Fraud, theft charges for Middleburg manMIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg man faces charges of defrauding an Orange Park woman in a scheme to install two air conditioning units in her home.The Clay …
Fraud, theft charges for Middleburg man
MIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg man faces charges of defrauding an Orange Park woman in a scheme to install two air conditioning units in her home.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jerry Duane Horton, 52, on July 18 after conducting an investigation into the crime.
The victim told police that Horton accepted two separate checks totaling $16,000 while Horton was working under the name of Estes Heating and Air.
According to the police report, Horton had the victim make out the checks to him and not his employer. Officials at Estes Heating and Air told police that Horton had been fired from the job after the victim called and asked why her two three-ton water to air units had not been installed.
Police contacted Horton’s bank and found he had cashed the checks and deposited $1,000 into his her personal account.
He faces one count each of grand theft valued between $10,000 and $19,999 and schemes to defraud and obtain property. At press time, he remained held in the Clay County Jail where his bond is set at $10,003.
Woman faces reckless driving, child neglect charges
ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park woman arrested earlier this month is out of jail on bond and awaiting an Aug. 2 hearing after allegedly attacking her boyfriend while driving recklessly with children in the vehicle.
The Orange Park Police Department arrested Lakisha Kathryn Haynes, 25, on July 5 after she was seen driving erratically along Kingsley Avenue earlier this month.
Haynes was driving a van with her boyfriend in the passenger seat when the two began arguing about her wanting to leave him. In an effort to get her to stop the car, her boyfriend attempted to remove the keys from the ignition which prompted Haynes to pull the van over at CVS on Kingsley. At CVS, Haynes tried to remove the man from the car, eventually getting back behind the wheel and continuing along Kingsley. Police said, she then tried to remove the man’s shirt and hit him in the side of the head. Officers finally pulled Haynes over and removed two young girls from the back seats of the van. Haynes kicked officers and tried to take their handcuffs from them during her arrest.
Haynes faces three felonies, two counts of child neglect and one count of resisting an officer with violence, in addition to two misdemeanor charges for reckless driving and domestic battery.
Trespassing panhandler assaults officers
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A homeless Green Cove Springs man was arrested after refusing to leave the area in front of the Walgreen’s store on Orange Avenue in the city.
The Green Cove Springs Police Department arrested Melvin David Ricks, 35, on July 12 after he refused to leave a Walgreen’s store and assaulted officers who were arresting him.
Green Cove Springs Police responded to Walgreen’s after reports of a man bumping into customers and asking for money outside the store. After speaking with the store’s manager, officers approached Ricks and told him he would be trespassing if he didn’t leave. Officers told Ricks to leave the area multiple times before he turned to one of the officers and lunged at her. At this point the officer handed her PhaZZer to another officer and attempted to arrest Ricks. Ricks resisted and broke free of the officer and flailed his arms around to prevent her from grabbing him. He was then shot with a probe from the PhaZZer and fell on the ground, but stood back up and attempted to hit both officers. Officers were able to get the man to the ground with the help of two bystanders and arrested Ricks.
After his arrest, Ricks was transported to the Clay County Jail where he faces felony charges for resisting an officer with violence and battery on an officer, and misdemeanors for assault on an officer and trespassing after warning. Ricks is being held on $40,760 bond and has a trial set for August 16.
Woman threatens grandson with machete
ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park woman was arrested after allegedly threatening her grandson with a machete in her home.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Susie Horne Gibson, 62, on July 15 after she threatened her grandson and he called the police out of fear.
Gibson’s grandson arrived at her house and told her he had just been in a fight. She told him to calm down and stay outside on the back porch, according to the report. When the grandson refused to go outside, Gibson went upstairs and got a machete. When she returned, Gibson put the machete to her grandson’s neck and according to the report, told him that he was going to stay outside on the porch. The grandson fled and called the police in fear for his life.
Gibson faces a felony charge for aggravated assault with the intent to commit a felony. She has since been released from jail on bond.
Man arrested for assaulting sleeping woman
MIDDLEBURG – A man was arrested on a warrant that had been issued last month after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in her home while she was sleeping.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Michael Lee Sherman, 46, on July 14 an active warrant for sexual assault.
In June, police said, Sherman entered a woman’s bedroom while she was sleeping and proceeded to engage in sexual intercourse with her. At some point during the assault, the woman woke up and Sherman immediately pulled up his pants and fled the scene. The woman contacted police and both she and Sherman gave statements to police.
Following his arrest, Sherman was transported to Clay County Jail where he faces a felony for sexual battery. He is being held on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on August 23.
