Newscaster Crime Stories
Sex offender charged with having unregistered internet accounts
Howard Leo Meaney, 66, 8215 Fairoaks Ct., Crystal River, was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, March 1, charged with sex offender failing to report electronic mail, after the Sexual Predators Unit received information on Jan. 19 that he had an unregistered Facebook account in his name and an unregistered yahoo email address. Meaney was interviewed on March 1 and admitted to having two email accounts at yahoo.com and a Facebook account he used to communicate with family members. He was transported to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. His bond was set at $20,000.
Man arrested on armed robbery charge
A 48 year-old Crystal River man, James Robert Owens, 2336 N. Donovan St., was charged with the armed robbery of a Crystal River liquor store on March 3.According to the arrest report, Owens entered Bob's Liquor Store in Crystal River, located at 6601 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy., around 8:10 p.m., March 3, armed with a large knife and wearing a
blue towel over his head. He demanded money, but when he was challenged by a store employee, he ran out of the store with no money or property.Soon after the incident, Owens was found and taken into custody by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. The knife used in the attempted robbery was soon found at another location. The report stated the knife had a six-inch blade.
Owens was positively identified by the store employee in a "show-up procedure," according to the report. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility. He was charged with one count of armed robbery, and his bond was set at $50,000.
Man Crashes into Home After
High Speed Chase
A burned-out headlight, at 3:00 in the morning on Wed., Feb. 23, led to a chase by the sheriff's office, a crash into an elderly woman's home, a swim in Little Lake Henderson, and the driver's arrest on numerous charges.
Deputy Crosnoe with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office was driving west on Main St., in Inverness, when he saw a gold four-door vehicle traveling east with the right, front headlight out. Dep. Crosnoe turned around and activated his overhead lights at the intersection of W. Main and S. Line Ave., to perform a traffic stop.
The gold vehicle, driven by 20 year-old Aquillia T. Wilson of 980 S.E. 1st Terrace, Crystal River, did not stop, but instead, turned north on Line Ave. and slowly proceeded through the intersection with Tompkins St. The vehicle accelerated to approximately 40 miles per hour, turned left onto Zephyr St., right onto Pear, then drove through several yards, one of which had a wooden picket fence with a small gap between the fence and a palm tree. When the deputy attempted to squeeze through this very small space in pursuit of Wilson, the palm tree hit the right side of his patrol vehicle, causing minor damage.
Wilson drove west on Pear, cut through an empty lot, turned right onto Zephyr St. and crossed Turner Camp Rd., barreling through a two-way stop at approximately 55 mph. Wilson came to the intersection of Zephyr and U.S. Hwy. 41 north, and "again blew through the stop sign," reported Crosnoe before turning right onto 41 north. Wilson ran a red light and took an immediate left onto Montgomery St.and left into a parking lot. He cut back across Hwy. 41 and east onto Zephyr St., hitting speeds of approximately 65 mph when he, again, ran the stop sign at Zephyr St. and Turner Camp Rd. Wilson turned left onto Musk Mellon Rd. into a small trailer park, bailed out of the car while it was still running, and fled on foot.
Wilson's unmanned car continued rolling at about 15 to 20 mph into a single wide mobile home, which was occupied by a "very elderly white female who later told me that the impact almost knocked her out of bed," reported Crosnoe, who contacted emergency medical services, "to check her health due to her being very shaken from the incident." Another deputy came to investigate the site where Wilson's vehicle crashed into the mobile home.
On foot, Wilson fled in a northwesterly direction, jumped into Little Lake Henderson and swam to a nearby dock. Crosnoe confronted Wilson at gunpoint, while standing about three feet away. During this confrontation, Wilson had his right hand in his pocket. Several times, Crosnoe ordered Wilson to remove his hand from his pocket, and when Wilson finally complied, a white and red Swisher Sweets cigar box came floating to the surface of the lake. Crosnoe ordered Wilson to swim to shore, and he did. Crosnoe placed Wilson under arrest, handcuffed him, and asked him why he ran. Wilson said his driver's license is suspended.
Searching Wilson for weapons or contraband, Crosnoe found a digital scale in his right rear pocket. Wilson volunteered, upon Crosnoe finding the scale, that he sells marijuana. After Wilson was seated in the patrol vehicle, Crosnoe retreived the cigar box and found three cellophane bags that each contained an equal amount of lake-soaked marijuana.
While en route to the Citrus County Detention Facility, Wilson told Crosnoe that the reason he ran from him and made the statement that he sells marijuana is because he was drunk and high.
At the detention facility, Wilson was issued two criminal citations, one for driving while his license is suspended and one for fleeing and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, a traffic warning for Wilson's right front headlight being out, and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernaila (the digital scale). His total bond was set at $10,750.
Car attempts u-turn in front of Greyhound Bus, driver killed
A crash in Homosassa between a car and a Greyhound Bus on Sunday morning, Feb. 27, resulted in the death of the elderly man who was driving the car.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash took place at 8:25 a.m. The 1998 Ford Taurus, driven by 88 year-old Eddie Kirkland of Macon, Georgia, was traveling southeast on U.S. Hwy. 98, and had no passengers. The Greyhound bus, a 1998 MCI that was driven by 67 year-old James Smith of Tallahassee, was traveling northwest on U.S. Hwy. 98 in the outside lane, and had thirteen passengers.
At the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 98 with Oak Park Blvd. near the Sugarmill Woods neighborhood, Mr. Kirkland attempted to make a u-turn and turned in front of the bus, which caused the front of the bus to collide with the right side of the Taurus. The bus continued for a short distance on U.S. Hwy. 98, pushing the Taurus, which was in front of the bus. The bus pushed the car 200 feet northwest of the area of impact before the bus and car came to rest.
Mr. Kirkland, the driver of the Ford Taurus, was flown to Tampa General Hospital, where he expired from his injuries a short time later. No one in the bus was injured.
According to the crash report, both drivers were wearing seat belts, and an alcohol test is pending on each driver. The bus had estimated damages of $5,000, and the Taurus was a total loss. The crash remains under investigation, and the details are subject to change.
String of Robberies Ends With Two Arrests
Through hard work, planning and determination, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office captured and arrested two men who were involved in a string of armed robberies in Citrus County in recent weeks.
Deputies were out in force, as they have been in an attempt to catch the robbers, when Anthony Calderon, 46, of Inverness (6354 E. Gentry St.), and Abelardo Coimbre, Jr., 51, who is listed as homeless, entered the BP gas station at the corner C.R. 581 and Arbor St. near the Inverness Highlands on Friday, Feb. 25. Both men were armed with hand guns and attempted to conceal their identities. The clerk was ordered to the floor, and the men took an undisclosed amount of cash, as well as beer and cigarettes. They left the store and fled in a silver 4-door Kia, with Calderon driving.
At least 26 people with the sheriff's office were assigned to a special large-scale detail designed to nab the suspects. Due to the operation, deputies were nearby when the armed robbery occurred. A chase ensued, leading deputies throughout the Highlands area, until Calderon crashed into a tree while attempting to turn west onto Aldelphia from S. Highlands Ave. During the chase, Coimbre threw clothing, money and a gun out of the car through a window. These items were later retrieved by deputies.
Coimbre was immediately apprehended, and Calderon made a futile attempt to flee. However, he was also taken into custody after being ordered to the ground at gunpoint. Calderon was charged with five counts of armed robbery and one count of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer. His bond was set at $255,000.
Coimbre was charged with four counts of armed robbery. His bond was set at $200,000. Coimbre complained of an arm injury and was treated and released by emergency medical services.
“Because of the danger of these two men, it was paramount that we find and arrest these individuals before someone got hurt,” Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said on Saturday morning. “The new model of 'Intelligence Led Policing' that we’re using enabled our team to formulate and execute an exceptional plan of attack. I’m so proud of the men and women of this agency. Thanks to them, two very bad people are now off the streets.”
According to the sheriff's office, Coimbre and Calderon are responsible for a series of armed robberies that began in January. During each robbery, a weapon was used, and sheriff’s office personnel were extremely concerned about the possibility of someone getting hurt.
“It’s a great day to be a deputy and a bad day to be a bad guy,” said Lt. Alan Vick, on Friday night, after the men were arrested. “If you’re committing a crime like this, we will find you.”
According to the arrest reports, prior to Friday's armed robbery of the Iverness BP gas station, the two men are charged with the following armed robberies using chrome handguns: Jan. 28, 7:06 p.m. - Inverness Liquor Store, 3177 E. Gulf to Lake Hwy., Inverness; money, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages were taken. Feb. 16, 6:54 p.m. - Bob's Liquor, 6601 W. GulF to Lake Hwy., Crystal River; money, cigarettes and alcohol were taken. Feb. 23., 9:57 p.m. - Express Lane Food Store, 7870 S. Florida Ave., Floral City; money, cigarettes, a lottery ticket and 2 large cans of beer were taken.
Calderon was charged with the armed robbery of the Inverness Food Mart, 2612 W. Hwy. 44, Inverness, at 10:03 p.m., Feb. 19. Money and cigarettes were taken. Witnesses said that Calderon left through the back door, jumped over a fence and fled in a small red vehicle.
Armed robbery at Inverness Liquors
An armed robbery of an Inverness liquor store was reported to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, shortly after 7:00 pm on Friday evening, Jan. 28. According to Heather Yates, Media Relations Coordinator with the sheriff's office, witnesses said that two men entered Inverness Liquors, located at 3177 E. Gulf to Lake Highway, and took money out of the cash register, along with nearby items, while pointing a gun at the store owner. The men then fled in a gold or tan car, possibly a Nissan. One of the men was described as having a mustache and wearing a red skull cap with white stripes, a green jacket and gloves. The other man was described as being clean shaven and wearing a grey skull cap with dark stripes, a green jacket over a blue shirt, blue jeans and gloves. Anyone who has knowledge about the robbery or knows the identity of the suspects is asked to call 911, contact Crime Stoppers of Citrus County, Inc., as soon as possible, by dialing 1-888-ANY-TIPS, toll-free; texting CITRUS, plus your tip, to 274637 (CRIMES); or visiting the website, www.crimestopperscitrus.com Tipsters may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.
