Month: October 2017

PCSO Presents The 2017 Haunted Jail Tour    “The Ghost of Calvin”

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Back by popular demand, PCSO presents the annual Haunted Jail Tour benefiting The United Way of Central Florida.

From 6:00 pm through 11:00 pm, on Friday & Saturday, October 20th and 21st, and Friday & Saturday, October 27th and 28th, 2017, at the PCSO old jail located at 455 North Broadway Avenue in Bartow (across the street from Bartow P.D.), PCSO volunteers will present “The Ghost of Calvin.”

For the little ones who are too young to go through the haunted jail, there will be a separate room with treats and games! Bring the whole family for a night of fun.

Food and drink will be on sale every night.

The cost to go on the tour is a $6.00 donation with all proceeds benefiting the United Way of Central Florida.

Visitors will be taken through several areas, while being entertained with stories about the mythical “ghost of Calvin” – an inmate who committed suicide in the old jail and whose ghost still haunts the area.

Special thanks to Ronn & Sharon Williams, and Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, Inc., for donating a truckload of props, and Dr. Paul Bearer II, who filmed several videos with Sheriff Judd about the tour, and videos that will be played on the premises (we will post the videos on the PCSO Facebook in the coming weeks).

If you thought the Tour was good last year….just wait and see what we have come up with this year!!!

For more information, please contact Sergeant Victor Diaz at 407-870-3489.

 

 

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Debris Collection Map Available for Residents

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Bartow, Fla. (Oct. 13, 2017) —  Polk County residents will be able to track the progress of the county’s Hurricane Irma debris pickup through a weekly map that shows an approximate timeline for when residents can expect to have service.

In the map, which also is attached, the county is divided into a grid system and color coded for ease of use. The red/pink areas are the places where Crowder/Gulf’s crews are currently working. The yellow areas are the sections where the company plans to move into within two weeks of today. And the white sections, which are mostly rural, are areas where county-owned trucks are servicing.

The City of Lakeland, which has its own crews for debris removal within the city limits, is not included on this map.

The county’s debris contractor, Crowder/Gulf, already has collected about half of Polk’s vegetative debris left by Hurricane Irma. Through Friday afternoon, the company had collected nearly 1.1 million cubic yards of debris. It is estimated that the storm left behind about 2 million cubic yards.

This map will be updated weekly and can be found on the county’s website at polk-county.net, under Hurricane Irma Information, and on the county’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

PCSO Traffic Unit Investigating Traffic Fatality

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The PCSO Traffic Unit is investigating a traffic fatality that occurred in Fort Meade late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, October 12, 2017, during which a pedestrian was struck and killed by a car.

Preliminary information is as follows:

Around 12:50 a.m. on Thursday, October 12th, a white 2006 Dodge Charger being driven by 37-year-old Rodolfo Soto of Wauchula was heading northbound on US Hwy 17 near the 3200 block when it struck 45-year-old Nedzad Mujkic, who was walking northbound on the roadway.

Mujkic is homeless and deputies spent a great deal of time positively identifying him and attempting to locate any next of kin.

Soto immediately stopped after the crash and contacted law enforcement. Mujkic was deceased on-scene. Soto has cooperated fully, and told deputies he did not see the man in the road until it was too late. The area where the crash occurred is not well-lit, and Mujkic was wearing all black clothing.

There are no indications that Soto was impaired, distracted, or speeding. It is unknown at this time if Mujkic was impaired.

The investigation is ongoing.

October Yard of The Month

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Skip and Vivian Langston, 210 4th St. NE, Fort Meade, received recognition for Yard of the Month for the month of October.  While most of the community is still reeling from Hurricane Irma, the Langstons share an attractive oasis for passersby.  Each month the Fort Meade Garden Club scans the city to select a yard that reflects landscaping pride and talent.

Gov. Scott Urges Gulf Coast Residents to Monitor the Weather and be Prepared for Hurricane Conditions

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott will again be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) on potential storm impacts. Governor Scott and the State of Florida are continuing to actively monitor a tropical depression in the southwest Caribbean, and are urging everyone in Florida to remain vigilant. The state receives regular weather updates from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). At this time, the depression is forecast to move north – northwest into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend and has the potential to be a hurricane impacting the Florida Panhandle in the coming days.

Governor Scott said, “As we closely monitor this storm, it is so important for Florida families to remain vigilant, restock hurricane supply kits and ensure hurricane preparedness plans are in place. Based on current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, we expect the storm to strengthen into Tropical Storm Nate today and move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. This storm has the potential to become a hurricane and impact the Florida Panhandle this weekend, and families must be ready. Let’s remember, we are still in the heart of hurricane season and while it’s hard to imagine experiencing another storm right now, everyone has to be prepared. We will continue to work with the National Hurricane Center to learn more as this storm develops and I encourage all Floridians to visit www.FLGetAPlan.org today to get prepared.”

