Working Troopers
FHP Fanning Springs Florida
Three Florida Highway Patrol units are seen in the City of Fanning Springs on Thursday (Dec. 5). Meanwhile, a couple of other FHP units in the area were helping motorists understand when they were going too fast on U.S. Highway 19 through the city. The FHP strives to achieve its core values of courtesy, service and protection. It is the job of the members of the FHP to help ensure the safety and welfare of millions of Florida’s residents and visitors each and every day. This includes writing warnings or citing people who endanger others by their suspected violation of traffic laws. These troopers here are not part of a wolf pack, or set of troopers. Two of them were simply exchanging paperwork. One trooper said they found Fanning Springs to be a convenient place for this rendevous that day to accomplish that activity.

Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 12, 2019 at 8:49 p.m.


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LCSO seeks public's help
regarding 2004 murder;

Suspect in custody
Solomon John Hall Murder Suspect Levy County
Solomon John Hall – Murder Suspect

Photo Provided By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 11, 2019 at 9:09 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Levy County Sheriff's Office Lt. Scott Tummond issued a press release Wednesday morning (Dec. 11) seeking help with a 2004 murder.


Michael Randolph Murder Victim Levy County



Michael Randolph – Murder Victim
Photo Provided By LCSO



     The investigation of that death 15 years ago has led to a man being indicted for the murder of a known drug dealer from Chiefland, according to information in Lt. Tummond's press release.
     The Levy County Grand Jury returned a “true bill” regard to the murder of Michael Randolph in May of 2004, Tummond said.
     A true bill is an indictment, which has been presented to a grand jury and endorsed as valid. When the grand jury determines that an indictment is a true bill, it means that the grand jury believes that the charges have merit and the accused should be brought to court to answer to them.
     The Grand Jury is comprised of 12 residents from Levy County and is assembled to hear the state’s evidence on capital cases such as murder. The Grand Jury is responsible to decide if the state has enough evidence to move forward with a criminal prosecution. Each of Florida’s 67 counties has a grand jury.
     Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney William P. Cervone convened the Levy County Grand Jury on Nov. 22, Tummond said, to hear the state’s evidence on the pending murder investigation. The indicted Solomon John Hall, 48, of Chiefland, Tummond said. Hall will be 49 years old later this month, according to records.
      Hall has amassed 13 arrests in Levy County, beginning in 2000, Tummond said. He has been charged with a range of crimes including domestic violence, aggravated battery, theft, drug possession, DUI, violation of probation and methamphetamine production, Tummond said.
      Hall is currently incarcerated in the Florida Department of Corrections after being sentenced on May 15, 2018, for manufacture of methamphetamine, according to records, and he is scheduled to be released on June 23, 2024.
     This latest conviction is the fourth time Hall has been sentenced to state prison, Tummond said
      In 2018, Levy County Sheriff’s Office detectives obtained information regarding Hall's involvement in the disappearance of Randolph in 2004, Tummond said.  The information obtained surrounding Randolph’s disappearance launched the investigation, Tummond said. No report of Randolph’s disappearance was ever filed with law enforcement, Tummond said.
     LCSO detectives partnered with agents from the Florida Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate, Tummond said.
      The investigation revealed evidence of Randolph’s disappearance and murder, which culminated in the issuance of the Levy County Grand Jury’s true bill, Tummond said.
     The evidence presented to the Grand Jury indicated that in 2004 Hall was heavily involved in the use of illegal drugs. In May of 2004 he met with Randolph, a known drug dealer from Chiefland, to purchase drugs, Tummond said. Hall took Randolph to a secluded area south of Chiefland to make his purchase, but instead of completing the transaction, the suspected killer is alleged to have shot and killed Randolph, Tummond said. Randolph was not seen or heard from ever again.
     Hall, who was housed at the Florida DOC Marion Correctional Institution, has been transferred to the Levy County Jail, Tummond said, where he will be held under no bond pending his trial.
     The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is asking the general public for assistance, as an investigation of this complexity and age is not over until the suspect is convicted, Tummond said.
     "If anyone has information that would aid this investigation, we ask you contact Detective Tim Rogers or Detective Rob Bowers at 352-486-5111," Tummond said.
     This murder case is being prosecuted by the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office in Levy County, Tummond said.


Trooper arrests
two suspected felons
after civilians and deputy assist

Grand Theft Auto Alachua County
The Lexus is seen after the crash.

FHP Photo

By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 11, 2019 at 6:29 p.m.
A Lee County man and a Columbia County man were arrested in Alachua County after they were slightly injured in a crash in Alachua County Tuesday afternoon (Dec. 10), the FHP said.

Grand Theft Auto Alachua County

Xavier Lavell Kevon Artis (upper left) and Terry Shernod Jonas (right)
Mug Shots By Alachua County Jail Staff

     The arrest of these two suspected felons resulted from assistance provided by civilians and a deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff Office, the FHP said.
     Xavier Lavell Kevon Artis, 20, of Lehigh Acres (Lee County) was driving a 2017 Lexus NX2000 (SUV-hybrid) in Alachua County at 1:20 p.m. on Dec. 10, Florida Highway Patrol public affairs officer Lt. P.V. Riordan said in a Dec. 11 press release based on information from crash investigator FHP Sgt. Tomas Dillon.
     Terry Shernod Jonas, 34, of Lake City (Columbia County) was a passenger in the Lexus, the FHP said.
     The Lexus was reported as having been stolen out of Jacksonville on Dec. 2, the FHP said.
     Artis was driving the Lexus southbound on Northwest 143rd Street at a high rate of speed as the driver was attempting to elude a pursing marked FHP cruiser, the FHP said.
     The trooper was attempting to stop that driver for willful and wanton reckless driving, the FHP said, when he had first noticed this vehicle prior to it exiting southbound I-75 at the State Road 222 exit.
     Meanwhile, Nicholas D. McMillin, 34, of Chattanooga, Tennessee was driving 2014 Toyota Tundra truck, the FHP said, which also was traveling southbound on Northwest 143rd Street. Jeffrey S. Spires, 49, of Newberry was a passenger in that pickup truck, the FHP said.
      The Toyota truck was slowing as it approached stopped traffic at Newberry Road (State Road 26), the FHP said.
     Artis failed to stop the Lexus, the FHP said, causing the front of that SUV to collide with a trailer that was being towed by the pickup truck.
     The Lexus came to final rest in the northbound lane of Northwest 143rd Street, the FHP said. After the collision, the Toyota truck was driven to a controlled stop, the FHP said.
     Both occupants of the Lexus fled the scene on foot, the FHP said. However, several civilians who observed what was occurring, assisted the trooper in the capture of Jonas, the passenger who had fled the crash scene.
     Artis was apprehended a short time later by an Alachua County deputy who had arrived, the FHP said, and was part of a perimeter that had been set up in the area the driver had fled.
     Artis and Jonas were booked into the Alachua County Jail, the FHP said.
     Artis was charged with grand theft auto, grand theft of a firearm, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, possession of burglary tools, resisting arrest, and unlawful possession of another's identification.
     Jonas was charged with grand theft auto, grand theft of a firearm, resisting arrest, unlawful possession of another's identification, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
     Both suspects reported minor injuries that did not require hospitalization, the FHP said. The other motorist and his passenger did not report any injuries, the FHP said.


