Police Briefs 5/28/20


Outraged neighbors, recent overdose prompt CCSO to arrest 8 in drug raid

MIDDLEBURG – Eight people were arrested following a drug raid at a house that was the focus of outraged neighbors and where an overdose death was reported earlier this month.

Members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Targeted Narcotics Team rounded up Rhonda Michelle Savage, Douglas Burttron Morgan, Russell Lee Savage, Shawna Marie Gibbons, Charles Mason McClaskey, Lynn Bernard Johns, Austen Levi Downs and Misty Lee Downs all were rounded up during the raid at 2339 Daisy St.

CCSO had their eye on the house after someone died of an overdose earlier in May.

Those arrested, all from Middleburg, included:

• Rhonda Savage, 47, was charged with possession of 11.22 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

• Morgan, 48, was charged with maintaining a home known to conduct drug business, possession of methamphetamine, Alprazolam and drug paraphernalia.

• Russell Savage, 47, was charged with possession of methamphetamine.

• Gibbons, 38, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

• McClaskey, 31, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

• Johns, 66, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Austen Downs, 25, was charged with possession of fentanyl and drug paraphernalia.

• Misty Downs, 46, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Austen Downs was arrested after he fled the house on a bicycle at Johns Cemetery Road and North Mimosa Avenue.

According to the sheriff’s office, 10 people were living in the home or in trailers on the property. Detectives located several campers and derelict vehicles on the property which were used as makeshift residences. Garbage littered the property and human excrement was found splattered along a fence bordering the neighboring property.

“Methamphetamine, fentanyl and drug paraphernalia were recovered and deputies arrested eight people,” CCSO released on its social media pages. “In addition to an overdose death that occurred earlier this month, the sheriff’s office has received numerous complaints in recent days regarding outrageous behavior exhibited by individuals high on narcotics and the decreased quality of life in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.

“The sheriff’s office is committed to targeting and enforcing the use and sale of illegal narcotics in our county and the improvement of the quality of life for our citizens.”

Keystone Heights man charged with molesting 13-year-old

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – A 52-year-old man was arrested after being accused with touching a 13-year-old child’s genitals on five occasions.

Mark Allen Vankirk was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim older than 12, but younger than 16.

According to the sheriff’s office, the victim said the molestations happened between late November and Christmas Eve last year.

Man arrested for trying to outrun CCSO on stolen motorcycle

MIDDLEBURG – A Green Cove Springs man was arrested for drugs and dealing in stolen property after he tried to outrun the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on May 20 after he ran a stop sign at Blanding Boulevard and Peppergrass Street.

Dalton Wayne Carver, 22, was charged with dealing in stolen property, possession of marijuana, resisting arrest, attempting to flee with flashing lights and siren active and operating his motorcycle with a suspended license.

According to the arrest report, a deputy was forced to chase Carver in a high-speed chase on Blanding. Carver was forced to wreck the motorcycle while trying to avoid a tractor-trailer.

He eventually was caught in the Walgreens Pharmacy parking lot.

Not only did the deputy find marijuana, he learned the motorcycle was reported stolen from Duval County.

Man busted for setting girlfriend’s clothes on fire

ORANGE PARK – A local man was arrested after he admitted to setting some of his girlfriend’s clothes on fire during a drunken rage. Zachary Michael Murdock, 23, was charged on May 23 with criminal mischief and failed to obtain a permit. According to the arrest report, Murdock arrived home in a taxi after a night of drinking. He and his girlfriend had been fighting, according to CCSO, so he took some shirts outside and set them on fire. When sheriff’s office deputies arrived, they found the pile of smoldering clothes.


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