First Day of School Introduces New SROs to Eustis Middle and Eustis High

EUSTIS, Florida—Eustis Middle and Eustis High school students will see some new faces this school year, as Eustis Police officers take over the role of school resource officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

EPD Chief Craig Capri, who has been chief a little more than a year, said it was important to him to have EPD officers in the schools. “I want our own officers in our own schools. One of the most important things is protecting our children from evil. We will engage all threats immediately,” he told Inside Lake

Capri said having his officers at EMS and EHS’ two campuses will allow his officers to build relationships with residents at an early age, which enhances trust between the community and the police department. Capri and his officers have been heavily involved in the community since he became chief, hosting numerous events including Pizza with the Police, Cookies with a Cop, and several bicycle rides.

The SRO unit will be supervised by Capt. Dave Carney, Sr. Officer David Perez will be at EMS, Sr. Officer JT Allred will be at EHS Curtwright Campus and Officer Marica Freitas will be at EHS Main Campus; Officer John Koller and Officer Cambry Herrero will serve as alternates, Capri said.

We asked the new SROs a few questions earlier this week.

Sr. Officer David Perez, Eustis Middle School

Perez is a 6-year veteran of EPD and is excited about his new role as an SRO. He told Inside Lake he is ready for any challenge that comes his way.

PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

Why did you choose to become an SRO? I became a school resource officer because I want to be a mentor for our future adult generation. Some children need a role model to look up to and I am willing to step in to provide that direction for them.

What do you want the kids to know about you? I am here for them if they need anything. I have an open door and welcome them to stop in anytime.

Do you think your presence in the schools will enhance community trust and why? I greatly think having officers in the schools enhances community trust. I believe having armed security in schools creates a peace of mind for many parents.

With the recent school shootings, safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Have you participated in active shooter training and safety drills? How does this training prepare you for the worst possible scenario? During the summer months, all officers of the Eustis Police Department participated in many trainings and safety drills regarding school safety. These trainings have helped prepare all of us for worst case scenarios. We are not afraid to go in and protect our children if it comes down to it.

What do you hope to accomplish as an SRO? I hope to establish relationships with the children at Eustis Middle School and create a positive rapport. I also hope to change perspective in the children’s minds regarding the views of police officers as most of the children may only know what they hear or see in the media.

Sr. Officer JT Allred, Eustis High School Curtright Campus

Allred has been with EPD for more than five years and is the Team Leader for the EPD SWAT Team. Allred is looking forward to being an SRO and thinks it is vital for an SRO to be active in their school.

PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

Why did you choose to become an SRO? I have children who are in school, and I know what it is like to wonder if they are safe. I chose to become an SRO because it is my way of giving back to the community. It’s my way of ensuring the generations of tomorrow have a safe place to get an education and effect positive change in their community.

What do you want the kids to know about you? My door is always open; I am not here to make life hard or make kids hate coming to school. I’m here to ensure they are safe and have a safe place to learn. I will make it my mission day in and day out to keep them out of harm’s way. I will always be there to listen and give you advice, if it’s wanted. I am one of the good guys, and together we will make it a fun school year.

Do you think your presence in the schools will enhance community trust and why? Absolutely, I am the face the kid will see. When the kids come home and talk about “their” SRO and our positive influence on them, it lays the foundation of trust. Through events at the school and getting to know all the kids, they will learn we are someone they can trust and depend on.

With the recent school shootings, safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Have you participated in active shooter training and safety drills? How does this training prepare you for the worst possible scenario? I am one of the Active Threat instructors at the police department. I went through Active Threat instructor school in January of this year, offered through F.L.E.T.C. (Federal Law Enforcement Training Commission.) Having this training and being on the SWAT team, I feel I have a hand up on the response and neutralization of an active assailant.

What do you hope to accomplish as an SRO? Build rapport with all students, and show them I’m a friendly guy and very approachable. Make sure I am available anytime a student needs to talk and make it a fun and educational school year

Officer Marcia Freitas, Eustis High School

Freitas is a two-year veteran of EPD and said she is grateful for this new opportunity. She is looking forward to developing trusting relationships with students and staff members.