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is the state agency charged with preparing for all types of disasters in Florida. The Division is the state’s disaster liaison with federal and local agencies, and is the lead consequence management agency for the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). The Division maintains the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee and the State Warning Point, the 24-hour communications and command center for response coordination. Follow the Division on social media at facebook.com/FloridaSERT or on Twitter @FLSERT.

Polk to Open Debris Drop off Sites for Residents

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Bartow, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2017) — Polk County will open three sites Friday where residents can drop off vegetative debris from Hurricane Irma.

The sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Monday and will be at:

  • 9500 Marigold Ave. in Poinciana, on the east side of the road at the new fire station
  • 5901 Strickland Ave. in Lakeland, on the west side of the road at the ball park
  • Across the road from 2450 Cypress Parkway in Haines City, on the south side of the road, just east of the intersection with Lake Marion Creek Road and Cypress Parkway

These sites will be limited to Polk County residents only and staff members will be checking identification to confirm and document their address. There will be no charge for disposal at the sites, but there are a few restrictions.

To be eligible for dropping off vegetative debris, residents must abide by several restrictions, which include:

  • Personal vehicles (cars/trucks)
  • Trailers not exceeding 8 feet x 16 feet
  • Vegetative debris only (branches, tree trunks, shrubs, etc.)
  • Excludes commercial customers

The opening of these sites is in addition to the North Central Landfill where disposal fees have been lifted until Oct. 18.

  • The landfill hours for accepting this material will be as follows:

–       8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

–       8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday

  • Residential vegetative debris will bypass the landfill scale and will be directed to a designated staging area at the west end of the Materials Recovery Facility

Operation Guardians of Innocence

During the month of September 2017, Polk County Sheriff’s Computer Crimes detectives served search warrants, and made 12 arrests during an undercover investigation “Operation Guardians of Innocence.” This operation focused on ending the promotion, possession, and distribution of child pornography.
“Our detectives are the very best in the business. We fiercely track down and arrest those who manufacture, collect, trade, or distribute child pornography. Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of child pornographers, given the opportunity, have or would commit sexual acts upon a child. When it comes to the protection of our children, we will leave no stone unturned.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff 
 
A search warrant was executed at 3103 Little Valley Way in Lakeland, where 60-year-old Paul Robak lives. Detectives received a tip that Robak uploaded child pornography files depicting children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old.Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. He was taken into custody without incident and charged with 7 counts of possession of child pornography (F-3).
A search warrant was executed at 1771 Williamsburg Drive in Bartow, where 36-year-old Daniel Crawford Jr. lives. Detectives received information that Crawford was sharing videos containing child pornography depicting children between the ages of 4 and 9 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Crawford was taken into custody without incident and charged with 21 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2), and one count of promotion of child pornography (F-2). Subsequent to his arrest, further forensic analysis has been conducted on Crawford’s electronic devices, and he has been charged with an additional 100 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2).
A search warrant was executed at 2363 Palm Tree Drive in Kissimmee, where 69-year-old Ronald Usiewicz lives. Detectives received a tip that Usiewicz uploaded child pornography files depicting children as young as 6 months old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Usiewicz was taken into custody without incident and charged with 44 counts of possession of child pornography — enhanced (F-2). Usiewicz has a previous criminal history of theft. Subsequent to his arrest, further forensic analysis was conducted on Usiewicz’s electronic devices, and he has been charged with an additional 100 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2).
Detectives received information that 30-year-old Anthony Schulte, at 208 Raymond Ave in Frostproof, was sharing videos containing child pornography depicting children between the ages of 12 months old and 8 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Shulte was taken into custody without incident and charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2). Schulte has a previous criminal history to include grand theft, tampering with physical evidence, possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, prescription drugs without a script, and drug paraphernalia, armed trespassing, obscenity, and disorderly conduct.
A search warrant was executed at 50989 U.S. – Hwy 27 Lot 88 in Davenport, where 41-year-old Miguel Ruiz lives. Detectives received information that Ruiz was downloading and viewing files containing child pornography depicting children between the ages of 4 and 9 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Ruiz admitted to detectives it was illegal to view the files but attempted to delete any traces of the files. Ruiz was taken into custody without incident and charged with 3 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2), and one count promotion of child pornography.
A search warrant was executed at 1016 Pink Apartment Road in Davenport, where 28-year-old Kyle Ghita lives. Detectives received a tip that Ghita uploaded child pornography files depicting children between the ages of 2 and 7 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Ghita was taken into custody and charged with 61 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2), and one count promotion of child pornography (F-2).
A search warrant was executed at 6456 Evergreen Park Drive, where 37-year-old Jose Figueroa lives. Detectives a tip that Figueroa uploaded child pornography files depicting children as young as 5 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Figueroa was taken into custody and charged with 2 counts of possession of child pornography (F-3), and 3 counts promotion of child pornography (F-2). Subsequent to his arrest, further forensic analysis has been conducted on Figueroa’s electronic devices, and he has been charged with an additional 108 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2).
A search warrant was executed at 5065 1st St. NW in Lakeland, where 39-year-old Andrew Williamson lives. Detectives received a tip that Williamson uploaded child pornography files depicting children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Williamson was taken into custody and charged with 100 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2), and one count of promotion of child pornography (F-2). Subsequent to his arrest, further forensic analysis was conducted on Williamson’s electronic devices, and he has been charged with an additional 100 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2). He has a previous criminal history to include giving false info to pawn dealer, dealing in stolen property, DWLSR, and battery.
A search warrant was executed at 410 2nd Street SW #B in Mulberry, where 40-year-old David Sorensen lives. Detectives received a tip that Sorensen uploaded child pornography files. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Sorensen admitted to detectives that he downloaded and viewed child pornography depicting children as young as 3-5 years old. Sorensen was taken into custody and charged with 23 counts of possession of child pornography -enhanced (F-2).
A search warrant was executed at 2205 Hemlock Lane in Lake Alfred, where 68-year-old Ronald Desmarais lives. Detectives received a tip that Desmarais had been regularly trading known child pornography depicting children as young as 5 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Upon execution of the search warrant, Desmarais was actively watching a pornographic video involving a 10-year-old child. Desmarais was taken into custody and charged with 36 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2), and one count promotion of child pornography (F-2).
A search warrant was executed at 1880 N. Crystal Lake Drive, Unit #54 in Lakeland, where 26-year-old John Escobar lives. Detectives received a tip that Escobar had been regularly trading known child pornography depicting children as young as 3-4 years old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Escobar was taken into custody and charged with 100 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2).
A search warrant was executed at 4115 Orange Ave in Mulberry, where Calvin Barnes, Jr. lives.  Detectives received a tip that Barnes had been regularly trading known child pornography depicting children as young as 4 months old. Detectives seized computer equipment from the home, and during an initial preview of the equipment, located files depicting child pornography. Barnes was taken into custody and charged with 33 counts of possession of child pornography – enhanced (F-2), and 35 count promotion of child pornography (F-2).
Other arrests made/warrants obtained during this investigation:
 
