Today, deputies and investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on South Bay Grove Drive in Freeport around 3:30 pm after a 4 year old was shot in the chest with a Daisy Roger .177 caliber BB gun. The 4 year olds’ 14 year old cousin was standing 6 to 8 feet away when he pulled the trigger. The 4 year old was taken by ambulance to Bay Medical and went straight to surgery upon arrival. Due to the seriousness of the incident, a deputy sheriff assisted the paramedics in their treatment and stabilization of the victim. The 4 year old is listed in critical condition per Bay Medical.
“The paramedics were heroes in tending to the 4 year old and should be commended for their prompt and skillful actions,” stated Sgt Mark Wendel with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
A special thanks goes to Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Panama City Beach Police Department and Panama City Beach Police for controlling traffic in order to expedite the ambulance in getting to the hospital.
On Wednesday, December 4th, Deputy Chad Biernacki responded to a disturbance call at 12500 W. US Highway 98. Upon arrival, Deputy Biernacki noticed a male sitting in the driver seat and a female sitting in the passenger seat of a silver vehicle. Biernacki spoke to both individuals and noticed that the male appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic. A K-9 Unit was called to the scene to conduct a free air sniff of the vehicle. K9 “Nero” alerted on the vehicle and a search was conducted. Several baggies of suspected marijuana, crystal meth, prescription meds which neither individual had a prescription for, drug paraphernalia and $7,280 cash was all located inside the vehicle in a backpack that contained both individual’s personal property. A Taurus .38 Special was also located under the driver’s seat.
ohn Cooper Fant, 41, and April Michelle Burton, 37, are both charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Fant, who is a convicted felon is also being charged with possession of a firearm or ammo by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
Jim Carey, a Criminal Intelligence Analyst with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office was chosen as the Non-Sworn Employee of the quarter. Carey has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2004 but brings over 30 years of law enforcement experience. In his previous assignment, Carey was a crime scene investigator and is now a member of the Criminal Intelligence Unit which analyzes real time intelligence and relays leads to the Criminal Investigations Bureau and Patrol. Due to his hard work, investigators were able to solve multiple car and home burglary cases where arrests were made and property was returned to the rightful owners. Carey conducted research and created maps that helped pinpoint locations of where burglaries occurred that assisted the investigators and deputies in linking the criminal’s method of operations. Carey also puts together Officer Safety Bulletins which are shared among other agencies as well as our own. Carey’s supervisor, Captain Donnie Clark stated, “Jim’s dedication and commitment to solve crimes within Walton County is invaluable.”
On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, Walton County Sheriff’s Office Investigators executed a search warrant after a month long investigation at the residence of Donald Joseph Wood, 49, of 800 Landfill Road, DeFuniak Springs, Florida. During the search, investigators located chemicals and paraphernalia used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine; along with an access of over 200 grams of methamphetamine. Woods was arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine (2nd Degree Felony), Trafficking in Methamphetamine (1st Degree Felony), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (1st Degree Misdemeanor).
In addition, four more arrests were made during the time of the search warrant. Alexander Wood, 23, was arrested and charged with Possession of Methamphetamine (3rd Degree Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (1st Degree Misdemeanor). Tonya Michelle Davis, 35, was arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine (2nd Degree Felony). Joanna Leann Jackson, 22, was arrested and charged with Possession of less than 20 grams of Marijuana (1st Degree Misdemeanor) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (1st Degree Misdemeanor). Allan Lee Nabors, 40, fled on foot from the residence but was taken into custody without incident. Nabors was arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine (2nd Degree Felony), Trafficking in Methamphetamine (1st Degree Felony), Possession of a Listed Chemical (2nd Degree Felony) and Resisting an Officer without Violence (1st Degree Misdemeanor).
Deputies from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit, K9 Unit, Patrol Bureau and K9 Unit from the Walton Correctional Institute assisted in the apprehension of Nabors. All five individuals were transported to the Walton County Department of Corrections.
As a result of a two week investigation, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office arrested Deputy Lester Rodgers this morning, Wednesday, December 4th. Rodgers obtained a Benchmade knife from another individual and pawned it knowing that it was stolen. Rodgers was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Rodgers, 32, was hired by the Walton County Sheriff’s in January of 2005 as a corrections officer and became a deputy sheriff in 2007. Rodgers is terminated from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Mike Adkinson stated, “This is difficult but the right thing to do. The public has to have faith in our profession and we will hold ourselves accountable.”