CCSO responds to shooting at residence in beverly hills

Today, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residence in the area of West Alamo Drive in Beverly Hills in reference to a possible shooting.

Upon arrival, deputies quickly learned that one of the occupants inside the home was shot and the gunman remained inside the residence.

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County calls for public to be aware of human trafficking

Representatives from social agencies and law enforcement are presented with a proclamation declaring January 2020 as Human Traffic Awareness Month in Citrus County (January 21, 2020)

The Citrus County Commission on Tuesday proclaimed the month of January as a time to be aware of the issue of human trafficking.

Commissioners presented the proclamation to a group of law enforcement and social agencies in a special ceremony.

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Citrus County EMS response times questioned

A group of Ozello  residents have complained that EMS response times are far higher than what they believe they should be.

They told Citrus County Commissioners that, for them, the longest wait time for paramedic service by Naturecoast EMS was 80 minutes. (December 16, 2019).

County votes down taking out NY Times digital subscription with 3-2 vote

It was a full house as the Citrus County recosidered its decision to pay for the county library subscription to the New York Times (PHOTO: Robby Douglas on November 19, 2019)

In Citrus County, Florida, county commissioners have voted 3-2 to not take out a digital subscription for the New York Times, but to keep the printed version of the paper instead.

County officials’ during the board’s Oct. 24 meeting drew fire when the paper was alleged to have said the  the paper has been writing “fake news.”

The commissioners were widely criticized by Democrats, Social, local and National Media and County residents .

Below is the video excerpt of the commission’s discussion about the Times.

Inverness man faces 50 counts of possession of child porn

Joshua J. Faciane. (PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff’s Office)

Following a cyber tip received on July 7  from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) arrested an Inverness man after discovering child pornography on his computer.

After an extensive investigation, deputies arrested Joshua J. Faciane, 40, who was subsequently charged with 50 counts of possession of child pornography.

The tip was generated by a major web services company and included numerous images of child pornography associated with one of their subscribers, the Sheriff’s Office said. Sergeant Stephen Conley and Detectives Tiffany Barry and Chris Cornell were able to confirm that the images were, in fact, child pornography. The cybertip was assigned to the CCSO’s High Tech Crimes Unit to investigate.

With established probable cause, a search warrant was executed on July 12 at the Faciane’s residence at 5554 South Barco Terrace in Inverness. Detectives seized numerous digital media and storage devices for further examination.

Upon further investigation, pictures of a young female, fully clothed, were discovered. Due to the content and location of these pictures, detectives became concerned for her safety, the Sheriff’s Office said. Immediately working to identify and potentially remove the young female from a dangerous situation, detectives interviewed her at Jessie’s Place (a children’s advocacy center) in Lecanto. She did not disclose any information that made detectives believe she was a victim of any physical or sexual abuse, the CCSO said.  She is now at a safe location and protected from any potential harm.

During the forensic examination of the devices seized during the search warrant, Detective Cornell was able to clearly identify approximately 3,000 pictures and multi-media files depicting child pornography. With the assistance of the State Attorney’s Office, an arrest warrant was obtained for Faciane.

On Sept. 18, Faciane was arrested at Ocala Regional Hospital and transported to the Marion County Jail, where his bond was set at $100,000. CCSO’s Special Victims Unit detectives and members of the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force were on scene with the Ocala Police Department during the arrest.

“The most heinous crime is where criminals prey on innocent children,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Detectives in cases such as these have to view and analyze the images and videos of young children being exploited; it’s upsetting. We appreciate our High Tech Crimes Unit detectives’ commitment in identifying potential victims and arresting the people that commit these repulsive crimes.”

The CCSO said that if you are a victim, or know of a victim in this case, call office at 352-726-1121 to make a report.

Deputies arrest son for death of his mother

Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies on Monday arrested the son of apparent murder victim Denise Hallowell, 57, who was found dead on July 13.

Denise Hallowell’s son, Carlos Hallowell, 17, was allegedly sleeping in his room at the time of this horrific murder and said he was awakened by their dogs barking.

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Body of missing paddle boarder found

Joshua Hensley (PHOTO: CCSO)

The body of paddle boarder, 43 year-old Joshua Hensley. was recovered by Marine Unit Deputies in the waters of Kings Bay in Crystal River.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate the incident, and in a statement, the CCSO said it will provide more information as it becomes available.

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Silver Alert turns to tragedy with discovery of body

Mary Gates. (PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 7, 2019)

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday said that the search for Mary Gates, age 94, ended after her body was located off of a hiking trail in Inverness.

She was reported missing on Friday night and a Silver Alert was initiated.

Deputies located her vehicle first near the entrance to the hiking trail, and after searching the area with ATV’s, a bloodhound and aviation units found her body.

The Sheriff’s Office said that no foul play is suspected at this time..