Courtesy photo

Why did you choose to become an SRO? This is an amazing opportunity to get more involved with the community and to show our human side. There is more to “us” than just a badge and a gun, there’s a whole lot more to our job than just chasing bad guys.

What do you want the kids to know about you? I chose this career path to help people, and I will never stop! I will always be true to our law enforcement code of ethics.

My fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice. I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession . . .law enforcement.

Do you think your presence in the schools will enhance community trust and why? Absolutely. My marked patrol vehicle is the external deterrent to trouble, my presence and involvement inside the school is what works to keep threats from within occurring.

With the recent school shootings, safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Have you participated in active shooter training and safety drills? How does this training prepare you for the worst possible scenario? Yes, as an officer we are constantly learning new and better techniques, that way we are prepared for any challenges we may encounter.

What do you hope to accomplish as an SRO? I hope to build relationship with students and staff by being congenial, visible and accessible.

Altercation in Mount Dora Parking Lot Lands “Pastor Pete” in Jail  

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Tavares man known as “Pastor Pete” was arrested Thursday after a man he got into several arguments with accused him of throwing a box cutter through the man’s open SUV window, injuring his ear, according to an arrest affidavit.

Pedro “Pastor Pete” Custodio, 52, of Tavares, was identified by the victim as the man he argued with in the parking lot of Lowe’s, 18795 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday. The victim told police Custodio argued with him in the parking lot and approached his vehicle. At one point someone from Custodio’s vehicle threw something at the victim’s grey SUV and it shattered the back window, according to the affidavit.

Custodio continued arguing with the victim, he told police, and Custodio threw a box cutter through the victim’s open driver’s side window, and it injured his left ear, the affidavit states. Custodio returned to his vehicle and the victim followed his vehicle to get license plate information, he told police. Another altercation ensued, and Custodio is alleged to have punched the victim’s SUV near the headlight; the victim told Mount Dora Police he feared for his life, called for help and continued to follow Custodio’s vehicle.

The first altercation was captured on Lowe’s video surveillance, but the second one was obscured by trees, according to the affidavit.

The victim lost Custodio in Eustis and MDPD caught up with the victim on Old Mount Dora Road. They stopped at a nearby dealership and Custodio was identified by Eustis Police Department, according to the affidavit. Custodio admitted throwing the box cutter through the window and he was arrested for throwing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $15,000 bond.

In June 2020, Custodio was arrested for battery on a disabled adult and driving while license suspended. In that incident he was accused of battering a resident of the “quasi group home” he ran in Tavares. He claimed self defense and when Tavares Police officers asked why he did not call 9-1-1, he reportedly said, “(Expletive) you, if I hit you, you’d shoot me because that’s all cops do.”

The charge was dropped later that year after the victim could not be located, according to an announcement of no information document filed in the case.

Pair of Armed Robbers Suspected in Multiple Crimes Arrested, Police Say

CLERMONT, Florida—Two men suspected in multiple armed robberies, who were both released from state prison this year, are behind bars on $101,000 bond, according to Lake County Jail online booking records.

Dustin “Chico” Perdue, 27, of Tavares and Patrick “YG” Brown Jr., 22, of Auburndale were arrested early Thursday morning following an armed robbery at Circle K, 190 U.S. Highway 27, Clermont just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to their arrest affidavits.

Two black males with their faces covered were wearing dark clothes and gloves when they entered the store near the corner East Grand Highway, pointed guns at the store clerk and demanded money. The clerk opened two registers and the suspects stole cash and change, some of it rolled, totaling $134 according to the affidavit.

The suspects, one tall and thin, the second shorter with a medium build, both pointed handguns at the clerk and one of them put a red bag on the counter that was used to collect the money, video surveillance shows. One of the suspects appeared to have a tan-colored hoodie on underneath his dark shirt, with the hoodie covering his head. The pair fled on foot and a K9 tracked the scent to a nearby business plaza and stopped, indicating the duo got into a vehicle and fled the scene, the affidavit states.

Perdue is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds; Brown is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, according to LCJ online records.

Twenty-three minutes after the robbery, a vehicle was pulled over in Astatula for an equipment violation and Perdue and Brown were found in the vehicle, along with a female driver. Inside Lake is not naming the driver because she has not been charged with a crime. Twenty-three minutes is consistent with the amount of time it would take to drive from the robbery scene to the location of the traffic stop, a Clermont Police detective noted in the affidavit.

