MEDIA RELEASE From Hernando County Government

Animal Services seeks rightful owners before releasing pets for adoption
(Brooksville, FL) Hernando County Animal Services (HCAS) urges those who were using the We Care for Paws Foundation to board, foster or otherwise care for their animals to immediately contact their office at (352) 796-5062 or email ac@hernandocounty.us to claim their pets.

The We Care for Paws Foundation, located at 4320 Neff Lake Rd. in Brooksville, was providing temporary care for dogs and cats in at-risk situations. On June 13, 2018, 56 dogs and 23 cats were seized by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office because the foundation did not meet code as it pertains to the care and welfare of the animals.

Animal Services is making every effort to return the animals to their rightful owners, but incomplete record keeping by the foundation has made it difficult to contact them. Animals with known pet owners that we have been unable to reach will be held until June 27, 2018; after that they will become available for adoption, rescue, etc. Animals with no known owners will be processed for adoption and rescue as soon as possible.

The animals continue to be cared for by Florida State Animal Response Coalition volunteers at an undisclosed location off-site from HCAS. Gift cards are requested for volunteers to purchase food and personal supplies while they provide this much needed service for our community. Contact HCAS at (352) 796-5062 if you wish to donate.

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Vice and Narcotics Search Warrant – 10490 Maderia Street

On 06-06-18, members from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team executed a search warrant at 10490 Maderia Street in Spring Hill.

A search warrant was executed previously at this residence on 04/18/2018 for the same type of activity.

Investigation revealed that the resident, Nelson Lugo, was involved in the sale of cocaine.

During the search of the residence, detectives located the following:

• 13.9 grams of Marijuana that was packaged to sell
• Multiple items of paraphernalia
• $33 in US currency

Nelson Lugo was taken into custody by detectives and charged as follows:

Nelson Lugo H/M DOB/04-24-1969

• Hernando County Warrant for possession and sale of cocaine
• Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
• Possession of paraphernalia

The sheriff’s office conducted an investigation on Nelson Lugo at the beginning of 2018, which also resulted in a search warrant being executed.

Lugo was able to bond out on the original charges and began selling narcotics again a couple days later. This led the detectives to the search warrant today.

Missing Juvenile – Melaina Lee Hardy

Date: May 15, 2018

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance from our media partners and the community in locating a MISSING JUVENILE.

Melaina Lee Hardy has been missing since 05-02-18. Melaina is believed to have ties to Spring Hill, Brooksville and St. Petersburg.

Melaina has no known health concerns.

Melaina’s physical description is as follows:
Black Female
Date of Birth – 01-04-2001
Height – 5’3”
Weight – 165 lbs.
Hair – Brown
Eyes – Brown
Last seen wearing – Off-white “peek-a-boo” shirt, black leggings and a rose gold/white pearl necklace.

If you have seen Melaina Lee Hardy, or know her current whereabouts, please call the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office at 352-754-6830 or your local law enforcement agency.

Thank you.

Internet Sales Safe Zones

In an effort to make online transactions safer for both buyers and sellers, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office allows citizens to use its lobbies and parking lot to complete sales setup through online sites such as eBay and Craigslist.

The goal of creating these “Safe Zones” is to deter crimes from occurring during such transactions.

Law enforcement agencies in Florida as well as other states have set up similar “Safe Zones” in an effort to make in-person transactions more secure.

Citizens are encouraged to utilize the Sheriff’s Office lobby in Brooksville, 18900 Cortez Blvd. between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The lobby in Spring Hill, 7499 Forest Oaks Blvd., may be used between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If transactions need to be completed outside of normal business hours citizens may use the parking lot in Brooksville, which is well-lit and under 24-hour video surveillance.

If you plan to use the lobby we ask that you check in at the front desk prior to completing your transaction.

MEDIA RELEASE 05-08-18

HAZMAT Response to the Hernando County Detention Center

On 05-08-18 at approximately 4:15 p.m., an inmate at the Hernando County Detention Center notified Detention Deputies that he felt extremely ill. The inmate was immediately transferred to the medical unit within the detention center for evaluation and treatment.

The inmate, who has been incarcerated in the facility for 22 days, admitted to deputies and nursing staff that he had just finished smoking an illegal narcotic.

Once the inmate was removed from his cell, detention deputies began to check for contraband.

Inside the cell, a detention deputy located two suspicious items (contraband) and began collecting the items. While collecting the items, the detention deputy also began feeling ill.

Detention Center staff requested Hernando County Fire Rescue respond to the scene to evaluate and treat the deputy and to examine the substance that was located in the cell.

All inmates were immediately removed from the housing unit and the HVAC system shut down. Once all inmates were removed, all staff remained clear of the area.

The detention deputy, who was already starting to feel much better, was transported to the hospital by Hernando County Fire Rescue.

