4 unlicensed, unregulated contractors arrested

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) on Wednesday concluded a joint investigation with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), CCSO’s Seniors vs Crime, and the Citrus County Building Department, rooting out unlicensed individuals who advertise and perform regulated construction work in Citrus County.

CCSO’s Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) and Community Crimes Detectives arrested the following individuals for violations of Florida state statute regarding unlicensed contracting:

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Illness temporarily closes county animal shelter

Citrus County Animal Services has temporarily closed the shelter, until further notice, due to an unknown highly contagious upper respiratory infection.

The shelter medical staff and administration have consulted with Veterinarians from the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program who are experts in the field of treatment and management of illnesses in shelters.

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Road rage suspect leads deputies on chase through Citrus, Hernando counties

A Winter Haven man has been arrested following a wild Sunday night ride through Citrus and Hernando counties.

A Winter Haven man has been arrested following a wild Sunday night ride through Citrus and Hernando counties.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office says that shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO)  and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) took 23-year-old Charles Austin Alec Jewell of Winter Haven into custody following that vehicle pursuit.

Jewell led Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies on an extensive chase throughout the area of Inverness and Floral City, the CCSO said.

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Cigarette thieves hit Lake Panasofkee Circle K

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is thanking residents for tips that recently led to identifying three suspects wanted in a large cigarette heist in Sumter County.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is thanking residents for tips that recently led to identifying three suspects wanted in a large cigarette heist in Sumter County. The suspects’ names were not released on July 23. (PHOTOS: Sumter County Sheriff’s Office on June 23, 2019(

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is thanking residents for tips that recently led to identifying three suspects wanted in a large cigarette heist in Sumter County.

It was not immediately known if the suspects had anything to do with the suspects involved in two Citrus County cigarette heists on the same day, June 19.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said that on June 19 at approximately 1:29 A.M, two black males and one black female entered the Circle K, located at 22 E-C 470, within Lake Panasoffkee, during which time the three worked in unison to steal more than 200 cartons of cigarettes.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said that it appears that, during the incident, the black female distracted the store clerk to the restroom area, at which time the two black males entered behind the store counter and begin loading large trash bags with cartons of cigarettes.

The three were seen arriving together and leaving together from the business.

The suspect vehicle appeared to be a blue 2006-2010 model Hyundai Sonata, with damage present on the driver side of the vehicle,the SCSO said. The vehicle had aftermarket wheels. Surveillance still shots of the suspects in this case along with the actual suspect vehicle involved in this incident are pictured.

Two similar cigarette thefts also occurred on June 19 — following this incident — in Citrus County.

If you have any information regarding this incident or pertaining to the suspects’ identities, please contact Detective Brent Sargent of the Criminal Investigations Division at 352-793-2621 or to remain anonymous contact Crimeline 1-800-423-TIPS(8477). Please reference case number 3125.

Landing gear frozen, but pilot lands plane safely

No injuries were reported Friday when a plane whose landing gear was stuck got unstuck when the pilot was able to deploy gear manually.

Emergency vehicles surround plane that had a frustrated landing at the Inverness Municipal Airport. (CCSO photo on June 21, 2019)

No injuries were reported Friday when a plane — whose landing gear was stuck — got things unstuck when the pilot was able to deploy gear manually.

The Citrus County Sheriiff’s Office (CCSO) said that the CCSO Aviation Unit, alongside Citrus County Fire Rescue and Nature Coast EMS, arrived on scene as the small plane circled the Inverness Airport with failing landing gear.

Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement all came together to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best, the CCSO said in a statement.

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Ocala man tracked with app captured by deputies after Homosassa burglary

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office track an Ocala man and charged him with the theft of a trailer, motorcycles and a generator

Justin Colby Manning of Ocala (Photo: Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on June 21, 2019)

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) on Friday arrested an Ocala man and charged him with the theft of a trailer that was loaded with two motorcycles and a generator taken from a home in Homosassa.

Arrested was Colby Manning, 35, who now faces two counts of grand theft for the thefts, the CCSO said. In addition, he was charged with two counts possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia after deputies located approximately a gram of meth, a little over a gram of heroin, and a glass pipe on him.

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Citrus Deputy Mitch Cook is graduating from school resource officer to retired law enforcement officer

Citrus Deputy Mitch Cook is graduating from school resource officer to retired law enforcement officer

Deputy Mitch Cook is retiring from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) after completing a 30-year career in law enforcement. (CCSO photo on June 21, 2019)

Now that graduations are over, students have said their goodbyes and the hallways are empty, School Resource Deputy Mitch Cook is ready to retire.

Deputy Cook is retiring from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) after completing an outstanding 30-year career in law enforcement.

Deputy Cook started working for CCSO on August 3, 1989, as a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Patrol Division. Throughout Deputy Cook’s career, he served the agency as a K9 Deputy, a detective, a bailiff, a corporal, a Field Training Officer and lastly, Deputy Cook ends his career as a School Resource Deputy at Citrus High School.

“We are grateful to Deputy Cook for his many years of service to the citizens of Citrus County,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “His continued devotion to mentoring the youth of our community through the School Resource Deputy program will be sincerely missed. We wish him a healthy and very happy retirement.”

During Deputy Cook’s career, he received numerous accolades for his integral roles in cases such as the 1998 arrest of counterfeiter Tom Fox and for his role as a courtroom bailiff during the emotional Jessica Lunsford murder trial of John Couey. Please join us in congratulating Deputy Cook on his dedicated career and wishing him a long, healthy, and happy retirement.

Cigarette thefts trending in Citrus County

These two suspects are shown in store surveillance during a June 19 theft at the Race Trac at 3310 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy. in Lecanto. If you have any information on these suspects or in reference to this case, please contact the Citrus County Sheriff?s Office Major Crimes Division at 352-726-1121. (June 19, 2019)

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two incidents; a robbery and a theft that occurred in the early morning hours of June 19.

At about 2:45 a.m. on June 19, three black males entered the RaceTrac at 3310 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy. in Lecanto.

They attempted to distract the store clerk by making requests for him to look in the back room for specific merchandise. The three suspects then picked up several sandwiches and brought them to the cashier, presumably to cash out.

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Former Citrus High School substitute teacher sentenced

Angela Jean Stanton

On June 19, former CHS substitute teacher Angela Stanton was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Howard.

After hearing testimony from victims and the case detective, Judge “Ric” Howard sentenced Stanton to eight years in the Department Of Corrections, followed by one year of probation.

She will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

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County offices closed in observance of the July 4 holiday

BOCC SealCitrus County Government offices will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2019 in observance of July 4 Holiday.

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