Public Information

Press Releases

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.

Freeport, Fla—Stolen property is recovered from a home off Blueberry Road in Freeport in relation to a 2015 burglary in Santa Rosa Beach. One of the main suspects is employed as a house keeper in the victim’s home.

Cynthia Ann Fletcher, 58, and her son-in-law William Junior Bryan, 38, were arrested Friday night after numerous stolen items were found at Bryan’s home from a burglary late last year including a cross bow, jewelry, and two wedding dresses. In addition, Fletcher is charged in pawning several items to pawn shops in surrounding counties including a guitar and jewelry; namely, an infant’s ring stolen from the victim. The piece was the first ring the victim’s ever purchased for their daughter. Fletcher is employed by a subcontractor out of Fort Walton Beach to clean homes that include the victim’s.

“These items aren’t just another stolen piece of jewelry to the victim,” said Sheriff Adkinson. “They hold a deep sentimental value. It’s a shame this woman was entrusted to clean this woman’s home and took advantage of that trust.”

Some information is not being released at this time due to the ongoing nature of this investigation. WCSO Investigators are actively seeking other suspects in this and other burglary cases.

Fletcher was arrested for dealing in stolen property, grant theft of more than $300, and grand theft of a firearm. Bryan was charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and grand theft of $300 or more. Both were transported and booked into the Walton County Jail and posted a bond Saturday night.


Walton County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to use websites like ReportIt, which provide a FREE citizen property inventory system for the items you hold dear.  Again, the service is free and it provides yet another resource for law enforcement agencies to help solve crime. 

For Immediate Release

February 5th, 2016


DeFuniak Springs, Fla— Intel from a plain clothes deputy leads to the arrest of two individuals for drug trafficking Friday morning in Walton County.

A deputy driving an unmarked vehicle was at the Holiday Inn Express around 10:30am when he spotted Brian Lewis, 34, driving with no seatbelt on. It is known by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office that Lewis’ license was revoked by court order for failure to pay child support. Upon further investigation it was revealed that Lewis has had six previous DWLSR convictions in the state of Florida.

A traffic stop was conducted by patrol deputies and Lewis stopped his vehicle approximately one mile after deputies initiated their lights. Lewis was placed under arrest.

The passenger in the vehicle, Sarah Kelly, 26, was observed by deputies as being very nervous and suspicious and moving around as if trying to discard something. While doing so Kelly dropped two syringe caps out of her pockets. The caps field tested positive for meth. Kelly was placed under arrest for drug paraphernalia. Kelly was later searched by a female investigator and was found to have three syringes in her pants.

A search of the vehicle also revealed a Crown Royal bag containing two individual baggies of white oblong pills. The pills were counted (38), weighed, and positively identified as hydrocodone. The weight of the pills totaled more than 14 grams, which in the state of Florida is a felony trafficking offense.

Brian Lewis was charged with trafficking in hydrocodone and knowingly driving while license suspended. Sarah Kelly was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, and trafficking in hydrocodone.

“We mean business,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “If this is not evidence of our determination to get drugs off the streets of our county…. I don’t know what is.”


Lewis also received citations for DWLSR and not wearing a seatbelt. 

Posted by on in Press Releases

"We are brand new to the area (from Tallahassee) and went to the library for story time yesterday. Apparently there was a concern in the children's area and a few firemen and police officers arrived to check things out. My 19 month old son could not contain his excitement when he saw the officers in uniform. He was in awe and watched their every move.

To my surprise, the officers noticed this, and came over to shake his hand when they were finished. My son got a little nervous when they got close as you can see in the photo! I don't know the name of this officer, but there were others not in the photo that were just as kind as this man.

What a great first impression of Walton County. We are thrilled to be a part of this community. My husband and I took a leap of faith moving here...we left a small law firm that we owned/operated to work for Emmanuel, Sheppard, and Condon who opened a new office on Grand Boulevard. My husband, Scot, met with Captain Audie Rowell recently and was impressed as well. We can't wait to become more involved in this great community!!"

Her son is pictured here with Sergeant Will Curtis. We are thankful to all of you for your continued support. Thank you for always taking the time to share your stories with us

Santa Rosa Beach, Fla— The man in this sketch is a suspect in multiple residential burglaries in southern Walton County along County Highway 30a. A sketch artist spent several hours with a resident who came face-to-face with this man in January after he knocked on the door.

