Team Work Identifies Burglars

May 2, 2024

Levy County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a multiple burglary complaints in the Fanning Springs Annex in this past month. Homeowners reported unidentified person(s) forcibly entered their homes and stole jewelry, tools and other valuables.

Detective Corporal Danny Griffeth, supervisor of the Crime Scene Division, responded to collect evidence on several of these cases. Her investigative efforts recovered home surveillance footage of a suspicious vehicle leaving one of these scenes. She was able to identify the type of car and alerted the Patrol Division on April 24th that this vehicle was a vehicle of interest in the burglary investigations.

Deputy Joe Wilber was conducting saturation patrol on April 26th in the Fanning Springs Annex searching for the vehicle described by Corporal Griffeth. He located the vehicle and attempted to make contact with the driver to identify him. This driver fled but not before Deputy Wilber was able to get the tag number and a description of the driver. The tag number identified the owner of the vehicle as Riley Watkins (6/8/2004) of Bronson.

Detective Cody Weaver was assigned to continue these investigations. He discovered that Watkins recently pawned property in Gainesville that matched the description of property stolen during these burglaries. Deputy Dakota Dowling was familiar with Watkins and knew her boyfriend. He knew the boyfriend, Arthur Jones (4/28/98) of Bronson, was known to frequent several locations in the Fanning Springs Annex and went to locate him. Jones matched the description who fled from Deputy Wilber. Jones also had an active warrant for his arrest for DUI.

On April 27th Deputy Dowling located Jones standing in a yard in the Fanning Springs Annex. Jones immediately fled inside a home when he saw Deputy Dowling. Additional LCSO deputies arrived to assist and Jones was taken into custody.  A witness was identified who provided corroborating information further strengthening the burglary investigation cases against Jones.  

Detective Weaver located Watkins April 30th and took her into custody.

Both Jones and Watkins have been charged with burglary and grand theft. Watkins is being held on a $75,000 bond and Jones is being held on a $400,000 bond at the Levy County Detention Center. This investigation has not been closed and more charges are expected to be filed in the near future.

Detective Weaver believes additional victims have not been identified and other witness could provide information to solidify this case. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477 or you can contact Detective Weaver directly at 352-486-5111 ext. 364.

Driver Flees from Deputies

May 1, 2024

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on April 30th Deputy Nick Duncan was alerted to a “be on the lookout” (BOLO) for a stolen truck issued by the Chiefland Police Department (CPD). CPD officers responded to a domestic violence call where the victim reported being in an argument with her boyfriend while driving in town. The victim was battered then forcefully removed from her vehicle by the boyfriend who then stole her truck and fled the scene.

Deputy Duncan saw the stolen vehicle driven by the suspect southbound on US 19, north of the Town of Inglis. He pulled in behind the truck and turned on his overhead emergency lights signaling the driver to pull over. The driver did pull over initially, but hit the gas and fled from Deputy Duncan.

Deputy Duncan pursued the fleeing driver at speeds in excess of 100 mph southbound on US 19. Deputy Kelly Kimpel was able to position herself in the median at the outskirts of Inglis and deploy Stop Sticks, effectively puncturing the front driver’s side tire of the fleeing vehicle. This did not deter the fleeing felon who continued south on US 19 into Citrus County. His reckless disregard for safety, even after his tire disintegrated, endangered all other motorists on the road. The suspect continued his effort to evade Deputy Duncan by swerving around traffic and running red lights as they entered into Crystal River. The suspect turned onto SR 44, made a few evasive turns then lost control on NE 1st Street, crashing into mailboxes and a power pole then into a tree before coming to a stop. Deputy Duncan used his push bumper to pin the driver’s door closed and prevented the driver from fleeing on foot. The pursuit totaled approximately 20 miles.

The driver, identified as Daniel Maxwell (11/23/83) of Crystal River was taken into custody. He was booked into the Citrus County Detention Center and has been charged with aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude LEO, grand theft of a motor vehicle and driving on a suspended driver’s license. He will be held in Citrus County awaiting transfer to the Levy County Detention Center.    

Early Morning Shooting Investigation

April 29, 2024

At 1:30 a.m. this morning a family awoke to the sound of breaking glass. The husband armed himself and went outside to investigate as his wife looked at their home surveillance system. To her horror she saw a man on their porch and immediately called 911.

Deputies arrived and immediately saw the armed homeowner outside. The deputy did not know he was the homeowner and after a tense few moments, the homeowner lowered his gun. The deputy didn’t know he had the intruder at gunpoint. The intruder fled and was able to make his escape.

