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Tag: Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Suspect in double homicide sold car to Crestview-area resident

A man wanted for questioning in a domestic-violence related double homicide near Fort Walton Beach Jan. 31 was located dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Feb. 2 inside a vehicle in Indiana.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigators had been searching for 47-year old Chad Ankenbrand since discovering the bodies of his estranged girlfriend, 52-year old Annastacia Merrell, and Merrell’s co-worker, 51-year old Patrick Tymoch, inside Merrell’s Bentwood Lane home Tuesday afternoon. The pair appeared to have suffered single gunshot wounds.

Chad Ankenbrand

Ankenbrand was considered a person of interest and the OCSO’s investigation into the shooting to determine all the facts is continuing.

 Ankenbrand’s missing black Ford Mustang was also located today at a home east of Crestview.

Investigators learned Ankenbrand had sold the car Monday to a citizen who discovered Wednesday afternoon that the OCSO was trying to locate both the vehicle and Ankenbrand. He immediately contacted law enforcement.

OCSO Investigators believe Ankenbrand was trying to get to Illinois, where he has connections. He was driving Merrell’s 2013 silver Nissan Juke. The car with Ankbrand’s body inside were found not far from the Indiana/Illinois state line.

Sex offender pulled over in Okaloosa with zip gun, 15 grams of meth

A traffic stop by an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy who spotted a traffic violation Sunday led to a Crestview area man facing four felony and two misdemeanor charges.

Craig Golden, who is 36 and has no defined address, was pulled over on South Avenue near Fort Walton Beach and told the deputy he didn’t have a valid drivers license, according to his Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

The deputy noted that Golden did not appear to be wearing a seatbelt and, while investigating, discovered the tag was not registered to the vehicle.

The deputy also noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside the car. A probable cause search turned up a black pipe “zip” style shotgun behind the passenger’s seat within Golden’s reach, a lockbox with approximately 15 grams of methamphetamine and jeweler’s bags, a shopping bag with suspected spice, and a digital scale in a candy bag.

A check showed Golden had 46 past felony charges and is a registered sex offender who had not provided information as required as to his new vehicle, a 2013 Jaguar he says was gifted to him.

Golden told the deputy he found the “zip” gun in his yard and did not know what it was.

Golden was taken to the OCSO Booking facility. Although Golden had been given a warning about contraband, the deputy found a bag of suspected marijuana on the back seat of the patrol car.

Golden’s charges include trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, sex offender violation- failure to report a change in vehicle ownership, smuggling contraband into a detention facility, and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

FWB trio busted after wild 110-mph-plus car chase into Crestview

Three people were arrested on various charges Wednesday after Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies responding to a call of shots being fired near Fort Walton Beach were led on a high speed chase north to Crestview.

The OCSO received a call of shots being actively fired involving multiple cars on Bear Road around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night. Deputies spotted one of the cars matching the description given fleeing the area and attempted a traffic stop on Racetrack Road. The orange Mitsubishi sped off and a 9mm handgun was tossed out the window.

Jamall Ferguso

The driver reached speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour and drove into oncoming traffic as the car headed north towards Crestview. Deputies used spike strips to deflate the car’s tires and ultimately forced the car off the roadway on South Ferdon Boulevard.

They saw 30-year old Jamall Ferguson of Fort Walton Beach get out of the driver’s seat. Ferguson is charged with fleeing and eluding with disregard to the safety of people or property, driving with a suspended or revoked license, possession of a weapon or ammo by a convicted felon, and tampering with or destroying evidence.

Ferguson was found to have 25 felony arrests and two felony convictions, according to his OCSO arrest report.

Passenger 28-year old Martayvais Sorey of Fort Walton Beach is charged with possession of a weapon or ammo by a convicted felon, resisting an officer without violence, and tampering with or destroying evidence. A second passenger, 19-year old Da’vion Wingate of Fort Walton Beach, is charged with an outstanding warrant of failure to appear for a charge of operating a motor vehicle without a license.

A spent 9mm shell casing was located on the car’s front passenger floorboard. The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the OCSO at 850.651.7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850.863.TIPS, emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com, or by using the P3 Tips Mobile application.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office

Crestview roommates charged with possession of child porn

Two Crestview men were arrested and charged with possession of child pornography following the execution of a search warrant at their residence.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigators received a tip regarding an individual who had uploaded files believed to contain child pornography to the internet.

The investigation led to a search warrant of a Crestview residence. OCSO investigators ultimately connected a video depicting child pornography to 23-year-old Samuel Hight.

Samuel Hight

While executing the search warrant at the residence, OCSO Investigators located additional images of child pornography on a device belonging to 38-year-old Paul Guy.

Samuel Hight was charged with three counts of the possession of child pornography and three counts of the transmission of child pornography.

Paul Guy was charged with three counts of the possession of child pornography.

After being read his rights, Guy provided the passcode to his phone and admitted no one else uses his phone. He denied having any child pornography in his possession and said he downloaded the images before viewing any of them, according to his OCSO arrest report.

When he was shown the files, he admitted they “looked young.” According to the description of the videos on his phone, the male subjects appeared to range in age from 12 to 15 and were performing various sex acts.

Guy is a registered sex offender, according to his arrest report.