A handgun was spotted in plain view in the front passenger floorboard at Brown’s feet, along with a bag of marijuana in his lap, according to the affidavit.

Astatula Police searched the vehicle and found a red backpack that contained gloves, dark-colored pants, long sleeve shirts, a tan hoodie, loose and rolled change, in addition to a second handgun, according to the affidavit.

Brown and Perdue were placed under arrest for armed robbery, two counts of possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and petit theft. and transported to LCJ. The CPD detective asked both defendants be held on a “no bond” status, however each defendant’s bond is set at $101,000.

Sources have told Inside Lake the duo is suspected of multiple armed robberies and other crimes in several cities and LCSO’s jurisdiction. Inside Lake will be following these cases closely and will publish a follow-up if more charges are added.

Purdue was released from prison in February after serving nearly 10 years for a variety of burglary and grand theft charges; Brown was released from prison just over three months ago after serving just under two years for burglary and grand theft charges out of Polk County.

Leesburg Man Found Sleeping in Stolen Car in Mount Dora Facing Multiple Charges

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Leesburg man found sleeping in a stolen vehicle is facing 10 charges after running from Mount Dora Police early Monday morning, and police say he needed three doses of Narcan after becoming unresponsive following the foot chase.

MDPD responded to 2785 West Old U.S. Highway 441, near Spin City Laundry just after 2:30 a.m. Monday to investigate a suspicious vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit.

They found a man, later identified as Andrew Ray Begeot, 29, of Leesburg sleeping in the driver seat with a syringe filled with brown liquid on the passenger seat. Begeot identified himself by a name later determined to be false and officers asked Begeot to get out of the vehicle. He exited the vehicle and began running, the affidavit states.

After a brief chase, Begeot was apprehended and became unresponsive; officers requested EMS and administered three doses of Narcan to Begeot while they waited. At some point Begeot told officers he took methamphetamine and heroin. Lake EMS responded to the scene, and they took over care of Begeot, and an officer followed when Lake EMS transported him to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares. Officers on the scene found the license plate on the vehicle was stolen from Altamonte Springs and the vehicle was stolen from Orange County, according to the affidavit.

MDPD began to inventory the car and found the syringe on the passenger seat contained Fentanyl, in addition to finding a plastic pen with residue on it, a marijuana grinder and six cell phones.

MDPD dispatch later advised the name Begeot used had a Marion County warrant for grand theft. He was medically cleared and arrested for two counts of dealing in stolen property, grand theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a Fentanyl, possession of burglary tools, attaching license plate not assigned, driving with an expired license, resisting without violence and possession of drug equipment. Around 2:30 p.m. Begeot admitted his real name and he was also charged with false name to law enforcement. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $9,000 bond.

This is Begeot’s fourth arrest in 2022; in February he was arrested by Eustis Police Department for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Those charges were dropped in April. Also in April, MDPD arrested him twice, once for trespassing and a second time for resisting without violence and possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded no contest in May to all three charges and was sentenced to time served.

Rumor Leads to Restaurant Employee Getting Busted with Gun in his Pocket at Work

EUSTIS, Florida—A rumor that an employee was carrying a weapon at work turned out to be true after Eustis Police found a gun in his right pocket Saturday afternoon, according to an arrest affidavit.

A manager at Sonny’s 15800 U.S. Highway 441, Eustis told EPD he heard rumors Zachary Steven Rose, 21, of Paisley, was carrying weapon after drug deal went bad, according to the arrest affidavit. The manager said Rose was going to be written up for a prior incident but felt unsafe and wanted officers to check him for a weapon.

EPD went to the kitchen at the restaurant and asked Rose if he had a weapon and he confirmed he did and officers located the loaded .380 Ruger in his right pocket, and he was secured in handcuffs. Rose does not have a concealed weapons permit. Officers also found a THC vape pen. Rose told officers he had the gun for protection, and he has never sold drugs at work, the affidavit states. Rose said he bought the gun from “someone” and it was not reported stolen.

Rose was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and possession of THC oil. He was transported to the Lake County Jail where he is being held on no bond due to a recommit from a previous charge.