29-year-old Charlie Lee Cook Jr., of 5791 Woodruff Way in Lakeland was arrested for one count of transmission of harmful materials to a minor (F-3), and one count unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F-3). Cook was communicating with and offered to send nude images of himself to a 15-year-old female.
22-year-old Jerret Alan Carter of 2109 King Ave in Lakeland was arrested for VOP. He was previously arrested by PCSO on November 11, 2016, for lewd/lascivious conduct on a child between 12 – 16 years old. Carter has a previous criminal history including, fraud, and VOP.
42-year-old Shannon Wright of 612 Hendry in Fort Meade, was arrested for failure to comply with sex offender registration (F-3). He has been sending inappropriate messages to a minor. Wright has been sentenced to the Florida Department of Corrections (State Prison) once, and has a criminal history to include the following charges: use of a 2-way communication device to commit felony, lewd/lascivious conduct to a child under 16, failure to comply with sex offender laws, VOP, DWLSR, battery, and worthless check.
38-year-old Michael Longoria of 5013 Shepperd Road in Lakeland, was arrested by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies on a PCSO warrant for two counts failure to comply with sex offender laws in Polk County. Longoria has a criminal history to include the following charges: Lewd/lascivious conduct, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, no valid DL, armed burglary of a dwelling, armed carjacking, bank robbery, aggravated assault, VOP, failure to register as a sex offender, and tampering with electronic monitoring device.
31-year-old Marvin Hewitt of 2012 Avenue H. in Winter Haven, has a PCSO warrant for failing to comply with sex offender laws, and is currently at large. Hewitt has been sentenced to the Florida Department of Corrections (State Prison) twice, and has a criminal history to include the following charges: Lewdness on a minor 12-16 years of age, battery, failure to comply with sex offender laws, VOP, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, simple assault, operating motor vehicle without valid DL, false information to a LEO, resisting arrest, burglary, larceny, aggravated battery, petit larceny, trespassing, and battery on a school official.
 41-year-old Derricko Williams of 400 Maultsby Lane in Lake Alfred, has a PCSO warrant for failure to comply with sex offender laws, and is currently at large. Williams has been sentenced to the Florida Department of Corrections (State Prison) twice, and has a criminal history to include the following charges: Lewd/lascivious act on a child under 16, DWLSR, failure to comply with sex offender laws, VOP, possession of cocaine and marijuana, false information to a LEO, resisting arrest, failure to appear, and battery.