Two LCSO employees arrested
James and Lonnie Hayes LCSO mug shot
James Hayes (left) and Lonnie Hayes
Mug Shots By LCSO

By Lt. Scott Tummond, Public Information Officer
Published Dec. 10, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Two Levy County Sheriff’s Office employees were arrested today (Tuesday, Dec. 10) for charges stemming from allegations of child abuse and child neglect.
     Lonnie Hayes, 77, a recently-retired employee in the LCSO Fleet Maintenance Division, was charged with child abuse.
     James “Beau” Hayes, 42, a correctional assistant, was charged with child neglect.
     The allegations involved a child whom Beau Hayes was responsible for supervising. The child was misbehaving. Both Beau and Lonnie Hayes tried to control the child and restrained him for an extended period of time. Detectives assigned to the investigation deemed the restraint excessive.
     Lonnie and Beau Hayes were booked into the Levy County Detention Facility this evening (Tuesday, Dec. 10). Both Lonnie and Beau Hayes have been released on their own recognizance pending future court appearances.


Woman charged after traffic stop
Appling Suspected Dixie County Sheriff's Office


Demi Appling
Mug Shot By DCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison
© Dec. 10, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
A woman driving slowly in the passing lane of U.S. Highway 19 in Dixie County early Saturday morning (Dec. 7) drew attention by her action and the subsequent turn of events landed her in the Dixie County Jail, according to information released Monday (Dec. 9) in a press release from Dixie County Sheriff's Office Maj. Scott Harden.
     In the early morning hours of Dec. 7, Maj. Harden noted, a deputy with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office was traveling southbound on U.S. 19, when he approached a car being driven more slowly than the posted speed limit.
     The car was in the inside (passing) lane, Harden said. The deputy paced the vehicle for some distance, Harden said, and saw that the vehicle never passed another vehicle, nor did the driver attempt a lane change into the normal travel lane for slower traffic.
     The deputy then conducted a traffic stop for the violation and requested the driver’s license from the driver, Harden said.
     According to the report by the deputy, the driver, later identified as Demi Appling, was argumentative about the reason for the traffic stop, Maj. Harden said, and she was uncooperative with the deputy when he requested her driver’s license.
     After several attempts to get Appling to produce her license or identification, she still failed to do so, Harden said.
     Appling was arrested for two counts of resisting without violence, Harden said, and she was placed into the patrol car.  A subsequent license review later revealed that her license was suspended, Harden said.
     During the course of the stop, the deputy conducted a search of Appling’s vehicle, Harden said, where he found 104 small plastic baggies; some of which had residue in them, 30 hypodermic syringes with needles, and a burned spoon with residue, Harden said.
     The presumptive field test yielded a positive result to the presence of heroin, Harden said.
     Appling, 30, of Old Town, was then arrested for possession of heroin, two counts of possession of drug equipment, two counts of resisting arrest without violence, driving while license suspended or revoked and VOP-possession of a controlled substance.


Driver License Clinic to assist
Alachua County participants
in restoring driving privileges

By Christy Cain, Public Information Officer
Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida
Court Administration
Published Dec. 10, 2019 at 11:19 a.m.
A Driver License Clinic is scheduled to assist individuals whose licenses have been revoked, suspended, or cancelled.
     This clinic is set to be on Friday, Feb. 21, in the Jury Assembly Room of the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
     Staff from the Alachua County Clerk of Court, Alachua County Court Services, the Alachua County Tax Collector, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Office of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Public Defender, the Office of Regional Counsel, the Office of the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney, as well as  judges and court staff, will be on hand to assist registrants and provide individualized information relevant to each participant’s personal circumstances.
     The goal of the clinic is to provide “one-stop shopping” for individuals to interact with the appropriate state agencies and/or the Court, so the people seeking to restore driving privileges can determine how to regain their driving privileges.
     The Alachua County Clerk’s Office will be accepting payments on overdue Alachua County traffic fines and court costs and waiving the collection fees. Outstanding costs must be paid in full. 
     Driver licenses may be suspended for a variety of reasons, including: 1) failure to pay traffic tickets; 2) the accumulation of too many points on a driving record; 3) failure to pay child support; 4) failure to pay or work off fines, fees, and costs imposed as part of a criminal sentence; 5) failure to maintain automobile insurance; 6) failure to register a vehicle or keep or renew the registration; 7) failure to obtain, renew, or return a car tag; or 8) designation as an habitual traffic offender. Licenses also may be revoked if a plea was entered for certain crimes, such as driving while under the influence of alcohol, and licenses may be revoked for certain drug-related offenses.
     The clinic will not be able to assist those persons with licenses revoked, suspended or cancelled due to out-of-county or out-of-state matters. This is for Alachua County residents.
     Additionally, the clinic will not address pending criminal charges.



