Ongoing drug investigation catches more in its snare

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The Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) has completed Quarter Three of Operation Coin Toss, a comprehensive operation with the objective of cracking down on the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics within Citrus County.

The sheriff’s office said today that the team added 22 new names on the roster this quarter, and also had time to follow up on previous quarters by making an additional 16 arrests for probation violations.

The CCSO also made another interception with the largest recorded heroin bust in agency history.

“Your sheriff’s office is at the top of its game. Combating illegal drug activity in our county is an ongoing mission,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

“We are closer to completing this objective, through crackdown efforts like these, in all stages of Operation Coin Toss. Illicit drugs tear families apart, destroy neighborhoods and take lives. With our continued operation, we will arrest those responsible to help keep our families safe, to keep our community safe, and to save precious lives.”

CCSO executed seven search warrants throughout the county at the following addresses:

  • 11827 E. Cardinal Place, Floral City
  • 6321 W. Orange Lane, Crystal River
  • 5295 E. Mimosa Lane, Inverness
  • 1532 W. Gainsboro Lane, Citrus Springs
  • 6495 N. Nature Trail, Hernando
  • 614 NW. US 19, Crystal River (hotel room #1213)
  • 871 NE. 5th Terrace, Crystal River

The execution of the search warrants resulted in 22 arrests (11 of those arrested are prior-convicted felons) with 55 felony and 36 misdemeanor charges.

The suspects arrested are as follows:

  • Joshua Phillips (DOB 02/03/1992) – Four counts possession controlled substance w/intent to sell, two counts possession controlled substance, possession firearm by convicted felon, own/lease/rent drug dwelling, possession marijuana under 20g, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Rhonda Harris (DOB 11/24/1980) – Four counts possession controlled substance w/intent to sell, two counts possession controlled substance, possession firearm by convicted felon, own/lease/rent drug dwelling, possession marijuana under 20g, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Matthew Horne (DOB 08/11/1987) – Possession methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession controlled substance, possession marijuana under 20g, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Sarah Carter (DOB 01/14/1993) – Possession methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession controlled substance, possession marijuana under 20g, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Cameron McCullough (DOB 09/03/1988) – Assault on a law enforcement officer, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Rose Corriveau (DOB 01/10/1992) – Warrant out of Pasco County reference possession controlled substance and petit theft.
  • Ronald Haecker (DOB 06/09/1965) – Possession controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia. Haecker was also arrested for violation of probation.
  • Gerald Deam (DOB 12/19/1978) – Possession controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Robert Panholzer (DOB 07/19/1970) – Possession controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Leslie Benfield (DOB 03/24/1978) – Possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Joshua Nixon (DOB 10/15/1977) – Possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Matthew Thweatt (DOB 02/21/1989) – Possession of drug paraphernalia. Misdemeanor citation issued.
  • Janine Polidori (DOB 12/30/1970) – Possession of approx. 6g of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Thomas Hoehman Jr. (DOB 11/05/1981) – Possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Thomas Caromano (DOB 11/13/1973) -Violation of domestic injunction.
  • Larry James (DOB 07/29/1972) – Possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Marlene Schofield (DOB 12/07/1967) – Possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of probation.
  • Simeon Hopkins (DOB 07/12/1993) – Trafficking in cocaine, manufacturing cocaine, possession of controlled substance, own/lease/rent drug dwelling.
  • Miranda Parker (DOB 04/12/1984) – Trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking in MDMA, possession w/intent to sell marijuana, possession w/intent to sell oxycodone, rent/own/lease drug dwelling, child neglect w/o harm.
  • Devona Ruiz (DOB 12/22/1977) – Trafficking in heroin, possession w/intent to sell cocaine, possession w/intent to sell methamphetamines, four counts possession controlled substance, manufacturing crack cocaine, rent/lease/own drug dwelling, possession marijuana less than 20g, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Eric Pazian (DOB 01/26/1992) – Trafficking in heroin, possession w/intent to sell cocaine, possession w/intent to sell methamphetamines, four counts possession controlled substance, manufacturing crack cocaine, rent/lease/own drug dwelling, possession marijuana less than 20g, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Marcus Sawyer (DOB 11/02/1968) – Trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent to sell, rent/own/lease drug dwelling.