In March, Rose was arrested by EPD for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia after the vehicle he was riding in was stopped for not having a license plate. K9 Mya found 13.1 grams of meth and Rose admitted it was his, according to that arrest affidavit. That case is still pending.

Eustis Man Accused of Fleeing Clermont Police, Speeding Through Busy Park and Tossing Backpack Containing Nearly 700 Grams of Meth and Over 70 Grams of Pink and White Cocaine

CLERMONT, Florida—A Eustis man accused a fleeing a Clermont Police officer on a traffic stop, running on foot and tossing a backpack full of drugs is facing numerous charges and is being held on no bond for failure to appear in court in a neighboring county.

According to an arrest affidavit, a sergeant with Clermont Police Department attempted to stop a silver Infiniti for an expired tag shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 27 near Johns Lake Road.

The Infiniti turned onto Johns Lake Road and into the parking lot of Lake Felter Park, 1750 Johns Lake Road, slowed and turned sideways. The sergeant exited his vehicle and the driver, later identified as Darnell Lanier Hill, 27, of Eustis, looked directly at the sergeant, put his hands up and sped through the parking lot while dozens of people, including children, were at the park, according to the affidavit.

Hill left the park and turned onto Johns Lake Road and CPD did not pursue the Infiniti, the affidavit states. Six minutes later, another CPD officer spotted the cat at State Road 50 and Magnolia Point Boulevard. The officer activated his lights and approached the Infiniti and Hill jumped out the car with a black backpack and fled on foot, the affidavit states.

Darnell Hill, 27, of Eustis. PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

CPD pursued Hill on foot, and he tossed the backpack and ran up the exterior staircase of a building located at 17320 State Road 50, Clermont and CPD established a perimeter around the building. A citizen and their son reported seeing Hill throw the backpack and officers found it under a truck.

About 12 minutes later, Hill exited the building and began vomiting. He was taken into custody and officers searched the backpack and found a cache of drugs. Inside the backpack, officers found a loaded 9mm handgun, four large bags of drugs, a scale and numerous small empty baggies, commonly used for the sale of narcotics, according to the affidavit.

Two bags of a crystal substance weighing a total of 677.5 grams were field-tested and found to be methamphetamine, a bag with pink powdered substance and a bag with a white powdered substance were found to be cocaine and weighed a total of 73.3 grams, according to the affidavit.

CPD searched the Infiniti and found three cell phones, a scale, $994 cash and multiple bags of marijuana weighing 88.6 grams. Hill has a revoked driver license for fleeing and eluding and a warrant out of Citrus County for failure to appear for armed burglary, according to the affidavit.

Hill was arrested for armed trafficking of methamphetamine, armed trafficking of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, flee to elude, resisting without violence, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked. He was transported to LCJ, where he is being held on $199,500 bond for the current charges and he has a detainer (no bond) regarding the failure to appear warrant in Citrus County.

2 Store Employees at Different Locations Busted for Fraud and Theft, Police Say

EUSTIS, Florida—Two employees of the same company, but separate locations, are facing grand theft and scheme to defraud charges after their managers busted them stealing this week.

On Tuesday, Eustis Police Department responded to Circle K, 2754 East Orange Avenue, at the corner of Abrams Road after the manager reported she caught an employee stealing on video.

After receiving alerts, the register had been opened without a transaction occurring, the manager began reviewing surveillance and saw Kailyn Marie Kleinmann, 18, crumple money and put it in her shoe or bra, according to the arrest affidavit.

The manager also found that Kleinmann, who had only been employed at the store for a few weeks, had been ringing lottery tickets up, deleting the transaction and then pocketing the cash from the transaction. The manager found that the store lost $1,411 in lottery ticket sales just on July 17, the affidavit states.

On July 20, Kleinmann, of Eustis, was seen giving away and discounting cigarettes, in addition to taking another $296 in lottery sales. In total, the store lost $1,857.

EPD returned to the store Monday afternoon when Kleinmann came to work, and she agreed to speak with officers. She admitted she took around $2,000 and said she needed it to pay for motel rooms. Kleinmann was arrested for grand theft and scheme to defraud. She was transported to the Lake County Jail, where she was released on $2,000 bond.

