Elderly man arrested in Floral City drug search

An elderly Floral City man on Tuesday was arrested after a drug search was executed at his home.

William Carlton Sr.

An elderly Floral City man on Tuesday was arrested after a drug search was executed at his home.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office served the warrant at the home of William Carlton Sr. at 12770 South Oakview Avenue in Floral City at about 9:45 a.m.

The Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday said that narcotics detectives obtained the search warrant after learning that the home was used to sell significant amounts of marijuana.

During the execution of the search warrant, detectives located 464 grams of cannabis, 20-gauge shotgun ammunition, and over $25,500 in cash inside of Carlton’s bedroom. Detectives also searched a large wooden barn located on the property and discovered 711 grams of cannabis and various pieces of distribution equipment – to include a vacuum seal machine, a large digital scale, and various sized plastic baggies used to package drugs.

After learning that the cash located in Carlton’s room was obtained from the sale of cannabis, detectives seized the currency for forfeiture. Due to the large sum of cash and various evidence collected, the Sheriff’s Office said, detectives estimated that Carlton was selling pounds of illegal marijuana every day.

Carlton was arrested and charged with Possession of Cannabis with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon and Possession of Paraphernalia.

“Not only was William Carlton Sr. a convicted felon in violation of the law by possessing firearm ammunition, but he was an even greater threat to our community from his illegal drugs activity,” a statement from the Sheriff’s Offfice said.

“It is not breaking news that the growing range of drugs in Florida are laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate drug that can be fatal in small quantities. No one could know if the next batch of marijuana that Carlton would sell contained this deadly substance until it was too late.

“Fentanyl-laced marijuana is a real and growing concern. That’s why your Sheriff’s Office will never stop enforcing the law and combating the illegal drug activity to make Citrus County the safest community in Florida.”

11 pounds of pot seized during traffic stop

Citrus County deputies on Thursday seized 11 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop in Inverness.

Gavin Greer

Citrus County deputies on Thursday seized 11 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop in Inverness.

Just after 5 p.m., Tactical Impact Unit detectives pulled over a vehicle on East Dano Street and North Corbin Avenue.

After the vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign, detectives approached the car and detected the distinct smell of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. The driver, 19 year-old Gavin Greer of Inverness, was asked to step out of the vehicle while detectives conducted a free air sniff with K-9 Anakin.

After K-9 Anakin alerted to narcotics being inside the vehicle, detectives found 11 vacuum-sealed baggies containing marijuana, each weighing approximately a pound each, inside the car. Greer was placed under arrest for the intent to sell cannabis with a bond set at $5,000.

“Eleven pounds of marijuana is now off our streets,” said Sheriff Prendergast.

“While some may be argumentative about this bust, claiming it’s ‘just marijuana,’ let me tell you–first and foremost, marijuana is illegal in the state of Florida. This was a great catch by our Patrol and TIU detectives.”

 

Pleasant Grove Elementary School teacher facing marijuana charges

A Physical Education Teacher at Pleasant Grove Elementary School is facing marijuana charges.

Kimberly Hellenburg
Kimberly Hellenburg

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday morning arrested a Physical Education teacher at Pleasant Grove Elementary School and charged her with selling and possessing marijuana.

Kimberly Hellenburg, 55, was arrested on active Citrus County arrest warrants, the CCSO said

She was charged with two counts of selling marijuana and two counts of possession of marijuana. This occurred after narcotics detectives with the Sheriff’s Office’s Tactical Impact Unit concluded a several-week investigation into illegal sales from her home at 6716 E. Blue Heron Lane in Inverness.

During the investigation, the CCSO said, detectives were able to purchase large amounts of marijuana from Hellenburg. During the execution of a search warrant, detectives located more than two pounds of marijuana in the home, distribution equipment and at least one-half pound of marijuana in Hellenburg’s bedroom.

Hellenburg’s son, Brendan Brown, 19, was arrested at the same home on Dec. 28, 2017, when detectives served a search warrant at the residence. Brown was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after it was learned Brown would receive large amounts of marijuana in the mail from California.

It was learned Hellenburg was a teacher at a local elementary school late in the investigation, TIU Sgt. Ed Blair said. “It was important to us that after learning of her career as a teacher and the influences she has on our young children that she be arrested before students returned to school from winter break,” Blair said. After the arrest, school board officials were notified and made aware of the charges.

The specific charges are as follows:

  • Two counts Sale of a Controlled Substance and two counts Possession of a Controlled Substance.