Wrong Tag Leads to Drug Arrest

October 8, 2019

Levy County Deputy Blake Murphy was on patrol in the Bronson area on October 3, 2019 and noticed a suspicious vehicle. He requested a check of the tag and discovered the tag attached to the suspicious vehicle was a cancelled tag. He then stopped the car and spoke to the driver.

The driver, Melissa Ellis (12/13/80) of Gainesville did not have a valid driver’s license. In-fact her license was suspended and she told Deputy Murphy she knew the tag was not assigned to this vehicle. Ellis was arrested and placed in the backseat of his patrol car.

Deputy Murphy spoke to the three passengers still in the vehicle. During this conversation Deputy Murphy located a pink lunchbox that contained several different types of illegal narcotics. The passengers told Deputy Murphy the lunchbox belonged to Ellis. Inside the lunchbox was MDMA, heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana along with loaded syringes filled with methamphetamines and pipes used to smoke these various types of drugs. The front seat passenger, Jon Secreto (8/3/79) was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and he too was arrested.

Ellis was charged with multiple counts of possession of illegal drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license and attaching a tag not assigned to a vehicle. Her bond was set at $475,000.000 and she is still in custody. Secreto was assigned a $2,500 bond for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputy Stabbed Responding to Domestic Dispute

October 2, 2019

Levy County Deputies responded to a home in Williston shortly after midnight this morning to a report of a domestic dispute between siblings. The complainant reported 19 year old Daniel Gelormino of Williston destroyed the interior of the home, burned clothing in the yard and broke all the windows in the home.

Deputies arrived and found Gelormino passed out and unresponsive in the complainant’s car that was parked in the driveway. Deputies attempted to wake Gelormino but were unable to. EMS was summoned to the scene to evaluate Gelormino and while waiting for their arrival, Gelormino regained consciousness. He immediately became combative with deputies who attempted several times to keep him calm and seated in the car until he could be medically evaluated.

Gelormino shoved one deputy who was attempting to calm him. Gelormino then pulled a steak knife from his pocket and attacked the deputy, stabbing him in the forearm. The deputies were able to disarm Gelormino and handcuff him before he was able to use the knife to cause other injuries to these deputies. Thankfully our deputy was able to protect himself and the stab wound was minor and not life threatening. This deputy was treated on scene by EMS.

Gelormino was evaluated by EMS prior to being transported to the Levy County Detention Facility. He has been charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. Gelormino was not present at first appearance this morning because his behavior at the detention facility prevented Detention Officers from processing him. He will have his first appearance tomorrow and a bond will be assigned by a judge then.

Sheriff McCallum said, “I am very thankful our Deputy was not seriously injured but this is an example of the dangers our personnel face each and every day. We respond to many physical and domestic disturbance calls every day and the inherent danger is always there. I am very proud of the men and women of this office that serve our citizens with professionalism and compassion every day. The professionalism of these two Deputies involved in this call for assistance resulted in the victims and defendant being protected from injury even after our Deputy was not so fortunate!”

The Courage of Children

September 5, 2019

Child abuse in any form is one of the worst things a child should have to endure. Especially when that abuse is at the hand of someone the child knows or respects. Children talk daily with adults and are sometimes just dismissed. But, in this case a “teacher” listened and encouraged the child to say something.  This is a case where a child was horribly sexually abused and it took every ounce of courage she could muster to end her own abuse.

Detectives responded with investigators from the Department of Children and Family Services after a call to the ABUSE hotline was received. Detectives spoke to a child who described multiple forms of sexual abuse perpetrated by John E. Biles (2/23/84) of Morriston. Detectives listened to hours of testimony this child gave and through this developed cause to arrest Biles.

Biles has been booked into the Levy County Detention Facility and charged with three counts of capital sexual battery and one count of lewd and lascivious battery on a child. His bond was set at $2.5 million dollars. But this did not end the investigation.

Based on the testimony of this child Detectives seized Biles’ phone that the child said Biles used to record her abuse. Detectives discovered Biles did have images from this abuse on his phone. Other electronic items are still being examined and additional charges will be filed when this investigation is completed.

Sheriff McCallum said, “this is another horrible crime of abuse committed against an innocent, vulnerable child victim. Our prayers are certainly with this child and I am so thankful for her bravery in speaking out and reporting this to her teacher, someone she truly trusted.

This case is another example of the system working together to stop the abuse for this victim. I especially applaud and commend the teacher for having a relationship of trust with this child that initiated this investigation. From the teacher to the DCF investigator to the Child Protection Team at UF and my Detectives, I offer my commendations for a job well done and for the arrest bringing this perpetrator to justice and ending this cycle of abuse on this child.”

Wanted Wisconsin Fugitive Apprehended

August 15, 2019
Lorenzo Bernabe-Lucas 5/19/90 of Racine County, Wisconsin,
who has been a wanted fugitive and on the run since April of 2018, was arrested
last night in Williston. Bernabe- Lucas fled from Wisconsin after a warrant for
his arrest was issued for 1st Degree Child Sexual Assault. The
United States Marshal’s Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force-Milwaukee
developed a lead on the possible whereabouts of Bernabe-Lucas in the Williston
area.  This lead was communicated to the
U.S. Marshal’s Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force for assignment and follow
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force Detective
Rob Bowers, who has a special assignment to the U. S. Marshal’s Florida
Regional Fugitive Task Force, was asked to conduct this local investigation.
Detective Bowers conducted surveillance for over a week and communicated his
investigative findings to both the local and Wisconsin task force members.
Detective Bowers learned that Bernabe-Lucas was living and working locally in Levy
County.   Detective Bowers also learned Bernabe-Lucas
frequently car pooled with others from his place of employment.
Detective Bowers requested the assistance of the LCSO
Tactical Response Unit (TRU), agents with the U. S. Marshal’s Florida Regional Fugitive
Task Force and agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on the
afternoon of August 13, 2019 to take Bernabe-Lucas into custody. These law
enforcement agencies worked together and arrested Bernabe-Lucas after a traffic
stop of the car pool vehicle. Members of the LCSO TRU team boxed the truck in
at the intersection of NE 200 Avenue and NE 30 Street where Bernabe-Lucas
surrendered to law enforcement without resistance.
Bernabe-Lucas was taken to the Levy County Detention Bureau
where he will be held on a $75,000 bond until he can be transferred to
authorities in Wisconsin.      

Homicide Investigation

August 12, 2019
At 7:53 PM on August 11, 2019 Levy County Deputies responded
to CR 464 in the south eastern area of Levy County. A 911 caller reported
finding the body of an unidentified male on the side of the road. Deputies
arrived and immediately secured the area as a crime scene. Levy County
Detectives and Crime Scene was dispatched to the scene and assumed the
Detectives learned the identity of the person as Jafet Padin
Rodriguez 9/14/85 of Ocala. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to a suspicious incident earlier and was attempting to locate Rodriguez to check his well being. When they were not able to locate him a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) was issued. This BOLO aided in identifying Rodriguez. Levy County Detectives determined that Rodriguez
suffered a single gunshot wound which ended his life.
Levy County Detectives are asking our community and the community
of Marion County for assistance. This investigation has determined Rodriguez
left his home on Saturday evening to go clubbing in the Ocala area. He never
returned home. Anyone who saw Rodriguez in or nearby any nightclubs in Ocala
and has information that could assist this investigation is asked to call
Detective Mike McNeil at 352-486-5111. If you have information and wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477.