Former Sheriff Chris Blair makes a deal with prosecutors

Blair will never be able to run for sheriff in the Fifth Judicial District

Former Sheriff Chris Blair makes a deal with prosecutors

Marion County — Former Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair withdrew his candidacy for re-election. In a letter to Supervisor of Elections, Welsley Wilcox, Blair wrote, “Having duly qualified for election for the office of Sheriff of Marion County, in the Republican Primary and General Elections of 2016, I hereby immediately and irrevocably withdraw my candidacy […]

Grand jury on MCSO: Falsified statistics, excessive force, dishonesty, and more

Marion County citizens were put at great risk

Grand jury on MCSO: Falsified statistics, excessive force, dishonesty, and more

  , Ocala, Florida — On Friday, May 20, 2016, the State Attorney’s Office for the Fifth Judicial District indicted Sheriff Chris Blair for two counts of Perjury in an official proceeding and one count of Official Misconduct. On June 2, 2016, the grand jury produced a 13-page presentment on the leadership of the Marion County […]

Two MCSO majors suspended following sheriff’s arrest

Two MCSO majors suspended following sheriff’s arrest

On Saturday, Marion County interim Sheriff Emery Gainey suspended two MCSO Majors. According to a press release, Major Don Maines, who is over the Bureau of Professional Standards, and Major Tommy Bibb, who is over the Bureau of Special Investigations, have been placed on paid administrative leave. The suspension came just one day after the arrest of […]

Shooting near Highway 484 RaceTrac, suspect(s) on the run

Shooting near Highway 484 RaceTrac, suspect(s) on the run

Ocala, Florida — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a shooting that occurred near the RaceTrac, located at 1525 Southwest Highway 484. According to officials on the scene, a male, who has not been identified, was shot in the foot. His injuries were non-life-threatening. Witnesses reported hearing more than one shot being fired, […]

Deputy resigns, another under investigation, FBI now involved

Deputy resigns, another under investigation, FBI now involved

[Last updated on February 25, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.] Ocala, Florida — The State Attorney’s Office has completed an extensive investigation into cases involving former Marion County sheriff’s deputy Eduardo Bustamante. The investigation involved multiple use-of-force complaints and falsified arrest reports. In one of the alleged use-of-force cases, Bustamante was accompanied by Sergeant Ben Adams. […]

Video: 5th deputy indicted in Marion Oaks police brutality case

Video: 5th deputy indicted in Marion Oaks police brutality case

Ocala, Florida — A federal grand jury has indicted former Marion County Sheriff’s deputy, Jesse Alan Terrell, 33, who is accused of beating Derrick Price, 44, during an arrest that took place in 2014 in Marion Oaks. Terrell is the fifth deputy to face charges in this case. Former Deputies Trevor Wade Fitzgerald, 32, James […]

Marion County Sheriff’s Office sergeant demoted and suspended

Marion County Sheriff’s Office sergeant demoted and suspended

Ocala, Florida — A Marion County Sheriff’s Office supervisor was demoted and suspended after an internal affairs investigation revealed that he made false statements to the Commander of the Marion County Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST). In a letter of suspension to Jeremie Nix, it states that he was demoted to the rank corporal […]

Marion County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit Interdiction Commander suspended

Marion County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit Interdiction Commander suspended

Ocala, Florida — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that K-9 Unit Interdiction Commander, Sergeant Jeremie Nix, was suspended with pay from MCSO. Public Information Officer Lieutenant Ryan Robbins wrote, “At this time no other information can be released until the [Internal Affairs] investigation is completed.” MCSO would not explain the circumstances surrounding Nix’s suspension. Ocala Post […]

To the Editor: Domestic violence victim was deaf and at my doorstep

"I was completely vulnerable and helpless."

To the Editor: Domestic violence victim was deaf and at my doorstep

Note: Before readers jump to conclusions and attack the writer, readers should realize that this information was addressed with the Sheriff’s Office first and posted to their Facebook page. The post was later deleted. The Sheriff’s Office stated that they do not have a need for an interpreter. Ocala, Florida — I usually keep to […]

MCSO: Shots fired at SWAT and UDEST agents

MCSO: Shots fired at SWAT and UDEST agents

Pedro, Florida  — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said law enforcement officials were met with gunfire as they attempted to serve a warrant on Wednesday morning. According to MCSO Lt. Ryan Robbins, SWAT members and agents with the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST) were shot at while serving a high-risk drug search warrant at 332 […]

Fourth deputy pleads guilty in beating case, confesses to second beating

Fourth deputy pleads guilty in beating case, confesses to second beating

Ocala, Florida — Former Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy and SWAT Team member Cody Hoppel, 31, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday for the beating of a Marion Oaks man. Then, Hoppel dropped a bombshell and also pleaded guilty to the beating of a Williston man in an unrelated case. Hoppel is the fourth of five […]

Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair appointed to Northeast Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force

Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair appointed to Northeast Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force

Marion County — On Wednesday, The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced that Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair was appointed as a Co-Chair of the Northeast Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF). According to MCSO, Sheriff Blair will be on the Florida’s Domestic Security Oversight Council and would oversee the RDSTF Region 3 Jacksonville Division. […]

Video: Man drives around school bus, tells parents to “get a f***ing job”

Video: Man drives around school bus, tells parents to “get a f***ing job”

[WARNING: Contains adult language. Video courtesy of Shannon Guinther] [Last updated on August 21, 2015, at 2:40 p.m.] Silver Springs, Florida — At approximately 10 p.m. Thursday night, following outrage from multiple parents, MCSO responded to Guinther’s home and took a written statement from him. MCSO also plans to interview other parents present during the incident. According […]

To the Editor: Citizens & commissioners show little support for public safety

To the Editor: Citizens & commissioners show little support for public safety

Ocala, Florida — It was a little disheartening to see all the Marion County citizens rally for the Confederate flag recently.  Not that they shouldn’t be allowed to show their enthusiastic support for whatever cause they deem worthy, but the fact that they then show such little support for the Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department […]

2 of 5 deputies plead guilty after the beating of a compliant suspect

2 of 5 deputies plead guilty after the beating of a compliant suspect

Ocala, Florida — Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies Trevor Wade Fitzgerald, 32, and James Louis Amidei, 32, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to the August 7, 2014, beating of Marion Oaks drug ringleader, Derrick Price, 44. There were a total of five deputies involved in Price’s arrest. The remaining three deputies have been identified as Cody […]

Commissioners look toward sales tax increase for public safety

Commissioners look toward sales tax increase for public safety

[Last updated on July 28, 2015, at 10:53 p.m.] Ocala, Florida — Marion County Commissioners unanimously agreed last Tuesday to schedule a workshop to discuss placing a one cent sales tax increase on the ballot in March 2016, amid long standing budget woes. The issue, brought forth by Marion County Commissioner David Moore, would divide […]

Stern warning from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to criminals

Stern warning from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to criminals

  Ocala, Florida — “I will not tolerate this type of violent criminal behavior, which puts Marion County citizens at risk,” Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair said during a press meeting Thursday. “This agency will be very proactive to stop the violent criminals before they seriously hurt someone.” This message comes after twin brothers Caleb […]

MCSO found compliant with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act

MCSO found compliant with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act

Ocala, Florida — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Marion County Jail underwent an extensive, three-day audit and was found to be 100 percent compliant with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). According to the sheriff’s office, during the ‘Exit Interview’, PREA auditor Buddy Kent stated in his analysis that MCSO’s Detention Bureau […]

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