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. 

Convenience Store Robbery Arrest

August 12, 2019
On Sunday afternoon August 11, 2019 at approximately 3:06 PM
the Levy County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received a call from the clerk at
the Citgo Stop-N-Go convenience store located at 8731 NW 174 Street in Fanning
Springs. The clerk reported robbery that just occurred. The store clerk told
911 operators that a man who was armed with a knife threatened him then stole
an undisclosed amount of cash and merchandise before he fled on foot out of the
back door of the store.
Deputies arrived minutes later and obtained a statement from
the clerk. The clerk told deputies that the person they were looking for had
multiple tattoos and was wearing a pink tank top with black shorts. Deputies
were also told this man had stolen beer, cigarettes and the cash from the
register before he ran out of the back door of the store in the general
direction of NW 90 Court. Deputies were able to cordon off this area and
located a person matching this description.
The suspect was identified by deputies as Wayne Denver
Bailey (2/13/77).  Bailey was later
identified by the store clerk as the person who robbed him. Bailey was arrested
and transported to jail. The Florida Department of Corrections released Bailey
on 3/28/19 after serving an 18 year prison sentence for carjacking. Bailey’s
last listed address was Gainesville.
Bailey is currently being held at the Levy County Detention
Facility. He was charged with robbery with a weapon, aggravated assault with a
weapon and theft. He is being held in lieu of a $275,000.00 bond.

Education the Hard Way

August 1, 2019
On July 25, 2019 Levy County Deputies responded to two
reported crimes in the Inglis/Yankeetown area of our county. Deputies began
their investigation into the theft of a four wheeler stolen which was stolen from
a property located on Suzanne Street in Inglis. A second investigation was
opened shortly after when our deputies were called to the Yankeetown School.
School staff members discovered someone entered the school and stole a golf
cart, its charger, an air compressor and other tools. Deputies noticed four wheeler
tire tracks were at this crime scene. Deputies located the stolen golf cart
late the same afternoon hidden in a wooded area near the school.
A break in this case came yesterday when a concerned citizen
contacted detectives and told them he saw Matthew McDonald (12-23-94) of Inglis
driving a golf cart that matched the description of the one reported stolen
from the school. 
Detectives located McDonald at his home and while talking
with him saw other items similar to those reported stolen by the school. Detectives
recovered the tools which were later returned to the school. McDonald
ultimately confessed to breaking into the school but denied any responsibility
for stealing the four wheeler. McDonald was arrested and in the process of being
transported to our jail by Deputy Macias, the stolen four wheeler was spotted
being driven along the side of the road. Deputy Macias stopped the person
driving the four wheeler and identified a 13 year old boy as the driver. 
Detectives respond to the stop location and interview this
juvenile. The juvenile, identified as John Walker of Inglis told detectives he
stole the four wheeler himself and was also arrested.
Both subjects were booked into the Levy County Detention
Facility. McDonald was charged with burglary and grand theft and is being held
in lieu of a $110,000.00 bond. Walker was processed and released to the custody
of his mother.

You DO NOT have a WARRANT – This is a SCAM

Multiple calls from citizens have been received in the past
few days relaying concerns that the Levy County Sheriff’s Office contacted them
about an outstanding warrant for their arrest. These calls are SCAMS and the sole purpose is to
take your money.
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office will NOT call and
tell you we have a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear to a jury
summons, failure to appear for court or for any other reason. We certainly will
NOT offer you a way to pay with a gift card or any other manner of payment to
cancel a warrant.
Please do not give these callers any of your time, money or
personal information. We will not be able to get your money back as most of
these scams originate overseas. Simply hang up on these SCAMMERS and let us
know you were contacted and from what number they called. Scammers are getting
better and the calls sound legitimate. If you are in doubt and before you
pay for something that doesn’t exist, just contact us at 352-486-5111 or the
Federal Trade Commission Fraud line at 1-877-382-4357.