High Visibility Enforcement to
improve pedestrian & bike safety

By Valerie Strong, MCSO Public Information Officer
Published Dec. 10, 2019 at 11:39 a.m.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has joined in a partnership with the University of North Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation for FDOT's Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow campaign.
     MCSO Traffic Unit deputies will conduct High Visibility Enforcement Details (HVE) in the area of South Pine Avenue and South U.S. Highway 441 from Southeast 17th Street to Southeast 80th Street.
     These areas have seen an increase in traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. The enforcement will focus on improving pedestrian and bicycle safety, and continue until Friday, May 15, 2020.
    MCSO deputies will be concentrating more on educating the public about traffic laws during this enforcement to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. However, violations may result in warnings or citations depending on the circumstances.
     Residents and visitors in Marion County should expect to see an increased presence of traffic deputies on these roadways next week.
     The MCSO Traffic Unit would like all individuals to remember several things while they are on the roadways: Drivers, obey speed limits, never drive impaired and always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, obey traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic and use lights when riding at night. Pedestrians, cross in crosswalks or at intersections, obey pedestrian signals and make sure you are visible to drivers when walking at night.


Man dies from injuries
in Dixie County m'cycle crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 6, 2019 at 8:09 p.m.
* Updated Dec. 9, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.
A 73-year-old Cross City man die from injuries he siffered late Friday morning (Dec. 6) as the result of a motorcycle crash, the FHP said.
     Thomas Carmen Damico, 73, of Cross City was driving a 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle at 11:09 a.m. in Dixie County, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol shift supervisor Sgt. W. Ernst, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper K. Skelly.
     Damico was southbound on U.S. 19 at Southeast 74th Avenue, the FHP said, when he aggressively braked to avoid hitting a paint crew, the FHP said.
     The paint crew was pairing lines on U.S. 19 and they were using an attenuator, the FHP said.
     The motorcyclist fell off of the vehicle, the FHP said. He was taken by helicopter to UF Health Shands in Gainesville, the FHP said.
     The southbound lanes of U.S. 19 in that part of Dixie County were closed for an extended time, the FHP said, however they reopened at 12:30 p.m.
     Damico was wearing a helmet, the FHP said. Alcohol was not a factor in this crash, the FHP said.
  * An update issued by the FHP on Dec. 9 showed the man was pronounced dead at 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 6, at Shands Hospital.


Shooter and victims identified
Saudi Murderer


Mohammed Alshamrani
Mug Shot Provided By FBI


By Amanda Warford Videll
Public Affairs Officer
FBI Jacksonville Division
Published Dec. 7, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.
The Naval Air Station Pensacola shooter is identified as Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force.
      Alshamrani was a student naval flight officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command. Alshamrani died during the gunfight.
     Three United States Navy sailors died during an active shooter incident at Naval Air Station Pensacola, yesterday (Friday, Dec. 6).
     The identities of the sailors are:
     -Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Student, Naval Aviation Schools Command, 23, from Coffee, Alabama
     -Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, Student, Naval Aviation Schools Command, 19, from St. Petersburg
     -Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, Student, Naval Aviation Schools Command, 21, from Richmond Hill, Georgia
     “The sorrow from the tragic event on NAS Pensacola will have a lasting impact on our installation and community,” said Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer, NAS Pensacola. “We feel the loss profoundly and grieve with the family and friends of the deceased. The Sailors that lost their lives in the line of duty and showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil.
     "When confronted," Capt. Kinsella continued, "they didn’t run from danger; they ran towards it and saved lives. If not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could have been far worse.”
     The installation is now open to mission-essential personnel only through the weekend. Families who live on base will have access to the base and their residences. The National Naval Aviation Museum is closed until further notice.      The Barrancas National Cemetery is closed to visitors until further
      An Emergency Family Assistance Center was established today and will reopen at the Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC). FFSC will have counselors there to support witnesses, friends, family and base residents. They can be contacted at 850-452-5990
     Anyone with information regarding Alshamrani and his activities is encouraged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
     The FBI Jacksonville Office is not aware of any credible threat toward the Pensacola community at this time.


Two die in early morning
head-on crash on State Road 24

By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 6, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
A Bronson man and an Archer man died very early Friday morning (Dec. 6) as the result of a head-on crash on State Road 24, the FHP said.
     Romauld Thomas, 25, of Bronson was driving a 2011 Dodge Caliber at 4:05 a.m. on SR 24 near 202nd Street in Alachua County, according to information in a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Lt. P.V. Riordan, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Miguel Robles and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Janet Beagle.
     Nicholas Napier, 27, of Archer was driving a 2017 Nissan Rogue, the FHP said.
     The two vehicles collided head-on in the eastbound lane of SR 24 (Southwest Archer Road), the FHP said.
     Both drivers were pronounced dead on the scene by Alachua County Fire Rescue, the FHP said.
     The exact direction of travel of each vehicle prior to the crash is still under investigation, the FHP said. Blood-alcohol content results are pending on both drivers, the FHP said.
     The roadway was closed while investigators conducted their initial investigation, the FHP said, and SR 24 at 10 a.m.


VOP arrest progresses
with more charges added

Carole Heagney Methamphetamine Levy County


Carole Ann Heagney
Photos Provided By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 6, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
     BRONSON --
"It’s nice to share, or is it?" Levy County Sheriff's Office Lt. Scott Tummond asked as he sent a press release Friday morning (Dec. 6).
     A 31-year-old Trenton woman who showed up for a visit with her probation officer on Thursday (Dec. 5) did not know she was bound to be arrested on two "no bond" warrants from another county, where that offense date is listed as Nov. 26, according to records.



