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Early morning SWAT Team wake up call nets four arrests...

Early this morning, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team secured a residence located at 4638 N. Tumbleweed Trail in Hernando for a drug search warrant. The residence has been a hub of illegal activity and identified as a problem in the neighborhood. The SWAT Team was used to secure the home due to the number of individuals with violent criminal histories who frequent the house.

Patrol units have responded to the residence on several occasions over the past few weeks regarding a multitude of calls for service in the area. Drug use, theft reports, and possible overdoses have drawn the attention of the Tactical Impact Unit. TIU worked with the area patrol units to develop the probable cause needed for the search warrant.

When the SWAT Team approached the front door, Manuel Reyes attempted to barricade himself inside the residence by shutting and locking the door. This prompted his arrest for interference with a search warrant.

As expected, there were only small amounts of drugs located during the search. There was on the other hand, a large amount of drug paraphernalia found in the home which substantiated the claims the residence was used as a "Flop House." The term is used to describe places which allow drug users and other criminals to come and go freely. It was the intention of the Sheriff's Office to impact the community by closing up shop for such houses.

The filth and living conditions at the home were deplorable. Exposed septic and piled up garbage at the home prompted the misdemeanor arrest of the main resident, Jennifer Purdin, for multiple nuisance violations. Others at the scene were arrested on drug charges.

The Community Crimes Unit also responded to the residence to follow up with theft reports at the home and to investigate possible stolen property located at the residence.

Arrests are as follows:

Manuel Reyes 6/8/94 - Interference with Search Warrant

Jennifer Purdin 3/13/71 - Nuisance Violations

Daniel Weeks 7/8/88 - Possession of Paraphernalia

Vonda Leighty 9/6/94 - Possession of Paraphernalia

"As promised, we're hitting it hard when it comes to drugs," said Sheriff Prendergast this morning after the search. "Our Tactical Impact Unit has vast amounts of experience in this area and they will find you if you're using or dealing."

Early Morning Search Warrant Nets Two Arrests

Early this morning, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office conducted a search warrant at 373 Joshua Ct. in Hernando after detectives learned the residence was being used to manufacture methamphetamine.  The search revealed more than 1/4 ounce of crystal methamphetamine, liquid methamphetamine (over 680 gram), Xanax, several items used to make the drug, and distribution equipment. A one pot meth lab was also located in the shed of the property and linked to the suspect in the case.

The suspect, David Downs, was arrested for trafficking in methamphetamine and other drug related charges. A second subject located at the residence, Heather Jacobs, was also arrested during the investigation on drug charges. The amount of methamphetamine seized during this investigation carries a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence if convicted. Downs is no newcomer to cooking meth, he was previously arrested on meth lab charges a few years ago. During that investigation, Downs sustained injuries from a malfunctioning meth lab which it caught fire.

"We're not stopping", says Sheriff Mike Prendergast. "Drug dealers and users aren't welcome in this county. If you're cooking meth - I guarantee you will go to prison."

Big thanks to the Citrus County Fire Rescue HazMat team and members of our patrol unit who assisted with this investigation.

 David Downs, 52 of Hernando - Trafficking in methamphetamine more than 400 grams, possession listed chemical, manufacturing methamphetamine, and possession paraphernalia

Heather Jacobs, 37 of Hernando - Possession controlled substance and possession paraphernalia


Sheriff Prendergast Releases January Drug Stats

Sheriff Prendergast is pleased to report the results of January’s crime-reduction initiatives related to drug crimes. 

# of drug-related arrests: 45 [by patrol, detectives and Tactical Impact Unit (TIU)]

Arrest statistics:

36 males, 9 females

City of Crystal River:            5

City of Inverness:                 6

East side of county:             18

West side of county:            14


  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Possession Cannabis (Less than 20 Grams)
  • Drug Paraphernalia - To Inject/Ingest/Inhale/Introduce
  • Sell/Manufacture/Deliver or Possess w/Intent to Sell/Manufacture/Deliver Controlled Substance
  • Sell/Manufacture/Deliver or Possess w/Intent within 1000 feet of a Place of Worship
  • Theft of Controlled Substance defined in 893.02
  • Deliver/Possess/Manufacture Drug Paraphernalia Knowing It Will Be Used To Inject/Ingest/Inhale A Controlled Substance
  • Trafficking in Methamphetamine
  • Possession of Schedule I,II, or III Drugs w/Intent to Sell/Manufacture/Deliver
  • Introduction of Contraband into a Detention Facility (Drugs/Narcotics)

# of Search Warrants:           6 (by TIU)

Drugs seized by TIU:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Crack Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Psilocybin Mushroom
  • Pharmaceutical Tablets

Other items seized:

  • Ruger AR-15 rifle
  • Rossi 357 Magnum (Serial Number Defaced)
  • $10,786.00 in U.S. currency

“Everyone in the agency knows that fighting the drug problem in our community is a top priority.  From our Tactical Impact Unit to our patrol deputies, everyone is focused on a strategic attack to arrest those who are selling drugs, using drugs and promoting a culture of illegal drugs in Citrus County,” said Sheriff Prendergast on Friday.  “I wasn’t kidding when I said we are going to hit this issue hard and we will not give up.”

A variety of other pills were seized by patrol deputies throughout the month in addition to those collected by TIU.  Also, 154.3 pounds of unused or unwanted medications were turned into the Sheriff’s Office for disposal.

“If you’re dealing or using, get out of Citrus. If not, we’re coming for you,” Sheriff Prendergast concluded. 


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Citrus County Most Wanted

NAME: Shane Roy Jones

Wanted for:

AGE: 33

HEIGHT: 5'9"