Lady Lake

9-Month Investigation Uncovers Conspiracy to Smuggle Drugs into Jail, 3 Arrested, Including Siblings

TAVARES, Florida—The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has arrested three people and is looking for a fourth person, it says conspired to smuggle drugs into the Lake County Detention Center, better known as the Lake County Jail or LCJ.

LCSO announced Friday it arrested Victoria Morrison, 24, of Lady Lake, Robert Morrison, 28, of Leesburg, and Anthony Arnold, 37, of Fruitland Park and a warrant has been issued for the arrest Patrick White, 40, of Okahumpka, according to a press release. Victoria Morrison and Robert Morrison are brother and sister, LCSO Lt. Fred Jones told Inside Lake.

According to LCSO, Victoria Morrison attempted to “introduce” fentanyl, methamphetamine and suboxone into LCJ with the help of her boyfriend, Tevaughn Johnson, who was locked up in the Marion County Jail. While cooperating with her brother, who was incarcerated at LCJ and two other inmates, Arnold and White, Victoria Morrison attempted to smuggle the drugs in, but they were intercepted by detectives before they entered the jail, the press release states.

For the next nine months, detectives investigated and intercepted contraband before it made its way into the jail. The probable cause affidavits are sealed and no other information is being released at this time.

Victoria Morrison was serving felony probation when she was arrested Thursday for trafficking in methamphetamine more than 28 grams, conspiracy to traffick in methamphetamine more than 28 grams, possession of suboxone with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school and conspiracy to introduce contraband into a detention facility. Due to the probation violation, she is being held on no bond. Her boyfriend, Tevaughn Johnson, 29, was moved from the Marion County Jail to federal custody on a firearms violation and no charges were filed yet in this case; LCSO has forwarded the information to the U.S. Marshals.

Arnold, who was arrested last year for strangling and raping a woman, is scheduled to go to trial next month, and Victoria Morrison’s brother, Robert, who has been held in the Lake County since June 2022 on a tampering with evidence charge and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, are each facing additional charges of conspiracy to possess contraband in a detention facility and unlawful use of a two-way communication device and are being held on no bond. White, who was released from LCJ in December 2022, is wanted for the same charges.

Woman Arrested For Neglect After Leaving 2 Children with Store Employee Overnight

LADY LAKE, Florida—A woman is in the Lake County Jail after leaving two children overnight with a gas station employee she did not know, according to an arrest affidavit.

Around 6 a.m. Sunday, Lady Lake Police Department responded to Circle K, 3 La Grande Boulevard, Lady Lake on a report of two abandoned children. When they arrived, an employee told officers an unknown woman, later identified as April Maxwell, 39, came into the store around 10 p.m. Saturday and left the children, aged 7 and 13. The employee said he believed the woman was under the influence of narcotics due to her behavior and he kept an eye on the children throughout the night, according to the affidavit. The relationship between Maxwell and the children is redacted from the affidavit.

The store manager arrived at the store at 5 a.m. Sunday and reviewed store surveillance video that showed Maxwell entering the store at 9:55 p.m. Saturday with two children and then leaving by herself a short time later. The manager waited until 6 a.m. and when Maxwell still did not return, she called LLPD.

Officers found a man sleeping in a golf cart in front of the store and after several minutes he finally woke up and told police he was friends with Maxwell and he was watching the kids while she got air in her golf cart tire. “As I was speaking to (him) it took roughly five minutes to get a coherent statement out of him due to the level of intoxication and being under the influence of illegal narcotics,” the LLPD officer noted in the affidavit.

The man called Maxwell and told her cops were looking for her and about 45 minutes later Maxwell was spotted driving a golf cart south on La Grande Boulevard. She told officers she arrived at Circle K around 9:55 p.m. Saturday with three children and left two of the children with the male employee because he is an acquaintance and she “felt comfortable leaving the kids at the store with him,” the affidavit states.

She went on to explain the air was low in one of her golf cart tires, so she took a 4-year-old child with her to get air at Wawa in Sumter County, while leaving the two older children with the store clerk. Maxwell, who appeared to be under the influence of narcotics, told police she did not think leaving the children at the store put their lives in danger,” according to the affidavit.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) responded to the scene; the agency had already been searching for Maxwell for about a week because of prior cases, the arresting officer noted. Maxwell refused a drug screen and she was arrested by LLPD for two counts of domestic child neglect and driving while license suspended.

The two older children were dirty and exhausted and DCF took them and the 4-year-old into its custody. Maxwell was transported to the Lake County Jail, where she is being held on $11,000 bond.

Lady Lake Police Release More Details in Applebee’s Shooting, Victim Identified

LADY LAKE, Florida—Lady Lake Police Department continues to investigate a shooting that left a man dead early Tuesday morning.