Carole Heagney Methamphetamine Levy County

     Carole Ann Heagney, 31, faces two counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription from Nov. 26 warrants, which call for $20,000 in bonds; and one count of smuggling or introducing on Dec. 5 of contraband into a detention facility (the Levy County Jail), which calls for a $50,000 bond; and a charge of possession on Dec. 5 of methamphetamine with the intent to sell, manufacture or deliver it for another $50,000 bond, according to records.
     Even if she could post the $12o,000 in bonds, there are the two out-of-county "no bond" warrants listed for Heagney, according to records, and therefore, as Lt. Tummond noted, she will be held in the Levy County Detention Facility (Levy County Jail) until her cases proceed to trial.  
     Heagney's venture into jail resulted, Tummond noted, because Heagney was not aware she would be arrested when she went to her scheduled probation visit on Thursday.
     "So, on her way there," Lt. Tummond noted, "she stopped to see her drug dealer and purchased methamphetamines and heroin. Because she was afraid the friends who gave her a ride to see her probation officer would steal her drugs, she decided to take them inside with her."
     Once she was in the probation office, Tummond noted, Heagney’s probation officer would not let her leave -- because she had already violated the terms of her probation and the woman was being detained for transport to jail.
     Deputies with the Levy County Sheriff's Office responded to the probation office and took Heagney into custody, Tummond said. Unbeknownst to the deputies, Heagney had her drugs well-hidden, Tummond said.
     Deputies delivered her to the Levy County Jail, Tummond said, where she was able to keep the drugs hidden from detection by detention staff.
     "That is," Tummond continued. "until other inmates discovered she had drugs with her. In Heagney’s efforts to keep detention staff from discovering her smuggled goods, she offered to share with her cellmates."
     Three other inmates were bribed for their silence by Heagney, Tummond said, however this was all for naught. Detention staff was told about the drugs in the facility. After a brief search of Heagney’s cell, some of the drugs were found, Tummond said.
     In all, 11 grams of methamphetamine of the 14 grams she had originally purchased were seized, Tummond said. The investigation by LCSO Drug Task Force Det. Rob Bowers revealed that the inmate used the entire amount of heroin before detention staff became alerted, Tummond said.


Man hits Levy County bus,
gets arrested for
driving with no license

By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 3, 2019 at 8:09 p.m.
A 24-year-old Bronson man smacked a car into a Levy County School bus loaded with children, and he went to jail late this afternoon (Tuesday, Dec. 3), the FHP said.

     L.W. James Brown, 24, of Bronson, was driving a 2010 Nissan Versa at 4:45 p.m. on Dec. 3 in Levy County, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. J. Smatt, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Glen Ganus.
     Edwina Gay Kirby, 53, of Williston was driving a 2018 Thomas Bus for the Levy County School Board, the FHP said.
     The Nissan crossed the center line and struck the left side of the loaded school bus with its left front when the two vehicles were at State Road 121 and Southeast 50th Street, the FHP said.
     After the impact, the Nissan went off of the road and onto the east shoulder, the FHP said, and the school bus came to rest in the southbound lane of SR 121.
     The roadway was blocked for more than an hour, the FHP said, before the Levy County School Board removed the vehicle. There were 22 students onboard the bus, the FHP said.
     There were no injuries to the students or bus driver, the FHP said.
     The driver of the Nissan suffered minor injuries and was arrested for driving with no license, the FHP said. He was also cited for failure to maintain a single lane and for not wearing a seatbelt, the FHP said.


Four dead in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 3, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.
Story Held Until Positive ID Made
The fourth person who died in a crash on Nov. 16 was positively identified today (Tuesday, Dec. 3), the FHP said.
     Michael Ronald Russell, 51, of Ocala was driving a 2019 Hyundai Elantra at 11:40 p.m. on Nov. 16 in Alachua County, according to information in a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Lt. P.V. Riordan, public affairs officer, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Jon Cabral and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Ethan Sumner.
     Christopher M. Hesling, 30, of St. Marys, Georgia was driving a 2007 Toyota Rav4, the FHP said. Brittany Trowell Hesling, 31, Jack Hesling, 4, and Maggie Hesling, age unlisted, all of St. Marys, Georgia, were passengers in the Toyota, the FHP said.
     The Hyundai was westbound in the eastbound lanes of State Road 24, the FHP said. The Toyota was eastbound on SR 24, the FHP said.
     The Hyundai and the Toyota collided head-on, the FHP said. After the collision, the Hyundai erupted in fire, the FHP said. Positive identification of Russell was completed today (Dec. 3), the FHP said.
     Russell, Christopher Hesling, and Brittany Trowell Hesling died in the crash on Nov. 16, the FHP said.
     Jack Hesling died on Nov. 17, at Shands Hospital, the FHP said.
     Maggie Hesling suffered minor injuries, the FHP said.

LCSO captures
two suspected violent felons

Levy County Suspected Criminal 


Levy County Suspected Criminal
Victor Granados (left)
and Joshua R. Vestal

Mug Shots By LCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 2, 2019 at 7:09 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Deputies with the Levy County Sheriff's Office brought two suspected violent felons into custody and placed them in the Levy County Jail on Sunday (Dec. 1) and Monday (Dec. 2), according to information in a press release from LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond, public information officer.
     One suspected criminal is reportedly wanted in Texas for murder and the other suspect is reportedly a wanted violent felon on the run from Indiana. according to Lt. Tummond.
     The Sunday arrested started after a person called the LCSO to report what was believed to be an impaired driver, Tummond said.
      The caller told dispatchers the vehicle pulled into a local gas station, Tummond said.
     A Levy County deputy responded, Tummond said, to find a subject behind the wheel. When the deputy checked the status of this person’s driver license, the uncovering of truth presented evidence resulting in an arrest, Tummond said.
     The deputy checked on the license of “Rudolfo Diaz,” the name the driver gave him, and discovered Diaz may not be telling the whole truth. He never had a license in the United States and only had an ID from Mexico, Tummond said.
     The deputy experienced difficulty in communicating with Diaz, Tummond said, because the man did not speak English. With the assistance of the passenger, “Melvin Granados,” who helped translate, Diaz was arrested.
     The deputy spoke with “Melvin Granados” after taking Diaz into custody and found some inconsistencies in his story. The name “Melvin Granados” given to the deputy was incorrect, Tummond said.
     This man’s real name was Victor Granados, Tummond said.
     Victor Granados, 45, of Williston is a wanted felon, Tummond said. Not only does Alachua County want him for a failing to appear in court in Gainesville, but the State of Texas has an active warrant for his arrest charging him with murder, Tummond said.
    The deputy worked diligently to affected the arrest for both active warrants, taking this allegedly violent felon off of the streets in Levy County, Tummond said.
     In regard to another suspected violent felon, a cyber tip was sent to the LCSO early this morning (Monday, Dec. 2) through Crime Stoppers, Tummond said.
     The tipster told LCSO that a violent felon was hiding in the community, Tummond said. Just prior to daylight today the LCSO Patrol Division and detectives responded to an empty lot that only had a travel trailer set-up on it in the Bronson area, Tummond said.
     There the law enforcement officers located and arrested Joshua R. Vestal, 36, a wanted violent felon on the run from Indiana, Tummond said.
     Vestal appears to have fled Indiana, Tummond said, after a gunfight with another person there. Vestal is prohibited from possessing a firearm and fled to avoid prosecution, Tummond said.  
     Both Granados and Vestal will be held in the Levy County Jail without bond until transfers can be arranged to the states to which they belong, Tummond said. 

