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Posted by on in Press Releases



On December 11, 2014, members of Investigations and the Vice/Narcotics executed a search warrant at the home of Richard Marinelli, 50, located at 103 Santa Rosa Street, Santa Rosa Beach.


During the course of the search, a methamphetamine lab was located inside Marinelli's utility closet which consisted of a cook vessel, two plastic containers with methamphetamine oil residue, ammonium nitrate and lye. A plastic bottle containing approximately 200 grams of a bi-layer liquid was located in a China cabinet.


Also located inside the residence were several items that had been reported stolen by an elderly victim.


Five individuals were arrested as a result of the search warrant and are currently in the Walton County Jail. They are as follows:


Richard Marinelli, 50, Larceny over $300 Less 10K from 65yoa or older, possession of paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine over 14grams, production of methamphetamine and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.


Douglas Dunnigan, 34, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.


Amy Freeman, 29, possession of a Methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.


Dayna Rose, 50, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.


Andrew Larnce, 40, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.



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     A joint investigation between Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices led to the arrest of Justin Ryan Tankersley, 28, of 2907 Cosson Rd, DeFuniak Springs, Florida.




      On 10/31/2014, a Yamaha motorcycle had been stolen from a residence in DeFuniak Springs. On 11/11/2014, Investigators with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office conducted an interview with Tankersley at his residence in reference to items that had been stolen from their county. During the course of the interview, several items had been located in Tankersley’s possession that had been reported stolen to include the Yamaha motorcycle.




     On 11/13/2014, members of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and Washington County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Tankersley’s residence and a storage unit that was being rented out by him. Several items were located that had been reported stolen out of Washington County.




     On 11/17/2014, a 4-wheeler was located in Jackson County that was reported stolen out of Walton County. Further investigation revealed that Tankersley sold the 4-wheeler to a private citizen in Marianna, Florida.




     Tankersley has been charged with Burglary, Larceny and three (3) counts of Grand Theft. He has been booked in to the Walton County Jail. This investigation is ongoing and future charges are expected.


The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating an armed robbery that took place early this morning at McDonalds within Loves Travel Shop, located at 17750 State Highway 285, Mossy Head.  Two black male suspects with partially covered faces entered the business around 3:15 am this morning.  One of the suspects brandished a 22 magnum handgun and demanded money.  Both suspects fled with approximately $2,500 in a 2008 Mazda with a Louisiana tag heading towards Niceville.  Patrol deputies pursued and stopped the suspect’s vehicle.  Both suspects were taken into custody without incident.  A third suspect was apprehended a few hours later near Hwy 90 and Emma Lane in Mossy Head.  The weapon used during the robbery and the stolen money have been recovered. 

The suspects were identified as;

Kelly Eugene Stewart, 18, of Slidel, La.                                                                                                                                           Trevor Bernard Smalls, 19, of Mobile, Al.                                                                                                                                                Christopher Wayne Smith, 20, of Slidel, La.

All suspects have been arrested and charged with Armed Robbery. Additionally Smith was charged with Aggravated Assault. All suspects have been booked into the Walton County Jail.                                                                                                                         


Special thanks to the Florida Highway Patrol and Walton Corrections Institute for their assistance in the apprehension of the suspects.  No one was injured during the incident and the investigation is ongoing.  More information will be released as it becomes available.


     On October 24, 2014, at approximately 2:00am, deputies responded to the area of Symphony Way and Greater Hammock Bend where they located a missing 13 year old female from out of Bay County, Florida.


     Further investigation revealed that the victim had been with a white male, Timothy Daniel Stephens, 23yoa, of Mango Ln in Freeport, Fl. Stephens had first made contact with the victim by use of social media. Arrangements were made and he traveled to Bay County on October 22, 2014, picking up the victim and bringing her back to his residence. Once at the residence, Stephens did engage in sexual intercourse with said victim.


     On October 24, 2014, Stephens was placed under arrest and charged with Obscene Communication: Travel to meet after use of computer to lure child and Sexual Assault on Victim over 12yoa. Stephens is currently in the Walton County Jail.


