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Melrose Area Drug House Shut Down

Apr 27, 2015

Ivan Russell and Doug Hager Melrose, FL: Ten suspects have been arrested by Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputies during a six week investigation into illegal drug activity occurring in the Country Living subdivision in Melrose. The investigation, which was conducted by the Sheriff’s Drug and Vice Unit and Street Crimes Unit, began after West District Patrol Deputies became aware of suspicious activity in the neighborhood. The investigation included both traditional patrol techniques and advanced undercover operations. During the investigation, detectives determined that Ivan Russell and Elton Hager were operating a residence at 234 Country Living Circle for the purpose of using and distributing narcotics. The investigation culminated Friday evening when the SWAT and Rifle Security Teams executed a search warrant at that residence.

Russell was charged with sale of cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Russell, who is a seven time convicted felon and currently on federal probation, remains in the Putnam County Jail on a bond of $75,000.00. Hagar was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hagar is a three time convicted felon and remains in jail on a $26,500.00 bond. In addition to Russell and Hagar, the following suspects were charged during the operation which resulted in the seizure of cocaine, prescription narcotics, marijuana, synthetic marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a firearm.

Sheriff Hardy said of the case, “Doug Hager and his residence have blighted the Country Living neighborhood for some time. These arrests highlight the hard work and countless hours deputies and detectives have put in to help stop the distribution of drugs in Melrose.”

Following is a list of arrests that are associated with the case, but were made in the weeks prior to the service of the search warrant at the residence:

Jessica Marie Ernest (White / Female, 25)

• Warrant for Disorderly Conduct

• Possession of Controlled Substance (Suboxone)

Troy Brandon Gilliam (White / Male, 34)

• Possession of Cocaine

• Driving While License Suspended/Revoked (Habitual)

• Possession of Cannabis under 20 grams

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Jared Camplesi (White / Male, 23)

• Possession of Controlled Substance (Alprazolam)

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Shannon Marie Allen (White / Female, 36)

• Possession of Cannabis under 20 grams

• Possession of Crack Cocaine

• Introduction of Contraband

Thomas Welles (White / Male, 53)

• Driving while License Suspended/Revoked (3rd or Subsequent)

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Timothy Ray Little (White / Male, 47)

• Driving while License Suspended/Revoked

Summer Dawn Strickland (White / Female, 29)

• Possession of Cocaine

• Possession of Controlled Substance (Suboxone)

• Possession of Synthetic Cannabinoids

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

• Introduction of Contraband x 4

Dean Frank Hall (White / Male, 50)

• Possession of Synthetic Cannabinoids

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Bardin Man Arrested after Family Argument Turns Violent

Apr 20, 2015

Elvis Rhodes Bardin, FL: On Sunday, April 19, 2015 at about 5:00 pm, Putnam County Deputies responded to 334 Songbird Road in Bardin for a family disturbance.

The deputies learned Elvis Rhodes, 55, got into an argument with his son Christopher Rhodes, 28, and daughter Elaina Rhodes, 34. The argument started because Elvis took two beers from a cooler on Christopher and Elaina's front porch while they were gone. The two said, Elvis got frustrated and went to the store for more beer to replace what he took. Elvis replaced the beers and went to his home, which is on the same property as Christopher and Elaina's home. Elvis later returned, wanting to talk with the two. They refused and locked themselves inside. Elvis left, returned with a large pickaxe and began striking the door repeatedly with it to gain entry. Christopher, fearful of Elvis because of prior violence, retrieved a shotgun and fired through the door. Elvis immediately left the residence and called for assistance.

Elvis was arrested for burglary and two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He is currently in the Putnam County Jail and is held without the benefit of a bond.

Hawthorne Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty Charges

Apr 20, 2015

Hawthorne, FL: Deputies with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office have arrested Malcom Alexander Wade, 64, of Hawthorne. Wade is charged with cruelty to animals after an extensive investigation by Sheriff's Deputies, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers, Putnam County Codes Enforcement and Putnam County Animal Control.

The investigation began when Codes Enforcement responded to Wade's property at 156 Crocus Lane in Hawthorne to condemn the residence on April 7, 2015. An Officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission accompanied the Codes Enforcement Officer after receiving reports of some alleged environmental crimes at the residence.

When the officers approached the residence, they immediately noticed two badly emaciated dogs chained near the front of the residence. Once at the front door, the FWC officer said he could smell decay. The officers found two additional dogs in crates stacked on top of one another and a third crate that contained the remains of a decaying dog inside the residence. The officers called the Sheriff's Office for assistance. Deputies arrived and assumed the investigation. Deputies, after obtaining a search warrant, conducted a more thorough search of Wade's property. The deputies found two additional decaying dog carcasses near a blue tarp.

The remaining living dogs were seized by animal control and taken to a local vet for examination and convalescent care. An arrest warrant was obtained for Wade once the investigation was complete. Wade is charged with seven counts of cruelty to animals. His bond is $175,000.

Child's Body Recovered from the St. Johns River

Apr 20, 2015

East Palatka - At approximately 5:00 a.m., the body of a young boy was recovered in the St. Johns River near the area where 9 year old Tate Ricks was reported missing. Searchers found the body of the child floating just below the surface of the water.

Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) are conducting the investigation into the incident.

Search for Missing 9 Year-old Boy Continues on the St. Johns River

Apr 19, 2015

Palatka, FL: The Putnam County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit along with officers from the Florida Fish and wildlife Conservation Commission are continuing the search for a missing nine-year-old boy on the St. Johns River. Law Enforcement officers remained on the river overnight and this remains an active search. Multiple law enforcement vessels are currently engaged in grid searches using underwater sonar. Divers and aviation units will continue deploy as the situation dictates.

The search area includes the St. Johns River from the Highway 17 Memorial Bridge to the north and Pico Road to the south. Boaters are encourages to avoid the search area if possible and to exercise extreme caution while traveling in the search area.

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