The suspect presented the same unique story told to separate witnesses in different cases. This man is wanted in residential burglaries stretching from Blue Mountain Beach to Inlet Beach.

He’s described as a slender white male with a bald head who sometimes wears a ball cap. He stands approximately 6’0. He focuses his attention during his crimes on cash and high-end jewelry.


Certain details of these cases are being withheld to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation. If you have any information on this person you’re asked to call the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at (850)-892-8111 or call Crime Stoppers at 863-TIPS. You can also text “TIP214 plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) or submit an anonymous web tip at You could be entitled to a CASH REWARD. 

Santa Rosa Beach, Fla— 35-year-old Ricky Hugo Diaz is now sitting in the Walton County Jail in DeFuniak Springs charged with 50 counts of possession of child pornography among other charges.

On September 2015, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office received a cyber-tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that originated from Twitter. Since that time WCSO investigators have worked diligently alongside numerous organizations such as Mediacom Communications Corporation to build a case.

Through the investigation it was found Diaz had obtained numerous images of nude children and children in pornographic images. A search warrant was served at his home at 175 Santa Barbara Avenue in Santa Rosa Beach early Thursday January 28th in which Diaz was taken into custody without incident.

“Crimes against children is one of the toughest jobs in law enforcement,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “I commend the efforts of our investigators in this case. This man is a disturbed individual and needs to spend the rest of his life in prison.”


Diaz is also being charged with 45 counts of distribution of obscene material (child pornography), and 10 counts of solicitation of obscene material (child pornography).  Diaz was transported to the Walton County Jail and has first appearance Friday, January 29, at 1:30pm. 

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2016

DeFuniak Springs, Fla— A man in his 80’s chased a burglar into the woods Thursday afternoon after he tried getting inside his home with a pry bar. 

Joshua Corey Atchison, 25, is charged with felony burglary of an occupied dwelling and criminal mischief after trying to break-in to a home on Peacock Road with two residents inside around 1:30pm Thursday. Once confronted by the home’s owner Atchison ran from the house through the woods to his vehicle. Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies were already closing in on his location and he was apprehended without incident.

While looking for the tool used to break-in to the home deputies found it dumped in the woods nearby.

"This is worst kind of thief," said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. "Ones who prey on the elderly and children. He's right where he belongs -- in jail." 

Atchison was transported and booked into the Walton County Jail.



Santa Rosa Beach,Fla— A normal traffic stop can change in the blink of an eye when a weapon is involved. We’ve seen it all too often in the news and across the country. For Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies last night was no different.

January 27th Chief Deputy AJ Smith was traveling east bound on Highway 98 in an unmarked vehicle and observed a red Chevrolet Impala in the left lane impeding the normal flow of traffic by traveling at a very low speed. He further observed the four occupants of that vehicle passing around what appeared to be a marijuana joint. Chief Smith called for a marked unit and a traffic stop was conducted.

During the stop, a passenger of the vehicle, Shayla Penn, 22, handed marijuana to the responding deputy. When exiting the vehicle a replica gun was spotted in the seat behind her. The gun was an airsoft gun with NO orange markings or otherwise obvious evidence that the gun was a fake.

While speaking to the deputy Penn proceed to adjust her pants and a clear plastic bag fell on the ground behind her. Inside, was three while rectangle pills. When asked Penn admitted the pills were Xanax and she did not have a prescription.

Penn was arrested for possession of controlled substance without a prescription and taken to the Walton County Jail.

“We can’t charge her with possession of a deadly weapon in the act of a felony, because the gun was a fake,” said Chief Deputy Aj Smith. “But, in the dark, had the situation been different this could have ended tragically. We treat every weapon we are presented with like a real gun. In this case, it’s very hard to tell at a glance. Especially at 9 o’clock at night.”

“These folks were up to no good. They were from Okaloosa County, had no final destination, no money, and no purpose,” said Smith. “If you bring that kind of recklessness to Walton County you will be arrested.” 

DeFuniak Springs, Fla— In a continued effort to find the drugs responsible for killing two Freeport men this week the Walton County Sheriff’s

Office Narcotics Division executed a search warrant resulting in the arrest of three individuals Thursday night.