"Bath salts" now illegal; IPD & LSCO have plans to educate community
Inglis Police Chief Steve Dixon says that the Inglis Police Department, with the assistance of the Levy County Sheriff's Office,
has been working to educate store owners, managers and employees about the new emergency rule that will add substances containing Methylenedioxypyrovalerone ("MDPV"), along with Methylenedioxymethcathinone ("Methylone"), Methylmethcathinone ("Mephedrone"), Methoxymethcathinone and Fluoromethcathinone, commonly known as "bath salts" to the schedule of controlled substances. The new rule was announced by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Jan. 26.
To help, members of the Inglis Police Department will visit stores throughout the Town of Inglis to educate store owners and managers on the legal and illegal elements of having the bath salts. Officers will provide stores with the new rule and assist store owners, managers and employees to understand they should work with distributors to obtain a refund of current supplies in their stores, and if that is not possible, then all supplies will need to be destroyed. Store owners, managers and employees will also be advised that selling or possessing the bath salts is now a third degree felony, and a periodic check of the stores will be made by law enforcement to assure they are in compliance with the new law.
"Due to the violent nature of the side effects involved in taking these drugs, the emergency rule will provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to take this dangerous substance off the shelves and protect the abusers from themselves as well as others," said Attorney General Bondi. "These are dangerous drugs that should not be confused with any type of common bath product."
Common street names of these drugs include: Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, Ocean Bursts and Bolivian Bath. The substance is usually snorted, although it can be smoked or swallowed. Reported side effects or MDPV include increased heart rate, nosebleeds, hallucinations, severe paranoia, seizures, and kidney failure.
Homosassa Springs postal worker jailed on scheme to defraud charge
An employee of the Homosassa Springs Post Office was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, Jan. 27, charged with scheme to defraud (less than $20,000). According to the arrest report, on Jan. 5, a woman filed a complaint about the theft of two gift cards that she'd sent to Illinois by way of U.S. Mail at the Homosassa Springs Post Office. The woman had learned that both cards had been spent, one at the Inverness Walmart on Dec. 22, and the other at an unknown location. She had her mail receipt and the purchase receipt of the gift cards. The post office receipt showed that operator number two performed the post office transaction.
On Jan. 20, two people reported the theft of a Rolex watch they had purchased by mail at a local jewelry store. They paid $4,000 for the watch, which was appraised at $9,000. The couple's check was mailed to the jeweler on Dec. 10, and the watch was mailed by the jewelry store owner at the Homosassa Springs Post Office on Dec. 14, but the watch never arrived at its destination. The couple provided the sales receipt of the watch, along with a copy of the mailing receipt and the insurance receipt. The mail receipt showed that operator number two performed the post office transaction.
Another postal customer reported the theft of gift cards in the amount of $400 that were mailed to New York at the Homosassa Springs Post Office, as the package containing the gift cards had never reached its destination. The customer's mail receipt showed that operator number two performed the post office transaction.
According to her arrest report, operator number two at the Homosassa Springs Post Office is 50 year-old Ruth Paris Riggeal, 221 W. Sugarmaple Ln, Beverly Hills.
The sheriff's office contacted a Special Agent with the Office of Inspector General who told the investigating deputy that he had a video of Riggeal concealing the packages in the trash can near her work station. The deputy reported that the video showed Riggeal receiving the packages, placing them on the shelf next to her, eventually placing the items in the trash can next to her, and later removing them from the trash. The recording had stopped due to a timing device.
On Jan. 27, Riggeal was contacted at her place of employment and interviewed by a deputy, with the Special Agent from the Office of Inspector General present. Riggeal agreed to speak with the deputy and admitted to stealing the items in all three cases, along with some perfume that had not been reported as missing or stolen. She said she gave the gift cards to a relative's boyfriend who had no knowledge that they were stolen. She said she still had the Rolex watch in the attic of her residence. She'd planned on waiting about a year or so until the theft investigation died down and then selling the watch on eBay. She said she had the gift cards that should have been mailed to New York at another relative's residence, also in Beverly Hills. Riggeal also stated, the report said, that she'd taken an amount of funds from the post office in the amount of somewhere between $500 to $1,000. The jeweled Rolex watch with its paperwork, along with several gift cards, were recovered and taken into evidence.
Riggeal was taken into custody and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility where her bond was set at $5,000.
Woman charged with exploiting Key Center clients
A 38 year-old Crystal River woman, Angela D. Cole, 4645 N. Williams Ave., was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, Jan. 3, charged with one count of exploitation of elderly/disabled less than $20,000. According to the report, the woman is a former employee of the Key Training Center, and the two victims were both Key Center clients: one was a 74 year-old Beverly Hills woman, and the other was a 52 year-old Inverness woman.
In addition to an investigation by the CCSO, the report stated, the incident was also investigated by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and an investigation is still ongoing by the Key Training Center.
The report stated that Cole had a position of trust at the center, in helping disabled adults, including handling their finances. In June and August, Cole is accused of making three transaction from the women's bank debit cards for her own personal payments. The investigations showed that Cole used the 74 year-old victim's debit card in the amount of $217.25 to pay for her Direct TV account on June 21, and used the 52 year-old victim's debit card to make a payment for her Ford pickup truck in the amount of $360 on August 12 and a payment of $267.25 for her Direct TV account on Aug. 24, for a total loss of $627.25 to the victim.
Cole spoke with a CCSO detective and confirmed that she was in a position of trust at the Key Training Center as a supported Living coach, that she helped the victims with their finances and had access to their checking accounts and debit cards. She admitted that neither had authorized her to pay her bills with their personal accounts, but it was a mistake, and she apparently did not know which cards she was using. However, she could not provide an explanation to the detective about the extra money in her bank account during this time.
Cole was placed under arrest on the charge. Her bond was set at $2,000.
Blair Trial Ends in Hung Jury
Pamela Blair, former executive director of the Enterprise Zone Development Agency and the Nature Coast Business Development Council (she resigned in Nov. 2008) was tried on a federal charge of lying to an FBI agent during an interview. The trial ended with the jury, evenly split and unable to reach a decision on Dec. 8. She was tried in Florida District Court in Gainesville.
Blair was appointed executive director in August of 2006 and was was arrested in Dec. 2008, and was one of several officials who was charged with varying offenses in Dixie and Levy counties as the result of an FBI undercover investigation into corruption of public officials. An undercover FBI agent posed as a New Jersey developer proposing a high-density development in the area. All the other officials, with the exception of Blair, were convicted.
Former Levy County Commissioners Sammy Yearty and Tony Parker were indicted in Oct. 2008, but the indictments were sealed until the day after the Nov. 4, 2008 election. when they were arrested. Blair soon resigned, and was indicted and arrested in Dec. (2008).
Yearty and Parker were both suspended by Gov. Charlie Crist and found guilty of soliciting and accepting a $10,000 bribe. Yearty was also charged with (and found guilty of) lying to an FBI agent during an interview. Yearty is serving a 33-month sentence. He was also fined and will serve probation. Parker was sentenced to house arrest and probation, because he later returned the money and also because of financial problems.
Man accused of stealing from family and pawning items for gas money
A 23 year-old Crystal River man, Douglas J. Simms, 2136 N. Watersledge Dr., was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, Dec. 1, charged with dealing in stolen property and giving false information to a pawnbroker. His bond was set at $40,000. The items in question were an AK 47 firearm, a Sony CD player, an Alpine DVD player with a 7" display and a Sony Playstation, the property of a relative. In pawning the items, Simms is accused of giving false verification of ownership to Dan's Gun Room, Pat's Pawn, American Trading Post and The Gettin' Place Pawn. Money received for the pawned items was $150.
The incident came to the attention of the sheriff's office on Dec. 1 when a deputy responded to a "civil standby," at a residence between a relative of Simms (the victim) and Simms' girlfriend, who wanted to retrieve some of her personal belongings from the residence, and the victim would not allow it. The victim told the deputy that law enforcement had been at his residence, earlier in the day, when he'd reported several items (the ones listed above) as stolen. He also said that other relatives were missing a lot of jewelry, and he did not know where Simms was.
Around 11:40 p.m., the deputy spoke with Simms at the Circle K gas station located at Hwy. 19 and Ozello Trail about the missing items. Simms said that he'd taken the AK 47 firearm and pawned it at Dan's Gun Room for $100. He said he'd taken the Playstation and he believed he'd pawned it at The Gettin' Place Pawn, along with some jewelry. He said he'd pawned the items because he needed money for gas and he'd been out of work. Simms was arrested and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility. The report stated that additional information was obtained from pawn shop logs, and several jewelry items had been pawned at various pawnshops, but charges were not filed as the deputy did not know which items had (or had not) been stolen.
Inglis woman arrested on shoplifting and 'book bag meth lab' charges
Tammy Lee Spears, 24, 11162 N. Nighthawk Ter., Inglis, was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, Nov. 29, charged with grand theft (greater than $300, but less than $5,000).
According to the arrest report, Spears was charged with the theft of $863 in merchandise from the Inverness Wal-Mart located at 2462 E. Gulf to Lake Highway. The sheriff's office was contacted about the theft and informed that the shoplifter was not in custody. The loss prevention officer told the deputy that he followed Spears around the store and watched her placing items into her shopping cart, then leaving the store without paying for the items. He followed Spears to the parking lot where he retrieved the stolen items and escorted her to the security office. A list of 69 items totaling $863 was given to the deputy. Spears stated that she did not have the money to pay for the itess, and she'd come to the store with the intention of stealing the items she'd placed in her shopping cart. She said she does not have a job, and needs the items she took for her children. She was transported to the Citrus County Detention Center where her bond was set at $2,000. All the items were returned to Wal-Mart.
