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Catherine Rodriguez

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On Wednesday, September 24th, the Eglin Range Patrol observed two males in a vehicle on Eglin property with a suspicious bottle next to the driver’s side door.  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office was notified and responded to the area of 15000 West State Highway 20 to assist Eglin Range Patrol.  Upon further investigation, the bottle was determined to be an active one-pot methamphetamine cook vessel.  Investigators with the Vice/Narcotics Unit arrived on scene and rendered the bottle safe. Various items used in the manufacture of and consumption of methamphetamine were found in the vehicle and surrounding area.

Richard Lee Cox (uncle), 33, of 38 Pahl Road, Niceville and Bryan Matthew Cox (nephew), 29, of 58 Beach Street, Freeport, were both charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.



On Wednesday, September 24, members of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office VICE/Narcotics Unit assisted State Probation with an administrative search at the home of Gary Dale Edwards, 62, of 847 Ezra Brannon Road, DeFuniak Springs.  Edwards voluntarily signed a consent to search form allowing the Sheriff’s Office to assist State Probation. Methamphetamine was found in some of Edwards clothing on his bed.  State Probation arrested Edwards for violating his probation.  Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office secured the residence and obtained a probable cause search warrant for the residence.  During the search another container of methamphetamine was located in Edward’s bedroom. 



Edwards was charged with possession of methamphetamine.



The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is excited to announce our first Jail Break Zombie Fun Run!!  The course for this race will have obstacles.


When: November 1, 2014


Where: Walton County Sheriff’s Office located at 752 Triple G Road, DeFuniak Springs


Time: Race times begin at 8 am / Registration and packet pickup begins at 7 am on the morning of the race.  Early packet pick-up will take place the day before the race, October 31st from 12:00 pm-5:00 pm at the Walton County Sheriff's Office (located at 752 Triple G Road in DeFuniak Springs.)


Why: To raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)


For more information please call 850.892.8186


To sign up: or



Please see our video at on our Facebook page. 


Posted by on in Press Releases
Sgt. Jennifer Fannin is helping Tara find a home. She is a 3 year old female Schnauzer/Bulldog that is heartworm negative and already spayed. While at the Walton County Animal Shelter, Tara was selected by Alaqua Ani...mal Rescue to participate in their Unconditional Love Program. The program rescues unwanted canines from neglect and abuse situations and uses inmate labor to train them with basic obedience skills with the goal of being adopted as companion canines. During training, Tara learned basic obedience commands such as: Sit, Down, Take a break (potty), Here, Stay, etc.

If you would like to adopt Tara please contact Alaqua Animal Refuge at 850-880-6399 or the Walton County Animal Shelter at 850-892-8758.



Jonathan Michael Saylor, 38, of 4115 E Hwy 20, Freeport, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 36 months state prison time and $975.00 worth of legal fees for sexual battery.  On December 23rd, 2013, Saylor held a victim against her will, with a knife to her throat and sexually battered her.  After reviewing all the evidence, deputies and investigators with the WCSO arrived at Saylor’s residence on January 10, 2014, to arrest him.  Saylor fled the scene and a brief struggle took place when he was apprehended.  The Sheriff’s Office charged Saylor with battery, aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, sexual assault and resisting an officer with violence. 



On Monday, September 22, deputies responded to a domestic violence call in the area of Kylea Laird Road in Freeport.  The caller stated that his children’s mother had rammed his vehicle with her car intentionally to try and get him to stop and give their son to her.  After speaking to all parties involved, to include two children ages 14 and 11, Tara McCullers, 32, was charged with 3 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and 2 counts of child abuse.  McCullers intentionally struck/rammed Jerald Hansley’s truck with her car, she attempted to intimidate and/or scare Hansley who is the father of her children and did put fear in both children who stated they were scared during the incident.  The 14 year old child, who was in the vehicle with McCullers, hit her head during one of the intentional strikes of the two vehicles but did not sustain injuries.  


