on the property at the time, Beauchamp said.
     Investigators located and interviewed Taylor James Bryant, 22, on the property. Bryant admitted that he had been present at the location for several hours, Beauchamp said.  
     Morgan gave the investigators consent to search the property. They located two active methamphetamine labs inside a shed behind the residence, Beauchamp said. The labs were dismantled by Clandestine Laboratory Certified Deputies and with the assistance of the Bronson Fire Department.
      Investigators seized 254 grams (about a pound and three-quarters) of methamphetamine oil from the two labs.  The evidence on scene indicated that site had been used as a lab over a long period of time, Beauchamp said.  
     Investigators arrested Morgan and Bryant and charged both with trafficking in methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine. Each suspect is being held at the Levy County Jail in lieu of $200,000 worth of bonds.  
     The LCSO encourages the public to contact Crime Stoppers of Levy County to report suspicious methamphetamine activity.


81 gas pump skimmers
found in statewide sweep

Published April 23, 2015 @ 12:27 p.m.

     TALLAHASSEE -- Staff members of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have been sweeping through Florida checking gas pumps for “skimmers,” devices that capture consumers’ credit and debit card information.
    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today (April 23) that inspectors have checked more than 6,000 gas stations and found 81 skimmers at gas pumps throughout Florida.

     “From Okaloosa County to Miami-Dade County, these skimmers are being placed on gas pumps throughout the state,” Putnam said. “Our inspectors will continue to work to safeguard Floridians and tourists who shouldn’t have to worry about having their credit or debit card information stolen as they fuel-up.”
     Consumer can protect themselves by:
     • Paying in cash inside the store to ensure the credit card information stays safe.
     •Checking to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with. Many stations are now putting a piece of security tape over the cabinet to ensure it has not been opened by unauthorized individuals.
     • Using a gas pump closer to the front of the store. Thieves often place skimmers at the gas pumps farther away from the store so they are not noticed as quickly.
     • Using a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.
     • If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of a debit card. That way, the PIN number is safe.
     • Monitoring bank accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges.
     • Consumers who suspect their credit card number has been compromised should report it immediately to authorities and their credit card company.
     The counties and numbers of skimmers found by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the most recent set of inspections are: Alachua - 2; Bay - 1; Brevard - 5; Broward - 9; Charlotte - 1; Citrus - 2; Duval - 3; Hernando - 2; Hillsborough - 6; Lee - 2; Marion - 2; Martin - 3; Miami-Dade - 14; Okaloosa - 2; Orange - 4; Osceola - 2; Palm Beach - 8; Pasco - 1; Pinellas - 1; Polk - 3; Sarasota - 1; St. Lucie - 1; Sumter - 1; Suwannee - 2; Volusia - 2; and Walton - 1.


 Highway Safety
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Three Florida Highway Patrol troopers are in action here as they protect life and property on Thursday morning (April 23) at about 10:30 just outside of Bronson. The FHP conducts commercial vehicle traffic enforcement. The Florida Department of Transportation formerly had a law enforcement section for that job, but the state consolidated that duty into being part of the FHP's responsibility as part of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. To help keep the public safe on the roadways of Florida, the FHP checks commercial vehicles to assure the driver is qualified to be operating the vehicle, and to check the vehicle to be certain that it has the equipment required by law to reduce the odds of damage, injury and death from crashes.

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One of the older DOT State Law Enforcement Officer cars is seen (white and blue) here with the more modern FHP sports utility vehicle. The state is phasing out the older DOT vehicles.

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The FHP troopers in this photo are (from left) Scott Martin, Marshall Smith and Alan Harrison.

