On June 18, DeMarcus T. Jefferson, 24, was booked into the Polk County Jail threatening his brother with a pistol, the Bartow Police Department reports.
Jefferson and his brother, Charles Wiggins Jr., were having an argument and Jefferson punched Wiggins in the face and had a gun pointed at him. Wiggins ran back into the house, the police reported.
After police arrested Jefferson, he waived his Miranda rights and told police the two pushed each other during the argument and in that Wiggins hit his head on the garage wall, police reported. Wiggins then ran in the house and grabbed a knife, Jefferson told police.
Police interviewed two witnesses on the scene who both said they did not see a gun. At the scene, one officer found a high-point black 9mm luger inside a recycling bin.
Accused marijuana dealer arrested
A 36-year-old Bartow man was charged with dealing marijuana when he was pulled over for driving on a suspended license on June 13, Bartow Police reported.
Andreus Jason Woods, 1710 Hamilton St., Bartow, was booked into the Polk County Jail for possession of cannabis with an intent to sell and violation of community control, the police reported.
Officer Randolph Taglirini saw a gray Dodge going east on State Road 60 and stopping for a red light at U.S. 17. It rolled over the stop bars and into the pedestrian crossing lines and Taglirini stopped Woods for that infraction at 1295 N. Spessard Holland Parkway, he reported. Before approaching Woods, Taglirini checked the driver’s license of the defendant as he said he knew him from previous interaction with him. He found Woods’ license was permanently suspended for failure to pay traffic fines.
When the officer asked him for his driver’s license, he said he didn’t have one. He told Woods why he was stopping him and then arrested him, he reported.
Upon patting him down Taglirini found a bulge in the pants pocket and found a sandwich bag with 13 packaged baggies of pot. It tested positive for pot, he reported. The total weight of the marijuana was 19.7 grams. Woods told Taglirini he sells marijuana to help support his family. Also found on him was $739 in cash, police reported.
Woman accused of stealing money, but charged with cocaine possession
Accused of stealing a few hundred dollars hidden in a person’s house that was later found, a 33-year-old Bartow woman was arrested for possession of cocaine and paraphernalia June 6 when police searched her for the money, the Bartow Police Department reported.
Police went to 1240 E. Summerlin St., where Shontia Nichole Williamson, of Bartow, was invited by Marcelo Hernandez Galindo.
Williamson asked if she could use the bathroom and Galindo later found her in the kitchen. Galindo believed Williamson took his hidden money from under a can of soup. He said there was a $100 bill in there and several $20 bills, police reported. According to reports, Galindo said he asked Williamson for the money and she ran toward the front door.
Galindo grabbed Williamson and was holding her on the front porch, according to police. Another resident, Elizabeth Cati, also grabbed Williamson, police say.
When police arrived, Williamson was on the floor and Galindo said, “She’s got my money.”
Police ordered them to allow Williamson to get up. She removed a black jacket and threw it on a bench on the porch. She said she did not take any money and the officer asked if the jacket could be searched.
In the search, a purple Crown Royal bag was in the left pocket that had a Newport cigarette pack, a box of matches and inside the cigarette pack was a small glass bottled fashioned into a pipe, police reported. The bottle was burnt inside and there was a metal screen, police reported. Police also say the box of matches had four white pills.
The burned residue on the pipe field-tested positive for cocaine. The money was not found in the jacket, police reported.
A check on the pills found they were not a controlled substance, but a prescription substance.
During this time, Cati said she found Galindo’s money behind a group of cans in the kitchen.
Operation Cyber Child nets 16 arrests
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 16 people in “Operation Cyber Child III,” an undercover operation focusing on adults traveling to meet minors to engage in sexual activity and on those who possess child pornography, it reported.
The operation was ended June 30 and included two phases. The first phase resulted in three arrests for possession of child pornography and the second phase resulted in 13 arrests for those who traveled to have sex with those who they believed were underage girls and boys.
The child pornography arrests were a result of three search warrants that were executed on June 18 at three homes in Polk County. The search warrants resulted in three individuals being arrested, to include one man who was employed with the Polk County School Board as a teacher.
The first search warrant was executed at 3362 Youngway Drive, Lakeland, in reference to multiple images of child pornography being uploaded from the residence. At the time of the search warrant, there were no occupants in the residence, however, contact was made with one resident of the house, Jesus Arroyo, 17, who responded to the scene, along with his mother, the sheriff’s office reports.
During an interview, Arroyo admitted to viewing child pornography, with the youngest victim being approximately 1 to 2 years of age and the oldest victim being approximately 10 years of age. Arroyo was charged with seven counts of possession of child pornography.