Hight had videos on his phone of prepubescent females.

Sniffing out the best pup for the job

Four bloodhound puppies tumbled into the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office headquarters last week, making friends and a little bit of a mess.

“It was kind of chaos,” said the OCSO’s new bloodhound handler, Deputy Tim Patterson, laughing at the memory. “When you drop that tailgate, they’re out there running everywhere.”

Of the four, one found himself a permanent home and a new job.

Puppy No. 11 is one of 11 born to Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office lead tracker, Copper, in late October. The SRSO is keeping one but reached out to law enforcement agencies across the state to see if they would be interested in a new K9 dog.

“They said, ‘We’ll give you this dog. We’ll help you select it,” Okaloosa Sheriff Eric Aden recalled of his conversation with the SRSO. “It lit a fire in me.”

Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office Deputy Robert Lenzo gives K-9 Copper some love and attention. Copper gave birth to 11 puppies Oct. 28. File photo

The team will be based in the north end of the county, which has frequently needed assistance in tracking missing children, older people or those with special needs.

Aden said he had long dreamed of getting a bloodhound K9 team for his office but was expecting an expensive and difficult process to obtain one. He had even talked to Patterson, a potential handler who has 14 years of K9 experience but had never gotten to work with a bloodhound.

“I said I’d like to be considered,” Patterson recalled of the conversation early last year. “I’m raising my hand. I’m jumping up and down. I’d like to do it.”

After last week’s decision, No. 11 moved into Patterson’s Crestview-area home, sharing it with three dogs, three daughters and his wife. Eventually, the bloodhound will have his own “house” behind their home.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden and Deputy Tim Patterson pose Jan. 13 with “No. 11,” a bloodhound puppy given to them by the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, whose top tracker recently gave birth to 11. Contributed photo

When No. 11 retires – bloodhounds average 5-7 years in the field – he’ll join Patterson’s others dogs on the couch.

“They have just welcomed him with open arms,” he said of his human and canine family. “Everybody’s getting along great.”

No. 11 isn’t the only one to find a good home. Of the original 11, the fate of only two is undecided. One will stay with the SRSO, while seven others were claimed by law enforcement agencies across the state.

The two that remain need a little more training, according to SRSO Major Rich Aloy, who handles communication for the Sheriff’s Office.

Four bloodhound puppies, on their way from Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office, try to get a peak.

Okaloosa, Manatee, Nassau, Jackson, Bay, Hardee and Brevard counties each accepted a puppy from the SRSO. The Jacksonville Police Department also has one.

Ten of the puppies were nearly identical, leading Sheriff’s Office officials to number them using a nontoxic crayon-like marker.

When the puppies reached the Shalimar headquarters, No. 4 was the original front runner. Aden said that he fell in love with that puppy.

“No.  4, he was licking me and licking me,” he said. “I kind of fell in love at first sight.

This curious pup – one of 10 who strongly resemble each other – plays tug of war with a cardboard box.

“As soon as I drop No. 4 down, he runs over and starts to chew the American flag,” he added.

Patterson, who’d been working with the puppies for weeks, liked No. 4 but he also liked No. 11. In the end, Aden agreed with Patterson that his choice was the best fit for the job, which will combine tracking in the rural north end of the county and making friends countywide.

This week, Patterson and No. 11 returned to Santa Rosa County to continue training with the tracking team there.

“These guys have unbelievable knowledge,” Patterson said of SRSO Sgt. Robert Lenzo and his team. “They have worked these bloodhounds for years. I was really relying on them.”

Aden said that bloodhounds are unique in the K9 field because of their tenacity in tracking. Most of the department’s dogs are trained for detection of one type or another.

“Our dogs, because they’re multipurpose dogs, lose drive after an hour,” Aden said. “Bloodhounds don’t stop. They’ve tracked five or six hours.”

2 human trafficking suspects busted in I-10 traffic stop

Two men from Mexico were arrested Jan. 17 after it was discovered during a traffic stop on Interstate 10 that their vehicle contained nine occupants, all of which were in the country illegally.

The traffic stop occurred near mile marker 74 in Walton County, which is just east of Mossy Head. 

The passengers were being taken to two major cities in Florida and the driver was being paid $500 each to smuggle them into the United States for work. The passenger is a friend of the drivers and was being paid by him to help him drive, according to the Florida Highway Patrol press release.

The driver and passenger were arrested and are each being charged with seven counts of human smuggling. The driver is 21-year-old Hugo Giovani Lopez-Gomez. The passenger is 22-year-old Gamaliel Alvarez-Hernandez.

Body initially linked to Baker landfill is identified

The body found in a Jackson County landfill may turn out to have no connection to the Baker landfill, according to the most recent information about the body.

Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said authorities had originally believed the body may have been picked up in Baker by a trash hauler and taken to Jackson County, where it was discovered.

The body was found Sunday, Jan. 9, about a week after a prominent LGBTQ advocate in Tallahassee was reported missing.

“Jorge Diaz-Johnston was sadly located deceased around 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 8 in Jackson County,” read a post on the Tallahassee Police Department website. “At this time, the Tallahassee Police Department is investigating Diaz-Johnston’s death as a homicide.”

Detectives ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to please call TPD at 850-891-4200. They may also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.

 

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