Published April 23 @ 12:27 p.m.
Photos by Jeff M. Hardison


Ambulance and Toyota damaged
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 19, 2015 @ 3:27 p.m.
      LEVY COUNTY -- Two vehicles passed each other Sunday morning (April 19) and they went so close to each other that mirror damage was sustained on both vehicles, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Pace based on information from crash investigator G.B. Sullivan.
      Jeffrey Barry, 57, of Yankeetown was driving a 2011 Toyota Tundra west in the westbound travel lane, crossing a bridge on State Road 40 at 10 a.m. on Sunday, the FHP said. Cindy Buckland, 57, of Yankeetown was a passenger in the vehicle. Both occupants of the vehicle were wearing seatbelts, the FHP said, and alcohol is not a factor in this accident.
      Gerald Algernon, 24, of Ocala was driving a Levy County Department of Public Safety 2013 Mercedes ambulance east in the eastbound travel lane, crossing the same bridge, on State Road 40, the FHP said.
      As the two vehicles were passing each other, the left driver side view mirrors on both vehicles sideswiped each other, causing minor damage to both vehicles, the FHP said.
Both vehicles were removed from final rest prior to the the arrival of Trooper Sullivan.
      There were no independent witnesses and no evidence reflected fault being able to be proved to either driver, the FHP said, therefore it is undetermined which driver was at fault.
      There were no injuries and no charges were made against either driver, the FHP said.


Infant dies after crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 17, 2015 @ 3:27 p.m.
Updated April 18, 2015 @ 4:27 p.m.
      MARION COUNTY - A child younger than one year old died after a Friday morning (April 17) two-vehicle crash according to crash investigator Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Argenis Perez and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Shaun Lattinville.
      Kristiana B. Golebiowski, 33, of Ocala was driving a 2005 Nissan Altima traveling south on Marion County Road 225A near Northwest 14th Street at 6:17 a.m., the FHP said. Lucas J. Golebiowski, an infant, was the passenger. The baby was in a child restraint seat and the driver was using a seat belt, the FHP said.
      Matthew Wayne Floyd, 34, of Nicholls, Ga., was driving a 1994 GMC Vandura behind the Nissan going in the same direction, the FHP said.
      Floyd saw the Altima slowing down in the southbound lane, the FHP said, and he traveled into the northbound lane to pass the vehicle.
      Golebiowski then turned left, the FHP said. The GMC's front right collided with Nissan's left rear, the FHP said. The Altima came to a final rest facing southeast on the east shoulder of CR 225A, the FHP said.
      The GMC overturned and came to final rest facing north on all four tires, the FHP said.
      Kristiana B. Golebiowski was not injured. Lucas J. Golebiowsk was transported to UF Health Shands in Gainesville in critical condition. The baby was pronounced dead on April 17 at 3:28 p.m. by an attending physician at UF Health Gainesville, the FHP said.
     Floyd was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, the FHP said. He was wearing a seat belt.
      Charges are pending, the FHP said.


Inspector finds fraud device
at convenience store gas pump
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This picture of the device taken from inside the gasoline pump is what is used to steal people's credit card information so that the thieves can defraud companies into thinking the victim is purchasing things from them.
Photo Provided by OPD

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 17, 2015 @ 4:17 p.m.
     OCALA -- Just like the device found at a Marathon gas pump in Bronson recently, a device used to steal people's credit card information also was discovered at the Qwik King convenience store and gas station, 2400 S.E. 36th Ave., in Ocala, according to information from Ocala Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Angy Scroble.
     OPD Officer Miguel A. Gauthier met with Inspector Ed Underhill of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services there on Thursday (April 16), according to records.
     While Inspector Underhill was conducting a review of gasoline pumps at the Qwik King, he found a credit card skimmer connected to pump #4, Gauthier reported.
     This pump had last been inspected in January of 2014, Underhill told Gauthier, according to records.
     The device was taken as evidence. Anyone with information about people using devices to commit fraud is asked to call any law enforcement agency.
     If it is in Ocala, please call the OPD at 352-369-7000.


adLCSOStar1LCSO arrests
to April 19

     Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office in regard to people arrested. These defendants were arrested by the LCSO and other agencies. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


DWLSR– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession
DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence
ROR - Released on Own Recognizance

Published April 20, 2015 @ 1:57 p.m.

