Crime

Puppy theft ends in safe recovery

Puppy theft ends in safe recovery

Thanks to the quick work of Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputies in Navarre, a stolen puppy was recovered safely Aug. 31, just in time to get adopted. The incident occurred during an adoption event at Pet Nation. Store owner Holly Elassaad hosts Road Dogg Rescue at least once a month, allowing the group to hold adoption […]

Murder suspect arrested in Milton cold case

Murder suspect arrested in Milton cold case

After more than four years, witness statements about a homicide in Milton have led Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputies to arrest the victim’s previous roommate Monday. John Travis Palmer has been charged with first-degree felony homicide for allegedly shooting the victim in the head according the arrest report provided by the State Attorney’s Office. Santa Rosa […]

Deputies discover 1,700 grams of drugs in car

Deputies discover 1,700 grams of drugs in car

Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies seized more than 1,700 grams of illegal drugs during a welfare check in Mary Esther Aug. 12. According to a press release, deputies responded to a call to check on a man asleep in a car at a Sonic Drive-in. A man later identified as 29-year-old Stephen Scott Wilson, address unknown, […]

Newman sentenced to life for child molestation

Newman sentenced to life for child molestation

Santa Rosa County Circuit Court Judge Darlene Dickey sentenced Michael Paul Newman, 43, of Arkansas, to life in prison for molesting an 8-year-old in Milton according to a State Attorney’s office press release. Newman was also designated as a Sexual Predator.   Read the full article in the Aug. 22 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

Human trafficking ring allegations reach Gulf Breeze, Pensacola

Human trafficking ring allegations reach Gulf Breeze, Pensacola

A Pensacola business owner arrested Aug. 16 faces allegations of operating a human trafficking ring under the guise of Asian massage parlors in multiple states, including locations in Gulf Breeze and Pensacola. David C. Williams, 41, has been was arrested for using interstate facilities for purposes of racketeering, money laundering conspiracy and the harboring of […]

Five arrested in Navarre for smash and grabs

Five arrested in Navarre for smash and grabs

Five suspects were arrested Monday at a Navarre residence on allegations of more than 60 “smash and grab” style burglaries in Okaloosa County. Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson held a joint press conference with Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Walton Police Department Tuesday afternoon to discuss the collaborative investigation.   Read the full […]

Inmate pleads guilty to killing cellmate

Inmate pleads guilty to killing cellmate

Bill Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida, announced that Friday, Aug. 16, Rocky Ali Beamon entered a guilty plea to First Degree Premeditated Murder for the Jan. 22, 2017, murder of Nicholas Anderson. Beamon and Anderson were both inmates at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution and shared a cell.   Read the […]

Commissioners weigh options for $9 million shortfall

Commissioners weigh options for $9 million shortfall

Santa Rosa County’s planned expenditures for 2020 are about $9.08 million above the $91.7 million budget reality, according to data presented to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) June 11. That shortfall will be the topic of debate over the next several months as the county grapples to reach a balanced budget.   Read the […]

Milton offers $3,000 for identity of vandal(s)

Milton offers $3,000 for identity of vandal(s)

The city of Milton announced June 5 a reward of up to $3,000 for the identity of those that vandalized the Riverwalk South. A reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) after newly installed lighting was broken and wiring stolen. According to a press release, $3,500 worth of […]

Man allegedly lures Pace teen via social media

Man allegedly lures Pace teen via social media

A Virginia truck driver arrested in Santa Rosa County May 15 is charged with having sex with a 15-year-old in Pace after exchanging lewd messages with her on social media. Gerald Edward Filkins, 38, is charged with committing sex acts with a 15-year-old as well as using electronic communications to seduce the child. Read the […]

Pre-trial Release Program saves county $1.8 million

Pre-trial Release Program saves county $1.8 million

The Santa Rosa County Pre-trial Release Program resulted in an estimated net savings of $1,866,408 for the county in 2018, according to Santa Rosa County Clerk of Court and Comptroller Donald Spencer. The program allows those charged with a crime to continue to work outside jail while their case is being processed. This estimate raises […]

Body cams aren’t yet on sheriff’s screen

Body cams aren’t yet on sheriff’s screen

Most of Florida’s local law enforcement agencies aren’t equipping their patrol officers with body cameras and Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson is among them. Thus the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office is part of a shrinking majority. Read the full article in the April 25 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – […]

‘COPS’ to air episode featuring Santa Rosa deputies this weekend

‘COPS’ to air episode featuring Santa Rosa deputies this weekend

‘Bad boys’ be wary when the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office comes for you. The popular television show “COPS” will be featuring Santa Rosa County deputies in an episode airing this weekend. Read the full article in the April 25 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – or sign up to […]

Man pleads guilty to producing child porn

Man pleads guilty to producing child porn

Michael Lee DePine, 62, of Pensacola, pleaded guilty April 5 to the production and possession of child pornography. The guilty plea was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. Read the full article in the April 11 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – or […]

Santa Rosa Sheriff: ‘Heroin making strong return’

Santa Rosa Sheriff: ‘Heroin making strong return’

