Law & Order

Money, drugs, guns seized in traffic stops, search

FROM LEFT: Leslie Douglas, Jordan Carrier and Clifford Floyd. (June 14, 2016)

Three people were arrested today after Citrus County deputies found drugs, cash and weapons in the Dunnellon area.


New light shines on Hernando abduction case

Citrus County Sheriff Dawsy, left, and Deputy John Behnen answered questions today from local and regional news outlets about the incident on Tuesday in which a 13-year-old girl shopping with her mom in Hernando was almost abducted in broad daylight. (June 8 2016)

More light was shed today on the alleged attempted abduction on Tuesday of a 13-year-old girl who was shopping with her mom at the Dollar Store in Hernando at 2560 N. Trucks Ave.


Counterfeit money, suspects taken out of circulation

FROM LEFT: Byron Tremanye Peterson, Jordan Jmal Johnson and Brandon J. Pelmore. All are from the Tampa area (June 6, 2016).

By Robby Douglas,

Three Tampa-area men are under arrest following a trip through Citrus County, where they allegedly used counterfeit $100 bills at several county businesses to get merchandise.

Mom, off-duty deputy thwart child abduction

Craig Leslie Bonello

An attempted abduction of a 13-year-old girl was thwarted in Hernando on Tuesday by a tough mom and an off-duty deputy.

Citrus County Sheriff's deputies responded at 11:42 a.m. to the Dollar General at 2560 N. Trucks Ave., regarding something happening inside the store.

The initial call indicated the caller heard screaming, but dispatchers then learned that an attempted child abduction was in process.


Sentenced: Matthew Cooper

Matthew Cooper, 46, of Crystal River, received two consecutive life sentences with a 25 year minimum/mandatory in the Department of Corrections for Attempted Second Degree Murder with a Firearm and Aggravated Battery with a Firearm in Judge Howard's court.

Undercover contractors' sting nets 13 arrests

TOP ROW, FROM LEFT: Arthur Eugene Bolinger Jr.; Culberth Lee Duncan Jr.; David Allen Nice and Douglas Henry Stawarz. SECOND ROW, FROM LEFT: Francesco Sciolino; George Clinton Horton; Jerry P Mathes Jr. and Joanne Jean Chavez. THIRD ROW, FROM LEFT: Justin Douglas Shingler; Robert Edward Alexander Carlisle; Sasha Schiller and Ted Madison Bachman. BOTTOM ROW: Tina Louise Cockrell.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office and state and local contracting licensing authorities linked arms recently to uncover people who were representing themselves to be "Handymen," or properly licensed for work.

3 arrested after store burglary, chase

FROM LEFT: Jason Owens, Aaron Williams and Albert Williams.

Three Winter Park, Fla., men were arrested on Sunday and charged with the burglary of a convenience store and fleeing Citrus County deputies.

According to arrest reports, a deputy noticed a White Super Duty truck behind the Citgo gas station on State Road 44 and County Road 490 at about 3:30 a.m. in Lecanto which deputies had been looking for in connection with an earlier burglary at the Marina Mart off SR 44 in Crystal River.

Deputies looking for armed robbery suspects

Citrus County deputies are looking for these two robbery suspects.

Citrus County deputies are looking for two men who robbed a Speedway gas station convenience store at 4:19 a.m. at 9515 E Gulf to Lake Highway (near Gospel Island on State Road 44) in Inverness.

The Sheriff's Office said that the two men were armed with bats and took an undisclosed amount of money from the register. The suspects left the store heading east on foot.


County emergency management exercise drills down to storm mode

Members of the Sheriff's Office Emergency Management Team and community leaders joined together for a drill that focused on hurricane preparedness and evacuation plans and action. (May 18 2016. PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff's Office).

Citrus County is ready if a storm comes our way this hurricane season.

And to keep all skills sharp, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office's Emergency Management team joined with community leaders to engage in an exercise to make sure everyone is on the same page whenever a storm strikes the county.


Homosassa man lies down on road; killed by motorist

A man lying in the roadway in the early morning hours of May 14 on West Grover Cleveland Boulevard in Homosassa was killed by a driver who didn't see the man.