In a press release late Wednesday afternoon, LLPD Deputy Chief Jason Brough said a man, identified as Dishaun Marquis Hudson, 38, of Leesburg was seated outside at a patio table with a group of people at Applebee’s, 1009 Bichara Boulevard, Lady Lake. Hudson walked into the parking lot where at least three  gunshots were fired and vehicle left.

Dishaun Hudson was shot and killed following an altercation at the Lady Lake Applebee’s early Tuesday morning. PHOTO: Lady Lake Police Department

After the shots were fired, several customers of the restaurant fled out the back door and Hudson walked around to a side door used by employees. A female who was with Hudson tried to get him to leave, Brough said, but Hudson went into the building. A verbal altercation took place inside the restaurant and when Hudson reached into his pants a male patron shot him. The male patron has a concealed carry permit, according to Brough.

Hudson died at the scene and the male patron is cooperating with investigators, Brough said; the male patron has not been publicly identified.

“The investigation is ongoing and charges will be determined after the investigation in complete,” Brough said in the press release.

Unidentified Man Dead After Multiple Altercations at Lady Lake Restaurant

LADY LAKE, Florida—Lady Lake Police Department is investigating an incident that left a man dead early Tuesday morning, according to LLPD Deputy Chief Jason Brough.

The man, who has not been identified, arrived at Applebee’s, 1009 Bichara Boulevard just after 1 a.m. Tuesday and was involved in an altercation outside, where at least three gunshots were fired, Brough said in a press release.

PHOTO: Lady Lake Police Department

Employees of the restaurant locked the doors and called 9-1-1. The man attempted to enter through the front door, found it locked, and a female who was inside the restaurant opened a side door and let him in, according to Brough. Another altercation ensued and a male patron with a concealed carry permit shot the man; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing, Brough said, and it is unclear if the male patron is facing any charges. If you have information on the incident, call LLPD at 352-751-1565 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477.)

Accused Bank Robber Nabbed by Leesburg Police Several Blocks from the Scene of the Crime

LEESBURG, Florida—A man is custody after Leesburg Police Department found him running several blocks from a busy bank that was robbed Monday morning, according to LPD Capt. Joe Iozzi.

Brandon J. Hooks, 38, of Lady Lake is accused of giving a teller a note indicating he was robbing Wells Fargo, 2271 Citrus Boulevard just after 9:30 a.m. Monday. Hooks, who was wearing all black, did not brandish a gun, Iozzi said.  

The teller complied and LPD responded to the scene after receiving multiple robbery alarms and confirming the robbery with a bank employee by phone. Hooks fled the scene and an undercover detective observed Hooks, wearing black shorts and a white muscle shirt, walking and then running west on Tally Box Road, just south of Tally Road, Iozzi said.

Officers responded to the scene and took Hooks into custody; he was found with a large amount of cash that was later identified as the same money stolen from the bank, according to Iozzi. An employee of the bank identified Hooks and said he removed the black shirt he was wearing during the robbery; the shirt was found on a wooded footpath off Tally Road.

Hooks was arrested for second degree bank robbery and his booking information was not available at press time.

Hook was arrested in 2017 for robbing a Wells Fargo in Lady Lake; according to Sumter County Clerk of Court online docket information, he pleaded no contest and was released in March 2022. The documents in that case were not available at press time, it is unclear what sentence he received and why the case was in Sumter County.

FHP: Suspect Fleeing Lady Lake Police Crashes Into SUV, Sends Woman, 2 Teens to the Hospital

FRUITLAND PARK, Florida—The Florida Highway Patrol has released information on the crash that killed a suspect and sent three people to the hospital Saturday afternoon.

A 35-year-old Orlando man driving a black Hyundai Elantra fled Lady Lake Police Department just after 4 p.m. Saturday and “due to its recklessness and speeds Lady Lake PD lost sight of (the car,) FHP Lt. Channing Taylor said.

The Hyundai continued to drive recklessly and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 27/441 near 466A in Fruitland Park. The Hyundai struck a silver Kia Sportage being driven by a 43-year-old woman of The Villages. The driver of the Hyundai was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman was seriously injured. Her passengers, two teen girls, aged 13 and 14, also of The Villages, received minor injuries. All three were transported to area hospitals, Taylor said.

FHP was requested to assist in the crash investigation approximately two and a half hours after the crash.

Fruitland Park Police Chief Erik Luce released a statement on the crash late Saturday night.

FPPD was notified that LLPD was pursuing a vehicle into the city limits of Fruitland Park after a LLPD officer stated on the radio a suspect attempted to use their vehicle to run into an officer, Luce said in a press release.

The officer was investigating a theft at Home Depot, 871 U.S. Highway 27, Lady Lake when the incident occurred.

The suspect fled down U.S. Highway 27/441, crossed the center median and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes at an estimated 110 miles per hour. A Fruitland Park Police officer spotted the fleeing car and activated emergency lights but was unable to catch up to the vehicle, Luce said.