APRIL 14
     Jarrod Allen Beckham, 35, of Archer was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. Bond $500.
     Tammy Harwell, 25, of Tampa was arrested for a writ of bodily attachment. No bond amount was given.
     Peter James Schneider, 34, of Winter Park was arrested for two out-of-county warrants. Bond $4,000.
     Derick Lee Short, 45, of Inglis was arrested for sex offender violation – fail to report email address/ instant message name, sex offender violation – fail to report name or residence change. Bond $175,000.
APRIL 15
     Guy Austin Eads, 25, of Chiefland was arrested for aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony. No bond amount was given.
     Daniel London, 27, of Bronson was arrested for drug equipment – poss. and or use. Bond $1,000.
     Michael Foremen Perrotto, 46, of Gainesville was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $2,000.
     Ricardo Ramirez, 18, of Williston was arrested for violation of pre-trial release for domestic violence, aggravated assault with intent to commit felony, burglary of unoccupied structure. No bond amount was given.
APRIL 16
     Ronald Robert Bischoff, 42, of Fanning Springs was arrested for capital sexual battery. No bond.
     Dean William Blubaugh, 63, of Bronson was arrested for aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill. Bond $10,000.
     Ehren Michael Brown, 36, of Williston was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $4,160.
     Shyteria Shambria Richardson, 19, of Chiefland was arrested for retail theft. Bond $500.
APRIL 17
     William Ray Hickman, 64, of Williston was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Matthew John Seymour, 35, of Old Town was arrested for battery on person 65 years of age or older. Bond $50,000.
     Susan Marie Wasileff, 25, of Worthville, Kentucky was arrested for damage to property – criminal mischief - $1,000 or more. ROR.
APRIL 18
     James Williams Emino, 45, of Archer was arrested for domestic battery – touch or strike. Bond $2,500.
     Lidanta La-Adarius Johnson, 27, of Williston was arrested for contempt of court – violated injunction – repeat sex date violation. Bond $5,000.
APRIL 19
     John Lawson Fullbright, 30, of Williston was arrested for battery – touch or strike. No bond amount was given.
     Nicole Diann Hooper, 24, of Old Town was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $553.


 adDCSODCSO arrests
to April 18


      Publisher’s note:
The following information was provided by the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. These defendants were arrested by the GCSO and other agencies. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.



DWLSR
– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession

DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence
ROR - Released on Own Recognizance

Published April 20, 2015 @ 1:57 p.m.


APRIL 13
     Matthew John Seymour, 34, of Old Town was arrested for a Levy County warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Jason Paul Deavitt, 37, of Old Town was arrested for drug equipment, battery. No bond amount was given.
     Jay Scott Williams, 47, of Old Town was arrested for criminal mischief. No bond amount was given.
APRIL 15
     Thomas C. Owens, 55, of Old Town was arrested for methamphetamines. No bond amount was given.
APRIL 16
     Brittney Lynn Gottman, 23, of Old Town was arrested for trespass. Bond $3,000.
     Reginald C. Timmons, 24, of Cross City was arrested for battery, DWLSR. Bond $3,000.
APRIL 17
     Teresa G. Bailey, 53, of Old Town was arrested on two warrants for uttering a forgery. Bond $235.
APRIL 18
     Cynthia Kry Brownfield, 29, of Old Town was arrested for battery, RWOV. Bond $1,000.
     Charles R. Bordine, 35, of Old Town was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $1,500.
     Annette F. Alexander-Dawson, 48, of Cross City was arrested for aggravated domestic battery. Bond $2,000.


adGCSOGCSO arrests
to April 16

      Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office. These defendants were arrested by the GCSO and other agencies. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.



DWLSR
– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession
DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence
ROR - Released on Own Recognizance

Published April 20, 2015 @ 1:57 p.m.

APRIL 15
     Jeramiah Daniel Garza, 24, of Eustis was arrested for aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill, resist officer with violence. Bond $250,000.
APRIL 16
     Travis Lee Spears, 36, of Trenton was arrested for DUI – alcohol or drugs – DUI – refuse to submit to DUI text after license suspended. Bond $4,000.

-- UPDATED --

SAT.  APRIL 25  7:37 a
.m.

Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist counties



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