Nov 24, 2015
Twenty two years old James Chankouth Tang was captured and arrested Monday afternoon (11/23/15 at about 2:00 p.m.) following a joint operation involving the United States Marshal’s Task Force and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. A nationwide arrest warrant had been issued for Tang for an armed robbery of more than $75,000.00 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Tang was identified as one of three men that held up a HY-VEE store in Omaha on November 5, 2015. The other two suspects had already been captured, but Tang remained at large. The Marshal’s Office Task Force had gained information that Tang was hiding in the Crescent City area.
Monday afternoon the Task Force, assisted by Deputy Mark Henry, located Tang on County Road 308 in Crescent City. He was hiding in a shed that had been converted into a detached apartment. Tang was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Putnam County Jail. He is being held without benefit of bond awaiting extradition back to Nebraska.
Nov 24, 2015
Fifty eight years old Joseph John Narducci, Jr., of Interlachen was arrested Monday afternoon (11/23/15) for failure to comply with the sex offender address verification law. Narducci is presently being held in the Putnam County Jail without benefit of bond.
Joseph John Narducci, Jr. has been designated by a court as a sexual offender, and according to Florida statutes he is required to register with the Sheriff’s Office providing identification and his current address. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office then does periodic checks to determine that the sexual offender does indeed still reside at the registered address.
Monday afternoon Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Public Service Assistant (PSA) Justin Rich contacted Narducci at his residence for the purpose of verifying Narducci’s identification, and that his residence is at 133 1st Way in Interlachen. Narducci reportedly refused to provide identification, and told PSA Rich to leave his property.
PSA Rich reported the refusal to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division. Detective Angela Goins then responded to Narducci’s home and placed him under arrest for failure to comply with sexual offender requirements. He was booked into the Putnam County Jail without further incident.
Nov 23, 2015
A Pomona Park crime spree was brought to an end early Saturday morning (11/21/15 at about 4:30 a.m.) when twenty five years old Billie Ray Ayala, of Palatka, was taken into custody while driving a stolen Chevrolet Camaro. Before the case was finished, four deputies worked four different crime scenes. They ultimately charged Ayala with one count of burglary an occupied dwelling, two counts of burglary of unoccupied structures, three counts of burglary of conveyances, two counts of grand theft, two counts of petit theft and one count of grand theft auto.
The investigation began when the Pomona Park Fire Chief reported to Deputy Chad McNeill that he had returned home at about 4:30 a.m. when he immediately realized his van had been burglarized. Chief Melvin Asher determined that his fire radio and several flashlights had been stolen from his van. He also spotted Ayala walking away from the area carrying two bags. Chief Asher did not recognize Ayala and confronted him on Main Street. Ayala told Chief Asher that he had been dropped off and was trying to get home. The Chief contacted the Sheriff’s Office and watched as Ayala placed the bags on the ground and walked into a wooded area.
Additional deputies cordoned off the area and called for a canine unit to track the suspect. Before the canine unit arrived, Deputy Bradley Waldron spotted a Chevrolet Camaro back out of a nearby driveway. Deputy Waldron stopped the Camaro and noticed that the inside of the car had been ransacked. When he asked the driver, later determined to be Ayala for his driver’s license, Ayala told him it was inside of the bags that Chief Asher had watched him lay on the ground. Deputy Waldron took Ayala into custody, and he was then identified by Chief Asher as the person who laid the bags on the ground and walked into the woods.
At about this same time, the owner of the Camaro called the Sheriff’s Office to report the car stolen. Deputy Waldron determined that Ayala had burglarized the car owner’s house while she was sleeping and took the car keys, medicine and sunglasses. Ayala was transported to the Putnam County Jail without incident and booked on charges of burglary of an occupied dwelling, burglary of a conveyance, grand theft, petit theft and grand theft of a vehicle.
Later Saturday morning, Deputy Chad Hallman received a call of a burglary of a vehicle on Main Street in Pomona Park. Deputy Hallman determined that a Pomona Park coupled had packed their car on Friday night for a trip on Saturday and found the car and a shed burglarized. All of the property taken in the burglary had previously been located inside the bags Ayala had been seen carrying. Deputy Hallman came to the Putnam County Jail and arrested Ayala charging him with burglary of a structure, burglary of a conveyance and grand theft.
Finally, Deputy William Gill retrieved more property abandoned on the side of the road. The Camaro owner also contacted the deputies working the area and reported that a flashlight and sunglasses were found inside the stolen Camaro that did not belong to the car’s owner. Deputy Gill determined that the property belonged to a fourth Main Street victim that found their car and shed burglarized. Deputy Gill placed the additional charges of burglary of a structure, burglary of a conveyance and petit theft against Ayala.
All of the property stolen during these four incidents was recovered either inside of the stolen Camaro or in the bags Ayala dumped after Chief Asher confronted him. Billie Ray Ayala is presently being held in the Putnam County Jail in lieu of $13,044.00 bond. The investigation involving Ayala is being continued.
Nov 23, 2015
Thirty one years old Joshua Joseph Thurston, of Interlachen, was stopped early Sunday morning (11/22/15 at about 2:00 a.m.) when Deputy Mark Juen spotted him driving in Interlachen with an improper white light showing to the rear and following another car too closely. Before his investigation was done, Deputy Juen charged Thurston with three counts of theft of a credit card, grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting an officer without violence, fraudulent use of a credit card, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a suspended driver’s license and refusal to sign a criminal traffic citation. He was also given additional traffic citations for possession of an open alcoholic container by a driver and careless driving.
Once Deputy Juen stopped Thurston, he checked to see if Thurston had a valid driver’s license. Deputy Juen learned that his license had been suspended, and that the truck he was driving had been reported stolen in Jacksonville. Deputy Juen could also smell the odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. He spotted a bottle of alcohol in the center console of the truck. Deputy Juen placed Thurston under arrest, but Thurston refused to sit in Juen’s patrol car and had to be forced inside. During a search of the stolen truck, Deputy Juen found a wallet belonging to the stolen truck’s owner. He also located several of the owner’s credit cards, a cell phone and a receipt where one of the stolen credit cards had been used at a local convenience store. Finally, he located a pipe used for smoking illegal drugs inside the stolen truck.
Once Thurston was forcibly placed inside Deputy Juen’s patrol car, he was transported to the Putnam County Jail without further incident. Once at the jail, Thurston once again became uncooperative and refused to sign a criminal traffic citation. He was then charged with the addition charge of failure to sign a criminal citation. He is being held at the Putnam County Jail in lieu of $5,036.00 bond.
Nov 20, 2015
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous inquiries concerning a reported threat of a school shooting at the Palatka High School. THE THREAT IS UNFOUNDED. An investigation was conducted Thursday afternoon (11/19/15) by the School Resource Unit of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation determined that the school was holding a pep rally for a mentoring program today that several students did not want to attend. Thursday two male students were reportedly discussing not attending when another male student overheard them. The male student who overheard the discussion then wrote a note to a friend that simply stated “DON’T COME TO SCHOOL TOMORROW.” Somehow that note grew to the allegation that there would be a shooting at the school today and ended up on social media (Facebook).
School Resource Unit Deputy Diamond Lewis and Sergeant Randy Hayes interviewed the two male students that were overheard talking, as well as the male who wrote the note, and determined that the threat of a shooting was never suggested and was unfounded. Additional School Resource deputies have been assigned to the Palatka High School to ease any concerns by parents or students.