Sutton was adjudicated on 05/12/1978 for a sexual battery, in Walton County.  Sutton’s current address is 234 John White Rd, DeFuniak Springs, Fl.

Sutton  is a 59 year black male, with black hair and brown eyes, 5’10” and 198 lbs.

There are currently 147 registered sex offenders/predators living in Walton County.

The WCSO encourages families to visit to subscribe to receive e-mail alert notifications when registered sexual offenders or predators move into neighborhoods.  WCSO also encourages citizens to use the neighborhood search feature prior to signing up for alerts to identify registered sexual offenders and predators currently living in neighborhoods.


On October 9, 2014, members of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement executed a search warrant at the residence of Jimmy Ray Thomas, 46, of 316 Juniper Drive in the Choctaw Beach community.

The search warrant is part of a lengthy investigation in reference to methamphetamine production in the area.

Thomas was arrested and charged with Possession of a controlled substance, Trafficking in methamphetamine, Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and Possession of drug paraphernalia.

 Kayla Mechelle Ailey, 23, also of 316 Juniper Drive in the Choctaw Beach community was also arrested during the search warrant and charged with Possession of a controlled substance.

Thomas and Ailey are currently being held at the Walton County Jail. 

In October of 2013 an investigation was opened up on Joseph Aaron Richards, 35, of 407 E. Renoir Rd, DeFuniak Springs, for chicken fighting.

On September 25, 2014, members of the Criminal Investigations Bureau executed a search warrant at Richards residence. Several items were found to include publications on conditioning methods for fighting as well as how to prepare special diets prior to fighting the chickens. Richards was also found to be in possession of approximately 50 hens, roosters and biddies. Several of the chickens were seized and are now being housed at the Walton County Animal Shelter.


Richards was arrested and charged with Conservation-Animals Sell Poss Use Animal to Fight or Bait, a third degree felony, and Conservation-Animals Sell Poss Use Equipment for Animal Fight Bait, also a third degree felony. Richards is currently out on a $5000 bond. 

Posted by on in Press Releases

Michael Charles Huber, 33, of 70 Camp Creek Road 7, Santa Rosa Beach, is charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling, grand theft, dealing in stolen property and resisting an officer without violence. 

On October 7, 2014, Deputies with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office met with the victim who lived out of state and was notified that he may have had items stolen from his trailer upon discovering that the door was open. The victim did find that items were missing at this time.

On October 2, 2014, Deputies had conducted a traffic stop on Huber and remembered seeing items described in the burglary as being in the vehicle. Further investigation into this incident revealed that the item described and the items in the vehicle were the same.

On October 7, 2014, at approximately 8:30pm, Deputies went to Huber’s place of employment to take him into custody. Upon their arrival, Huber fled out the back door of the establishment. A short foot pursuit followed and Huber was taken into custody.

Huber was taken to the Walton County Jail where he has since been released on a $10,000 bond.

On 10-2-14 Patrol Deputies responded to 290 Stillwater Rd, Freeport, FL, in reference to an anonymous call that stated a subject was present that possessed methamphetamine. During their investigation, Deputies discovered an active “One- Pot” methamphetamine lab in the pant leg of Ian Freudenriech, 23, of Defuniak Springs.


Freudenriech was arrested and transported to the Walton County Jail. He was charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine and Trafficking in Methamphetamine and is currently being held on a $25,000 bond. 

Posted by on in Press Releases



On Sept 5, 2014 Deputies with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home in Freeport, Florida in reference to a complainant’s grandson molesting her 5yoa cousin. Prior to the deputies’ arrival, the suspect fled the scene on foot. A short while later, the suspect, Vincent Edward Barrett, 21yoa, of North Jackson in Freeport, Florida was located and taken into custody.


Vincent was taken to the Sheriff’s office where an interview was conducted by investigators. Upon conclusion of the interview, Vincent was arrested for Lewd and Lascivious molestation on a child under 12 and taken to the Walton County Jail.