April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) is looking for some talented young artists to help us bring awareness during this special time. WCSO is hosting the First Annual “Family Fun” art contest. Children are encouraged to share through two dimensional artwork (ie drawing, coloring, painting, etc) ideas that display what safe family fun activities consists of.
There will be three age categories: 5-10, 11-14, and 15-17. Photos will be shared on our Facebook page. Top entries in each age group wins a gift card from Blast Arcade and Laser Maze in Sandestin. The overall winner will also have their drawing created into a poster to display in all Walton County Sheriff’s Office substations.
Submissions may be dropped off at the WCSO main office, 752 Triple G Road, DeFuniak Springs, FL, or the Santa Rosa Beach substation, 133 Sheriff Drive, between the hours of 8-5, Monday-Friday. You may also mail submissions to: Walton County Sheriff’s Office, 752 Triple G Road, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433. Please include name of child and age, as well as a contact number for the parent/guardian on the back of the artwork. We ask that the child reside in Walton County or attend Walton County Schools. Please do not use any paper larger than 11 X 7.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) began working an investigation in conjunction with the Hoover (Alabama) Police Department on February 6, 2013, after notification was made by the Alabama law enforcement agency that a crime had been reported to them in regards to an incident that occurred in Walton County.
The investigation revealed that Raymond Louis Smith, 43, of Birmingham, had transported a minor over the state line into Florida without the parent’s permission on or about January 19, 2013. While Smith and the minor were in Walton County staying at a rental in Miramar Beach, Smith had sexual intercourse on two occasions. Smith provided clothing and jewelry to the minor, as well as alcohol. He also took her to a tattoo parlor and paid for the minor to have a tattoo.
Various forms of evidence collected during the investigation have led to the arrest of Smith in Alabama, as well as Florida.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations also worked in conjunction with the two agencies in bringing this individual to justice.
Smith has been transported from Hoover, Alabama to the Walton County Department of Corrections and charged with two counts of Sexual Battery 24 Years of Age or Older on Victim 16 or 17 Years of Age.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) announces it has solved several felony cases which occurred in the Hammock Bay Sports Complex. Investigators and School Resource Deputies worked together to track down leads in these incidents. Six juveniles were arrested in connection to the string of crimes that occurred in January and February of this year.
Witness statements, along with Facebook messages posted by the suspects, led the investigation in the direction of the following suspects:
Morgan Cooke of Freeport; Preston Cooke of Freeport; Edward Plumley of Red Bay; Stephen Remington of Freeport; Jayson Seaberg and Nathan Seaberg of Freeport; Ryder Wolf of Freeport, and Joseph Simpson of Freeport.
M. Cooke, P. Cooke, Plumley and Remington were charged with one count each of burglary, petit theft and criminal mischief. Jayson and Nathan Seaberg were charged with three counts each of burglary, petit theft, and criminal mischief. Wolf and Simpson were charged with three counts of felony criminal mischief.
Authorities are still looking for one adult in connection with these crimes. Justin E McGlaun, 22, of Rossville, GA is wanted for one count each of burglary, petit theft and criminal mischief. If you know the whereabouts of McGlaun, please contact Inv. Don White at 850-892-8186.
Cyber-crime investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) began an investigation on February 25,2013 after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), relating to the possibility of an individual trading in child pornography media files. After further investigation, the subject who owned the online account was found to be Lane Charles Rees, 61, of Santa Rosa Beach.
Based on information gathered during the investigation, a search warrant was obtained for 323 Lakeview Drive, Santa Rosa Beach and Rees was arrested in the late evening hours of April 1st. He was charged with Possession of Child Pornography and Transmission of Child Pornography, both third degree felonies which are punishable by a combined term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and a fine of $10,000. Rees was transported and booked into the Walton County Department of Corrections.