The inmate, still in the medical unit, was also feeling much better. He told the staff that he received the substance from another inmate.

The investigation continues into how the contraband was introduced into the Detention Center.

Presumptive testing by the Hernando County HAZMAT Team indicated that the substance is an illegal narcotic. The substance will be sent to FDLE for additional testing.

Charges are forthcoming, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Recent bomb threats made against Central High School.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is currently on the scene of another Bomb Threat at Central High School.

This is the third Bomb Threat involving the school in the last three days. Investigators have been on campus since 6:30 a.m. conducting an investigation into the two previous bomb threats when the latest bomb threat was called in just before 7:30 a.m.

The Sheriff’s Office is working diligently to ensure the safety of all students, teachers and staff at the high school.

Robbery News 02-14-2018

At approximately 11 a.m. this morning, Hernando County deputies were able to locate and apprehend the suspect responsible for committing two Commercial Robberies in the City of Brooksville, earlier in the morning.

Robbery News 02-14-2018

The first robbery was committed at the Wawa at 3:44 a.m.; the second robbery was committed at the Subway at 9:55 a.m.

The suspect is identified as Deneal Shine B/M DOB/07-03-1971.

Both cases, and the arrest, are being handled by the City of Brooksville Police department.

MANHUNT MONDAY 02-05-2018

Christopher Potts B/M DOB/06-27-1989

Christopher Potts

Warrant
Two counts — Sexual Battery by Person of Familial or Custodial Authority
Lewd or lascivious Molestation

NO BOND

Hgt/6’0”
Wgt/260
Hair/Black
Eyes/Brown

If you know the whereabouts of this subject (or have any information), please call the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office at 352-754-6830. If you would like to remain anonymous or be eligible for a reward, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477). To submit a tip on line, please visit http://www.hernandosheriff.org/Tips/

HVAC Issues at Hernando County Detention Center

On 01-02-18, the Hernando County Detention Center began experiencing heating issues in several areas of the facility. It is important to note that these issues were not isolated to inmate housing areas. The HCSO Detention Center Maintenance Crew and Hernando County Facilities Maintenance began working to resolve the issue. Replacement parts were ordered and repair is scheduled as soon as the parts arrive. During this time the HCSO Detention Center staff were authorized to issue additional blankets to inmates, upon request.

On 01-04-18 at approximately 8 p.m., a gas leak was discovered in the Alpha Pod (inmate housing unit). Hernando County Fire Rescue was summoned to assess the situation. It was determined that natural gas levels were elevated in an area of the Alpha Pod. The inmates housed in this immediate area were relocated to a different housing area. Six (known) inmates claimed to be affected by this incident. All six inmates were triaged by medical staff and cleared with no medical concerns. The affected area of the Alpha Pod was ventilated for approximately seven hours. Inmates were returned to the Alpha Pod in the morning.

On 01-05-18, Hernando County Facilities Maintenance and a private HVAC vendor worked on the HVAC systems until the close of business.

On 01-08-18, repairs are still ongoing to HVAC systems. Repair crews are awaiting the arrival of parts mentioned above. Representatives from Hernando County Facilities Maintenance advised that by the end of business on 01-09-18, 85% of the HVAC systems at the Hernando County Detention Center will be functioning properly.

SITUATION 01-04-2018

The National Weather Service in Tampa Bay Area – Ruskin FL has re-issued a Hard Freeze Warning for Hernando County, which is in effect from 1 AM to 9 AM Friday. Current forecasted conditions may change significantly with temperatures projected to reach the mid 20’s.

POSSIBLE IMPACTS

Very cold wind chills expected over a prolonged period could result in hypothermia. Sub-freezing temperatures will be a danger for pets, livestock and sensitive vegetation. Continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations listed below.

Forecast for Tonight / Friday Morning
County
Temperature
Duration
Hernando
20 to 27 degrees
3 to 5 hours

RECOMMENDATIONS

• Consider the needs of pets during this time. Do not leave pets outside in the cold weather.
• Cover or move plants that are sensitive to the cold.
• Cover or close windows or doors near exposed interior pipes. Insulate your pipes if possible.
• Disconnect and drain all garden hoses, and consider placing an insulating cover over the outside spigots.
• When low temperatures are predicted, let a thin trickle of water run from the faucet.
• If your pipes do break, immediately turn your water off at the shut-off valve.
• Consider running pool pumps overnight during freezing temperatures to prevent damage.
• Turn off sprinkler system to avoid damage to the sprinkler head and pipes.
• Remember, thawing frozen pipes is dangerous and could cause extensive damage. Call a plumber if your pipes freeze; never try to thaw pipes with an open flame.
• Residents are encouraged to pay attention to local media outlets or the National Weather Service at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tbw/ for current weather information.
• Register with Alert Hernando to Receive automated emergency weather alerts and other important messages from Hernando County Register today at: www.AlertHernando.org.