A detective working on another case had been attempting to locate Spears since Nov. 18, when he learned that fingerprints at the scene of a crime he was investigating matched those of Tammy Spears. He learned on Nov. 29 that Spears had been arrested on the shoplifting charges.
The other case was a book bag that had been found, hidden behind a palm tree beside the road, Nov. 5, at Rooster Crows Terrace and Moonlight Terrace in Inglis. The book bag contained a methamphetamine lab with an 'active cook,' and the method being used is called the 'one-pot method.' Numerous chemicals and items used in the manufacturing process of methamphetamine were found in the book bag. HazMat and Fire Services was contacted to respond to the area, along with the DEA. Summit Environmental was contacted to clean up the site, but they were in Orlando, and deputies had to wait on the scene until they arrived and completed the cleanup of the area. Air quality samples were taken and no high readings were found. The backpack was a grey color and had the name "Tammy" on it. A confidential source called a detective while he was on the scene and told him that Tammy Spears had conducted a methamphetamine cook recently. and she had placed the cook and supplies in the woods. Fingerprints were taken from several items in the book bag, and they matched those of Tammy Spears.
On Nov. 30, two detectives interviewed Spears at the jail. At first, Spears denied responsibility for the items in the book bag, but later in the interview she admitted that the book bag was hers and she had placed all the items inside the bag, but she denied placing the bag beside the road.
Spears said, on a weekly basis, she purchased psuedoephedrine, Coleman Fuel and RedDevil Lye for other people and was compensated in cash. She said, that if she purchased a box of psuedoephedrine for $15, she would usually be paid $20 in return. She said she normally purchased eight boxes of pseudoehedrine per month. She said she'd watched the methamphetamine manufacturing process a thousand times, and that anyone could go onto the internet and get a recipe for manufacturing it. The process is not complicated, she said. She told detectives that her biggest issue was not having to rely on someone else making the narcotic for her, because she was able to make it for herself. Spears admitted being addicted to methamphetamine and to using the drug since the age of 17. She expressed interest in drug rehabilitation to receive help for her addiction.
After the interview, Spears was arrested on additional charges of manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent to sell, criminal conspiracy, and possession of listed chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance. Her bond was set at $45,000.
Homosassa Wendy's Robbed,
Witnessed Follow Man Home
The Wendy' s restaurant, located at 4223 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa, was robbed around 5:13 p.m., Nov. 29, and the suspect was soon taken into custody after being followed to a mobile home located a short distance away behind Smith's Realty at 4155 S. Suncoast Blvd. (#7).
According to witnesses inside the restaurant, the robber was an older white man wearing a dirty gray t-shirt with a large oil stain on the back, a camouflage hat with a design on the front and blue jeans. The manager gave the suspect $467 in ones, fives and tens. She said she did not believe there were any twenties. but she was not positive. Witnesses stated the suspect left the restaurant, heading north.
Deputies placed a BOLO (be on the lookout) in the area for a person with the robber's description, and David Ray Price, 55, was located, standing outside the mobile home witnesses had followed the suspect to. He was shirtless, holding a hat and shirt in his hands that matched those described as being worn by the robber. Witnesses from Wendy's identified him as the person who had robbed the restaurant.
David Price, the suspect, and his brother, who also lives at the residence, gave permission for deputies to search the residence, however, the money was not found, other than two twenty dollar bills located in a trash can near the front door. The suspect stated that he did not wish to speak with deputies. The suspect's brother told deputies that his brother has a bad roxicodon problem, and he believed that is why he committed the robbery. He said he knew nothing about the money located in the garbage can.
David Price was charged with robbery without a weapon, grand theft, and tampering with evidence. He was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility where his bond was set at $14,000.
Inglis man charged with sexual battery of 4 year-old girl
Daniel J. Hamman, 43, whose address is listed "at large, Inglis," was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, Nov. 22, charged with the sexual battery of a 4 year-old Crystal River girl. According to the arrest report, Hamman arrived at a Crystal River residence where the child was staying, around 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 22, and spent the night there.
When the family awakened later that morning, around 7:30 a.m., they noticed that the victim's overalls had been removed, and she was wearing only her t-shirt and panties. The mother and her boyfriend (who lives at the residence) also noticed a distinct odor of oil or lubricant. Upon questioning, the child stated that Hamman had removed her clothing and described inappropriate sexual activity.
A child protection investigator came to the residence and questioned the child, who gave the investigator the same details the child's mother and boyfriend had given her. The report stated that the investigator also questioned the child's 6 year-old sister, "who had witnessed the sexual activity." The older child told the investigator that she awakened to hear her sister crying. She also described the inappropriate sexual activity she'd seen. The older girl, during questioning, said that Hamman had not touched her (the older girl), "other than on her leg," the report stated.
That afternoon, the investigator interviewed Hamman at the Citrus County Detention Facility, where he was already incarcerated on unrelated charges. The report stated that "he'd arrived at the house after one of his current girlfriends got mad at him and kicked him out," and "that he had drunk a lot of alcohol and does not remember what occurred."
According to the report, the investigator told Hamman that the victim's sister had witnessed what he did to the victim; "He maintained that he did not recall what happened, and then he requested an attorney." The interview was then concluded.
Hamman was charged with one count of sexual battery on a person under the age of 12. He was held at no bond, "due to the age of the alleged victim and his prior history," the report stated. The report further stated that Hamman had faced "the same type of allegations in 2002 on a victim under the age of 12. The defendant had disclosed in 2002 that he had a drinking problem then, as he did now."
According to the State of Florida, Hamman was convicted of resisting an officer with violence, in Citrus County on May 4, 2009, and sentenced to serve one year and one day. He was released from Avon Park Correctional Institution on Feb. 23, 2010. At that time, Hamman's address was listed as Beverly Hills.
Archer Man Arrested for "Pulling a Gun" On Deputy
On November 27, 2010 Levy County Corporal Todd Houchin responded to the Discount Food Mart located at 9931 NE SR-24 to meet with a complainant from a previous call. While in the parking lot Cpl Houchin was approached by a white male that was later identified as Jimmie Saunders from Archer. Saunders wanted to know why Cpl Houchin was at the store and who called law enforcement on him. Cpl Houchin explained that he was at the store in reference to another call but he would gladly help him if he needed assistance. Saunders behavior got more bizarre and he started speaking in Spanish and French. Due to his behavior Cpl Houchin asked him for identification and Saunders produced a Florida driver's license. Saunders had no warrants for his arrest and Cpl Houchin gave him his driver license back and told him he was free to leave. Cpl Houchin worked the original call but noticed that Saunders remained in the parking lot.
Upon completing the assigned call Cpl Houchin was walking back to his patrol car when Saunders stepped in his path and produced a Florida concealed firearm permit. Cpl Houchin advised Saunders that he did not need to see his permit and went to walk away when Saunders said that Houchin was yanking his chain so he was going to yank his chain. Saunders then reached in his rear pants pocket and started pulling something out. Cpl Houchin immediately recognized that Saunders had a pistol and grabbed his arm and placed Saunders in custody. Cpl Houchin arrested Saunders for aggravated assault & improper exhibition of a firearm. Saunders had a fully loaded .380 pistol in his back pocket which was placed into evidence.
Active meth cook found in Inglis backpack, Tips are subject to reward
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is investigating an incident that took place in Inglis last Friday, Nov. 5, just before 2:00 p.m. According to Gail Tierney, Public Information Officer with the CCSO, deputies found a gray-colored backpack by the side of the road, near the intersection of W. Rooster Crows Road and N. Moonlight Terrace, that contained all the ingredients needed to make methamphetamine. According to Tierney, a methamphetamine cook was actually taking place in the bag.
A methamphetamine cook is a dangerous, highly flammable process that is used to make the illegal, toxic and highly addictive stimulant drug, methamphetamine. Several processes can be employed to make methamphetamine, and the method being using in the backpack was the one-pot method. "Ingredients are added into one container and allowed to cook by chemical reaction," said Tierney. "Fast and portable, this method is considered highly hazardous, given the fact that if the mixture is subjected to undue agitation, it could explode."
Lab-certified deputies, hazardous material personnel and a DEA-contracted cleanup crew responded to the area to ensure the safety of nearby residents.
Anyone with information about this incident may be eligible to receive a cash award of up to $1000. If you have a tip, please contact Crime Stoppers of Citrus County, Inc. REPORT YOUR TIP by texting CITRUS to 274637 (crimes), visiting www.CrimeStoppersCitrus.com, or calling 1-888-ANY-TIPS, toll-free.
Brannen Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested
An Inverness man, 43 year-old Shane Michael Nolan, also known as Steven Michael Kellogg, 1445 N. Toro Dr., was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, Nov. 20, charged with the Nov. 18 armed robbery of the W. Inverness Brannen Bank located at 401 N. Central Ave. He was also charged with grand theft and possession of cannabis less than 20 grams. His bond was set at $52,500.
According to the CCSO, the bank's video surveillance video system had "clear views of the defendant (Nolan)." Just before 12:49 p.m., the robber entered the bank, approached a teller and handed her a note telling her that he had a gun and demanding money. He requested a dye pack, took the money from the dye pack, tossed the dye pack on the floor, then fled the bank.
Around 12:18 a.m., Nov. 20, a deputy made a traffic stop on a GMC van with six occupants, after a person inside the van littered the highway and the vehicle crossed the fog line in the area of Thayer and E. Leona Sts. "at least four times," the report stated. A canine deputy and his canine partner arrived to serve as backup, and the dog alerted to the presence of a controlled substance in the vehicle.
The occupants were asked to step out of the van so the van could be searched. When Shane Nolan stepped out, the deputy saw that Nolan looked like the suspect in the Brannen Bank robbery and asked him why his picture would have been in the newspaper the day before, and Nolan replied that he did not know.
