Man Arrested for Arson in West Putnam Woods Fire

Apr 21, 2017

Daniel Robinson Interlachen FL: On Friday April 21, 2017 at approximately 3:30 pm Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Detective Donny Ray Jordan arrested 27-year-old Daniel Scott Robinson Jr. for intentionally starting a fire in a wooded area near the intersection of Palm and Twin Lakes Road in Interlachen. The fire, which covered approximately five acres, was able to be contained before any structures were damaged. Robinson was located in the immediate area of the fire when first responders initially arrived on scene where he was found to be suffering from very minor superficial burns on his lower body. Robinson was evaluated, treated and released by medical personnel before being interviewed by Detective Jordan.

After being interviewed, Robinson was placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one count of arson and is currently being held on a $2,500 bond.

This arrest comes one day after Putnam County Commissioners held an emergency meeting to institute a County wide burn ban in response to the dangers presented by the extremely dry conditions which are present throughout the State. Sheriff Gator DeLoach said “Given the magnitude of wild fires currently raging within the State of Florida, I find this to be a particularly heinous and unconscionable crime. Anyone who would be so irresponsible and callus to intentionally set a fire under these conditions should expect to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I will not tolerate anything less”.

One Arrested for Drug Related Offenses, Sister is Sought on Warrants

Apr 20, 2017

Kaitlyn and Richard Norris Palatka FL: On Wednesday April 19, 2017 at approximately 7:00 pm, members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and Drug and Vice Unit executed a search warrant at 140 State Road 20 in Palatka, Florida. The search of the residence resulted in the discovery of methamphetamine and numerous items associated with the production of methamphetamine. At the completion of the search and the ensuing investigation, 20-year-old Richard Dallas Norris was arrested for the possession of methamphetamine and the possession of drug equipment. Detectives also currently have active warrants for Richard’s sister, 24-year-old Kaitlyn Nicole Norris. Her warrants are for the sale of methamphetamine, the possession of drug equipment and the possession of listed chemicals.

Richard Norris was placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one felony count of the possession of methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of the possession of drug equipment. Richard has since been released on a $3,000 bond.

Sheriff’s Office detectives are actively seeking Kaitlyn Norris. Anyone who has any information concerning her whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 386-329-0801. Anyone with information leading to her arrest may be eligible for a reward.

Jacksonville Woman Arrested for Travel Fraud Scheme

Apr 19, 2017

Maria ShultsPutnam County, FL— On March 20, 2017 Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) announced the arrest of Maria Constanza Shults in connection with an organized travel fraud scheme operating in north and central Florida. According to the FDLE led investigation, Shults, 62, of Jacksonville¸ operated an organized scheme defrauding a total of 27 known victims of more than $100,000.

The scheme targeted Catholic parishioners wishing to travel to the Holy Land. Shults collected payments for trips that never materialized and no money was refunded. Six of the victims were located in Putnam County and they originally reported the loss of their money to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office in December of 2014. That investigation led to other victims and the cases were eventually combined into one organized scheme to defraud investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and FDLE. Shults is currently being held in the Putnam County Jail where she is booked on one count of organized scheme to defraud in excess of $50,000 and is being held on a $250,000 bond.

Four-Corners Mutual Aid Agreement

Apr 18, 2017

Left to Right: Sheriff H.D. “Gator” DeLoach, Sheriff Darryl Daniels, Sheriff Gordon Smith,
Sheriff Sadie Darnell meet to sign mutual aid agreement.

Melrose FL: On Monday April 10, 2017 at approximately 10:00 am Putnam County hosted the signing of a mutual aid agreement between Alachua, Bradford, Clay, and Putnam counties. The ceremony, held in the historic George Lansing Taylor Jr. building in Melrose, was attended by Sheriff DeLoach of Putnam, Sheriff Daniels of Clay, Sheriff Smith of Bradford and Sheriff Darnell of Alachua. The signing signaled the renewal of an agreement between the four counties which was originally signed on March 24, 2008.

The “four corners” of the counties (and thus the name of the agreement) come together in the town of Melrose. Unfortunately, they do not come together along neat and easily discernable lines. The agreement enhances the ability of the four primary law enforcement agencies operating in that area to render and receive aid and enforce laws across normal jurisdictional borders.

Sheriff Gator Deloach said “I have worked in the Melrose area for many years and I know first-hand how quickly taking law enforcement action can require you to move from one county to the next. A deputy jumping fences and running between houses could easily end up two jurisdictions removed from where he started in a matter of minutes. This agreement allows law enforcement to move more freely across jurisdictional boundaries to provide for the safety and preservation of lives and property of all citizens of the region”.

Captain Hancel Woods
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Awarded the Excellence in Sexual Assault Response Project Grant by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Apr 18, 2017

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with the Palatka Police Department, the Putnam County Health Department and the State Attorney’s Office has been selected as one of four Florida law enforcement recipients of the Excellence in Sexual Assault Response Project (ESARP) offered by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV).

Dispatchers, patrol officers, investigators, and prosecutors in Putnam County will participate in extensive trainings on the science of trauma, the brain and body’s biological response to the trauma of sexual assault, and how it impacts victims’ reactions. Based on this cutting-edge research, responders will learn effective ways to engage with victims that maximizes the information and evidence gathered in order to hold offenders accountable for their crimes. Just as important, the new techniques improve victims’ experience with responders and have proven to build their trust in the criminal justice process.

Sheriff Gator DeLoach said “We are pleased to have been chosen to participate in this program. Sexual Assault is a crime which unfortunately can occur in any community and across all socio-economic groups. The Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to protecting every victim and bringing every offender to justice. This training will help provide the latest and most updated investigative tools and techniques to accomplish that mission.”

Putnam County is one of four sites, selected through a competitive application process, to participate in the project. The project winners for the 2017-2018 grant period are:
  • Ocala Police Department
  • Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
  • Putnam County Sheriff’s Office
  • Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

“We know that sexual violence is one of the most underreported crimes, and that victim confidence in criminal justice systems has a direct impact on the number of reports,” said Grace Frances, Florida Council Against Sexual Violence Director of Certification and Special Projects. “This project model provides trauma informed investigative and prosecutorial techniques and tools that can lead to better victim participation. When victims are supported and offenders held accountable, our communities are safer – a goal that FCASV and our project partners have in common.”

ESARP is a partnership between FCASV and the criminal justice community and is funded by the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. In addition to trainings, the project offers train-the-trainer events, policy development consultation, and technical assistance to law enforcement organizations and their state attorneys’ offices on responding to sex crimes against victims 11 years old and above.

Trainings are led by professional law enforcement, dispatch, and prosecutor trainers experienced in using the ESARP techniques. After the initial trainings, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office will then designate in-house instructors who will be certified to teach the trauma informed response curriculum to the remaining staff and new hires, thus ensuring ongoing application of the new practices.

The project was developed with subject matter experts from across Florida and the nation to create an intensive curriculum incorporating the most up-to-date sexual assault investigative and prosecutorial strategies. This will be the second year ESARP has been offered to Florida law enforcement agencies. By the completion of the current 2016-2017 project year, upwards of 700 law enforcement officers, dispatchers, and prosecutors will have received the trainings. Visit fcasv.org for testimonials from the 2016-2017 site leaders about their experiences with ESARP and the positive impacts the project has already had on their agencies.

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