Detectives executed the second search warrant at 1512 Main St., E., Lakeland, in reference to someone at the residence uploading twenty two images of child pornography. Three individuals were inside the residence. During interviews of the residents, John King, 34, made admissions regarding viewing child pornography, with the youngest victim being approximately 6. King was charged with 22 counts of possession of child pornography.
The final search warrant was executed at 9017 Thomasville Drive, Winter Haven, regarding images of child pornography being uploaded from the residence. Contact was made with the sole resident, Matthew Tillesen, 28. During an interview with detectives, Tillesen made multiple admissions regarding the possession and distribution of child pornography, the sheriff’s office reports. Fifty images of child pornography were discovered on Tillesen’s computer, with the youngest victim being approximately 1 to 2 years of age.
Tillesen is a geometry teacher at Haines City High School, where he has worked for the past two years. Prior to his assignment at Haines City High School, Tillesen was assigned to Westwood Middle School for two years as a math teacher, and was a substitute teacher in Pinellas County for two years prior to employment in Polk County. Tillesen was charged with 50 counts of possession of child pornography (50 counts).
The second phase of the operation was from June 21-July 1. It focused on adults traveling to meet minors to engage in sexual activity. It operated from an undercover location in Polk County and included law enforcement officers from 13 different agencies.
Undercover detectives monitored various Internet web sites and social media computer applications. Detectives posted fictitious ads or profiles on various websites and applications. The suspects solicited for sex acts, sent pornographic pictures and images of themselves, and asked for nude photos of the children to be sent to them, the sheriff’s office reports. The men traveled to the undercover location to follow through with the promises made online to engage in sexual activity with the children.
Those arrested, in order of dates of arrest, are:
• Awais Iftikhar, 25, 11724 Reddy Creek Drive, Apt. 303, Orlando
• Anthony Keo, 18, 1809 Evelyn Drive, Garland, Texas
• Jose Luis Torres, 39, 306 Canary Island Circle, Davenport
• Kevin Sisco, 23, 3040 Aloma Ave., B2, Winter Park
• Jonathan Cruz, 18, 9834 Oxford Drive, Winter Haven
• Matthew “Cody” Myers, 23, 1215 Village Place, Davenport
• Michael Tyler Shaw, 21, 709 Eastlawn Drive, Celebration
• Luis Enrique Alvarez, 33, 816 N. Davis Ave., Lakeland
• Zachary Spencer, 26, 16537 Sunrise Vista Drive, Clermont
• Allen Treaster, 40, 5273 Sunset Canyon Drive, Kissimmee
• Jacob Bickel, 20, 1260 31st Street, SW, Naples
• Stephen Carlson, 23, 3570 Rolando Drive, Palm Harbor
• Timothy Lucas, 20, 132 Grovepark Drive, Davenport
Fatal accident investigation underway
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide deputies are looking into the details of a fatal crash investigation involving a motorcycle versus a pickup truck.
At 10:10 a.m., Friday, June 20, Charles J. Simon, 25, Citrus Parkway, Clermont, was operating a 2005 blue Honda motorcycle and traveling southbound on U.S. 27 in the inside lane.
U.S. 27 is a four-lane divided highway with turn lanes and median breaks along this section of the highway.
As Simon approached the intersection with California Boulevard, Michael P. Donnelly, 30, Grape Avenue, St. Cloud, was driving a 2002, white Ford F350 pickup truck was attempting to cross from McFee Drive on the east side of U.S. 27 to California Boulevard on the west side, the sheriff’s office reports.
As Donnelly attempted to enter the southbound lanes of U.S. 27, he pulled into the path of the motorcycle. The motorcycle hit the right front metal bumper of the pickup truck and was re-directed northwest across the outside lane and onto the west shoulder of the roadway approximately 100 feet from the point of impact, the sheriff’s office reported. Simon came to rest on the shoulder of the roadway adjacent to the motorcycle.
Donnelly stopped at the point of impact.
Emergency responders arrived and Simon was listed as a trauma alert with initial plans to be airlifted. However, due to his condition, he was transported via ambulance to Heart of Florida Hospital where he ultimately died at 12:37 p.m.
This section of U.S. 27 is undergoing construction. Traffic was routed into one lane of travel in both directions in the northbound lanes US 27. The roadway was re-opened after approximately 3.5 hours.
Initial investigation determined that Simon was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Donnelly was seat belted, but no airbags in his vehicle deployed. Neither impairment, speed, nor distraction appear to be factors in the crash.
The investigation is ongoing.