Nolan agreed to speak with deputies. When asked about his involvement in the robbery, he stated that he did not rob anyone. He was then shown a photograph taken from the bank's video surveillance. Nolan stated that it was he in the photo and questioned the deputy about the video. Nolan was told that the video was from the bank robbery. Nolan told deputies that it was he (Nolan) in the picture, so he guessed he robbed the bank, but didn't remember doing it - he repeated this, numerous times. He kept asking, why would he rob a bank in a town where everyone knows him?
When the van was searched, deputies located a bag that contained the blue shorts that were allegedly worn during the bank robbery. Inside the bag, deputies also found less than 20 grams of cannabis.
The driver of the van was issued a warning number for driving over the fog line and given a verbal warning for littering the highway.
Man charged with robbery at knifepoint after being fired from job
The Citrus County Sheriffís Office arrested a man who was detained on a traffic stop in Crystal River at Hwy. 44 and Crede Ave., just a couple hours after he is suspected a liquor store at knifepoint, shortly after 3:00 p.m. Kevin F. Heard, 38, of Beverly Hills, formerly of Citrus Springs, was charged with one count of armed robbery to Bob's Liquor and fine Wines, located at 6601 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy.
The victim of the robbery, Prafulbhai Patel, described the robber as a bald white male with a goatee beard, who was wearing sunglasses, a blue shirt, blue jean shorts and black sneakers. He said that the robber was in the store for approximately five to ten minutes prior to the robbery, just walking about and looking around the store, until he walked behind the counter, pointed a knife toward him and demanded for him to, "Give me the money." Patel said that he opened the cash register, and the robber walked over to the register and took all the money, with the exception of a couple one dollar bills. He said the robber then fled the store and got into a gray Mitsubishi, heading west on W. Gulf to Lake Hwy. A "bolo" (be on the lookout) was issued for the gray Mitsubishi and the man.
Two deputies viewed the video tape from the liquor store and saw the robbery, just as the victim had described it. The deputies also made note that the 2003 gray Mitsubishi Eclipse had chrome rims and a small spoiler on the back. Another deputy called-in that she was in pursuit of a vehicle that matched the description in the bolo. The information in the bolo, the video and information pulled up on the DAVID computer system showed the suspect to be Kevin Heard. A detective and two deputies were tracking the suspect vehicle on Hwy. 486, as it turned west onto W. Gulf to Lake Hwy., and the vehicle was stopped. The driver was identified as Kevin Heard, who, "was still wearing the same clothes that he had on in the video of the robbery," the report stated.
Heard was placed under arrest and transported to the CCSO Eemergency Operations Center in Inverness for an interview. Heard told the detective that he'd been fired from his job. He said he'd received his last paycheck, that same day, from Cody's. He said he'd cashed his paycheck and spent the entire check on crack cocaine. He said he wanted to buy some more crack cocaine, and he pulled into the liquor store. He said he walked around the store, thinking about robbing it, then he walked up to the clerk and robbed him. He said, after he fled from the liquor store, he purchased more crack cocaine and some scratch-off lottery tickets. He said he was driving around, aimlessly, because his conscience was bothering him, when the three law enforcement officers in different patrol vehicles pulled him over.
Heard was taken to the Citrus County Detention Facility where his bond was set at $50,000. According to Gail Tierney, CCSO Public Information Officer, detectives were planning on serving a search warrant on Heard's vehicle on Nov. 10.
Marijuana and Explosives Seized in Homosassa
Late Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 3, members of the Citrus County Sheriffís Office Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) served a search warrant, plus an arrest warrant, at 2761 S. Bolton Avenue in Homosassa, the residence of 75 year-old Robert Vogel.
Vogel was taken into custody on an active Citrus County warrant charging him with two counts of make, possess, throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device and four counts of sale of cannabis. His bond was set at $30,000.
As a result of the search warrant, TIU members also seized 554 grams (approximately a pound and a quarter) of marijuana, thousands of finished explosives of varying sizes and destructive potential, raw materials to make more explosives, three AK-47s, a 2004 Toyota pickup truck, $11,264 in cash and drug paraphernalia.
Members of the Tactical Impact Unit anticipate working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to determine whether or not the confiscated assault rifles are even legal.
Since early October, TIU members had supervised three controlled purchases of marijuana and explosives from Vogel, which formed the probable cause for securing the search warrant.
All of the explosive devices were potentially dangerous, depending on how they were handled and what their intended use was. At this time, the explosives have been secured and will eventually be disposed of.
After Vogel's arrest, charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia were added, and additional bond was set on these charges at $5,500.
TIU members say that additional charges against Vogel may still be pending.
Vogel was arrested in Jan. 2003 of make, possess, throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device.
Two arrested at Levy Park on drug charges
A security check of the South Levy Recreational Park by an Inglis Police Officer, around 1:10 a.m., Oct. 24, resulted in the arrests of a Dunnellon couple, David Michael Dean, 35, and Kimberly Ann Fluty, 44, both of 5220 S.W. 175th Ave.
The report stated that the officer came upon a red Chevy pickup truck near the spillway; Dean was standing next to
the truck, and Fluty was in the front passenger side of the truck and appeared to be asleep.
The officer asked Dean why he was in the park after it was closed. The report stated that Dean appeared to be "extremely nervous, and his hands were shaking uncontrollably." The officer reported that he noticed a white powdery substance in Dean's right nostril and asked him what was in his nose, and Dean replied, "what are you talking about?" The officer then asked Dean if he had any weapons or narcotics on his person and he replied, "Just this," and handed the officer a clear plastic container that contained a white powdery substance, which he said was "over the counter stuff." Upon questioning, Dean said that the substance was what he'd inhaled through his nose. The officer asked Dean (again) if he had any weapons, guns, drugs, or open containers of alcohol in his vehicle, and he stated that he didn't. He gave the officer verbal consent for a search of his vehicle.
By then, Fluty was awake and complied with the officer's request to get out of the vehicle for the search. In the center console, the officer found another clear plastic container which was the same as the one Dean's
pocket, and also contained a white powdery substance. A short white plastic straw "which is commonly used to inhale narcotics into the nose," the report stated, was found in Fluty's wallet.The report stated that Dean and Fluty both admitted to inhaling the white substance through their noses.
The white powdery substance in both containers tested positive for cocaine. Fluty and Dean were placed under arrest and transported to the Levy County Jail. Both were charged with felony possession of cocaine, and Fluty was additionally charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
22 Arrested in internet sting operation
An undercover investigation by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, "Operation Grim Reaper," resulted in the arrests of 22 people who were charged with using the internet to sexually exploit children or arrange a meeting with them. Those charged live in Polk, Citrus, Marion, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Alachua, Pinellas and Orange counties. The unit used its active ties with the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children
(ICAC) Task Force to enlist assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with the Polk, Sumter, Hernando and Orange County Sheriffís Offices.
Planning for the 'sting' by the CCSO's ICAC Unit started in September, and the actual operation took place from Oct. 11 through Oct. 17.
Training at the CCSO Emergency Operations Center taught new internet "chatters" how to initiate undercover chat investigations and establish undercover profiles and identities in preparation for the chats.
During the earlier part of the week, undercover detectives posing as juveniles or as parents of minors actively looking for sexual instruction for their teens, conducted chat sessions with the suspects. Personals ads were also posted on several online dating sites.
On Thursday, undercover chatters arranged meetings with the suspects and began giving the suspects driving directions to an undercover residence in Inverness. Two arrests were made on Thursday, four on Friday, six on Saturday and ten on Sunday. Seven vehicles were seized for forfeiture, along with a handgun, 26 cell phones, 19 personal computers and 4 cameras. Eighteen of the 22 men arrested brought condoms to the rendezvous site, in anticipation of sexual activity with a minor. Additional arrests are anticipated. Search warrants are pending on phones and computers taken into evidence, and forensics analysis will be performed on the items.
The arrestees are facing multiple violations of the state's Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, ranging from traveling to meet a minor to engage in unlawful sexual conduct with a child, to transmitting material harmful to a minor by electronic device or equipment.
Of the 22 arrests, several were in the local area: Steven Baker, 46, Dunnellon; Matthew Pirie, 25, a visitor to Beverly Hills; James O'Connor, 41, Dunnellon; and Adam
Steelman, 25, Sunset Beach, N.C. (who was working in Citrus County).
"This was the first operation of such magnitude conducted by the Citrus County Sheriffís Office, and it took the combined efforts of several different agencies to make Operation Grim Reaper the success that it was," said Lt. Dave Decarlo who supervises the agency's ICAC Unit. DeCarlo said he greatly appreciates the cooperation of the assisting agencies, especially the guidance of the Polk County Sheriffís Office, the agency which created the template for these types of operations, and the resources that were available available from the Central Florida ICAC Task Force.
The ICAC Task Force program assists state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases, encompassing forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education.
Detectives release details of Campbell homicide
After the recent grand jury indictment of John William Campbell, 36, for the first-degree murder of his 68-year-old father, John Henry Campbell, Citrus County Sheriff's Office detectives have released several more details about the crime.
According to the Leesburg medical examiner's report, the cause of death for the elder Campbell was multiple chop and blunt-force head injuries. On Aug. 10, Mr. Campbell's body was discovered in the living room of the double-wide mobile home he shared with his son at 3707 E. Nugget Lane, Inverness.
Detectives believe the murder weapon is a sharp, hatchet-like instrument that was present in the home at the time of the crime. They confirmed that the younger Campbell's robbery attempt at the Inverness Lowe's, that same day, preceded the elder's slaying.
As to the motive for the murder, detectives are still exploring all possibilities.
Detectives maintain, that while it's their job to provide the facts to grand jury members, the decision to indict, or not to indict, rests solely with the members of the grand jury.
Campbell was charged with two additional counts of robbery (unarmed), the Aug. 5 robbery of the Inverness Walgreen's pharmacy and the Aug. 7 robbery of the Inverness Family Dollar store.