During the execution of these search warrants, officials seized large quantities of various drugs, to include methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl.

The search warrant conducted at the North Nature Trail residence resulted in the seizure of 261g of methamphetamine, 56g of MDMA, 5g fentanyl and 241g of marijuana (total street value of $14,310).

The search of the hotel room on U.S. 19 in Crystal River was a record bust, with 81g of heroin (largest recorded heroin seizure for Citrus County Sheriff’s Office), 17g methamphetamine, 1g MDMA, assorted pills and $5,474 in cash (total street value $15,270). Furthermore, officials located a large sum of cash ($11,531), 447.98g cannabis, 1.5 alprazolam pills and 47.83g cocaine during the search of the NE 5th Terrace residence.

In addition, Code Enforcement officials responded to assess the properties at both the West Orange Lane and East Mimosa Lane addresses for violations. They have recommended demolition of all the structures on both properties, due to their unsafe conditions.

The Sheriff’s Office also thanks the U.S. Marshals’ Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, the State Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Citrus County Code Compliance Office, and the Florida Department of Corrections’ Office of Community Corrections for continually assisting us during Operation Coin Toss.

The following subjects were also arrested for Warrants/Probation Violations during this operation:

  • Veronica Meadows (DOB 09/20/1997) – FTA possession controlled substance and paraphernalia.
  • Meria Nicholes (DOB 03/16/1985) – VOP possession methamphetamine, child neglect, fraudulent use of identification, principal to burglary of a conveyance.
  • Jason Roe (DOB 09/19/1978) – VOP possession of paraphernalia.
  • Shawn Maynard (DOB 06/19/1975) – VOP possession methamphetamine, possession heroin, possession paraphernalia, resist an officer without violence, grand theft, FTA driving while license suspended/revoked.
  • Donald Maynard (DOB 01/16/1968) – VOP possession methamphetamine, possession oxycodone, possession buprenorphine.
  • Carla Hoffman (DOB 08/30/1959) – VOP sale of methamphetamine.
  • Amber Hatley (DOB 02/21/1988) – VOP possession methamphetamine, possession morphine, (new charge for possession of controlled substance).
  • Corey Clayborn (DOB 06/06/1991) – VOP sale of heroin (new charge for 3 cts. possession controlled substance and possession controlled substance with intent to sell).
  • Jamar Johnson (DOB 11/23/1990) – FTA possession controlled substance, possession cocaine, possession paraphernalia, driving while license suspended/revoked – rearrested for VOP on those charges (new charge for possession of methamphetamine, resist w/o violence, possession paraphernalia).
  • Jason Jablonski (DOB 10/16/1984) – VOP possession methamphetamine (new charge for resist officer w/o violence).
  • Alfonso Santos (DOB 08/21/1983) – VOP possession methamphetamine.
  • Errin Perry (DOB 12/22/1967) – VOP 2cts. sale of methamphetamine (new charge for possession controlled substance and possession paraphernalia).
  • Michael Venuto (DOB 06/01/1996) – VOP possession cocaine.
  • Joseph Odonnell (DOB 12/15/1993) – VOP possession of methamphetamine.
  • Chrystal Hinchliffe (DOB 08/05/1983) – VOP trafficking amphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.
  • Garrett Prosak (DOB 06/29/1980) – VOP theft, possession controlled substance, auto theft, possession of paraphernalia.

“Our office is already working towards the successful execution of the fourth and final quarter of Operation Coin Toss,” Sheriff Prendergast said. “Stay tuned for the final rundown.”

If you suspect illegal drug activity in your neighborhood, call (352)726-1121 to report your suspicions to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. You may also contact Crime Stoppers of Citrus County at 1-888-ANY-TIPS to remain anonymous. Or download the Sheriff’s App via your app store (search Citrus County Sheriff’s Office) to use the Submit a tip’ feature to instantly make a report.

2 thoughts on “Ongoing drug investigation catches more in its snare”

  1. What is wrong with our country when all of these people are involved in the drug trade in Citrus County. We as a people need to look inwardly for some answers. When do people grow up and start becoming responsible productive citizens instead of drug heads. Of course liberals will make all kinds of excuses for this kind of behavior. The Cronicle will have an article about how bad the society has been to these people and they are just misunderstood. Keep up the good work Sheriff I don’t need one of these people breaking into my home to support there dope needs.

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