DCSO busts
suspected heroin trafficker

John Harding Dixie County Suspected Criminal


John Harding
Mug Shot By DCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison
© Dec. 2, 2019 at 7:09 p.m.
     OLD TOWN --
A 31-year-old man from Hudson (Pasco County) was busted Wednesday (Nov. 27) after he was found to be in possession of 10 grams of heroin, according to information in a press release from Dixie County Sheriff's Office Maj. Scott Harden.
     At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Nov 27, a DCSO deputy was dispatched to a convenience store in Old Town in regard to a man being disruptive inside the store, Harden said.
     When the deputy arrived, Harden noted in the press release, the subject was outside the store and lying on a bench.
     After speaking with the clerks on duty, the deputy went outside and told the male subject, identified as John Harding, 31, of Hudson, that he must leave the property and not return.
     After being given this command, Harding left the property and went out to the right-of-way near the road, Harden said.
     A short time later, deputies were again sent back to the property due to Harding's alleged harassment of customers at the gas pumps.
     When deputies arrived, Harden said, Harding was not on the property but was back out at the roadway. Deputies approached Harding and while speaking with him noticed a plastic bag at Harding’s feet with his belongings, Harden said
     The bag contained what appeared to be contraband, Harden said, and as a result, the deputies secured the bag and tested its contents.
     The contents of the bag tested positive for heroin< Harden said.
     Harding was arrested and charged with trafficking in a controlled substance after the weight of the heroin was determined to be 10 grams, Harden said.


Tased man charged
with violating laws

Dixie County Suspect Joshua Hall



Joshua Hall
Mug Shot By DCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison
© Dec. 2, 2019 at 7:09 p.m.
A 30-year-old man from Old Town who allegedly was driving with an obscured tag on a vehicle, wound up in the Dixie County Jail Friday night (Nov. 29), after a Dixie County Sheriff's Office deputy found evidence to charge him with violating laws, according to information in a press release from DCSO Maj. Scott Harden.
     Shortly before 9 p.m. on Nov. 29, a DCSO deputy stopped a vehicle for an obscured tag on Northeast Highway 349, Harden said.
     When the deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed the driver reaching into the console area, Harden said.
     The deputy asked the driver Joshua Hall, 30, of Old Town if he was attempting to hide something, Harden said. Hall said that he was not trying to hide something, Harden said, and the deputy asked Hall to keep his hands on the steering wheel while he checked his driver’s license information.
     The deputy then stepped to the back of Hall’s car while running the information, Harding said, while simultaneously watching Hall’s movements inside the car.
     Hall continued to reach around inside the car and the deputy approached Hall again, Harden said, and told him to place his hands on the steering wheel. As Hall went to do so, Harden said, he dropped a glass smoking pipe from his hand.
     Hall then began to attempt to hide this, Harden said, and again started reaching into the door panel area. After several attempts to get Hall to show his hands and to quit reaching around in the car, Harden said, the deputy deployed his taser.
     The taser deployment brought Hall into compliance until assistance arrived, Harden said.
     Hall was arrested for resisting arrest without violence; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and tampering with evidence, according to records.


Two die in car crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 28, 2019 at 8:29 p.m.
Held Until After Next-Of-Kin Notifed
Two young men from the City of Newberry died Wednesday night, the FHP said.
     Garrett Crosswhite, 19, of Newberry was driving a 2007 Mazda 3 at 10:13 p.m. on Nov. 27 in Alachua County, according to information in a press release from Florida Highway Patrol shift supervisor Sgt. W. Ernst, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper K. Skelly and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. N. Morgan.
     C. Castlen-Demurias, 20, of Newberry was a passenger in the car, the FHP said.
     The Mazda had been eastbound on State Road 26, when for unknown reasons, the vehicle ran off of the road to the left and struck a tree, the FHP said.
     The car was redirected, overturned and hit another tree, the FHP said. Crosswhite was pronounced dead at the scene and Castlen-Demurias was pronounced dead at Shands Hospital, the
FHP said.
     The traffic homicide investigation is active, the FHP said, however alcohol is not seen as a factor.

Giving Thankfully
Dixie County
Once again, the Disabled American Veterans Post of Cross City has prepared Thanksgiving baskets for families this Thanksgiving.  On Monday (Nov. 25), Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. and some of his deputies met at DAVA Post 63 and gathered the baskets for delivery to selected families. 
Published Nov. 26, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden


Cave diver's body recovered
By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published Nov. 25, 2019 at 10:09 p.m.
Sunday (Nov. 24) at 5 p.m., Manatee Springs State Park officials were notified to contact 9-1-1 because a diver was trapped in the main spring outflow area inside of the cave system.
     Levy County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue team members responded to discover the diver, Zhou Min, 28, a certified cave diver from Foshan City, China, became lodged in a narrow space while exiting the main spring.
     Zhou was accompanied on this dive by her husband and two other friends, also from China, who came to the United States on a vacation visa specifically to dive sites like Manatee Springs.
     Manatee Springs State Park officials say the outflow from the main boil area has increased over the past few days due to recent rains in this region.
     This increased outflow hampered the diver’s ability to remove Zhou from the small space where her body had become lodged.  Two attempts to remove Zhou were made Sunday evening that were unsuccessful. Today (Monday, Nov. 25) at approximately 3 p.m., the International Underwater Cave Rescue Recovery Team, a non-profit team locally based in Lake City, comprised of expert cave divers were able to successfully recover her.
     This is an extremely sad situation, Sheriff Bobby McCallum said.
     “Our hearts and prayers are with this family at this time,” he said.

