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Man Arrested on Drug and Weapons Charges

Feb 26, 2015

Richard Hardy Crescent City - On February 26, 2015, at approximately 2:41 a.m., a Crescent City man was arrested on drug and weapons charges. The investigation was initiated after deputies checked out with an individual who was walking alongside Highway 17 South near Union Avenue in Crescent City. The individual, who was identified as Richard Alexander Hardy (32 YOA), informed deputies that he had just thrown cannabis onto the ground prior to their consensual contact. Deputies located a small plastic bag containing 3 individual baggies of cannabis on the ground next to Hardy. While speaking with Hardy, it was also determined that he was in possession of a concealed .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun with a partially removed serial number.

Richard Alexander Hardy was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, and possession of cannabis with intent to sell. He was transported to the Putnam County Jail where he is being held with a bond of $4,102.00

Beware of Jury Duty Scam

Feb 25, 2015

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office wants to warn the public about a reoccurring scam wherein individuals claiming to be court officials or deputy sheriffs are calling people and claiming they owe hundreds or even thousands of dollars for situations like failing to appear for jury duty.

In one case, a scam artist posed as a sergeant with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office when calling a woman telling her that she had failed to appear for jury duty and there was a warrant for her arrest. He told her that in lieu of arrest she could pay a fine of $3498.00. The scam artist instructed the individual to purchase a prepaid “Green Dot” credit card for the amount of the fine. The victim in this case did not fall for the scam, but Sheriff Hardy wants to warn the public to be on alert. “People need to know that the Clerk of Court or Putnam County Sheriff's Office will not call someone on the telephone to remedy a court issue or fine.”

Child Cruelty Charges Filed in Arrest

Feb 25, 2015

Jose Rodriguez Crescent City, FL: On Tuesday February 24, 2015, at approximately 10:00 am, Putnam County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to Middleton Burney Elementary School in reference to a child abuse complaint. Upon arrival it was discovered that a seven year old male victim had come to school with an abrasion/bruise on his face. When questioned by teachers concerning the cause of the bruise, the victim's eight year old brother said their father had slapped each of them three to four times in the face for arguing. The children also indicated that one of them had been made to sleep on the back porch and the other had been made to sleep on the front porch of the family home the previous night because of the incident.

The father, Jose Dolores Rodriguez, was contacted and questioned about the allegations by detectives from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office Major Crime Unit. After being interviewed, Rodriguez was placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one count of cruelty towards a child. Rodriguez is currently being held without the benefit of a bond.

Four Arrested after Traffic Stop Yields Drug Find

Feb 24, 2015

Interlachen, FL: On Monday February 23, 2015, Putnam County Sheriff's Office K-9 Deputy Blaine Moody was patrolling State Road 20 in the Interlachen area. At approximately 11:45 pm he observed a black Dodge SUV travelling East with no headlights. Deputy Moody initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle in the Interlachen Post Office parking lot. While speaking with the driver, later identified as William Crockett, Deputy Moody smelled a strong odor of burning marijuana. Deputy Moody asked Crockett who had the marijuana he smelled and Crockett replied it was one of the passengers in the back seat. Moody removed all four occupants from the vehicle and began an investigation which led to the discovery of marijuana, methamphetamine, a schedule three controlled substance (Fioricet), drug paraphernalia and the fact that Crockett was driving on a suspended license. Additionally, it was determined that Benevich had two warrants for failure to appear. The warrants were discovered after it was established she had misidentified herself by providing a false name during her initial questioning.

All four occupants were placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where they were booked on the following charges and where all four remain incarcerated on the listed bonds.

Benevich, Crockett, Headley, and Sullo

Raenelle Benevich – No Bond
1.One count of the possession of marijuana
2.One count of the possession of drug equipment
3.Two counts of failure to appear
4.One count of providing a false name to a law enforcement officer

William Crockett - $504.00 Bond
1.One count of driving on a suspended or revoked license

Donna Headley - $2,012.00 Bond
1.One count of the possession of marijuana
2.One count of the possession of drugs
3.One count of the possession of drug equipment

Louis Sullo - $2,008.00 Bond
1.Two counts of the possession of drugs

Man Arrested on Outstanding Warrant after Foot Chase

Feb 23, 2015

Michael Appling Palatka, FL: On Sunday February 22, 2015, Putnam County Sheriff's Office Deputy Kagen Butts was patrolling in the area of Florida Trail and Putnam Avenue. While patrolling, he observed 29 year old Michael Xavier Appling (who was known to Butts) riding a bicycle. Deputy Butts believed Appling to have an outstanding warrant which he verified through the Putnam County Sheriff's Office Communications Center. Communications verified Appling had an outstanding warrant for the violation of his parole for aggravated assault and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Deputy Butts approached Appling on 17th Street and began speaking with him. Shortly thereafter, Appling dropped his bicycle and ran. Deputy Butts gave chase through numerous yards and over several fences before finding Appling lying down between a shed and a chain link fence located in the back yard of 921 North 16th Street. Appling was taken into custody without further incident.

Appling was placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one count of the violation of parole and one count of resisting an officer. He is currently being held without the benefit of a bond.

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