Medicare Phone Scam Warning

Feb 4, 2016

Phone Scam

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office is warning Medicare recipients of a telephone scam in which the caller is offering three months of medication for the price of one month.

The scammers contact the Medicare recipient by telephone and already know the Medicare patient's name and what medication he or she uses. The Caller ID number comes back to a local chain pharmacy. The scammer asks for personal information in exchange for adding them to the program. One Medicare patient reported being asked for her social security number.

The major chain pharmacies have advised Putnam County Sheriff's Office they do not solicit their customers by telephone and are not offering this program.

Any person who believes their personal information has been compromised may contact the Federal Trade Commission website or the desk officer at the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at 386-329-0844.

One Arrested Another Wanted for Drug Sales Within a Public Housing Complex

Feb 3, 2016

Lisa Bertenshaw and James WilsonPalatka, FL: Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested thirty-two years old Lisa Marie Bertenshaw after an undercover investigation determined that she knowingly allowed drugs to be sold from her apartment in the James A. Long Apartment Complex. During the investigation, undercover detectives with the PCSO Drug and Vice Unit purchased powder cocaine from within the apartment from James Wilson. Bertenshaw is Wilson’s girlfriend and the investigation revealed that she was present and had full knowledge of the drug deal. Palatka Housing Authority representatives have been informed of the illegal activity occurring on PHA property.

Bertenshaw was charged with maintaining a drug dwelling. She was booked into the Putnam County Jail and later released on a $5,000.00 bond. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Wilson for the sale of cocaine.

This case is the latest in a series of investigations intended to arrest suspects who sell narcotics and maintain nuisance drug locations within public housing complexes.

Pomona Park Man Arrested for Multiple Sex Offense Charges Involving Children

Feb 1, 2016

Donald Thomas

Pomona Park – On January 29, 2016, a Pomona Park man was arrested on two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of child under the age of 12, and four (4) counts of exposing sexual organs in front of a child under the age of 16. On January 9, 2016, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office received an allegation that 66 year-old Donald Ray Thomas was possibly having unlawful sexual contact with two children under the age of 12.

On January 13, 2016, investigators with the assistance of the Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) conducted forensic interviews with the two possible victims. It was determined that incidents occurred during the summer of 2015 at a residence located in Pomona Park, Florida.

On January 29, 2016, investigators located Donald Ray Thomas at his residence, located at 119 Prospect Street, in Pomona Park, Florida. Thomas was transported him to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office where he was interviewed by investigators. Following the interview, Thomas was arrested and booked into the Putnam County Jail on the following charges:

1. Lewd and Lascivious Battery (2 Counts)
2. Exhibition of Sexual Organs (4 Counts)

He is currently being detained without the benefit of a bond.

Due to the sensitive nature of this active investigation, additional details of this incident cannot be released at this time.

Investigators believe there is a possibility of additional individuals who were victimized by Thomas. Anyone who believes they have had an inappropriate encounter with Donald Ray Thomas is encouraged to call Detective Theresa Owens at (386) 329-0819 or the Sheriff’s Office Main Line (386) 329-0800.

Operation Fallback Reported

Jan 29, 2016

Putnam County, FL: Before dawn on Friday morning, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit hit the streets of Putnam armed with arrest warrants for eighteen Drug dealers as part of “Operation Fallback”. The arrest warrants resulted from four months of undercover investigations conducted by the Sheriff’s Drug and Vice Unit. The undercover investigations took place across Putnam County and involved the undercover purchases of cocaine, methamphetamine and narcotic prescriptions. Nine dealers were arrested during the arrest portion of the operation and nine remain wanted on active warrants. Deputies will continue to actively search for the remaining suspects until all are captured. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of any of the remaining wanted suspects are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (386)329-0801 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).

Suspicious Vehicle Report Leads to Arrest on Outstanding Warrant

Jan 28, 2016

Stephanie ThomasEast Palatka, FL: At approximately 3:00PM on January 27,2016, Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Raceway Station at the inetersection of State Road 207 and Putnam County Boulevard in reference to a report of a suspicious vehicle. A witness called the Sheriff’s Office after becoming concerned for the welfare of a female injecting her self with an unknown substance while sitting in a Silver Kia vehicle in the parking lot of the store. When Deputy Kyle Simmons arrived, he was able to identify the woman as Stephanie Thomas. A warrants check revealed that Thomas was wanted on an active Putnam County warrant for grand theft, grand theft of a controlled substance, dealing in stolen property and false ownership varification to a second hand dealer. During a search of the vehicle, Simmons located a Clonazepan pill, two pipes used to smoke crack cocaine, syringes and a metal spoon containing a narcotic residue. Clonazepam is an addictive controlled substance that requires a prescription to possess.

The arrest warrant was issued two days earlier during an investigation, conducted by the Sheriff’s Property Crimes Unit, into a theft from a residence on Hersey Lane in Palatka. The owner of the residenc reported that various pieces of jewelry and narcotic medications had been taken from his home. During the investigation, Detective Spencer Reinert was able to determine that Thomas has sold the stolen jewelry to Cash Daddy Pawn in Palatka. The theft investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible.

In addition to the warrant, Thomas was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Thomas remains in the Putnam County Jail on a bond of $5,508.00.
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