Month: July 2017

Cold Case Success

July 13, 2017
On July 8, 2003 the Levy County Sheriff’s received a report
of sexual abuse to a minor. The then 9 year old victim told Investigators that
over a period of several weeks a person who she trusted the most did sexual
things to her that were hard for her to talk about because they were “gross.”
Based upon the statements this child give to LCSO Investigators and the
Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) Child Protection Team at UF, the
Sheriff’s Office filed charges of Capital Sexual Battery on Nathan Nixon (10-27-61)
of Williston. The courts of Levy County immediately issued a warrant for
Nixon’s arrest. However, the case went cold shortly after the warrant was issued
because Nixon disappeared. No leads were developed and there were absolutely no
clues to help us find where Nixon had gone.
From 2003 until 2014 investigators were unable to find any
tangible information which would help us find Nixon. So, in 2014 investigators
with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office submitted this warrant to the United
States Marshals Service through our connection in the Florida Regional Fugitive
Task Force. This is a cooperative team design with the United States Marshals
Service utilizing local and federal officers to bring fugitives to justice.
Because of this team, law enforcement ramped up the search for Nixon.
With the assistance of the United States Marshals Service,
Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, investigators spent the past two years
searching for the whereabouts of Nixon. Information was developed that led them
to believe he had fled the United States to the country of Mexico. The
government of Mexico located and deported Nixon back to the United States on
Saturday, June 24, 2017 where Nixon was held awaiting extradition back to
Florida.
Nixon was transported back to Levy County on July 12, 2017
and is being held at the Levy County Detention Facility, fourteen years and
four days after the issuance of the warrant. He is being held on a three
million dollar bond plus an additional cash only bond of $350.00 for
non-support dating back to 2003.
Sheriff Bobby McCallum expressed appreciation to his staff
and our federal partners, the U.S. Marshals Service, in the apprehension of this
fugitive.  As the prosecution phase of
this case begins, Sheriff McCallum hopes that the victim will feel some relief
and healing and that some sense of justice will prevail for her.

Frogs BBQ Pad Burglar Arrested

July 12, 2017
On Monday July 3, 2017 the owner of Frogs BBQ Pad located on
US Hwy Alt 27 just outside of Williston discovered someone had broken into his
business. The owner reported the thief took a laptop computer and cash.
The LCSO Criminal Investigations Division (CID) capitalized
on citizen tips to identify Mitchell F. Cooper (8-4-77) as the only suspect in
this reported crime. Investigators located and arrested Cooper yesterday and
additionally were able to recover the owner’s stolen laptop. Investigators
verified the computer belonged to the victim by history located on the
computer’s web browser and have returned it.
Cooper was booked into the Levy County Detention Facility
and was charged with burglary and grand theft. His bond has been set at
$15,000.00.

Neighborly Team Work Results in Two Arrests

July 10, 2017
On Sunday July 9th the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Drug
Task Force (DTF) received a tip that a subject wanted by the Gilchrist County
Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) for robbery was in a vehicle and going to a gas station
in Fanning Springs. The LCSO DTF as well as LCSO patrol deputies and GCSO
investigators began surveillance near the gas station and identified James
Waylon Cruce (9-12-84) when he arrived. Cruce was found seated in the passenger
side of a silver four door Toyota driven by Kellie Ponce (11-20-90) of Cross City.
Cruce was immediately taken into custody by LCSO deputies.
Deputies searched the vehicle where Cruce had been seated
and found a cache of drugs and a gun. Deputies tested the illegal drugs and
identified cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana and an unidentified white
powdery substance. Cruce, a convicted felon, is prohibited from being in
possession of any firearm. The gun, a loaded .38 caliber pistol, had recently
been reported stolen from a Gilchrist County citizen. Additionally, Cruce had
credit cards belonging to a Gilchrist County resident who had also reported a
theft.
Cruce was booked into the Levy County Detention Facility and
has been charged with multiple felony drug possession charges, possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana (a misdemeanor). His
bond has been set at $ 510,000.00
Ms. Ponce was also arrested. She is a habitual traffic
offender and was driving without a valid license. She was booked into the Levy
County Detention Facility and released on her own recognizance at first
appearance.
Charges of robbery have been filed by the Gilchrist County
Sheriff’s Office. Cruce will later appear in the courts in Gilchrist County on
these charges.

Early Morning Search Warrant – Two Arrested

July 7, 2017
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force (DTF) and
Tactical Response Unit (TRU) executed a search warrant early at
2591 NW 73rd Avenue in the Whitted Estates Subdivision south of Chiefland
yesterday morning. This neighborhood is known as a quiet subdivision mostly
populated by retirees. DTF Investigators developed information that James Allen
Funk (8-19-78) was selling narcotics from his home.
DTF Investigators and TRU members located Funk and his
female associate Jennifer Ann Hemingway (4-10-84) inside the home.
Investigators seized 3.4 grams of methamphetamines, 7 grams of marijuana and
drug paraphernalia for packaging and use of these drugs during the search. Both
Funk and Hemingway were arrested and transported to the Levy County Detention
Facility.
Funk has been charged with possession of methamphetamine
with the intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession
of marijuana. His bond has been set at $52,000.00.
Hemingway has been charged with possession of a controlled
substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond has been set at
$51,000.00.

18 Year Old Arrested for Arson

July 7, 2017
Investigators responded to Inglis Villas at 33 Tronu Drive
in Inglis on July 6th after the maintenance worker found evidence
someone intentionally set a fire in the laundry room. The laundry room is
connected to the administrative offices and could have been occupied at the
time. A law enforcement officer who is employed by the LCSO and lives in the
Villas directed investigators to a potential suspect, Seth Lee Myers (7-17-98).
Myers was located and interviewed by LCSO investigators.
Myers, who also lives in the Villas, told investigators he was mad at his mother
and went out for a walk around 8 pm the evening before. He found a lighter in
the grass while he was walking and went into the laundry room which is open to
residents 24 hours a day. While in there, and for no real clear explanation, he
lit the curtains on fire and left.  
Maintenance workers estimated the damage to the curtains,
blinds and adjacent wall would exceed $200.00 to repair. Myers was arrested and
has been charged with arson. He was booked into the Levy County Detention
Facility and his bond has been set at $150,000.00.