FDLE arrests three
for multi-state crime spree;
Two other suspects remain at large
Suspected Thieves

By the FDLE Office of Public Information
Published Nov. 25, 2019 at 2:49 p.m.
     ORLANDO --
Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents arrested three suspects charged with organized retail theft who are suspected of an elaborate scheme stealing thousands from retailers throughout the Southeast United States.
     Agents believe the theft ring is responsible for more than 100 thefts in 23 Florida counties. Two suspects remain at large today.
     “Think about what these individuals could have achieved if they had spent half as much time thinking about being good, productive citizens instead of this elaborate scheme,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “We will work to ensure they have a long time in a prison cell to get their priorities straight.”
     “The level of planning and the sheer number of thefts committed by these criminals is striking, especially just before Black Friday,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said. “I appreciate the work by our agents and our partners at The Home Depot and Target for their support during the investigation.”
     “Organized retail crime is a serious and growing problem for the retail industry,” said Director of Home Depot Investigations Mike Combs. “We’re grateful to partner with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to track this group and end their multi-state operation.”
     The investigation began in May after FDLE was contacted by Home Depot about a barcode switch scam. Agents believe the suspects printed fraudulent UPC barcodes on adhesive stickers and then placed the false labels over UPC barcodes on more expensive products at Home Depot and Target stores.
     Suspects printed UPC codes for $7.99 electrical outlets and placed them over barcodes for wireless smart dimmer switches costing $99.95 and home wi-fi systems costing $299. They also printed UPC barcodes for $19.97 rotary tool accessory kits, using the fraudulent codes to purchase $199 smart thermostats.
     The investigation shows one suspect placed the false barcodes on the merchandise in store while another purchased the products. Suspects routinely purchased dozens of items costing stores thousands of dollars in a single transaction.
     After the purchases, suspects mailed the items to another suspect who sold them online for large profits. Agents say the thefts cost retailers more than $150,000 in Florida alone.
     Suspects arrested or charged as of today (Monday, Nov. 25) are:
     Usman Ali, 33, of 12958 N.W. 23rd St., Pembroke Pines, is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and grand theft, and was arrested on Nov. 22, when he was booked into the Broward County Jail.
     Rand Clark, 58, of 865 Cadogan Ave., Orlando, is charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. He was arrested Sept. 17, in Saint Tammany Parish, Louisiana, for a theft that occurred in a Home Depot store.
     Gwendolyn Walker, 53, of8001 Stirrupwood Court, Orlando, is charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. She was arrested on Nov. 22, and booked into the Orange County Jail.
     Harold Wilson, 62, address unknown at this time, charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering, currently wanted for the charges stemming from this investigation.
      Keith Conyers, 56, address unknown at this time, charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering, currently wanted for the charges stemming from this investigation.
      Home Depot and Target loss prevention associates assisted with this investigation. Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is scheduled to prosecute this case.
     The 23 Florida counties in which the organized theft ring is believed to have operated. Counties are listed in alphabetical order -- Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Marion, Okaloosa, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, Saint Johns and Volusia.

LCSO captures
three suspected thieves

Suspected Thief Levy County
Noah Keith Bevins

Suspected Thief Levy County
Mark Boatwright

Suspected Thief LCSO
Briana J. Crowder

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Mug Shots By LCSO
Published Nov. 25, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
     BRONSON --
One tip resulted in three suspects thieves being arrested in Inglis recently.
     On Friday (Nov. 22), Levy County Sheriff's Office Deputy Nelson Macias was on duty in Inglis and he was informed about the possible location of a stolen motorcycle.
     Deputy Macias contacted detectives, and they joined him to go to a home located on Debra Avenue in Inglis to investigate the tip.
     Deputy Macias and detectives located and spoke to Noah Keith Bevins, 30, of Inglis about the stolen motorcycle. Bevins cooperated and led deputies to a 1999 Harley Davidson Super Glide hidden behind the home.
     Bevins confessed to purchasing the motorcycle he knew was “hot” from another person, and he confessed to altering the ignition so he could start and ride the motorcycle.
     Bevins had the keys in his pocket. He was arrested for grand theft auto. His bond was set at $5,000.
     Detectives identified the owner of this motorcycle by running the Vehicle Identification Number through a local database. The owner, who was out of town, told detectives that he had not authorized anyone to use his motorcycle, and that he was returning home the following day.
     Detectives met with the owner of the motorcycle on Saturday (Nov. 23). Not only had his motorcycle been stolen, but someone also had broken into his storage container to steal many other items.
     This just so happened to be the same day Mark Boatwright, 43, and Briana J. Crowder, 25, set up a roadside yard sale, where they displayed the victim’s property for sale. The victim immediately reported his observations to detectives.
     Detectives met with Boatwright and Crowder. The investigators not only recovered the victim’s property, but they also obtained Boatwright's and Crowder’s confessions.
     Both of those suspects were arrested and transported to the Levy County Jail, where they were charged with burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property.
     Boatwright’s bond has been set at $25,000, and Crowder’s bond is set at $25,000.
     This investigation is ongoing. Detectives learned other people were involved, and there are other reported thefts from the Inglis area.
     Detectives are asking anyone who has information to please contact the LCSO office at 352-486-5111 and request Det. Mike McNeil. Or if a caller wishes to remain anonymous, he or she can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477. Tipsters could be eligible for a cash reward.