The Florida Highway Patrol identified the man as Robert H. Brooks, 32, of Homosassa. The man who ran Brooks over was identified as Skyler R. McKeown, 19, also of Homosassa, who said he didn't even see Brooks on the road.


13-year fugitive to return to county

Patrick John Donovan

A fugitive from Citrus County who was wanted for nearly 13 years, Patrick John Donovan, was taken into custody on Monday, May 9 in Detroit, Mich.

Donovan had a warrant out for his arrest for failure to appear on 2001 charges of vehicle homicide, leaving the scene of a crash involving death, leaving the scene of a crash involving injury and evidence tampering.

Owner, pets die in Crystal River fire

A homeowner and two family pets died in a fire shortly after midnight on Sunday at 8250 W. Fairoak Court in Crystal River.

The man's identity has not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin and an investigation by the State Fire Marshal.


Michigan Alert child found in Homosassa

FROM LEFT: Amanda Hayward, mother; Sapphire Palmer and Douglas Stanko. (Photos provided by Citrus County Sheriff's Office)

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) says that a 7-year-old Michigan girl who had the subject of an Amber Alert has been found safe with her mother in Homosassa.


Floral City couple faces child neglect, drug charges

Harry Hiram Ortiz, 32, and Cori Luann Whitehurst, 28, of Floral City

A couple's 2-year-old was hospitalized and appeared to suffer from neglect/abuse. The couple also faces drug charges.

A Floral City couple has been arrested and are facing charges relating to the abuse/neglect of a 2-year-old girl.

In addition, Harry Hiram Ortiz, 32, and Cori Luann Whitehurst, 28, also face drug-related charges.


Two more arrests made in baby abuse case

FROM LEFT: Skyler Wade Bennett, Valerie Ann Reed and Brandon Lee Bennett

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office today said that two more arrests have been made in connection with a 3-month-old baby in Beverly Hills.


Search warrant yields cocaine, arrest

Sean Nelson

A Crystal River man was arrested after a Sheriff's Office search warrant on Thursday yielded evidence of the presence and alleged sale of cocaine.

Arrested was Sean Ricardo Nelson, 29, of 855 N. Fox Meadow Terrace in Crystal River.

Detectives with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Impact Vice/Narcotics Unit and SWAT team served a search warrant at 1351 S. Rock Crusher Road in Crystal River after investigators learned the residence was allegedly being used to manufacture and sell cocaine.


Alleged child kidnapper faces new charges

Jeffrey Story, 20, of Inverness, now faces aggravated battery charges for things he allegedly did to his live-in girlfriend. He was arrested earlier and charged with the kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office today said a man accused of kidnapping a child earlier in the week is facing new charges.

The CCSO said that Jeffrey Story, 20, of Inverness, now faces aggravated battery charges for things that he allegedly did to his live-in girlfriend, also the mother of his child.


Homosassa man survives collision with semi

Citrus County deputies and firefighters pulled this driver to safety after his vehicle collided with a semi, overturned and then caught fire. (Photo: Citrus County Sheriff's Office)A Homosassa man on Tuesday night survived a fiery crash when he collided with a semi that completely consumed his 2007 Chrysler minivan.

He has been identified as Charlie Boyd, 22, of Homosassa, and he can thank his good fortune to the efforts of Citrus County deputies and firefighters.


Five arrested in Homosassa marijuana case

FROM LEFT, BOTTOM ROW: Kathleen Erin Lyons, Thomas Sweeney Lyons and Brenden Lee Smith. (PHOTOS: Citrus County Sheriff's Office).The Citrus County Sheriff's Office on Thursday arrested five people in Homosassa in connection with the alleged sale of marijuana.

Detectives with the Tactical Impact Unit and the Community Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at 5462 S. Alice Point in Homosassa after learning the residence was allegedly used to sell marijuana.


LHS student, 15, shoots himself in front of classmates

A 15-year-old Lecanto High School 9th-grader shot himself in front of classmates. He was transported to a Tampa hospital for treatment.At approximately 10:30 this morning, Citrus County deputies responded to Lecanto High School after receiving reports of shots being fired from within the school.

The CCSO said that it was an isolated incident. That 15-year-old student was airlifted to a Tampa hospital, the CCSO said, and deputies quickly secured the weapon and the school.



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