The on-scene investigation determined the intruder fired a handgun through the sliding glass door, shattering the window. The bullet lodged into the backrest of their couch.

Undeterred, the homeowners took to social media posting pictures of the suspect their surveillance camera captured. At 7:30 this morning the homeowners were contacted by a person who identified the suspect as Fransisco Calvillo. They immediately contacted the LCSO with this information.

Deputies responded to the home of Fransisco Calvillo (8/6/94) of Bronson and took him into custody. Additional evidence was collected and interviews confirmed Calvillo was the person who fled from the homeowner earlier this morning. Calvillo has been arrested for shooting into an occupied dwelling, armed trespassing and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Bond has not yet been assigned.

Traffic Stop Recovers Gun and Drugs

April 29, 2024

On April 27, 2024 Deputy Rowdy Roberts observed a vehicle traveling on NE 35 Street in Williston at a speed above the posted 25 mph speed limit. Deputy Roberts verified the vehicle’s speed at 47 mph with his radar and conducted a traffic stop. The driver pulled into the Toad Stool Bar and immediately fled into the woods.

The passenger, identified as Joshua Lamonte Monroe (8/13/96) of Williston walked away from the traffic stop scene and into the bar. His suspicious behavior when he entered the bar captured the attention of an employee inside. The employee saw Monroe walk directly to a garbage can in the back of the building and place a white package inside. The employee summoned Officer S. Goodson of the Williston Police Department who arrived to assist Deputy Roberts. Officer Goodson recovered the package and the contents were identified as cocaine and methamphetamines that were pre-packaged for street level sales. Monroe was then detained. Deputy Roberts reviewed the surveillance video from inside the bar that clearly captured Monroe placing the illegal drugs inside the trash can.

The car Monroe had been riding in was inventoried prior to it being towed from the scene. Inside deputies found a black backpack in the passenger seat that contained Monroe’s driver’s license and more drugs, including fentanyl.

Deputies located a handgun under the driver’s seat during the inventory. The gun, a FN 5.7 X 28, was loaded with armor piercing bullets. These bullets can be used is to penetrate the body armor law enforcement officers wear.

Sheriff McCallum said, “This is the type of proactive law enforcement efforts LCSO deputies are trained to conduct. Saturday night Deputy Roberts removed dangerous drugs and a lethal firearm off of our streets making that neighborhood safer for the citizens and our law enforcement officers. Great work Deputy Roberts!”

The driver has not been captured. Efforts to identify and take him into custody are still on-going. The image attached is that of the driver. If anyone in our community can positively identify him or provide his current location they are asked to call Lt. Mike Narayan at 352-486-5111 ext. 267. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477. You could be eligible for a cash reward.    

Alabama Fugitive Captured

April 26, 2024

Keen detective work led to the arrest of Adam William Hart 8/8/93 of Dallas County, Alabama today in Fanning Springs. Hart was wanted by authorities in Alabama for sodomy in the first degree and sex abuse of a child under 12. Hart fled from Alabama to avoid arrest. The detective assigned the case in Alabama tracked Hart to Levy County and contacted the LCSO Criminal Investigations Division. LCSO detectives located the motel he was registered at and his vehicle based on the work done by the Alabama detective. LCSO detectives then set up surveillance and took Hart into custody earlier yesterday.

LCSO detectives report Hart attempted to disguise not only himself, but also the vehicle he drove. Hart removed the emblem from his Lexus and replaced it with a Toyota emblem to throw authorities off his track. He also changed his appearance by shaving his head and beard.

Hart will remain in custody at the Levy County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Alabama to face his charges there.    

Levy and Polk County Joint Effort Arrest

April 22, 2024

On Friday, April 19, 2024 the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division working in cooperation with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office executed a Polk County arrest warrant and a Levy County search warrant at the home of Tavaries D. Norris (11/17/81) of Williston. Norris was wanted by Polk County Detectives on an active warrant for the crime of organized scheme to defraud where he, along with two other men, defrauded victims out of over $20,000 in high end merchandise. 

Levy County Detectives and the Tactical Response Unit (TRU) executed the search warrant where they located and detained Norris at his home. The search of the home and property resulted in the recovery of three firearms, ammunition, a stolen 2024 Polaris four wheeler and a stolen flatbed semi-trailer. Norris, a convicted felon who is currently on Federal Probation, was arrested for four counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon and is being held in the Levy County Detention Center on a $500,000.00 bond. Norris will be held in Levy County before being sent to Polk County on the charges he has pending in their county. 