Local movement joins in
'No more fines' petition drive

By Drollene Brown
Published Nov. 25, 2019 at 9:29 a.m.
     FLORIDA --
Community service in lieu of monetary fines is the goal of a 2020 ballot initiative sponsored by Drivers Ready to Improve, Vote and Empower (D.R.I.V.E).
     Although the issue is decidedly non-partisan, the petition made its North Central Florida debut on Saturday (Nov. 23) at the Levy County Democratic Party’s Inaugural Blue Horizons Gala.
     With the passage of this amendment, no longer will people who cannot pay their fines be sent to jail, resulting in the loss of jobs and increased family hardships. Instead, those individuals for whom the fines are a hardship will be assessed a certain number of hours they must spend in service to a non-profit organization in the community.
     This option will be available to anyone; there will be no means test.
     The exact wording of the proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution is titled “Article VII, Section 20—Traffic and Parking Citation Fines.”
     The exact language follows:
     “(a) The clerk of courts of each of Florida’s counties shall establish a program by which all persons who have been issued a traffic or parking citation by a lawfully designated officer of the state, a county or a municipality, shall be provided a period of no less than 6 months from the date the citation was issued, to complete community service hours with any non—profit organization, in lieu of paying any fines that may be associated with the citation. The county clerk of courts must establish the conversion of traffic and parking fees to community service hours based on the state-wide minimum wage as defined by Florida law on January 1 of each year, determining the total number of community service hours that must be completed by calculating the total amount due for any citation divided by Florida’s minimum wage.”
     Any individual may download the petition by going to One must sign-in to download the “no more fines” petition.
     D.R.I.V.E. asks each registered voter who signs a petition to get three friends to also sign and, in addition, ask those friends to each ask three other friends to sign. At the bottom of the petition is an address to which signed petitions may be mailed.
     If you’d like someone to come to your group to explain the petition and collect signatures, you may contact Citizens for an Engaged Electorate (CEE) by leaving a message at
     You may call Barbara at 352-465-8461 or Drollene at 352-422-3561 to engage a CEE member. CEE will mail your signed petitions.


Suspect charged with
two counts of
attempted murder of
a law enforcement officer

By Jodi Sanders, Community Relations Specialist
Citrus County Sheriff's Office
Published Nov. 19, 2019 at 11:29 p.m.
* Updated Nov. 22, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
 On Nov. 19, deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office were involved in a traffic stop on the corner of Highway 44 and Crede Avenue in Crystal River which resulted in the suspect injuring deputies and a fellow motorist as he fled the scene.
     The suspect, 39-year-old Johnny Travis Wilson was stopped by deputies for failure to wear a seat belt, failure to use the vehicles headlights after dusk, and illegal window tint.As deputies spoke with Wilson, he suddenly reversed his vehicle, purposely crashing into a patrol car and knocking over a deputy. Wilson then began traveling in a forward direction in his vehicle, running into another deputy. As Wilson presented a clear and present danger to the public, the deputies fired their weapons at the suspect, attempting to neutralize the threat in accordance with their tactical training.
     Wilson was shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Neither of the deputies involved sustained life threatening injuries. As he fled the scene, Wilson cause a traffic accident that severely injured the driver of a motorcycle. The victim in currently receiving medical treatment.
     After deputies captured the suspect in a nearby neighborhood as he attempted to flee on foot, a K9 search produced illegal narcotics that Wilson is suspected of having in his possession when deputies performed the initial traffic stop.
     As is common practice with all deputy involved shootings, the deputies have been placed on administrative leave pending the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's final assessment of the incident.

*    The suspect's first appearance was Friday (Nov. 22), and he was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer; aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer; two counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding causing property damage; resisting an officer with violence; aggravated fleeing and eluding causing bodily injury; possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell; possession of cannabis with intent to sell; possession of drug paraphernalia; and resisting an officer without violence.


Criminal justice leaders graduate
from Chief Executive Seminar

By the FDLE Office of Public Information
For Immediate Release
Nov. 22, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.

     TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute announces the graduation of 20 chief executives from the Chief Executive Seminar on Thursday (Nov. 21), at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
     The graduates, who represent criminal justice agencies from around the state, serve in leadership roles within their agencies.
     Participants met for one week a month for three months, taking classes on topics such as future trends, social media, risk management, stress management, succession planning and implementing strategic change.
     The goal of the Chief Executive Seminar is to prepare Florida’s criminal justice leadership for the challenging demands of the future. Class participants study trends and events that may affect criminal justice professionals and Florida, while developing new leadership skills to address the changes that lie ahead.
     The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, established within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and affiliated with the state university system, was established in 1990 by the Florida Legislature in recognition of the need for an innovative and multifaceted approach to the education and training of criminal justice professionals.
     Below is a list of graduates of the 53rd Chief Executive Seminar.
Chief Brian Alexander
Gretna Police Department (Gadsden County)
Chief Hayes Baggett
Marianna Police Department (Jackson County)
Chief Jason Barley
Graceville Police Department (Jackson County)
Deputy Director Larry Bourdeau
Florida Lottery, Division of Security (Leon County)
Sheriff Darryl Daniels
Clay County Sheriff’s Office
Chief Rick Doyle
Belleair Police Department (Pinellas County)
Chief Investigator Eric Edwards
State Attorney’s Office, 9th Circuit (Orange and Osceola Counties)
Major Justin Ferrara
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office
Chief Karl Hoglund
Sebring Police Department (Highlands County)
Deputy Director Loren Lowers
Florida Lottery, Division of Security (Leon County)
Chief Gustavo Medina
Tequesta Police Department (Palm Beach County)
Chief Steve Outlaw
Tallahassee Police Department (Leon County)
Chief Dan Purcell
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
Chief Audrey Smith
Leon County Sheriff’s Office
Chief Rick Swann
Indian Shores Police Department (Pinellas County)
Assistant Deputy Chief Shane Tucker
Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
Major Curt Turney
Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
Undersheriff Ray Walden
Clay County Sheriff’s Office
Chief James E. Walters
Dade City Police Department (Pasco County)
Assistant Chief Bobby Yawn
University of South Florida Police Department (Hillsborough County)


Create a disaster plan for pets
By Levy County Emergency Management Assistant Director David Peaton
Published Nov. 21, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
     BRONSON --
The 2019 Hurricane Season ends Nov. 30, after having started June 1.
     It is important to remember that preparedness is a year-round commitment. Many of us have worked on our own personal preparedness, but what about your furry friends?
     Pet preparedness is very important, because not planning for what you will do with your pets early, can really cause you some major issues when disaster strikes.
     Go to the Levy County Emergency Management website at to find great information and links about how to make sure that your pets are as prepared as the rest of your family.
     If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household, and, as a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have a plan in place for your pets during disaster. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire, flood, tornado, or hurricane depends largely on emergency planning done today.
     Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

