Clay County Sheriff's Office
Wanted man caught with array of drugs, illegal guns
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – An alert Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy who recognized a man with an outstanding warrant for violation of probation wound up catching him with a cache of drugs and firearms.
Edwin Sherwood Gustafson, 30, of Green Cove Springs, now faces additional charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, marijuana and hydrocodone,buprenorphine, Xanax, trafficking in cocaine, methamphetamine or amphetamine and morphine, three counts of possession of a firearm or ammo by convicted felon, use or display of firearm during a felony, resisting law enforcement, violation of injunction for protection against domestic violance and violation of probation after he was pulled over on Jan. 21 on U.S. Highway 17.
According to the arrest report, Gustafson was stopped by a deputy who recognized him for an outstanding warrant. Since there was a warrant, and because the deputy smelled marijuana, Gustafson’s car was searched.
Three handguns were recovered as well as a duffle bag strapped to the engine bay area containing the drugs.
Gustafson’s bond was set at $786,036.
Keystone man arrested for shooting, punching woman
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – A 38-year-old man was in the Clay County Jail with a $250,003 bond after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said he shot a woman in the foot and beat her with brass knuckles during a family disturbance on Jan. 18.
Steven Thomas Pentheny, of Keystone Heights, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, battery and possession of a handgun and ammo by a convicted felon after deputies responded to a person being shot.
When they arrived, they saw Pentheny walking in the wooded area behind the home. He surrendered without incident, and during a search, deputies found the gun and brass knuckles. They also found a used syringe, a portion of a plastic straw and a metal spoon.
The woman was transported to UF Health in Gainesville.
Man busted for selling methamphetamine to confidential informant
MIDDLEBURG – A man was arrested on several drug-related charges after a confidential informant working with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office made controlled purchases.
Raymond Leon Calley, 36, of Middleburg, was charged with trafficking in amphetamine or methamphetamine, selling methamphetamine and another controlled substance after CCSO said he sold $300 of methamphetamine on Oct. 24.
Calley’s bond was set at $250,003.
Man sentenced for trying to entice 9-year-old to make sex videos
JACKSONVILLE – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard sentenced Garrett Eric Weber, 32, of Green Cove Springs, to 20 years and five months in federal prison for attempting to entice a 9-year-old child to produce videos of the child being sexually abused. Weber was also ordered to serve a 12-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender and pay $45,500 in restitution to several child victims. Weber was arrested on a federal warrant by the Green Cove Springs Police Department during a traffic stop on July 2, 2021, and he has been detained since that time. Weber had pleaded guilty on July 27.
According to court documents, in 2020, Weber, using the name “BUBBLESXD_90,” uploaded a video depicting the sexual abuse of a child to a public chat room on a popular social media application (app). This upload was subsequently detected by law enforcement officers in Wisconsin.
Further investigation by the FBI ultimately resulted in the identification of Weber. In March 2021, an undercover FBI agent, posing as the parent of a young child, engaged in an online conversation with Weber using the same app. After some discussion and being told that the “child” was only 9, Weber offered to serve as the “child’s” trainer by engaging in sexual activity with the “child.” Weber requested that the “parent” take a pornographic photo of the “child” for him, and provided specific instructions on how to accomplish this. Weber advised that he wanted the “parent” to film him as he sexually abused the “child,” and commented that the resulting video recording “would be the best [child pornography] vid ever.”
Weber sent the “parent” several videos over the internet that depicted the sexual abuse of young children to demonstrate exactly how he planned to molest the “child” in person. After his arrest on July 2, 2021, Weber admitted that he was in fact “BUBBLESXD_90,” that he had engaged in “horrible” online conversations with the “child’s” parent, and that he had distributed videos of very young children being sexually abused using the internet. Weber acknowledged that the “[e]vidence is staggeringly harsh against [him]” and that what he did was “criminal.”
The case was investigated by the Green Cove Springs Police Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Winnebago County (Wisconsin) Sheriff’s Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Milwaukee and Jacksonville. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
K-9 Ory helps CCSO end brief standoff with Middleburg man
MIDDLEBURG – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Nathan Luke Taylor, 37, of Middleburg, on Thursday, Jan. 19, following a brief standoff with deputies.
Deputies were called to Taylor’s home after his family said they said Taylor left the home following a disturbance and shortly afterward, they heard a gunshot outside, according to a press release from the agency.
When deputies arrived, Taylor got out of a parked car in front of the house, but he quickly barricaded himself when he saw CCSO approach.
According to the release, Taylor threatened to hurt himself while they were trying to talk with him on his cellphone and through the loudspeaker on one of the patrol cars.
When Taylor got out of the car, he refused commands to stop, so K-9 Ory was deployed to take Taylor down. After being treated for bite wounds at HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital, Taylor was booked into the Clay County Jail after being charged with resisting law enforcement and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. While deputies found a gun in a barn where his family said he stores guns, they didn’t find a firearm inside the car. They did, however, find several rounds of .22 caliber bullets on the passenger-side floorboard.
Taylor’s bond was set at $105,005, and the investigation is ongoing.
CCSO use robot to find man dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound
MIDDLEBURG – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance inside a home on Sesame Street on Thursday, Jan. 19. When deputies arrived, they heard a single gunshot from inside the house and immediately set up a perimeter. Deputies attempted to contact a male subject within the home but were unsuccessful.
The Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Task Force deployed the ICOR robot, which then entered the home and found a male subject deceased with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The incident began when the man’s wife called 911 shortly after 6 a.m. to report that her husband had made suicidal threats after an argument yesterday. The wife reported seeing her husband retrieving his shotgun on their home surveillance camera. Becoming concerned, she called 911 to report the incident, and then soon after, she hung up with 911 to call her daughter.
The daughter was able to get out of the house unharmed and make contact with arriving deputies. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office asks that if anyone is in emotional distress or feeling suicidal to seek help. You can dial (800) 273-8255 or send a text message to 838255.