Month: February 2013

Florida Sheriff’s Task Force Sets Sights on Spring Break Safety

The Florida Sheriffs Task Force has launched their latest operation aimed at protecting the safety of Florida’s youth. Operation Dry Spring will take place from March 4 – April 7, 2013 in conjunction with the spring break schedules of most public and private schools in Florida. This time of year, students from across the state take a timeout from their studies to enjoy their first break of the semester. Spring break is also the time when these students, the majority of which are under 21, choose to drink alcohol and experiment with illegal drugs.   Not only does the use of drugs and alcohol by youth lead to poor decision making, it leads to emergency medical situations such as overdoses and alcohol related injuries. In 2010, nearly 190,000 individuals under the age of 21 visited an emergency room for injuries or conditions connected to the use of alcohol. Sadly, the use of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and spice is on the rise with more than 3,000 reported incidents in 2010. Even more devastating, that number more than doubled in 2011 to over 7,000.   “Underage use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs has always been a point of concern for families as well as Florida’s Sheriffs,” said Polk County Sheriff and Task Force Chair Grady Judd. “If Florida’s youth cannot make the right decisions, they will be spending spring break at their Sheriff’s office.”   Florida’s youth are one of our most precious resources and our Sheriffs have committed to ensuring their safety. The Florida Sheriffs Task Force will be targeting businesses that are selling alcohol, tobacco or synthetic drugs to underage youth. Operation Dry Spring will also focus on underage youth in possession of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Full results from this operation will be announced on April 11, 2013.   We at the Levy County Sheriff's Office will be joining with the other Sheriff's Offices around this great State of Florida to ensure the success of this operation.

Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111
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911 Interruption Plan Works Flawlessly

All citizens know that help is only a simple phone call away. 911 – The universal number for help. Yesterday, February 20, 2013, the unforeseen “glitch” reared its’ ugly head.   Levy County receives service through the local phone carrier. The carrier lost service for unknown reasons in their Gainesville facility which feeds the Levy County PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). Most were unaware of this issue; thanks to the foresight of 911 Coordinator Mike West. Peering into the “what if” situation, Levy 911 had a plan and this plan worked like a charm.   Levy 911 already had a MOU (memorandum of understanding) in place with Alachua County. Levy County citizens who needed help and called 911 between the hours of 3:30 PM and 8:30 PM were unaware there was a problem or that their calls had been routed through the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. As Mr. West put it; “Alachua County operators were able to forward Levy County 911 calls to the appropriate local operators, who immediately dispatched the necessary services. No calls were missed and Levy County did not experience any interruption of services.” Levy County 911 Operators were sent to Alachua County to assist their communications operators with the anticipated call load increase. Meanwhile, Mr. West worked with AT&T on site in Levy County to correct the issue.   Shortly after 8:30 PM, 911 for Levy County was again on-line and functioning properly. This is another example of the quality service Levy County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to providing for its citizens and the top notch staff we employ to guarantee your safety.


Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111

High Risk Sex Offender Captured

The watchful eye and dedicated Deputies of Levy County Sheriff’s Office capture a high risk sex offender as he tries to flee town. Stephen Thomas Siddons W/M 6-18-86 of Old Town, Fl was arrested by Dep. Leroy Prine on February 17, 2013. Dep. Prine spotted what he believed was a disabled motorist in a silver Chevy Blazer on US 19 just north of Inglis, Fl. Dep. Prine stopped to assist the driver who he identified as Siddons. Siddons told him he was headed to Indiana, but the truck just stopped working. Siddons, who was very nervous and gave some evasive answers, made Dep. Prine suspicious.   As Dep. Prine began to dig for information he discovered that Siddons was listed as a high risk sex offender on probation and was required to wear an ankle monitoring device. Dep. Prine contacted Siddons probation supervisor who told him that the ankle monitor had been recently cut off and thrown in an area just south of Chiefland on US 19. Dep. Prine continued to probe for more information and discovered that Siddons, an unlicensed driver, had also stolen the Blazer from a home in Dixie County.   Siddons was arrested and booked into the Levy County Jail for DWLSR, grand theft auto and violation of probation. He is being held on $40,000.00 BOND.


Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111

Team effort nets Burglary suspects

On February 19, 2013 Detective Mike Wilkinson, Patrol Sgt. Todd Houchin and Dep. Matt King combined efforts which resulted in the arrest of Michael Q. Florence W/M 11-5-70 of Chiefland, Fl and Mikal L. Rodriguez W/M 5-3-93 of Chiefland, Fl.   An alert citizen provided information on a black Chevy S-10 seen leaving a home where recent thefts had been occurring located at 11916 NW 80 Court in Chiefland. Dep. King was able to locate the S-10 driven by Florence on US 19 and conducted a traffic stop. Florence was still in possession of some of the stolen property. Dep. King detained Florence and summoned assistance from Sgt. Houchin and Det. Wilkinson. The three were able to collect witness statements and locate the property owner, who responded to the traffic stop and identified his property.   Rodriguez was found at his home a short while later. Det. Wilkinson obtained his confession. Rodriguez claimed he and Florence removed two furnaces, washer and dryer, refrigerator and other items from the home.   In two days Florence and Rodriguez removed approximately $10,000.00 worth of miscellaneous personal property and scrap metal from this one home. Additional charges are still being investigated in Gilchirst County for disposing of portions of the scrap metal sold to a recycle center there.     Florence is being held at the Levy County Jail charged with burglary of a residence and grand theft on a $100,000.00 bond. Rodriguez is being held charged with burglary of a residence and grand theft on a $100,000.00 bond.


Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111

Pair arrested for residential burglary

On February 19, 2013 Detective Sgt. Mike Narayan and Det. Jimmy Anderson arrested Michael Scott Fordham W/M 10-25-74 of Williston, Fl and Ronald Glenn Perry W/M 7-22-72 of Williston, Fl for burglary of a dwelling and petit theft.   Detectives received information that the home located at 14951 NE Hwy 27 had been the target of multiple break-ins. Utilizing surveillance equipment and having some old fashioned good luck on their side; the Detectives were able to locate Perry and Fordham on the property in the process of stealing scrap metal from the home. Detectives found the duo hiding in a trailer located on the property and discovered a pile of scrap metal placed beside a brown Ford Explorer owned by Perry.   Post Miranda the Detectives obtained their confession. This investigation led to a second charge of burglary and petit theft as Perry confessed to entering the home a week prior, stealing costume jewelry and other small items from this home.   Perry is being held at the Levy County Jail on a $115,000.00 bond and Fordham is being held on a $55,000.00 bond.


Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111