Have a Safe Place to Take your Pets
     Levy County, like the majority of counties in Florida, cannot accept pets in the emergency shelters. It may be difficult to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. Do not wait until disaster strikes to complete the research.
     ● Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area (outside of an evacuation zone) to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Ask if "no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of "pet friendly" places, including phone numbers, with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.
     ● Ask friends, relatives, or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.
     ● Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency. Many vet facilities have disaster boarding policies, so contact them early to find out the medical requirements for boarding your pets during a disaster.
     ● As a last resort, Levy County Animal Services can board up to five household pets (Dogs and cats only). For health reason, all pets must have PROOF of Rabies and DHPP shots. If you do not have proof, Animal Services will administer the shots for $10 each shot, each pet. Only cash is accepted and refusal to allow the shots will result in your animals being denied boarding. You should also provide, food, medication, a leash, collar or harness, and if available, a crate for each animal.

Create A Pet Disaster Kit
     Whether you are away from home for a day or a week, you will need essential supplies to care for your pet. Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily (duffle bags, covered trash containers, etc.).
     Your pet disaster supply kit should include the following.
     ● Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a first aid kit.
     ● Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals cannot escape.
     ● Photo of you and your pet(s) – in the event you are separated from your pet, having an updated photo with your pet will help validate pet ownership.
     ● Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and can opener.
     ● Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
     ● Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable. More information
     There is much more information about planning for your pets available through several resources. For links, tips, and much more information, use the following links.
     ● For general pet preparedness information --
     ● Find pet friendly hotels --
     ● Livestock Preparedness -- Click HERE
     For more information or questions on how you can be better prepared, contact Levy County Emergency Management at 352-486-5213. The office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Another way to get answers if you can’t call during office hours is to send an email to


Two injured in Chiefland crash
Crash In Chiefland
This is the scene of the crash with police, fire and EMS vehicles present. This is a still shot looking west from a dash camera that is mounted in the 2013 Nissan Juke.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 20, 2019 at 8:09 p.m.
A two-car crash Thursday evening (Nov. 14) next to the north side of Walmart in Chiefland on Friday evening resulted in two people being transported to a Gainesville hospital, according to records requested Friday (Nov. 15) and released Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 20).
     The Chiefland Police Department was dispatched to the crash at 5:47 p.m. on Nov. 14, according to information in the Florida Traffic Crash Report completed by Chiefland Police Department Cpl. Darrell Cothron.
     The CPD corporal arrived within eight minutes, and he cleared the crash scene within an hour, according to records.
     The road was wet and there was rain, Cothron noted.
     Elizabeth Ann Shamblin, 35, of Trenton was driving a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu eastbound on Northwest 23rd Avenue, Cothron noted.
     Shamblin was stopped and waiting for oncoming traffic to clear as she attempted to turn left into the Walmart parking lot, according to the crash report.
     A 2018 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Malana Vivian Dampier, 22, of Trenton was eastbound on Northwest 23rd Avenue (the east-west road on the northern side of Walmart) in Chiefland, according to the crash report.
     The car driven by Dampier ran into the back of the car driven by Shamblin, Cothron noted, which caused Shamblin’s vehicle to be knocked off of the roadway and onto the shoulder.
     Dampier told CPD Cpl. Cothron that she had looked down to turn on her windshield wipers and when she looked up, she did not have time to stop before the 2018 Malibu she was driving hit the 2016 Malibu driven by Shamblin.
     Cothron noted that he felt Dampier was driving too fast for conditions and that she was operating the vehicle in a careless or negligent manner, and therefore was listed as the driver at fault.
     Both drivers were taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center by EMS of Levy County Public Safety, according to the report.



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
ROR - Released on their Own Recognizance

Suspects Arrested
Dec. 2 Through Dec. 8 

Updated Dec. 10, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.

     Brian Lee Bowmer, 30, of Zephyrhills was arrested on bond surrender.
     Thomas Austin Bass, 24, of Old Town was arrested or VOP-DUI.
     Andrea Regina Heidelburg-Tyson, 55, of Cross City was arrested for domestic violence battery.
     Sidney J. Whitby Jr., 32, of Cross City was arrested for burglary of a dwelling.
      Justin Beau Barrs, 37, of Old Town was arrested for an out-of-county warrant.
     William Cody Pinner, 33, of Cross City was arrested for VOP petit theft.
     Gary Kent Washington, 27, of Chiefland was arrested for two out-of-county warrants, and FTA-DWLSR
     Jessica C. Reyes, 35, of Old Town was arrested for poss. of drug paraphernalia.
     Hinton W. Hodge, 49, of Cross City was arrested for an out-of-county warrant.
     Melinda Lee Watson, 32, of Old Town was arrested for battery.
     George W. Good, 47, was arrested for FTA-loitering prowling, and RWOV.
     Demi Ember Appling, 30, of Old Town was arrested for poss. heroin, two counts of poss. drug equipment, two counts of RWOV, DWLSR and VOP-poss. controlled substance.
     Christina Viola Ramer, 33, of Lake City was arrested for RWOV.




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
ROR -  Release on their Own Recognizance

Suspects Arrested
Dec. 2 Through Dec. 8 

Updated Dec. 9, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.

Gilchrist County Suspects Posted By



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
ROR - Released On their Own Recognizance

Suspects Arrested
Dec. 2 Through Dec. 8 

Updated Dec. 9, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.

Suspected Criminals In Levy County Posted By


THURSDAY  DEC. 12  8:49 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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Here, Goldy the cat Hardison
plays dead - he signature trick.
Cat training and video
By Jeff M. Hardison
© 2012-2019 All Rights Reserved

Here Inky the cat Hardison performs three Olympic jumps to rival the athletes in Brazil in 2016. Wait for it -- JUMP!
Cat training and video
By Jeff M. Hardison
© 2011-2019 All Rights Reserved

LCSO Most Wanted
The people shown above are the most wanted currently by the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Published Dec. 9, 2019 at 11
:09 p.m.


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