Kailyn Kleinmann, left and Bryan Martinez, right. PHOTOS: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

On Wednesday, EPD responded to another Circle location, less than 2 miles away in reference to a theft. The manager of the store located at 19516 State Road 44, told EPD she was reviewing video surveillance from June when she was on vacation, because the count came up short. Upon reviewing the video, she spotted employee Bryan Martinez Cruz, 30, of Orlando, taking money to the vault, but instead of dropping it, he put it in his pocket, according to the arrest affidavit. On Monday, Cruz was captured on video ringing up a $50 lottery ticket, cashing it out for $100 and taking a total of $320 from the register. The total amount from all the thefts was $1,043, the affidavit states.

Police questioned Cruz, who worked at the store around four months, and he admitted the thefts and said he needed it for blood pressure medication. Cruz was arrested for grand theft and scheme to defraud and transported to LCJ, where he is being held on $2,000 bond.

Back to School Events Around Lake County

LAKE COUNTY, Florida—The first day of school, scheduled for Aug. 10 for Lake County Schools, is fast approaching and with increased prices for gas, food and many other essential items, many families are in need of back-to-school supplies or some fun to have with the kiddos before they hit the books.

We have compiled of list of events around Lake County that include supply giveaways and fun and informative events for the kids. Cities are listed in alphabetical order, scroll down until you find an event near you.


Saturday, July 30, 9 a.m. to noon. Project Kid Connect presented by Lake County Sheriff’s Office Charities. Backpack and school supply giveaway, food, drinks, rock climb, dunk-a-deputy and more. Location: South Lake District Office,15855 State Road 50, Clermont.


Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Back to School Bash presented by the City of Eustis. Free food, school supplies and boy’s haircuts while supplies and spaces last. Free pool admission, bounce house and firetrucks and police cars on scene. Battle of the Badges Blood Drive, donors receive $20 eGift card and first responder t-shirt. Location: Ferran Park, 250 Ferran Park Drive, Eustis

Fruitland Park

Friday, July 29, 10 a.m. to noon. Back to School Bash presented by Fruitland Park Library. Free hot dog lunches, school supplies, bicycle helmets and face painting, while supplies last. Free vision and hearing screenings also available. Location: Fruitland Park Library, 604 W. Berckman Street, Fruitland Park.


Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. Back 2 School Backpack Bash presented by the City of Groveland. Free backpacks for grades K-8, adult and child must be present to receive a backpack while supplies last, vendors and a kids zone. Location: Nathaniel Community Gymnasium, 13806 State Road 33, Groveland.


Thursday, July 28, 6:30 p.m. Back-to-School Safety Meet-and-Greet with speakers, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, Lake County Schools Superintendent Diane Kornegay and Lake County Schools Supervisor of Safety and Security Joseph Mabry. Speakers will discuss how LCSO and LCS are keeping students safe. Location: Minneola City Hall, 800 North Highway 27, Minneola.

Mount Dora

Sunday, Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Whimsy Market’s Back to School Market Mount Dora. More than 30 vendors, character meet and greet with Elsa, sweet treats and food trucks. Location: Essential Therapies Spa, 1518 North Donnelly Street, Mount Dora.


Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Whimsy Market’s Back to School Market Umatilla. More than 40 vendors, character meet and greet with Elsa, carnival games, live music, bounce houses and food trucks. Location: Sunsational Farms, 40541 Roger Giles Road, Umatilla.

Orange County Gang Unit Tracks Suspected Thieves to Eustis

EUSTIS, Florida— Two Orange County teenagers wanted in connection with armed burglaries and a stolen SUV that was used in an Orange County drive-by shooting were taken into custody Thursday after the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit tracked them to Eustis Thursday.

The OCSO Gang Unit responded to a drive-by shooting in the early morning hours Thursday and a witness identified the vehicle involved in the shooting as a white Ford Explorer, according to an arrest affidavit.

Detectives with the OCSO Gang Unit discovered OCSO patrol units responded to a complaint the day before in reference to a stolen white Ford Explorer that was taken while two people, identified as Keyuon Daquan Newsome, 19, and X’Zavion Malik Jordon, 16, both documented gang members, were captured on video surveillance committing vehicle burglaries, according to the affidavit.