Homosassa meth lab dismantled, two arrested
Two Homosassa men were arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office on numerous drug charges, August 26, when a search warrant was executed at a Homosassa address, 6429 W. Folger Ct., around 11:00 a.m. The two men were Roger Carl Smith, Jr., 37, 6429 W. folger Ct. and Dana William Jowers, 33, 7515 W. Miss Maggie Dr.
According to the arrest reports, the sheriff's office had received several reports from confidential sources that Smith has been involved in the manufacture of methamphetamines and has been purchasing chemicals used in the manufacturing process on a frequent basis.
The arrest reports stated that a deputy went to Smith's residence, where he lives with his brother and his brother's wife, on Aug. 10 and spoke with Smith's brother. Upon questioning, Smith's brother (the property owner) told the deputy that no illegal activity was going on there and told the deputy that he was more than welcome to walk around the property. Smith's brother walked with the deputy around his property. The deputy spotted, in plain view, a soda bottle that had been fashioned into a gas generator, which is used in the final stages of manufacturing methamphetamines, according to the report. Through this, a search warrant was obtained and it was executed on Aug. 26.
The report stated that Smith and Jowers, along with Smith's brother and his wife (the homeowners) were present when the search warrant was executed. Everyone was taken outside, and the search warrant was read with all present. The reports stated that Smith was "extremely anxious" to speak with the deputy, so the deputy interviewed him.
Smith said the methamphetamine lab was his, and that his brother and his brother's wife knew nothing about it. He said he'd cooked methamphetamine at the residence on several different occasions, the most recent being the previous night. He told the deputy, in detail, where all the items used for the cook were located and also where the methamphetamine was. The report stated that the majority of the items were located in Smith's bedroom in a blue Tupperware container, along with some used (in the methamphetamine manufacturing process) coffee filters in the bathroom garbage bag and a can of Coleman fuel in the south side of the trailer.
The methamphetamine weighed 19.2 grams, and 10.8 grams of marijuana was located, along with three diazepam pills (a schedule IV narcotic) and a glass smoking pipe (in Smith's bedroom). Smith went into detail about the cooking process, stating that he uses a one-pot method called "cicking the can," which he learned up north. He told the deputy that he does not feel that he has a methamphetamine problem, however he did not know if he would be able to quit smoking it, or not.
Smith's interview was conducted three times, due to a descrepency of the time Smith said that Jowers had arrived at the residence that morning; the residence was under surveillance at that time. Finally, Smith admitted that Jowers had been there the previous night, and they had agreed that Smith would take Jowers to Crystal River and give him money for purchasing Sudafed, Smith would cook the methamphetamine, and they would share the final product.
Jowers was then interviewed. He admitted openly to buying the Sudafed and corroborated the agreement that Smith had told deputies about.
Three "clandestine lab certified" deputies removed the items from the residence and ventilated it. They contacted the DEA to arrange for a hazardous clean up crew to decontaminate the residence.
A deputy verified with the Cryatal River Walgreen's pharmacy that Jowers did, indeed, purchase Sudafed there at 9:06 p.m., Aug. 25, which agrees with statements made by both Smith and Jowers.
Both men were transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility. Smith was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine with intent, possession of listed chemicals with intent, possession of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and possession of drug paraphernalia. His total bond was set at $55,000.
Jowers was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine with intent and criminal conspiracy. His bond was set at $40,000.
Crystal River Man Charged with 15 Counts of Child Porn
Glenn clyde Beasley, Jr., 45, 10th St., Crystal River, was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office (CCSO), Jan. 22, charged with 15 counts of child pornography. According to the arrest report, Beasley's arrest came about after a search warrant was executed at his residence, the result of an investigation by the CCSO's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) that began in Nov. 2009. After questioning, Beasley admitted to downloading pictures and video clips of child pornography onto his laptop computer. The report stated that more charges may be added, pending the outcome of the forensics analysis on Beasley's computer. He was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility where his bond was set at $75,000.00.
Inverness Man Arrested, Sought As Person of
Interest in Suspicious Death
John William Campbell, 37, 3707 E. Nugget Ln., Inverness, was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, Monday afternoon, August 16, on a charge of robbery where offender carried no weapon. Campbell is the suspect in the attempted robbery of the Inverness Lowe's on August 10. Campbell is being held with no bond at the Citrus County Detention Facility on the charge.
According to the sheriff's office, the attempted robbery of Lowe's occurred around 4:45 p.m., when a man entered the home improvement store located on E. Gulf to Lake Hwy. and approached the clerk at the customer service desk, threatening that he had a gun. However, the man believed to be Campbell did not display a gun. The alarmed clerk ran away from the man at the service desk, and the man exited the store, empty-handed and on foot.
Just before 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August. 10, deputies responded to 3707 E. Nugget Lane in Inverness, where Campbell lived with his 68 year-old father. The elder Campbell was found dead in an unspecified "suspicious manner," according to the sheriff's office. Campbell is considered a person of interest in his father's death.
Around 2:15, August 11, Citrus County deputies apprehended Campbell at the Hernando/Citrus county line, following a high-speed chase with speeds in excess of 100 mph, and Campbell's vehicle crashing into an unoccupied Citrus County Sheriff's Office patrol car. Officials believe that the crash may have been intentional. The deputy was hit by debris from the crash, but was taken to an area hospital to be checked and later released.
Campbell was reportedly conscious after the crash prior to being airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.
According to CCSO Public Information Officer Gail Tierney, additional charges are pending against Campbell.
Suspicious Incident Reported at School Bus Stop
(Homosassa) A 15-year-old Lecanto High School ninth-grader told a school resource officer on Monday that an unknown white male had tried to lure her into his vehicle while she was waiting at her bus stop.
The teen said the incident happened between 6:45 and 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of W. Green Acres Street and S. Evergreen Avenue.
According to the girl, a man driving an older model maroon four-door sedan drove past her and stopped, putting the vehicle in reverse and pulling up next to her. She told deputies that he motioned for her to get in the vehicle, but she declined. The girl said the driver then opened the passenger-side door and tried to grab her right arm, so she ran back to her guardian’s residence and told her relative what happened.
The teen described the driver as a white male in his mid-50s, weighing between 175 and 200 pounds. The subject has long, frizzy gray hair and a full gray beard. He was last seen wearing a Florida Gators shirt.
The Sheriff’s Office arranged for extra patrol at the bus stop in question and had the ninth-grader come in to work with crime analysts on a composite sketch of the subject.
The agency’s sexual predator unit began looking for any similarities among the area known predators and offenders. Contact also was made with the school district’s bus garage to put bus drivers on alert for any vehicle matching the description provided by the girl.
Detectives are looking to speak with the man about the incident and are asking anyone with information about his identity to please call 911 or 726-1121 right away. Or contact Crime Stoppers of Citrus County, Inc. Report your tip by calling 1-888-ANY-TIPS toll-free. Tipsters may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Homosassa Man Arrested in String of Kangaroo
A 39-year-old Homosassa man, Charles David McKenzie, whose address is reported "at large" in Homosassa, was arrested on numerous charges by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, recently, after a traffic stop was made close to midnight, July 27, on a known vehicle occupied by two suspects of a Homosassa house burglary.
According to the arrest report, the arrest stemmed from a burglary to a Dahoon Ct., Homosassa residence very early the same day, around 2:45 a.m., where a woman's credit card and $70 to $90 in cash was stolen.
Very soon after the robbery, the woman's credit card was used at Walgreens pharmacy in Crystal River in the amount of $61.03. By viewing the in-store video surveillance, detectives got a good description of the suspect and the suspect's vehicle.
Shortly, a purchase was attempted on the same credit card at the Circle K gas station on U.S. Hwy. 19 at Ozella Trail. Again, detectives reviewed the video tape surveillance of the attempted transaction.
Just before 11:00 p.m. the same day, a deputy located the same vehicle and the two suspects traveling south on U.S. Hwy. 19 at Venable St. The officer made a traffic stop on the vehicle and the passenger (McKenzie) bailed on foot.
The driver was taken into custody and through interrogation told deputies the passenger's name - McKenzie. He said he'd taken McKenzie to Sugarmill Woods, early that day, around midnight, and dropped him off on a side street.
He said McKenzie told him he needed to collect some money, and he would be back in a few minutes. The driver told detectives that he didn't think anything of it, that McKenzie soon returned, and he took him to Walgreens a short time later, where he was told to wait in the parking lot. He said, when McKenzie was finished at Walgreens, he took him to the Circle K at Ozello Trail, where McKenzie unsuccessfully attempted to get fuel with the use of a credit card. The driver said he didn't know to whom the credit card belonged. He said they then went to another gas station in Homosassa, that he didn't know the name of.
Meanwhile, another deputy apprehended McKenzie in the Crystal Chevrolet parking lot on Hwy. 19. He told investigators that he needed an attorney and did not wish to speak with them. McKenzie was placed under arrest on several charges: burglary of an occupied residence, petit theft, fraud/illegal use of a credit card, and resisting an officer without violence. He was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility where his bond was set at $6,250.
A records check of McKenzie revealed that he had two local warrants for violation of probation and an absconding warrant from Kentucky. He was also arrested on the local charges; no bond was set. A knife was located in the vehicle that the victim of the Dahoon Ct. burglary identified as hers.
The driver had details that officials believed to be related to two armed (knife) burglaries that took place in Homosassa, at two different Kangaroo gas stations, on July 23. One store was located at 2275 S. Suncoast Blvd. (U.S. Hwy. 19), and the other store was located at 6241 W. Cardinal St.
The driver told officials that he drove McKenzie to the Kangaroo gas station located on U.S. Hwy. 19 and Longfellow St. on July 23. He said McKenzie, who was wearing a black shirt, told him he needed to get some cash. After KcKenzie came out of the store, he changed into a white shirt and told him he'd gotten $80 in cash. He said he then drove McKenzie to the Kangaroo gas station on Cardinal St. and dropped him off. He said he picked him up, a short time later, at a street that's adjacent to the store.