The incident remains under investigation.

Suspect Flees Lady Lake Police Wrong Way Down U.S. 27, Crashes into Vehicle, Suspect Dead, 3 Airlifted

FRUITLAND Park, Florida—A theft suspect is dead after fleeing from Lady Lake Police Department Saturday afternoon, crashing into an unsuspecting vehicle and sending three people to the hospital, according to Fruitland Park Police Chief Erik Luce.  

 FPPD was notified that Lady Lake Police Department was pursuing a vehicle into the city limits of Fruitland Park after a LLPD officer stated on the radio a suspect attempted to use their vehicle to run into an officer, Luce said in a press release.

The officer was investigating a theft at Home Depot, 871 U.S. Highway 27, Lady Lake when the incident occurred.

The suspect fled down U.S. Highway 27, crossed the center median and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 27 at an estimated 110 miles per hour. A Fruitland Park Police officer spotted the fleeing car and activated emergency lights but was unable to catch up to the vehicle, Luce said.

The vehicle then struck another vehicle that was traveling in the proper direction; the suspect was pronounced dead on the scene and three occupants in the other vehicle were airlifted to local hospitals with serious injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol is assisting FPPD with the crash investigation. According to FHP Lt. Channing Taylor, the deceased suspect was driving a black Hyundai and struck a Kia occupied by the three crash victims. No names have been released by either agency.

The crash closed U.S. Highway 27 for the rest of the afternoon Saturday and most of the night.

Man Accused of Smoking Marijuana and Yelling in Popular Town Square, Fights Cops as They Try to Arrest Him Thursday

THE VILLAGES, Florida—A man who was causing a disturbance at a popular town square resisted Lady Lake Police officers and tried to fight them as they took him into custody, according to an arrest affidavit.

LLPD responded to Main Street and Paige Place in Spanish Springs Town Square on a report of a man yelling and disturbing the peace around 11 a.m. Thursday. They found Eric Alan Feliciano, 29, at the scene and attempted to speak to him, the affidavit states.  

Feliciano, of Oxford, refused to identify himself and began yelling at officers, causing patrons to stop and see what was happening, the arresting officer noted in the affidavit. A second officer spoke with the complainant, a property manager for The Villages, who stated Feliciano was playing loud music, smoking marijuana in public and entering numerous stores and screaming at the store owners, scaring them.

PHOTO: The Villages

Officers told Feliciano he was being arrested for disorderly conduct, and he immediately began resisting as an officer tried to handcuff him and tried to push back as officers walked him to a patrol vehicle. Once they arrived at the vehicle, Feliciano resisted officers while they tried to search him and kicked an officer in the leg, according to the affidavit.

On the trip to the Lake County Jail, he made “vague threats” that he would “find” officers and harm them after he was released from jail. The vague threats were not enough to add additional charges to Feliciano, the officer noted.

When they arrived at LCJ, Feliciano refused to get out of the patrol vehicle and resisted LCJ detention deputies as they attempted to search him and he was placed in a restraint chair, the affidavit states.

Feliciano is facing four charges, including disorderly conduct, resisting with violence, resisting without violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. He is being held in LCJ on $11,500 bond.

Burglar Killed by Resident After Breaking into Lady Lake Home

LADY LAKE, Florida—A burglar is dead after being shot by a resident of a home he broke into, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Ryan Michael Baldasare, 36, of Tampa, crawled through a window of a home on Lakeview Street in Lady Lake and was shot by a resident around 5:30 p.m. Monday. He was pronounced dead at the scene, LCSO Lt. Fred Jones said.

According to the 9-1-1 call, Baldasare forcefully entered the home through the window, where he was confronted by the resident and shot. The resident is cooperating with investigators and the incident appears to be self defense, Jones said. The case remains under investigation.

Baldasare was arrested in Lake County in July for battery, possession of methamphetamine and disorderly intoxication by Lady Lake Police Department. He was also picked up for failure to appear in Hillsborough County for criminal mischief and trespass.

Leesburg Man Arrested in Summer Overdose Death

LADY LAKE, Florida—A Leesburg man has been arrested in the overdose death of a 38-year-old man in Lady Lake over the summer, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Albert Robert Springs, 33, was taken into custody Wednesday after an investigation revealed Springs dealt Harry Cooper the lethal fentanyl that killed him on June 25. Cooper was found dead in a bedroom at a home at 4100 Holly Hill and the medical examiner’s office ruled his death an accidental overdose of fentanyl, LCSO Lt. John Herrell said.

“Detectives worked diligently throughout the course of this investigation,” Herrell said. Phone records and surveillance video helped detectives determine Springs was responsible for dealing the fentanyl to Cooper.

Springs was arrested for death by unlawful distribution of fentanyl and is being held in the Lake County Jail on no bond.

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