Police briefs 3/8/18

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 3/7/18

Pot grow operation busted near Orange Park

ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park area man was arrested March 6 for allegedly growing marijuana at his home.

The investigation began with an …

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Police briefs 3/8/18

Posted

Pot grow operation busted near Orange Park

ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park area man was arrested March 6 for allegedly growing marijuana at his home.

The investigation began with an anonymous call to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and led to the arrest of Clarence Richard Staples, 64, who, police said, was growing marijuana in a backyard shed in the 400 block of Neptune Road.

Two detectives went to Staples’ house and knocked on the door but nobody answered. Shortly after, Staples’s son approached the detectives from his driveway and asked if everything was OK, according to the police report.

Detectives asked the younger Staples if they could check out the shed in his backyard. He obliged and allowed the detectives into the shed, which police said, smelled strongly of marijuana.

Detectives said the son quickly began breathing heavily and showing signs of nervousness. Staples called his father, Clarence Staples, and asked him to come home. When Clarence Staples arrived, police explained what was going on and after reading him his rights, Clarence agreed to a search of the shed. Police seized artificial grow lights and other items from the operation but did not disclose how many plants were seized or destroyed.

Police arrested Staples and transported him to the Clay County Jail. He was bailed out on an undisclosed amount.

 

Child molestation charge for Jax man

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Jacksonville man was arrested on Feb. 28 after allegedly molesting a victim under 12 years of age.

On Jan. 16, a mother told the Clay County Sheriff’s Office that Jorge O. Alfonso, 52, molested her daughters after one of her daughters informed her that Alfonso had touched her breasts in a sexual manner.

This same daughter told her mother that Alfonso also molested her sister two years prior, according to the police report. One victim told investigators that Alfonso forced her to put her hand between his legs. Both incidents took place in Clay County.

On Jan. 22, First Coast Child Protection interviewed both sisters in reference to the investigation where they qualified that the victims knew the difference between truth and lie and understood why they were being interviewed in the first place.

Following further investigation, police obtained a warrant for Alfonso’s arrest. On Feb. 28, Alfonso was transported from the Duval County Jail to the Clay County Jail. Alfonso is charged with two counts of lewd or molestation on a victim under 12 years of age. He is still currently in the Clay County Jail with no bond amount set.

 

Knife threat ends in assault charge

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – A Keystone Heights man was arrested on March 2 after threatening a woman with a knife during a fight that took place in the middle of State Road 100.

On March 2, a witness told the Clay County Sheriff’s Office she was sitting inside her house when she heard her dogs barking. She walked outside and observed a woman and a man named Jacob Dylan Loper, 36, who were in a relationship at the time, fighting each other.

According to the report, when police arrived at the scene, they found the woman and Loper sitting on the ground. Police searched Loper and found a knife in his right front pocket.

Police said both Loper and his girlfriend said that no physical contact occurred during their fight. She also stated that Loper never threatened her with the knife.

After speaking with the witness, police confronted the girlfriend to verify the witness’ statements. At this time, the girlfriend said Loper pushed her down and grabbed her by the hair. However, the girlfriend continued to deny that Loper threatened her with a knife nor did police find any physical injuries on the woman.

After an hour of investigation, CCSO transported Loper to the Clay County Jail where he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon due to intentionally displaying a knife in a threatening manner. Loper is currently in the Clay County Jail with bond set at $50,003.

 

Jax man charged with armed carjacking

ORANGE PARK – A Jacksonville man was arrested on Feb. 28 after allegedly holding a woman at gunpoint and her stealing her vehicle.

On April 7, 2017 a mother and her daughter were exiting their vehicle parked in their driveway in the 1900 block of Bluebird Run East near Orange Park when two men approached them.

Police would later identify one man as Bobby Lorenzo Taylor, 21.

One of the men, who was armed with a handgun, demanded the key from the mother, who then told her daughter to call police.

While attempting to call police, the armed man put the gun to the mother’s head and asked her if she wanted to die, so she handed over the keys to both Taylor and his accomplice. The two men entered her vehicle and fled the scene, according to the report.

Police obtained a warrant for Taylor, which was issued and on Feb. 28, Taylor was arrested and transported from the Duval County Jail to the Clay County Jail where he is still currently with bond set at $150,003.

 

60-year sentence for Middleburg child pornographer

TAMPA – A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a Middleburg man to 60 years in federal prison after entering a plea of guilty on March 1.

Judge Brian J. Davis sentenced former software engineer Andrew Leslie, 23, for using an infant and a toddler to produce child pornography. His prison sentence will be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

Leslie pleaded guilty in federal court on Oct. 21, 2017.

“Yesterday’s sentence demonstrates the severity of the crimes committed in this case,” said Chapa Lopez, U.S. attorney. “We intend to continue our pursuit in prosecuting such egregious crimes as this, in hopes that justice will be served for the victims.”

“Andrew Leslie committed unspeakable crimes against the most vulnerable of victims, children so young that they literally cannot speak for themselves” said John P. Cronan, acting assistant attorney general. “Our prosecutors and law enforcement partners are committed to identifying and prosecuting offenders like Andrew Leslie and securing sentences like yesterday’s, which ensures that he will never harm another child.”

“This predator has committed atrocities that are beyond comprehension,” said Charge Spero special agent. “We hope yesterday’s sentencing can bring some solace to the victims in their recovery process.”

According to admissions made in conjunction with the guilty plea, during the execution of a federal search warrant at Leslie’s Middleburg residence, agents located a digital camera next to Leslie’s bed. Inside of the camera was a memory card that contained a series of images depicting Leslie sexually abusing two children, one of which was an infant child and the second who was approximately two years old.

The two-year-old child, whom Leslie admitted was in bed with Leslie at the time law enforcement agents entered the residence, was found in the residence and rescued. Forensic analysis of other digital devices seized from the residence revealed that Leslie had produced, received, distributed and possessed numerous images and videos depicting child pornography.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Rodney Brown of the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorney Lauren E. Britsch of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

 

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