As the guest speaker for the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday, Sheriff Bob Johnson gave staggering statistics of drug arrests which include opioids. “Heroin is making a strong return,” Johnson said. Read the full article in the April 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – or sign […]

Officer draws gun during traffic stop

Officer draws gun during traffic stop

A man arrested in Gulf Breeze on March 1 faces charges of drug possession and driving with an expired license. Douglas Leon Craig, 64, of Fort Walton Beach, was stopped by Gulf Breeze police while traveling west on Hwy 98 on the morning of March 1. Read the full article in the March 7 issue […]

Milton woman arrested for armed robbery

Milton woman arrested for armed robbery

A Milton woman has been arrested for orchestrating armed robbery of a man in Milton Feb. 9. According to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office report, Samantha Scarcella, 18, allegedly asked the victim to bring her money for narcotics and he was then shot by one of her accomplices. Read the full article in the […]

Navarre sergeant charged with child porn possession

Navarre sergeant charged with child porn possession

A Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office sergeant from Navarre has been arrested on multiple counts of child pornography after a search of his phone. Jeffrey Perkins was arrested Monday and charged with eight counts of child pornography following an investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Read the full article in the Dec. 20 issue […]

Body found in Jay may be missing woman

Body found in Jay may be missing woman

A homicide investigation is underway after Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Deputies said Monday they believe a body found in a shallow grave in Jay is a woman that has been missing since May 28. Felecia Kuswandy, 38, was last seen alive at the same property along Highway 4 where the body was discovered last week according […]

Update: Deputies looking for suspect in Milton homicide

Update: Deputies looking for suspect in Milton homicide

Santa Rosa Sheriff’s deputies are seeking any information regarding a suspect in the Milton homicide of Tyler Lee Howell Sunday evening near Highway 87. According to sheriff’s office press releases, deputies have identified a black male through video that is a suspect in the case. There are three individuals suspected in the shooting, and it […]

Milton man faces prison for dog attack on deputy

Milton man faces prison for dog attack on deputy

A Milton man was found guilty Thursday of battery of law enforcement by having his dogs attack deputies, leading to one of the dogs being killed. A Santa Rosa County jury found David William Trappman, 27, guilty of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer […]

Nextdoor social network doubles as crime-fighter

Nextdoor social network doubles as crime-fighter

In the age of smart phones, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office is pushing for residents to embrace an app to connect them directly to their neighbors and law enforcement. The app is called Nextdoor, and Public Information Officer Sgt. Rich Aloy said it has crime-fighting capabilities. Read the full article in the Aug. 23 […]

Four vehicles stolen in south Santa Rosa

Four vehicles stolen in south Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Sheriff’s deputies are actively investigating the theft of four vehicles in the Navarre and Gulf Breeze area. The vehicles were reported stolen last night. According to a press release, a tow truck was reported stolen from Tiger Point Paint and Body in Gulf Breeze. Three private vehicles were also reported stolen in the […]

No regrets?

No regrets?

In the most recent debate, District 4 Commissioner and candidate for re-election Rob Williamson was asked by candidate Dave Piech if he had any regrets in the nearly four years that he has served as county commissioner. The question seemed to be a gift to Rob – a chance for Rob to redeem himself.  The answer […]

Dealer held responsible for overdose death

Dealer held responsible for overdose death

For the first time in Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office history, a drug dealer was charged and convicted for having a role in the death of someone who overdosed on heroin. Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley is calling the case a victory. Read the full article in the July 5 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to […]

Crime down, sheriff’s budget up

Crime down, sheriff’s budget up

In the past six months, crime in Santa Rosa County has dropped 23 percent according to Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Rich Aloy. Accompanying the dropping crime rate has been an increase in clearing of cases by the department, meaning the cases were resolved. Read the full article in the July 5 […]

Santa Rosa crime figures are a mixed bag

Santa Rosa crime figures are a mixed bag

At first glance, some of the annual crime statistics released last week by state officials make Santa Rosa appear to be trending worse than Florida overall and neighboring counties. What’s more, Santa Rosa’s violent crime rate rose by 10.4 percent, while it fell by double digits in both Escambia and Okaloosa. Read the full article […]

Sheriff: ‘Dirtbag’ arrested for child porn

Sheriff: ‘Dirtbag’ arrested for child porn

A registered sexual predator was arrested in Milton May 10 on multiple counts of possession of child pornography on his cell phone. Richard Andrew Jackson allegedly had 20 images of confirmed child pornography on his phone when it was seized by deputies, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said. Read the full article in the […]

Residents unite to combat speeding, crime

Residents unite to combat speeding, crime

Navarre Beach resident Larry Hoffman did not know what hit him. He went for his daily run on the morning of March 3 along White Sands Boulevard. Less than a block from his home, while Hoffman was jogging about a foot off the shoulder of the road, a sport utility (SUV) vehicle hit him from […]

Jail offers opioid-blocking drug to curb addiction

Jail offers opioid-blocking drug to curb addiction

For the hundreds of inmates struggling with opioid addiction, Santa Rosa County Jail is offering a solution, free of charge. The jail will cover medication-assisted treatment for a full year, even if the person doesn’t remain incarcerated for the entire 12 months. Read the full article in the April 5 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]