Police briefs 12/14/17

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 12/13/17

Traffic stop ends in drug trafficking chargeMIDDLEBURG – A midday traffic stop on Monday ending in the arrest of a Middleburg man for drug trafficking.The Clay County Sheriff’s Office …

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Police briefs 12/14/17


Traffic stop ends in drug trafficking charge

MIDDLEBURG – A midday traffic stop on Monday ending in the arrest of a Middleburg man for drug trafficking.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Timmy Dale Spicer, 38, on Dec. 11 at 12:09 p.m. in the 4000 block of County Road 218 after officers pulled his car over for having an expired license plate.

According to the police report, officers could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle as he approached Spicer to ask for driver’s license and registration. Within minutes, the officer requested aid from another unit, which brought out K9 officer Bull, a drug-sniffing dog. After Bull indicated that narcotics were in Spicer’s car, the officers conducted a search that uncovered 50.65 grams of methamphetamine and six 15-milligram hydromorphone or Oxycontin pills.

Spicer faces one count of trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription.

He was booked into the Clay County Jail, where at press time, he remained held on $175,006.

Dental records used to confirm body ID

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Using dental records, the Duval County Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the body of Jordan Cooper, 25, of Keystone Heights.

Cooper, who has an intellectual disability, went missing on Nov. 25.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office reported Dec. 11 that Cooper’s body was recovered inside the family residence on Payne Road.

Sheriff Darryl Daniels said Dec. 9 that foul play is suspected in Cooper’s death, but did not comment further other than to say the case is an ongoing investigation.

“Our agency thanks everyone who has assisted (local, state, federal, volunteers and all others). We now continue our efforts and ask for continued support,” states a CCSO post on social media.

May drug sale ends in December arrest

MIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg man faces a felony charge of selling drugs to confidential informant last May.

Gary Richard Baxley, 42, was arrested Dec. 7 at 12:31 p.m. at his home in the 1600 block of Morningside Drive and charged with one count of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a county park.

According to the arrest warrant obtained by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, a confidential informant told police he knew that Baxley would sell the informant heroin.

On May 25, the informant and drug detectives met at a pre-determined location and agreed that the informant would buy $40 worth of heroin from Baxley.

After the sale was complete, the drug that was purchased tested positive for three-tenths of a gram of fentanyl, but not heroin.

At press time, Baxley remained in the Clay County Jail where his bond is set at $50,003.

Attempted murder charge for Keystone man

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – What began as an argument involving a cellphone ended Dec. 6 in an attempted murder charge for a Keystone Heights man.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joseph Allen Stathas, 59, at 12:36 a.m. after investigating the argument.

The victim –Stathas’ live-in girlfriend of three years – told police that the argument began when Stathas took her cellphone out of her hand and walked outside of the house where they live in the 5800 block of Campo Drive. Police said the woman then followed Stathas outside to get her phone back, and when she did, Stathas argued some more and then “struck the victim numerous times in the face with a closed fist.”

The woman attempted to fight back to get away from Stathas, police said, and that’s when he pulled out a handgun from his right front pants pocket. The woman said Stathas pointed the gun at her and fired one shot but missed her.

Police said the woman was able to break free, grab her car keys and flee to a neighbor’s house to call police.

Police later apprehended Stathas who is charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of aggravated domestic battery with a deadly weapon.

At press time, Stathas was held in the Clay County Jail without bond.

Traffic stop uncovers meth

MIDDLEBURG – A traffic stop for a cracked rear taillight ended in drug charges for a Middleburg man last week.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested John Wesley McWhorter, 40, on Dec. 6 at 9:23 p.m. after stopping his Chevrolet Impala in the 5400 block of Muscovy Road.

According to the police report, officers had to forcibly remove McWhorter from his vehicle as he refused to get out of his car after multiple requests. When they removed him, and placed him on the asphalt, he attempted to hide his wrists, so officers could not handcuff him.

A search of his Impala uncovered four grams of methamphetamine, scale and several baggies used to sell the illicit drug on the street.

McWhorter was booked into the Clay County Jail on charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, drug equipment possession, resisting an officer, fleeing and eluding law enforcement and driving with a suspended license.

At press time, McWhorter was held in the Clay County Jail without bond.

Middleburg man arrested for soliciting a child for sex

ST. AUGUSTINE – A 66-year old Middleburg man faces charges of soliciting a child for sex over the internet.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gary Alan Fernandez on Dec. 6 when he attempted to meet and have sex with whom he believed to be a female child.

Fernandez is charged with solicitation of a child for sex, solicitation of a parent or guardian, traveling to meet a minor for sex and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

He was booked into the St. Johns County Jail on no bond pending a first appearance hearing the morning of Dec. 7 but has since been released.

Late last month, a detective from the SJCSO’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit began conversing on an ecommerce site with a male, who was later identified as Fernandez.

After two weeks of communication between the undercover detective and the suspect, Fernandez solicited a meeting.

Around 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 6, the suspect arrived at an undisclosed location in St. Johns County and was taken into custody without incident.

The case is still under investigation.

Suspect rams officer with car

DOCTORS INLET – Two Orange Park residents received serious injuries the night of Dec. 6 when the 2005 Honda Odyssey in which they were traveling, struck a tree and overturned near Old Jennings and Knight Boxx roads while trying to outrun Clay County Sheriff’s deputies.

The driver, Matthew Scott, 20, and passenger Alexis Parker, 19, were transported to Orange Park Medical Center for treatment.

Officers “were working a proactive, special detail due to reports of crime and suspicious activity from citizens of Orange Park,” according to a statement from Keith Smith, CCSO public information officer.

Two deputies spotted Scott and Parker who were described as “suspiciously parked at a closed location.”

Police said while talking with Scott and Parker, Scott “put it in reverse, striking one of our deputies and injuring him.”

Scott fled the scene and ended up crashing the minivan minutes later around 10:35 p.m. In issuing a press release about the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol reported that the minivan left the roadway, struck a tree and then overturned. Despite the crash, Scott fled the vehicle on foot.

“Our injured deputy received medical treatment for lacerations that required stitching and possible fractures,” Smith stated.

Scott is charged with reckless driving with serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury.


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