Nude photos ends in sex charges
ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park man was arrested on a warrant for two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct that had been issued in February of this year.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alberto Alvarez Jr., 35, on July 12 after he stripped and photographed an underage girl in 2015.
According to the warrant, Alvarez was found in possession of a cell phone that contained several nude photographs of an underage girl that he had taken while spending time with the girl while the two were alone in his room. Alvarez was 34 at the time the pictures were taken, the report did not list the age of the victim.
Alvarez faces two felony charges for lewd and lascivious conduct and has been released from the Clay County Jail since his arrest. In addition to the $50,000 bond, his release was secured on the condition that he have no contact with the victim while awaiting trial for the felonies.
Inmate given new home invasion charge
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Middleburg man currently being held in the Clay County Jail faces a felony home invasion charge after being connected to a crime committed in May.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Justin Cade Owens, 20, on June 20 after pulling over a car with expired tags in Orange Park. After making the stop, officers discovered 10 grams of cocaine, a scale, baggies, and a handgun in the vehicle, all of which Owens claimed belonged to him.
About a month before Owens’ arrest, Owens, along with two other people, allegedly broke into a man’s home on Fleming Island where Owens threatened the man with a shotgun and demanded money. The robbery resulted in a safe containing about $1400, $100 cash from the man’s wallet, and a watch valued at around $800.
After the initial arrest, Owens faced felony charges for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and cocaine possession with the intent to sell, in addition to a misdemeanor charge for drug paraphernalia. Owens now faces an additional felony for home invasion with a firearm. He was being held on about $60,000 bond until his trial Wednesday.
Request for rent payment ends in assault charge
MIDDLEBURG – Authorities say a Middleburg man faces aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony and vandalism charges after attacking his landlord’s vehicle with a shovel.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Danny Arthur Wright, 31, on July 18 after the victim called police to his home in the 5400 block of Muscovy Road.
According to the police report, Wright fled back into his home, which is on the same tract of land as Wright’s home, when the responding officer pulled up.
The victim told police that Wright “got upset and picked up a shovel and began swinging at him in front of his residence” when the victim asked Wright when he was going to pay his rent.
Police estimated that Wright caused $500 in damage to the victim’s vehicle.
Along with the assault and vandalism charges, Wright faces one count of resisting an officer. At press time, he remained in the Clay County Jail where his bond is set at $28,007.
Keystone Heights man sentenced on child porn charges
JACKSONVILLE – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Travis Christopher Ellis, 27, of Keystone Heights, to five years in federal prison for transporting, receiving and possessing child pornography. The Court also ordered him to pay $2,500 in restitution to the victims of his crimes and to serve a 20-year term of supervision following his release from prison.
According to court documents, on May 5, 2016, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations served a search warrant at Ellis’s residence. During an interview with agents, he admitted to using file-sharing programs to download and share child pornography. He also admitted to using particular search terms to find child pornography and to saving his collection on external hard drives.
“This sentencing should serve as a warning that peer-to-peer networks do not shield criminals from prosecution,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, HSI Tampa acting Special Agent in Charge. “HSI special agents and our partners at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office have ensured this predator is held accountable for his continued victimization of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.
Drug sting ends in six arrests on 21 charges
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Information and tips gathered from Sheriff Darryl Daniels’ monthly Neighborhood Walks led to several arrests on July 12.
Detectives executed three narcotics search warrants at three homes in High Ridge Estates in Keystone Heights. They arrested six people on 21 drug-related charges during what was dubbed “Operation Sunrise Keystone Heights.”
Anthony Carazo, 31, was charged with three counts of possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession or delivery of an altered firearm, Shaun Keen, 38, was charged with three counts of possession of marijuana with intent to sell or manufacture, Augustino Morales, 25, was charged with four counts of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, Randall Charles Ward Jr., 29, was charged with two counts of the sell and delivery of cocaine, Samantha Leigh Fallatik, 29, faces one count of sell and delivery of cocaine and Shawna Michelle Tracy, 38, faces one count of possession of not more than 20 g. cannabis.
“We continue to send a strong message to those who commit crimes and sell drugs in Clay County. You have options. You can stop what you’re doing. You can leave Clay County or you can go to jail. We will come and get you,” Daniels said. “Our Neighborhood Walks are making a difference in helping us reduce crime.”
Daniels did not disclose the actual amount of drugs seized from the sting operation or their value.
The next Neighborhood Walk is scheduled for July 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Orange Park. It will start at the corner of Edson Drive and Ameca Avenue.