Levy County Announces Boat Ramp Closures

April 19, 2024

Sheriff McCallum in cooperation with the Levy County Board of County Commissioners announces boat ramp closures due to rising water along the Suwannee River. Recent heavy rains in the counties north of ours that drain into the Suwannee River has caused our waterway to flood making the boat ramps unsafe and navigation dangerous due to floating debris. Boaters navigating in or around homes on the river are asked to observe a “no wake zone” to prevent damage to homes and docks.

The Levy County Department of Parks and Recreation will monitor the ramps and alert the commission when water levels have receded to safe levels. Barricades have been placed at the ramps and department supervisors ask our public not to remove them. Our commissioners have been advised that the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners have closed ramps along the Suwannee River in their county too.

The following ramps have been closed:

  • Clay Landing
  • Camp Azalea
  • Flowlers Bluff

Notable Criminal Case Resolutions

Bruce Edwin Cannon 9/9/58 of Bronson was arrested by Levy County Detectives on 7/18/23 for sexual battery of child between the age of 12-18 by familial or custodial authority.  Cannon entered a plea adjudicating him guilty of this crime on 4/8/24. Cannon was sentenced to 18 years in the Florida Department of Corrections and upon release will serve the remainder of his lifetime on sex offender probation.

Jerett Justus 6/6/89 of Morriston was arrested on 7/5/21 by Levy County Detectives for possession of a firearm by felon and second degree murder. On 7/5/21 Justus called 911 to report the suicide of his girlfriend. The investigation determined Justus shot her and staged the scene to make it appear to be a suicide. On 4/8/24 Justus entered a plea adjudicating him guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in the Florida Department of Corrections.

Sheriff McCallum expressed his gratitude for the excellent investigations and work done by deputies and detectives in these cases. “I am thankful also for our Victim Advocates who worked compassionately with the unfortunate victim and families in these cases.”

“These horrible cases are a reminder that violent crime and their life altering consequences will not be tolerated in Levy County. We will do everything possible to identify offenders, arrest them and build prosecutable cases to give some small semblance of justice to these victims, their families and to all victims,” said Sheriff McCallum.

Chiefland Woman Murdered

March 15, 2024

At 4:21 p.m. on March 14, 2024 the Levy County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received a call reporting a shooting. Deputies were immediately dispatched as 911 operators gathered more information related to the call.

Deputies arrived on scene at 6650 NW 100 Avenue which is southwest of Chiefland, Florida. Information supplied by a witness suggested the shooter, identified as Kimberly Dawn Barba (6/18/77) had possibly barricaded herself in a nearby barn and was still armed. The witness also said Barba made a statement that she would shoot law enforcement when they arrived. Deputies were able to see what appeared to be a victim of the shooting slumped over in a nearby truck.

Detectives and the Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Unit (TRU) responded to the scene and removed the victim from inside the truck. She had not survived her injuries. Detectives were able to verify Barba was in-fact barricaded inside a nearby barn. TRU members located Barba inside and took her into custody at 6:40 p.m.

Detectives were able to piece together that Barba and the victim lived on the same property but are not related.  The victim arrived home after running errands shortly before the shooting began. The victim was accompanied by a family member. Barba approached the victim displaying a handgun, made several statements and opened fire. The victim sought refuge inside of her truck after being shot and the family member ran. Barba pursued the family member, firing at her several times. One projectile struck the family member in the elbow. Barba then turned her attention back to the victim inside the truck, fired at her several more times then fled to the barn where she was later located and taken into custody.

Barba has been booked into the Levy County Detention Center for a single count of premeditated murder where she will be held with No Bond. Additional charges are expected to be filed at a later date as this investigation continues.

Chiefland Man Arrested for Sexual Contact with Minor

February 27, 2024

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office discovered a 20 year old Chiefland man in the back seat of a car with a young female that was parked at the Marion County Fair on February 25th. The two were “making out.” Marion County Deputies interviewed the two and discovered the female was 14 years old. They also discovered the two have been romantically involved at a home in Chiefland and referred the investigation to Levy County Detectives.  

Levy County Detectives conducted interviews that confirmed the man, identified as Nicholas Hendricks (10/13/03) of Chiefland, has been involved in a romantic relationship with the minor for some time. Hendricks was arrested for lewd and lascivious battery on a person between 12-16 years old and booked in to jail. Hendricks is being held on a $250,000.00 bond.