The arresting deputy deputy viewed the in-store surveillance videos and saw that both stores were robbed at knifepoint by the same man, although the suspect wore a black shirt during the U.S. Hwy. 19 robbery and a white shirt during the Cardinal St. robbery.
Several detectives interviewed the driver/witness, and he reiterated his statement. They accompanied him on a drive where he showed them where he'd parked at the first store and the driving route he'd taken while driving McKenzier to the second store.
Detectives showed a photo line-up to the store clerk at the U.S.Hwy, 19 Kangaroo store, which consisted of six individuals, including McKenzie, and she positively identified McKenzie as the person who robbed her with a knife.
Detectives believed they had probable cause to arrest McKenzie on the robberies by knife, so they placed him under arrest on two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon. He was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility, where his bond was set at $100,000.
McKenzie's arrest report on the Kangaroo gas station knife robberies stated that no charges were pending against the witness. Although the driver's name was mentioned in McKenzie's house burglary arrest report, there was no mention of any charges against him, and no arrest report was found bearing his name.
Home Invasion Robbery in Citrus Springs
(Citrus Springs) Just before 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, deputies were dispatched to a home invasion robbery at 9267 N. Mendoza Way.
When they arrived at the house, they found the victim, Deliliah (sic) Rogers, 26, lying face down on the floor with a blanket over her. The residence had been turned inside out.
The victim’s two little girls, ages 4 and 6, were found asleep in their beds. The children and their mother were unharmed.
Rogers told deputies that two or three subjects entered her bedroom and put a blanket over her head. She believed a gun barrel was held to her neck. The suspects said they wanted to know where the money and guns were, and threatened to shoot her.
The woman could hear the house being ransacked.
Rogers, who was shaken by the incident, told deputies she believed all of the doors in the house were locked, so she couldn’t say for certain how the suspects got in. She was unable to provide any kind of physical descriptions.
An undetermined amount of cash was taken from the victim’s bedroom.
With a perimeter established, Sheriff’s Office K-9 teams searched for the subjects while
deputies canvassed the area. No cash was discovered, but deputies recovered several items of personal property in the woods nearby that the victim said were either hers or her boyfriend’s.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call 911 or 726-1121 right away. Or contact Crime Stoppers of Citrus County, Inc. Report your tip by texting CITRUS to 274637 (Crimes), clicking on www.crimestopperscitrus.com or calling 1-888-ANY-TIPS toll-free. Tipsters may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Capital City Bank Robbed at
(Citrus Springs) Just after 3:20 p.m. on Thursday, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received a call about a robbery at the Capital City Bank located at 10241 N. Florida Avenue. Area deputies responded immediately.
Three employees reportedly were in the bank at the time of the robbery, but no customers. The suspect came in the lobby entrance door and exited the same way. He approached a teller and demanded cash. The suspect also displayed a firearm, saying he would use the weapon if he had to.
After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the man placed the money in a small gray-colored, golf-type ditty bag. He then exited the building, ran across the parking lot and jumped over a chain-linked fence into a heavily wooded area nearby.
Wet weather hindered a search of the woods by one of the agency’s K9 units; however, the dog followed a track at least for a short distance. It is unknown at this time if a vehicle was involved in the robbery.
The suspect is described as a white male with a tan complexion, about 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighing between 150 and 160 pounds. He was wearing a dark-colored painter’s cap,
off-white gloves, an unusual black windbreaker with a pattern of white patches near the bottom
of it, plus blue jeans.
Detectives will be reviewing the surveillance video from the bank in an attempt to identify and apprehend the robber. Anyone with information about this crime or the identity of the suspect should not approach him, but call 911 or 352-726-1121 right away.
Nine Arrested in Citrus, Marion County Sting
Operation Eclipse, a five-month-long investigation that culminated in nearly three dozen arrests, plus seizures of cash, vehicles, guns and drugs, translates into a drug enforcement campaign involving a multi-agency law enforcement team. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office was a key player.
Four drug organizations moving more than 180 kilograms of cocaine a year and more than 7,700 pounds of marijuana a year were uncovered during the special operation. That’s nearly $12 million in drug trafficking between Marion and Citrus counties. These drug rings were trafficking prescription pills as well.
Operation Eclipse began with intelligence that was generated by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and shared with the CCSO Tactical Impact Unit (TIU). It turned members’ attention to Jason Jones, 33, of Hernando, who was driving a co-conspirator’s Dodge Durango when he was stopped in Floral City on June 3. The traffic stop yielded 93 pounds of marijuana. Jones was a known supplier of cocaine, marijuana and roxycodones and had been on TIU’s radar for some time.
Due to Jones’s connections with Marion County, the CCSO joined forces with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, sharing resources and crossing back and forth conducting surveillance. TIU members began identifying Jones’s sub-group in Citrus County, ultimately making nine warrant arrests on Wednesday, July 7. One suspect remains at large.
As a result of arrests made and search warrants served, TIU members seized $8,200 in cash, 15 pounds of marijuana, numerous weapons, two vehicles and a motorcycle.
The investigation is still continuing.
The Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team – which includes the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Ocala Police Department – an initiative of the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, joined forces with the Multi Agency Drug Enforcement Team; Citrus County Sheriff’s Office; Hernando County Sheriff’s Office; the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE); the FDLE Quad County Narcotics Task Force; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for this multi-county/state/federal investigation.
Citrus County TIU members contend that without the multi-jurisdictional cooperation among all these agencies, a major drug investigation never would have come to fruition.
Man charged with armed robbery allegedly hijacked sister's car
A 27 year-old Inverness man, Allen Alexander Moody, 1355 N. Paul Dr., was arrested at 6:23 p.m., July 6, after a brief investigation by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. Moody was charged with armed robbery. He was held at the Citrus County Detention Facility on a bond of $50,000.
According to the arrest report, deputies responded to 560 E. Winnetka St. in Hernando, around 3:48 p.m., due to a complaint of a potential robbery and car jacking. The victim stated he had been riding in the vehicle of a female friend after returning from a trip to a pain management clinic in Tampa, and when they came to a stop sign on Page St., a man wearing a bandana on his face, and armed with a knife, demanded his medications. The victim said that he and the suspect struggled, and he struck the suspect in the face and was able to flee with
his medications. He said the suspect then jumped into the back seat of his friend's vehicle and demanded that she drive away, and she did.
Around 4:08 p.m., deputies stopped the driver in her vehicle as she headed toward the scene of the incident. She told the deputies, that when the suspect demanded she drive away, she did, out of fear for her young child who was in a child restraint in the back seat. When she got onto Hwy. 41, she said, the suspect had her pull over, and he fled into the woods.
At approximately 4:20 p.m., Detective Alexander arrived to the driver's location and interviewed her. She said she'd stopped at the stop sign, that was later determined to be the intersection of N. Calumet Ter. and E. Maryann Ln. She said the suspect approached her
passenger and engaged him in a struggle in order to gain
his medications. She said that the victim struck the suspect in the face and fled, and the suspect entered her vehicle, armed with a knife, and demanded that she drive, so she complied out of fear for her child's safety. She said that she was upset and
drove home after the suspect left the vehicle, because she did not know what to do. She said she then decided to return to check on the victim and was stopped by deputies on her way there.
A neighbor told one of the deputies that she'd seen a person get out of the driver's vehicle when the driver returned home. However, the driver told Det. Alexander that no one else was in her vehicle when she arrived home, so he became suspicious that the driver may have more involvement in the incident than was first believed, so he informed her of her neighbor stating that she'd seen a person get out of her vehicle. The driver then said it was her brother - Moody - and she had not mentioned him before, because she'd forgotten that she'd picked him up on her way home as he was walking down the street.
Dep. Alexander asked a deputy to ask the driver's brother when was the last time he had ridden in his sister's
vehicle and if he'd gone anywhere that day. The driver's brother told the deputy that he'd not been with his sister that day, that he'd been home all day.
The detective confronted the driver with this information, and at first, she said her brother was mistaken, however, the deputy informed the detective that the driver's brother's nose appeared to be injured. The detective confronted the driver with this information and told her he didn't believe she was being truthful. The driver then admitted that it was her brother who had
confronted the victim and then jumped into the vehicle. However, she was adamant that she did not know that her brother was going to do this. She said she first became aware that the suspect was her brother when he pulled the bandana away from his face, due to his nose bleeding. The driver stated she "freaked out" and took her brother home and then went back to check on the victim.
Moody was taken into custody at his residence and placed under
arrest on the charge at approximately 6:23 p.m. He declined to speak with Det. Alexander without legal representation. He was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility.
Shooting Termed Accidental
(Homosassa) The shooting reported shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday off of U.S. 19 apparently was accidental and self-inflicted.
The alleged victim, Tad Leach, 38, of Homosassa, who was shot in the leg, was transported to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Crystal River for treatment. He was a passenger in the front seat of the vehicle, while his wife was driving and a second passenger was in the backseat.
The alleged victim finally admitted to detectives that the three of them had driven down to Spring Hill in order to have a sight mounted on his handgun. While coming back to Homosassa, Leach was attempting to holster the gun when it discharged, striking him in the leg.
The case is still under active investigation as to why deputies were initially told that a suspect approached on foot, shot into the vehicle and then fled the scene.
The Sheriff's Office had responded to the area earlier today with its helicopter, ground units, K9 units and SWAT team. The agency also set up its mobile command post at the site.
The scene has since been cleared, and no suspect is being sought.
Man charged with robbing pharmacy & trafficking in oxycontin
Edward James Vasquez, 28, 2741 N. Laureen St., Lecanto, was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, June 27, at 827 S. Suncoast Blvd. in Homosassa.
According to his arrest reports, employees the Homosassa CVS Pharmacy located at 327 S. Suncoast Blvd. had been robbed by a hispanic male who had come into the pharmacy, shortly before 4:30 p.m., demanding oxycontin, a narcotic, pain prescription medication. The pharmacist told the investigator that she'd given Vasquez (as he was later identified) 3 bottles of oxycontin, each containing 100 tablets.
