Month: June 2018

Alert Motorist Directs Deputies to AMBER Alert Vehicle



On June 30, 2018, LCSO Deputies were able to locate and recover three children who had been the subject of an Amber Alert.  The recovery was made possible with the help of a concerned motorist.  The Alert had been issued for the children who were last seen in Volusia County,  Florida.

Saturday morning a motorist called the LCSO Communications Center to report seeing a vehicle similar to the white 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara that was specified in the Alert.  The motorist reported that the vehicle was traveling east through the Town of Bronson on U.S. Alternate 27.  The motorist was only able to provide a partial license plate number. 

Deputies Mike Sinclair and Ryan Sullivan were dispatched to the area in an attempt to locate the vehicle.  The deputies spotted the vehicle on 27 outside of Bronson.  At approximately 9:00 A.M. they initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle.  During the traffic stop the deputies confirmed that it was the correct vehicle and the missing children were inside.  

Personnel from the Levy County Department of Public Safety responded to the scene and checked the welfare of the children.  None of the children required hospitalization, and the LCSO Victim Advocate took custody of the children to facilitate reunification with their mother.  The driver, Venita Porter-Carter, was detained for further evaluation.

LCSO is happy to play a part in the successful resolution of this case.  It demonstrates the importance of citizen involvement in the law enforcement mission.   

Repeat Offender Arrested Again For Burglary

THIS IS A FOLLOW UP RELEASE FROM THE JUNE 26th PRESS RELEASE: 

During the late morning hours of June
26, 2018, multiple agencies responded to a residential burglary in progress in
the 170th block of Old Fanning Grade.  A homeowner returned home to find an unknown white
male subject removing firearms from the home. 
The burglar escaped on foot. 
Personnel from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway
Patrol, Cross City Correctional Institution, Mayo Correctional Institution and
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission responded to assist LCSO in the search for
the suspect. 

After tracking the suspect with
multiple K-9s, officers were able to determine that the suspect had committed
two residential burglaries, two vehicle burglaries, and he stole one pickup
truck.  The suspect was able to steal
multiple firearms, electronic equipment and a cellular phone.  The suspect evaded capture that day, but his
freedom was short-lived. 

LCSO deputies, with the
assistance of cooperating agencies, made these cases their top priority.  Using forensic evidence recovered at the
crime scenes as well as follow up witness interviews and other investigative
methods, LCSO investigators developed Matthew Schrader (7-1-93) as the suspect
in these cases.  The Alachua County
Sheriff’s Office was instrumental in providing timely processing of the
forensic evidence.    

Schrader has multiple prior
felony convictions.  In April of 2018, he
was placed on Drug Offender Probation in the Circuit Court for Levy County.  In May of 2018, two arrest warrants for
Violation of Probation were issued from Levy County. 

On June 27, 2018, Acting Circuit
Judge Sheree Lancaster issued two new arrest warrants for the crimes committed the
previous day.  Schrader is facing
multiple counts of Armed Burglary, Grand Theft and Possession of a Firearm by a
Convicted Felon.  Schrader also faces one
count of Criminal Mischief for damage done at one of the residences.  The combined bonds on the two warrants were
set at $2.6 million. 

Later on June 27th
deputies from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office and LCSO located Schrader
in Gilchrist County and arrested him on the Violation of Probation Warrants.  Deputies continued their investigation and
were eventually able to recover all of the firearms and the vehicle that had
been stolen in the crime spree.  On June
28, 2018 Schrader was transferred to the Levy County Detention Center and will
receive his first appearance on June 29, 2018. 
 

This investigation is continuing
and investigators believe that additional crimes will be solved.  Investigators are requesting anyone who may
have information about these crimes to call LCSO at 352-486-5111. Should callers
wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477.

Meth Abuser Victimizes Elderly Good Samaritan

 

 

On June 22, 2018, Investigators
from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jonathan Wayne Brotherton (10-21-83)
on multiple counts related to theft and dealing in stolen property.  The investigation revealed that Brotherton
and another family member had befriended an elderly neighbor (83 years old) in
the northeastern part of Levy County. 
The elderly victim gave Brotherton access to their residence for the
purpose of doing laundry and even loaned several thousand dollars in cash to
Brotherton.

The victim went out of town for
an extended period.  Upon the victims return
it was discovered that thousands of dollars in jewelry and cash had been stolen
from the residence.  LCSO investigators
were able to locate a small amount of the jewelry at multiple pawn shops.  Through follow up investigation, LCSO was
able to establish Brotherton as a suspect and ultimately developed probable
cause to arrest him for the crimes.  When
investigators went to arrest Brotherton, he attempted to conceal himself in his
residence and had to be forcibly taken into custody. 

Brotherton has been charged with three
counts each of Dealing in Stolen Property and Giving False Information to a
Pawn Broker.  He is also charged with
Grand Theft and Resisting an Officer Without Violence.  He is being held at the Levy County Detention
Center on a total bond of $180,000.00. 

Evidence gathered in the case
indicates that Brotherton committed the crimes to support his addiction to Methamphetamine
and possibly other drugs.  LCSO
encourages citizens to remain vigilant when choosing to help those who claim to
be in need.  A criminal background check
can be obtained from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website for a
small fee.  LCSO also has Crime
Prevention Deputies that are available for consultation by calling
352-486-5111. 
 
 
 

 

 

BURGLAR ON THE LOOSE

 
 

 

Multiple agencies responded to a
burglary in progress in the Fanning Springs area this morning.  A homeowner returned home to find an unknown white
male subject removing firearms from the home. 
The burglar escaped on foot. 
Personnel from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway
Patrol, Cross City Correctional Institution, Mayo Correctional Institution and
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission responded to assist LCSO in the search for
the suspect. 

 
After tracking the suspect with
multiple K-9s, officers were able to determine that the suspect had committed
two residential burglaries, two vehicle burglaries and he stole one pickup
truck.  LCSO needs the assistance of the
public in locating the stolen 1991 Ford F-150 bearing Florida tag:  Y33UPA. 
The vehicle is tan and blue in color. 
A photo is provided of a similar vehicle. 

 

Citizens should be cautious if
they come in contact with the suspect or vehicle because multiple firearms were
stolen during the crime spree.  It is
possible that additional crimes and victims may be discovered.  Investigators are requesting anyone who may
have information about these crimes to call LCSO at 352-486-5111. Should callers
wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477.

Business Complaints Results in Arrest

 

June 26, 2018

Local businesses in the Town of Bronson noticed
small items disappearing in the recent past. These thefts, albeit small, were
concerning enough the business owners began filing complaints with the
Sheriff’s Office. The common denominator appeared to be Danny Wells (12-29-55),
a well-known Bronson man, who was often was seen in the general area where the
thefts were occurring.  Wells is known locally as “Danny B”.

The owner of Chantilly Place reported the theft of a
vacuum cleaner taken from the back porch of the business. The owner told
deputies she suspected Wells may have taken it. 
A witness reported seeing Wells in front of the County Seat Barber Shop
with a vacuum plugged into the wall.

Deputies responded to a location behind the Post
Office to speak to Wells about the recent theft complaint filed on June 7,
2018. Wells was confronted and confessed to the theft. He also told deputies
where he had taken the vacuum cleaner. Deputies were able to recover and return
the vacuum to the rightful owner.

Wells was arrested and charged with burglary of an
unoccupied structure and felony petit theft. Wells has two prior convictions
for petit theft, thus enhancing this most recent charge to a felony offense.