Top Left: Simmons Top Right: Ritchie Bottom Left: Ramirez
Steven Ryan Ritchie, 23, was sentenced to 15 years in the Department of Corrections, based on six prior out-of-state felony convictions and he is also designated as a Habitual Felony Offender. ... Ritchie plead guilty September 4th, to include: resisting an officer with violence, grand theft auto, burglary of a dwelling, two counts of grand theft, two counts of burglary of a conveyance and destroying electronic monitoring equipment. Ritchie was arrested and charged August 27th by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, leaving a scene of an accident with injuries, resisting arrest with violence and grand theft auto. Ritchie was driving a 1999 blue Jeep Wrangler which was reported stolen out of Miramar Beach. Upon contact, Ritchie rammed the jeep into a deputy’s patrol car, pinning the deputy inside the vehicle and causing injury to the deputy’s shoulder. Ritchie fled on foot but was apprehended nearly 5 hours later by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office secured a search warrant for his DNA. Upon receipt, it was determined that Ritchie was a match for several burglaries that had occurred in the Santa Rosa Beach area.
Gerald Wayne Simmons, 26, was convicted by a Walton County Jury on August 13, for his participation in the burglary of a dwelling while armed with a firearm and dealing in stolen property. Simmons was sentenced to 30 years in the Department of Corrections with the first ten to be a minimum mandatory sentence for the burglary of a dwelling while armed. The dealing in stolen property conviction is to be served consecutively. On May 23, 2013, the victim arrived and found his home burglarized. Among the items taken, were several firearms, a large amount of cash and jewelry. Walton County Sheriff’s investigators were able to determine the defendant had pawned several pieces of jewelry on May 24, 2013, including a class ring clearly identified as the victims.

Chrispin Pedro Ramirez, 22, is sentenced to life in prison without parole for first degree murder of Arthur Anderson, 77. Ramirez was also sentenced to life in prison for burglary of a dwelling with assault and 50 years in prison for arson of a dwelling, grand theft auto, resisting arrest with violence, discharge of a fire bomb and destruction of a fire safety device. All sentences were imposed consecutively. The charges stem from Ramirez stabbing Anderson when he discovered Ramirez and 16 year old Haley Bowden unlawfully inhabiting a home for which he was the caretaker. After stabbing Anderson, Ramirez set fire to the dwelling and stole Anderson’s vehicle. After being apprehended, Ramirez threatened deputies with weapons and resisted arrest. Ramirez confessed fully to all crimes for which he was charged. The crime of destruction of a fire safety device arose from Ramirez’s damaging a fire sprinkler in his cell in the Walton County jail on May 6, 2013. Co-defendant Haley Bowden is still facing prosecution for her part in Anderson’s murder and the connected crimes.
(L to R: Ritchie, Simmons and Ramirez)
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Due to yesterday’s lightning strike, the jail’s inmate phone system and video visitation is currently down.  The water supply was also down for several hours but has been fixed. We are working quickly to resolve the issues and appreciate the public’s patience during this outage. 


The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce its next Citizen Law Enforcement Academy, which will begin on October 9, 2014.  For citizens who want a truly eye opening experience about law enforcement, this is where it all starts.  Participants will spend about three hours in a class room once a week for approximately 10 weeks.  The Citizen Law Enforcement Academy is a great program for any citizen who wishes to learn more about the field of law enforcement and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. The class is FREE and will take place at the Sheriff’s Office Administration building located at 752 Triple G Road, DeFuniak Springs.  A background check will be conducted on all participants who sign-up.  To sign-up please visit and fill out the application online.  Forms must be submitted by October 3rd. 


Some of the topics that will be covered during the Citizen Law Enforcement Academy include:


  • Patrol Procedures
  • Arrest Procedures
  • Dispatch & 9-1-1
  • Crime Scene    Investigations
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Narcotics Investigations
  • Traffic & DUI
  • K-9
  • School Resource Deputies
  • Firearm Safety/ Firing Range
  • Crime Prevention
  • Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers
  • Media & Public Relations
  • Emergency Management
  • Jail Tour
  • Defensive Tactics/R.A.D Demonstration
  • Aviation Unit
  • SWAT


For more information please contact Deputy Harold Shover at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 850.635.5484.  Or visit our website at



Garrett Scott Teal, 21, of 2609 Palamino Trail, Crestview, was arrested on Saturday, September 6th.  Teal is charged with “obscene communication use computer to seduce lure child.”  An undercover investigation began in May 2014, using a smartphone application to target individuals soliciting minors to engage in sexual activity.  On May 6, the investigator posted “Bored young female…J.”  On the same day, Teal replied to the post by sending a private message.  During the course of the conversation, it was made known to Teal that he was communicating with a 14 year old girl.  Teal knowingly solicited the minor to engage in sexual activity. 


Teal has been ordered by Judge David Green to have no contact with minors.