A wallet containing cash and debit cards was in the vehicle and the cards were used at 7-Eleven, 5570 North Orange Blossom Trail, in the Rosemont area of Orlando Wednesday. Newsome, of Apopka, and Jordon, of Orlando, were again captured on video surveillance purchasing items with the stolen cards and driving a Ford Sports Trac.

OCSO Gang Unit detectives determined the Ford belonged to Newsome’s mother and is registered to her address on Glover Street in Eustis. They conducted surveillance on the Ford and spotted Newsome and Jordon exiting an apartment at 101 Glover Street and walking back and forth to the Ford, the affidavit states.

Keyuan Newsome and X’Zavion Jordon PHOTOS: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Detectives later determined the duo were recording an Instagram live video while smoking marijuana and pointing guns at the camera.

The OCSO Gang Unit coordinated with Eustis Police Department, and they were positively identified on while on the rear patio; they saw law enforcement officers and ran into the apartment through a rear sliding glass door. They left the door open, and Newsome was observed attempting to conceal an item under a blanket.

Officers and deputies surrounded the apartment and after callouts, Newsome and Jordon exited the residence and were taken into custody while a search warrant was secured for the apartment. Upon searching the apartment, two guns—the same guns the pair were holding in their Instagram live video—were found to be stolen out of Apopka earlier this year.

Newsome and Jordon were arrested for possession of a firearm by a delinquent and grand theft of a firearm by EPD, according to an EPD detective. Newsome is facing armed burglary and grand theft of a firearm charges by OCSO and is being held in LCJ on no bond. Jordon is also facing an armed burglary charge in Orange County and was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Explosive Devices, Anti-Semitic Literature and “Copious” Amounts of Guns and Ammunition Found In Royal Trails Home

EUSTIS, Florida—A Eustis man is facing 10 serious charges after the Lake County Sheriff’s Office found numerous homemade bombs in his home in Royal Trails in unincorporated Lake County Saturday.

On Friday, LCSO received a tip from a witness who said Markus Fricke, 55, had built several devices recently with the intent of “blowing up the residence” and was waiting for a shipment of chemicals to finish, according to an arrest affidavit.

The witness saw a shipment arrive marked “Ammonium Nitrate” weighing about 50 pounds; The shipment, along with statements made by Fricke scared the witness and she fled the home at 30927 Tulip Avenue and called law enforcement.

Ammonium Nitrate, a fertilizer, was one of the main components used in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.

Ammonium Nitrate found in Markus Fricke’s home. PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

The witness met with LCSO and said Fricke had been making bombs and booby traps and he was planning to blow the entire street up, including himself and his home. She drew deputies a map showing where Fricke kept chemicals and devices, the affidavit states..

Fricke, who has “an extensive history of unusual and concerning behavior” believes people live in his attic and trespass on his lawn, and law enforcement has responded to his home numerous times in the last few years.

While LCSO was interviewing the witness, Fricke left his home, and he was stopped by deputies who found a homemade device on his floorboard. The device, a metal tube with a 12-gauge shotgun shell, was designed to trigger via spring tension activated by a trip wire. The device was later determined to be a destructive device by the LCSO Hazardous Device Team.

Markus Fricke PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Fricke was Baker Acted and LCSO secured a search warrant for his home and due to the witness advising the home may be booby-trapped, the LCSO HDT utilized a robot to make entry. Four destructive devices were found, and all designed to activate by a tripwire. A fuel bomb that was fashioned to act as a flammable grenade was also found.

A lot of fuel, materials, and tools were discovered in addition to “copious amounts” of firearms, including a short-barreled shotgun and ammunition,” and a “significant amount” of anti-Semitic literature, the affidavit states. It is unknown if Fricke had a specific target.

An explosive device found in Markus Fricke’s home. PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Neighbors spoke with LCSO and said they heard and saw Fricke detonate devices on his property, one explosion so violent last week, it shook the neighbor’s home.

Fricke was arrested Monday, following his Baker Act. He is facing six counts of making or possessing a destructive device, one count of threat to discharge a destructive device, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a short-barreled shotgun. He is being held in LCJ on no bond.

An explosive device made from an aerosol can found in Markus Fricke’s home. PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

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