The detective was given a description of Vasquez, who was arrested around 6:18 p.m. at 6235 W. Grant St. in Homosassa, on an unrelated arrest warrant for failure to appear on an original charge of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of paraphernalia. His bond was set at none on the charge.
Around 6:35 p.m., Vasquez was transported to the CVS pharmacy that had been robbed of the oxycontin, and the pharmacist identified Vasquez as the person who had robbed her. She said that Vasquez had not displayed a weapon, but had acted as though he had one and demanded the oxycontin, according to the report. The report also stated that Vasquez told the detective that he was taken to the CVS pharmacy and had demanded the pain medication from the pharmacist. According to the report, Vasquez said that he has a problem with pain medication, and that after he took the medication from the pharmacy, he'd given it to an undisclosed person for payment.
Vasquez was charged with robbery and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility, where his bond was set at $10,000. On June 28, He was additionally charged with trafficking in greater than 4 grams of morphine, and his bond was set at $500,000 on this charge.
Homosassa Man Faces Numerous Pornography
Lee Everett Hendry, 63, W. Halls River Rd., Homosassa, was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, June 9, on one count of knowingly promoting child pornography and 20 counts of knowingly possessing child pornography. He was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility where his bond was set at $210,000.
The sheriff’s office, an active member of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against children Task Force, began an undercover internet investigation, May 5, of a Homosassa person who had downloaded and shared child pornography files over the internet, numerous times between April 1st and May 6th. The internet protocol (IP) address was listed through Bright House Networks with the same physical address as Hendry’s residence.
A search warrant obtained on June 9 was executed while Hendry was actually online and downloading child pornography, the report stated. Det. Pruitt was able to download one file from Hendry’s computer, just prior to the task force knocking on Hendry’s door. As detectives were knocking on Hendry’s door and announcing themselves, Det. Pruitt reported that she saw “a figure” inside the residence “get up from the couch and begin to do something before coming to the door,” and “in fear that the defendant was deleting evidence from the computer,” opened the front door, took a step inside the residence, and observed Hendry pulling his shorts up. The report also stated that that Hendry was aroused and standing in front of the couch, beside a stand which had a laptop on it. The detective saw a picture on Hendry’s computer of a clothed girl, approximately 11 years-old, in a cheerleader-like pose.
Hendry told Det. Pruitt, that when the deputy team walked up, he was downloading and viewing child pornography files while gratifying himself. He admitted to knowing it’s against the law to download and possess child pornography, and that he’d been doing it for about two years, although he usually deleted the files so no one would see them.
Hendry told the law enforcement team that they would find pornographic files on his computer, that day, because he was actively downloading them just before and during the execution of the search warrant. He told detectives search terms he used. Another detective conducted an on-scene preview of Hendryís computer and found multiple files depicting child sexual abuse and/or exploitation, consistent with what Hendry had said. The report stated, that since the computer had more than 20 images depicting child pornography, Hendry’s charge could be enhanced to a second-degree felony.
Church employee charged with 10 counts of child pornography
Alan B. Yermal, who also goes by the name of Allen S. Yermall, 49, 9985 N. Deltona Blvd., Citrus Springs, was arrested by the citrus county Sheriff's Office, June 11, charged with 10 counts of knowingly possessing child pornography.
The sheriff's office was contacted on June 3 by someone at St. Christopher's Anglican Church in Crystal River, who said that a USB thumb drive containing images of child pornography had been found in Yermal's desk. The deputy was informed that Mr. Yermal, whose occupation was listed on the arrest report as "senior warden," had been in charge of finances at the church and had stepped down from that position on May 19 because he "was not doing a good job," the report stated. The person who'd made the complaint had gone into Yermal's office, searching for financial records, when he found the thumb drive in the desk drawer. The complainant had placed the thumb drive into his laptop computer and an image of child pornography had come onto the screen.
Ten files containing child pornography were found on the thumb drive. A detective spoke with the complainant the following day and was told about how the pornographic images had been found. The complainant also stated that Yermal had not been on the office since the day he'd been asked to step down in May, but he had gone into the office on June 3 with the complainant present.
The complainant stated that the office does not have a lock on it, so anyone could enter into the office, and some children had used the computer for accessing the internet, but only Yermal had stored items in the desk. He said Yermal had used the church's laptop computer. The complainant gave permission for the detective to preview the laptop computer. Multiple images of child pornography were found on the computer under the profile of "junior warden." The complainant stated, that a few months ago, Yermal had been asked to change the "junior warden" profile to "clergy," which Yermal had done, and that Yermal knows the "clergy" password, and "a few people" have access to the "clergy" profile. The complainant stated that Yermal had used the church's laptop computer, frequently, and had taken it home on several occasions.
The detective spoke with Yermal at his residence on June 11. He initially denied knowing anything about the child pornography, but after he was shown a photograph of an image from the thumb drive, Yerman stated that his fingerprints may be on the thumb drive because it had been in his desk, the report stated. He later admitted that the thumb drive was his, that he'd gotten it with a laptop he'd purchased, several years previous. He said that he'd placed the images on the thumb drive, several years ago, and had viewed the files on both his and the church's laptop computers at his residence.
Yermal told the detective that he'd stumbled across a Russian child pornography website, and out of curiousity, he's been regularly going to the website since then. He said he'd obtained the pornography on the thumb drive from the Russian website, that he knew it was illegal to possess child pornography, and he'd meant to delete the files, but never did. He told the detective that he'd "been better lately" and has been going to the website only every couple weeks rather than almost every day, and the last time he'd gone to the site was the previous day. He blamed intimacy problems with his wife as his reason for looking at child pornography.
Yermal told the detective that he'd gone to the Russian website from the church laptop, while at the church, on multiple occasions, but hadn't
realized that pictures were downloaded onto the church's computer.
He was placed under arrest and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility where his bond was set at $50,000.00.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is an active member of the Central Florida Internet
Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Crystal River shooting suspect leads deputies to "grow house" in Beverly Hills
The suspect of two shootings, May 30, in the Copeland Park area of Crystal River was taken into custody, June 3, by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office on an arrest warrant charging him with aggravated battery with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Carlos Pierre Cleveland, 29, 830 N.E. Hartshorn Ln., Holder, was spotted in the back yard of a Beverly Hills residence located at 13 N. Lincoln Ave.
When deputies arrested Cleveland, it was discovered that an active grow house was inside the home, which resulted in the arrest of the renter, 24 year-old Gennaro Tryell Williams. Almost 300 marijuana plants, ranging from new growth to mature plants, were located in two separate rooms.
The shooting took place shortly after 2:30 a.m., May 30, at two locations in the residential neighborhood adjacent to Copeland Park. William Richardson, 30, of Crystal River, was treated for minor injuries at the Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, then released. Richardson was struck with scatter-shot in the right arm and leg. He was shot near the vacant lots at N.E. 1st Ter. and N.E. 9th Ave. Earlier in the morning, according to the sheriff's office, threats had been made against members of Richardson's family, which started a confrontation involving numerous black males at the RaceTrac gas station located on Hwy. 44, and then moved to the nearby vacant lots by Copeland Park.
Shots also were fired near N.E. 3rd St., in front of the park, but no one was injured. Marcus Natteal, 38, also of Crystal River, was driving a vehicle in the immediate vicinity and was fired upon, but he was not injured.
Cleveland, the suspect in the shootings, was found hiding in Williams' back yard, where he was taken into custody.
Deputies involved in locating Cleveland smelled "a profound odor of cannabis" coming from williams' house, according to the arrest report. When they spoke with Williams about the odor coming from his house, he exclaimed, "Alright, alright! I got about a hundred plants in there,î and when deputies asked for permission to search his residence, Williams replied, "You already got me, I might as well (allow the search)," according to the report.
A total of 299 marijuana plants were located inside the residence. They ranged in size from 1-1/2 ft. to about 4 ft. tall. Deputies also found empty plastic baggies "for packaging narcotics" and
"cannabis for sale," along with digital scales, growing equipment and cannabis grinders, the report stated. A small bag containing approximately three grams of crack
cocaine was also found. In the kitchen, deputies found loose cannabis and a small bag of crack cocaine weighing approximately two
Williams stated that all the marijuana plants, growing equipment, lights and fertilizer belonged to him, but not the crack cocaine. He stated that the marijuana was for his personal consumption, and he'd not rented the residence merely for the purpose of growing marijuana, although no beds were found in the residence, the report stated, and only "a few days of clothing, at best."
Williams was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and also renting a structure with the intent of manufacturing and trafficking in a controlled substance. He was not charged with the crack cocaine. His total bond was set at $20,000. Cleveland's bond was also set at $20,000 on the charges related to the shootings.
Yankeetown Man Arrested on
Attempted Murder Charge With a Vehicle
A Yankeetown man was arrested by the Levy County Sheriff's Office after a family disturbance, May 29. Justin A. Lentini, 44, 30 S.E. 60th St., was arrested on numerous charges, including one count of attempted murder, around 6:30 p.m.
According to Lentini's arrest report, it appeared that Lentini had been drinking, and he became physical with his mother-in-law, around 6:10 p.m. The report stated that Lentini had attempted to run over his wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law with his vehicle and he'd actually struck his brother-in-law, Jason Blomgren, with his vehicle, and he was dragging him away at a high rate of speed, traveling east on Riverside Dr. as a call was received at the Levy County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center
Officer Swiggett with the Inglis Police Department was called as backup and was first on the scene. He stopped Lentini's vehicle. He told Dep. Prine with the LCSO that Lentini was driving the vehicle and Mr. Blomgren was hanging onto the hood of the vehicle, screaming for help, at the intersection of Riverside Dr. and Hwy. 40 West, and that Lentini had traveled approximately three miles from the initial scene of impact before Swiggett was finally able to stop the vehicle.
