On Friday September 27, 2014, The Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office DUI Unit joined forces to conduct an undercover compliance operation intended to ensure that Putnam businesses are not violating Florida statutes by selling alcoholic beverages to minors. The operation was coordinated to occur on the same night as Palatka High’s Homecoming game. During the operation twenty eight stores (28) throughout the county were visited by agents and deputies. Of those stores, six (6) were found to be in violation when employees sold alcoholic beverages to undercover Investigative Aids. The employees who unlawfully sold alcoholic beverages to underage persons were issued notices to appear in court for the misdemeanor violation of Florida law. In addition to the pending criminal charges against the employees, administrative sanctions against the licenses of the establishments in violation are pending.
The following store employees have been charged with selling alcohol to minors:
- Mohammed Jinnah
- Leila Gould
- Mostak Alam
- Garvin Willis
- Edward Sasser III
- Lela Lewis
The following stores sold alcohol to minors:
- Kangaroo – 519 N Summit Street, Crescent City
- Kangaroo – 241 S Hwy 17, Palatka
- JAS Food Mart – 2001 Reid Street, Palatka
- Hollister Discount Beverage – 708 State Road 20, Hollister
- Fast Track – 932 State Road 20, Interlachen,
- Jas Food Mart – 1900 St. Johns Avenue, Palatka
The following stores were in compliance and DID NOT sell alcohol to minors:
- Kangaroo – 1205 S SR 19, Palatka
- Dollar General – 701 N Summit Street, Crescent City
- Family Dollar – 915 N Summit Street, Crescent City
- Lake Como Food Mart – 1971 S Hwy 17, Lake Como
- Kangaroo Express – 1173 S Hwy 17, Satsuma
- One Stop Food Mart – 331 S Hwy 17, East Palatka
- Sunoco – 276 South Hwy 17, East Palatka
- ABC Liquors- Reid Street, Palatka
- Kangaroo – 720 S SR 19, Palatka
- Dollar General – 100 Hoover Road, Hollister
- Raceway – 200 S Hwy 17, Palatka
- Sunoco – 167 S Hwy 17, East Palatka
- Fast Track Foods –101 Main Drive, Interlachen
- Dollar General –101 South County Road 21, Hawthorne
- Super Food Mart –1917 State Road 20, Hawthorne
- Kangaroo--1986 SR 20, Hawthorne
- Kangaroo – 400 State Road 26, Melrose
- Harmony Food Mart –1647 State Road 100, Melrose
- Kangaroo –1119 State Road 100, Florahome
- Dollar General- 1115 State Road 100, Florahome
- Kangaroo –2803 Silver Lake Drive, Palatka
- Sunrise Food Mart – 7301 Crill Avenue, Palatka
Palatka, FL: On September 25, 2014 at approximately 1:00 am, Deputies responded to 319 Holden Road, Palatka in reference to a fight in progress. On arrival they met with the home owner who advised her son in-law, George Ray Dillmon, had broken into her home and had attempted to fight with 23 year old Chase Allen Luke who also resides in the home. According to witnesses, Dillmon refused to leave and continued to threaten Luke until he was advised that law enforcement had been called. Dillmon’s 39 year old wife was also at the residence and said that she and Dillmon had initially been at their house located next door at 315 Holden Road where they had argued over Mr. Luke. She said Dillmon became enraged and repeatedly struck her in the face with his fists before going to 319 Holden Road to confront Luke in an apparent fit of jealousy. Dillmon left the scene before the arrival of law enforcement and efforts to locate him at that time were unsuccessful.
Further investigation revealed that Luke was a convicted felon and that he was knowingly living in a home where a firearm was kept in the room in which he resided. Luke was placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one count of the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is currently being held on a bond of $2,504.00.
On September 26, 2014, deputies located Dillmon during a traffic stop on Crill Avenue. He was arrested and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one count of Battery, one count of burglary and one moving traffic violation (driving on a suspended license). He is currently being held without the benefit of a bond.
Palatka, FL: On September 22, 2014 at approximately 11:00 am, detectives Lynn Nicely and Spencer Reinert were patrolling in the area of Wal-Mart on State Road 19. They observed a red Nissan Titan pickup repeatedly swerving and failing to maintain a lane of travel. They conducted a traffic stop and discovered the driver, Micheal Lee Pettitt, had a suspended license. While the vehicle was stopped, Deputy Brandee Smith arrived and advised she had probable cause to arrest Pettitt for battery and criminal mischief from a domestic dispute call she had worked the previous day at 295 South Highway 17 in East Palatka where Pettitt had struck his 41 year old girlfriend in the face and damaged her vehicle. Pettitt had left the scene before the arrival of law enforcement and efforts to locate him were unsuccessful at that time.
On Saturday, September 27, 2014, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will join together to remove potentially dangerous prescription drugs from our community.
This national “take-back” initiative will provide a unified opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.
This program is anonymous and all efforts will be made to protect the anonymity of individuals disposing of medications. No questions or requests for identification will be made by law enforcement. Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box.
Putnam County residents may dispose of their medications at one of three convenient locations between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
- PCSO, Main Office, 130 Orie Griffin Boulevard, Palatka, FL 32177
- PCSO, West District Office, 108 North CR 315, Interlachen, FL 32148
- PCSO South District Office, 1196 HWY 17 South, Satsuma, FL
The illegal use of prescription medications has developed into a national epidemic affecting citizens from all socio-economic classes. Sheriff Hardy urges everyone with unneeded, expired, or unused medications to drop them off at one of the three designated locations. The destruction of these drugs is one step in combating the illegal use of prescription medications in our community. Over the past four years of this program, Putnam County citizens have safely disposed of hundreds of pounds of prescription medications.
For additional information, you may contact Deputy Jared Guy, Community Service Coordinator for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 386-326-7253 or visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov
Palatka, FL: At approximately 1:05 am on Thursday September 18, 2014, corrections deputies discovered 39 year old inmate Timothy Lawrence Walrath unresponsive in his cell at the Putnam County Jail. They immediately initiated lifesaving efforts and called rescue which responded and transported Walrath to the Putnam Community Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. The ensuing investigation revealed that Walrath became upset upon learning from his attorney that he was potentially facing a prison term for his charges of aggravated battery with a weapon. Walrath waited until after lights out at approximately 11:00 pm and then fashioned a length of bed sheet into a makeshift rope and used it to quietly asphyxiate himself while his cellmate was sleeping. Interviews of the cellmate and inmates from surrounding cells indicate that no one heard or knew anything about the incident prior to it occurring. Corrections personnel had no prior indications that Walrath had intentions of harming himself.