Month: April 2012

Modern Day Cattle Rustlers

Media Release   On March 20, 2012, Levy County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jimmy Anderson received a call from local attorney, Ray Earl Thomas, who represents Larry Lindsey, owner of Lindsey Cattle Company. Thomas reported that his client Lindsey won the bid to purchase the cattle sold by the local FFA students at the Suwannee River Fair. Lindsey contracted with Ron Shepard to pick up and deliver the cows to United Producers Inc. in Illinois. All seemed to be going fine until Shepard did not return with the money.   Ron Shepard picked up 146 cows from the Suwannee River Fairgrounds on March 21, 2012. He also had an additional 17 cows on the truck that Lindsey had purchased from the Okeechobee County Fair days earlier.   Ron Shepard made the delivery and received a check from United Producers Inc. for the amount of $200,000.21. However, he disappeared after taking possession of the check. Ron Shepard’s business partner, Jeremy Pierce contacted Law Enforcement in Illinois to make the report of his missing business partner.   As Investigator Anderson began to look into this matter, he discovered other states also had active investigations. Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Texas all wanted to speak to these men regarding the theft of cattle from their states.  Inv. Anderson discovered that Ron Shepard had been in contact with United Producers prior to his arrival. Shepard had United Producers write the check meant for Levy County FFA kids to his personal business, Brookfield Cattle, which is owned by himself and Jeremy Pierce. Through aggressive investigative work, Inv. Anderson obtained video from a bank in Illinois showing Jeremy Pierce depositing the check meant for Levy County FFA kids. Somehow, Pierce obtained the check from Shepard and deposited it into a second business account titled Brookport Cattle Company.   Inv. Anderson’s diligent work and persistence led him to contact the FBI and the Florida Division of Agriculture and the joint investigation yielded more than ample evidence for Inv. Anderson to obtain warrants for both men.   On April 19, 2012, Inv. Anderson met with 8th Circuit Judge David Glant and secured warrants to arrest Ron Shepard and Jeremy Pierce for Scheme to Defraud. Each warrant had a bond of $1,000,000.00 (One MILLION dollars). Pierce turned himself in to authorities in Illinois but Shepard is still at large.
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Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111

—————-Media Release—————-

Motorist Safety–Road Closure  
The Levy County Sheriff's Office responded to the 10600 block of County Road 347 to a report of a sink hole that had opened underneath the roadway. A passing motorist struck a crack which had opened across one lane. No injuries or damages were reported.
The Levy County Road Department has closed County Road 347 from 100 Ave west to County Road 330 for an estimated 36 to 48 hours while repairs are made. 
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Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111

Airplane Crash

MEDIA RELEASE   Date:                April 28, 2012 Time:                10:45 AM            The Levy County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a reported airplane crash in the Fowlers Bluff area.  Shortly after 3 PM Sgt. Danny Turner arrived on the scene and discovered a single engine Cessna upside down and partially blocking the south bound lane on County Road 347.   The investigation revealed that the pilot and two passengers were flying from Marathon and they were enroute to Tallahassee.  For unknown reasons the Cessna had total engine failure at an altitude of approximately 2500 feet.  The pilot, Clifford Rydell, 51 made an emergency landing on CR-347 in Fowlers Bluff.     According to Major Evan Sullivan the pilot did a great job landing the plane and very happy that no one was injured.  The airplane crash occurred in a very remote area in Levy County and the Watch Commander; Lt. Scott Finnen assisted the couple by taking them to get a rental vehicle.     The southbound lane was blocked for a short time and the Sheriff’s Office contacted the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board and they will conducted there investigation on Saturday, April 28, 2012.         ###


Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218

Levy/Citrus County Emergency Management Conducting a Phone Survey

MEDIA RELEASE   Phone Survey on Tap for All-Hazards Evacuation Planning   Date:                     April 27, 2012 Time:                     8:00 AM                                Starting the week of Monday, April 30, residents living in Levy and Citrus counties may be contacted by telephone to take part in an all-important emergency evacuation planning survey.  The reasoning behind the survey is to gather data for use by the Levy County Emergency Management Office to improve evacuation plans for both natural and man-made disasters.   The telephone survey is being conducted by Boston-based First Market Research, and all calls made on weekdays will be conducted between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.  On the weekends, calls will be made between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.   Responding to the survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete by either the head of household or his/her spouse.   No personal or financial questions will be asked by the caller.  Instead, survey questions will seek specific information, such as how long it takes you to drive from work to home, and how many vehicles typically are available to the household for use if an evacuation were necessary.  Responses to questions like these will provide critical information for the purpose of emergency planning.   Survey results will give emergency management personnel a better estimate of the number of people evacuating any given area, the number of vehicles used to evacuate and the length of time needed to prepare for evacuations.   The data collected by the survey also will be used in a traffic engineering study to identify roadways and areas with significant traffic congestion during evacuations, and to pinpoint methods for reducing delays caused by traffic gridlock.   For more information, contact the Levy County Emergency Management Office at (352) 486-5213.       ###  


Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218

Man Arrested on Sheriff’s Office Gun Range

MEDIA RELEASE   Date:                April 24, 2012 Time:                9:00 AM   On April 24, 2012 Deputy Ella Anderson arrested Dale Derber for trespassing and possession of a concealed weapon.   At 4:45 in the morning, Deputy Anderson was doing a security check at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.  Anderson noticed that the gate to the Sheriff’s Office gun range was open and began investigating the suspicious activity.  Anderson noticed a vehicle backed up inside the Sheriff’s Office gun range with the head lights off.    The investigation revealed that Derber was sitting in his vehicle and had four candles burning on his dash.  On April 23, 2012 an officer alert bolo was issued and Anderson immediately recognized the subject.  The statewide bolo warned all law enforcement to use extreme caution when dealing with Derber he is known to carry multiple weapons and stun guns.   Anderson drew her service weapon and ordered Derber out of the vehicle.  Derber was arrested without incident and inside the vehicle were a billy club and five knives were located in the vehicle.  When Derber was questioned why he was on the Sheriff’s Office gun range he stated he was going to put in an application with the Sheriff’s Office.   On April 21, 2012 Deputy Willie Barnes arrested Derber for flooding the Suwannee River Motel.  Derber bonded out of jail on April 22nd.     Defendant:   Dale Derber W/M, 09/11/1953     ###


Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218