For Thra Alise Norris, 29, Christopher Johnson, 23, and Angela Ward, 33,  10 o’clock Thursday night came much too early as a search warrant executed at 4738 U.S. Highway 90 uncovered numerous illegal drugs, pills, and paraphernalia landing all three behind bars.  Two small children were also found inside the home.

The following items were located; several baggies containing finished methamphetamine for sale, a red glass smoking device, a small baggy of marijuana, a safe containing several Xanax pills, and numerous hypodermic needles.  The meth and marijuana were located where both children had easy access to them.

A plastic container located in the living room area contained methamphetamine packaged in small baggies indicative of distribution that was accessible to all three adults. 

Norris and Johnson were charged with possession of meth with intent to distribute. Ward was charged possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, and child abuse without great bodily harm.

Ward is the primary resident at the address.

“We are dedicated to the continued effort to take drugs off the streets in Walton County,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “These arrests just scratch the surface. The fight continues against those that put our children and communities at risk.”



For Immediate Release

January 20, 2016

Freeport,Fla— Two men ages 27 and 33 are dead this morning in the Freeport area. As a result, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office is alerting the public to the possibility of an abnormally lethal batch of drugs circulating in central Walton County.

Hypodermic needles and spoons were found at the scene in both cases. One man was discovered off County Highway 3280 and the other was found inside a local business in the bathroom.

These are strong indicators that whatever the victims injected resulted in their abrupt death.

We are immediately releasing this information in hopes we can prevent future deaths or overdoses by making the public aware of the possibility of a potentially deadly drug on the streets. We realize all drugs can be deadly. In these cases we do not believe the circumstances surrounding their deaths are coincidental. We believe the incidents could be related and/or involve drugs that were defective or contaminated in some way.

“This is both tragic and maddening,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “Illegal drug use already has inherent danger, but in these two cases something went wrong and resulted in the death of two young men. Maybe the knowledge of these events will help save someone’s life.”


WCSO is continuing their investigation and will inform the public as details come in. If you or anyone you know has information in regard to these cases you are encouraged to call the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at (850)-892-8111 or you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 863-TIPS. 

For Immediate Release

January 19, 2016

Paxton, Fla— A case is brought to a quick conclusion this evening following an interview with a 12-year-old girl who told authorities she had been kidnapped Tuesday afternoon. 

The girl has now admitted to WCSO investigators the story was made up. Although she sought help from someone miles from her home it was later discovered she was NOT forced into a pick-up truck by two men and taken from her home.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office takes allegations of violence against our children very, very seriously. In this case, the agency was able to come to a conclusion quickly through the hard work of our deputies and investigators.

“At the time we felt like she was a credible witness and we had to go on what she was telling us,” said Sheriff Adkinson. “Our primary concern is the health, welfare, and safety of our children. Hopefully now the people of Walton County will be able sleep easy.”


Walton County Sheriff’s Office encourages parents to talk to their children about the chance of these types of scenarios. As an agency we will always err on the side of caution when it comes to our children. 



Paxton, Fla— A little girl is safe with WCSO investigators and her family after escaping an abduction this afternoon.

The victim told authorities it was sometime between 2-3PM Tuesday when she heard a noise inside her home near Paxton and went to investigate. She says it was then that a white male in his late teens early 20’s, standing around 5’10 to 6’0 tall with sandy blonde, shaggy hair put his hands over her mouth and dragged her from the home into the bed of blue pick-up truck outside.

The girl says the male got in the passenger side of the truck and another male was driving. The only description given for the driver of the vehicle was that he had brown hair.

The girl stayed in the bed of the truck until sometime later when the vehicle slowed and she was able to jump out and enter the woods. She walked for several hours before finding a residence to call 911 approximately 4 miles from her home.

“We are bringing in all available resources on this case,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “There is nothing more important right now than catching these suspects. We are very proud of the courage shown by this strong young lady today.”

These men are to be considered extremely dangerous. WCSO is currently working leads in this case and is using all of our manpower to assist. This is an active investigation. More details will be released as they become available. The public is urged to call the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at (850)-892-8111 if they see suspects and the vehicle matching the description in this release.