Officer Swiggett detained Lentini in his patrol vehicle until Dep. Prine arrived. Meanwhile, Emergency Medical Services arrived and provided medical treatment to Mr. Blomgren for a laceration to his forehead and pain and stiffness to his neck and an ankle. He was transported to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Crystal River for further medical attention.
Dep. Prine went to Lentini's residence to speak with the other victims. Lentini's wife stated that Lentini had pushed her mother to the ground and that he had been drinking at the home prior to the incident escalating.
Lentini's mother-in-law told Dep. Prine that she had a small bruise on her left forearm. She was complaining of lower back pain, due to Lentini grabbing her and forceably pushing her to the ground, the report stated. She told Dep. Prine that Lentini had screamed at the family, using profanities, not only toward her family, but also to neighbors who had walked out of their home to see what was going on.
According to the arrest report, Lentini's wife and her mother and brother then left the residence, walking south on S.E. 60th St. toward another residence, when they heard a vehicle approaching them at a high rate of speed. Lentini was driving the vehicle and swerved it toward them, in an apparent attempt to strike them as they were walking. Lentini's wife and mother-in-law managed to get out of the way of the speeding vehicle, but Mr. Blomgren was struck and lifted onto the hood on the driver's side of the vehicle and carried away at a high rate of speed.
Lentini's wife and mother-in-law saw Lentini's vehicle turn east onto Riverside Dr., then they lost sight of the vehicle and called 911 a second time.
When Dep. Prine arrived at Hwy. 40 West and Riverside Dr. where Lentini was being detained by Officer Swiggett, a U.S. Coast Guard member told him that he'd witnessed the vehicle pass by the coast guard station at a high rate of speed, with Mr. Blomgren hanging onto the hood "for dear life and screaming for help," the report stated, and he'd asked another coast guard member to attempt to stop the vehicle. He said he believed that a portion of the incident may have been filmed by the coast guard station's video surveillance camera.
Officer Swiggett noted several empty beer cans in Lentini's vehicle, one of which was still cold to the touch and leaking its contents. Lentini's mother-in-law told Dep. Prine that she'd transport herself to the hospital, if she felt it necessary. Corporal Allen with the LCSO read Lentini his rights, but he refused to answer questions. Dep. Prine reported that he smelled alcohol coming from Lentini and that his balance was unsteady as he took thim into custody. Officer Swigget told Dep. Prine that Lentini had initially screamed profanities, but he had since calmed down and was not speaking.
After Lentini's arrival at the Levy County Jail, the report stated, he twice became "boisterous" and refused to perform sobriety testing or to provide a sample of his breath for alcohol testing. He was charged with three counts of aggravated battery, one count of attempted murder, leaving the scene of an accident and DUI.
Inglis man arrested on felony drug charges by CCSO
An Inglis man, 42-year-old Brian Marc Elliott, 58 Gladys Ave., was arrested on felony drug charges by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, May 20, after deputies on patrol spotted a vehicle in Homosassa make several driving infractions around 2:00 a.m.
According to the arrest report, the vehicle, which was driven by William Roddenberry, failed to stop at a stop sign on W. Grover Cleveland Blvd. as it was leaving the Walgreen's pharmacy parking lot. The deputies also noticed that the vehicle's tag light was inoperable, and as the vehicle approached the red light at Hwy. 19 and W. Grover Cleveland, the vehicle failed to make a complete stop before turning right onto Highway 19.
When the emergency equipment and spotlight was activated for a traffic stop, the deputies noticed that the front seat passenger (Elliott) was not wearing his safety belt. The vehicle turned right onto W. Homosassa Trail, and while the vehicle rolled slowly, Elliott ducked down, several times, making movements, the deputy reported, consistent with concealing a weapon or contraband. The vehicle came to a stop in the parking lot of the State Farm Insurance office.
As one of the deputies approached the passenger side of the vehicle, Elliott was reaching underneath the passenger seat, so the deputy ordered him to show his hands, and he complied. As Elliott stepped out of the vehicle, the deputy reported that he noticed a bulge in Elliott's right front pocket that was consistent with a weapon, so the officer asked Elliott if he could pat him down and Elliott consented. Instead of a weapon, the deputy found a metal cannister "commonly used for transporting pills or narcotics," the report stated. Inside the canister was ten 22 mg. alprazolam tablets (schedule IV narcotic). Elliott was placed into handcuffs.
The report stated, that as the driver (William Roddenberry) had access to whatever Elliott had placed under the seat, he was asked to exit the vehicle.
Under the front passenger seat where Elliott had been sitting, deputies found an unlabeled yellow pill bottle that contained 32 suboxone 8 mg. tablets (schedule III narcotic), along with two plastic baggies, one which contained ten oxycodone 30 mg. tablets; the other bag contained six oxycodone 30 mg. tablets. Another unlabeled pill bottle contained twenty alprazolam 2 mg. tablets and two alprazolam 1 mg. tablets. In a separate plastic baggie were numerous over-the counter psuedoephedrine tabets: forty 120 mg. tablets, ninety-six 30 mg. tables and ten 240 mg. tablets, a total weight of 10 mg., "which was more than can be sold at any retail store at any time," the report stated, "a listed chemical and an essential part in the manufacturing of methamphetamine."
Deputies also found two packages of lithium batteries on the front passenger floorboard, "which Mr. Elliott had just purchased from Walgreen's," the report stated. The report also stated that lithium batteries are "a known component, essential to the process of manufacturing methamphetamines."
Elliott told the deputies that he did not have prescriptions for the narcotic pills, that he'd "got them on the street." The report also stated that Elliott admitted to being "familiar with the process of how to manufacture methamphetamines."
Elliott was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility where he was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possess/distribute listed chemical knowing reasonable cause. His total bond was set at $10,000.
According to the report, upon questioning, Roddenberry told deputies that the pseudoephedrine pills belonged to Elliott and that Elliott "did manufacture methamphetamines." Roddenberry told deputies that he gave Elliott a ride to Walgreen's pharmacy so that he could purchase the lithium batteries "for use in the manufacturing process of methamphetamines," the report stated. He said that Elliott had placed the items under the seat, after the emergency light on the patrol vehicle had been activated.
5 members of Citrus Springs gang, "PTF," arrested
Citrus County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a member of a Citrus springs gang on April 23, which yielded names of others connected to a string of vehicle burglaries in the community since January. Four additional gang members were arrested on April 28.
According to Capt. Buddy Grant, East District Commander of the CCSO, patrol deputies and members of the agencyís Tactical Impact Unit had been closely scrutinizing a loosely knit, homegrown gang known as 'Past the Fountain,' or 'PTF,' a reference to the entryway of Citrus Springs, as probable suspects in break-ins that have plagued the area.
Just this week, the Citrus Springs Community Resource Officer received an e-mail with a link to a gang rap video that threatened violence against any law enforcement officer for alleged harassment.
"This agency has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to gang activity in the county," said Capt. Grant. "Beyond that, Sheriff Jeff Dawsy wonít sit idly by when his officers become the target of veiled threats."
PTF associates admitted to having lifted around 200-250 car door handles in the community during the past four months, and when they found a vehicle that was unlocked, they took everything they could get their hands on, including cash, firearms, laptop computers, purses, credit cards, digital cameras and assorted small electronics.
The 'crime of opportunity' is commonly known as car hopping, according to CCSO Public Information Officer Gial Tierney.
The associates said they sold or traded the stolen goods, a practice which provided them with living expenses.
More than 30 vehicles were reported as broken into, and in every instance, the vehicles were left unsecured, with valuables in plain sight.
Citrus Springs residents are encouraged to lock their vehicles every time they leave them, even in their driveway. They should also remove purses, wallets and other valuables from their vehicles.
Arrested on felony charges were Dustin Sandiford, 20; Kyle Blomquist, 16; Kayla Bouchard, 21; Jacob Stuebs, 18; and Randall Driggers, II, 19, all of Citrus Springs.
Sandiford was charged on April 23 with 1 count of identity theft, 1 count of burglary, and 1 count of petit theft (bond $5,000). The others were charged on April 28: Blomquist was charged with 3 counts of burglary to a vehicle and released to the custody of his parents. Bouchard was charged with identity theft and released on her own recognizance. Stuebs was charged with 1 count of residential burglary, 1 count of grand theft with a firearm and 9 counts of burglary to a conveyance (bond $34,000). Driggers was with 1 count of burglary to a vehicle (bond $3,000).
Couple arrested at motel meth lab, Homosassa
Two people were arrested at the Bella Oasis Motel in Homosassa, April 22, after deputies found a mobile methamphetamine lab in their room.
A canine deputy located the lab in room 118, and other deputies came to the scene where Tony Nicholas Trail, 30, 5531 S. Victoria Pt., Homosassa, was arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamines and possession of unlawful listed chemicals (bond $20,000) and Rebecca Ann Bresnanhan, 29, 3792 W. Glenn St., Lecanto was charged with possession of paraphernalia (bond $500).
Sometime before 3:00 a.m., deputies read Trail his rights, and he agreed for deputies to search the motel room.
Inside a cooler, deputies found two hydrochloric gas generators (one which field-tested positive for methamphetamines), a can of Coleman fuel, coffee filters, two cans of starter fluid, a large container of salt, ice packs, a small Tupperware container that contained a white powdery substance and a large bottle of liquid drain cleaner.
One of the deputes found several items inside a purse that contained Bresnanhan's identification: a small piece of straw, two small baggies, and a white piece of folded paper that contained a white residue.
Deputies also found a grocery bag in the toilet tank, which contained coffee filters, a Sprite bottle and a Gatorade bottle. The items were submerged in the water and completely saturated. When the coffee filters were unrolled, a white residue was found.
When Trail was interviewed by a detective, he admitted to having purchased the liquid drain cleaner and starter fluid to manufacture methamphetamines.
Trail and Bresnanhan were arrested on the chargess and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility.