Charges dropped against two accused of planning attack on Eustis Police Department

ocala news, marion county news, eustis police department, police attack
Christopher M. Conger, [left] and Jeremy Robertson
Ocala, Florida — All charges against two men who allegedly planned an attack on the Eustis Police Department have been dropped.

Ocala Post obtained an eight-page memorandum from the State Attorney’s Office that outlines why the charges were dropped.

In May, Christopher M. Conger, 32, and Jeremy Robertson, 29, were arrested after the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they received a tip that the two were planning an attack on the EPD with a grenade rocket launcher.

The tip came from Brandon Stevens, an inmate who was arrested by MCSO on an outstanding Lake County warrant.

While at the Marion County Jail, Stevens had asked to speak with a detective about unspecified crimes; however, he was not contacted and was transferred to the Lake County Jail. Once he was transferred, he asked to speak with a detective with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Stevens was interviewed by a Lake County Detective, but Stevens’ statements were not recorded. The detective also failed to write a report on the interview.

A Lake County Detective then passed the information on to MCSO.

Stevens claimed that he saw missile containers in a floor safe located in a shed on the property, located at 17459 Southeast 260th Avenue. He said that he saw Conger return the “rocket launcher” to the floor safe, and then he discussed the alleged attack on the Eustis Police Department.

According to the memo, Eustis Police Chief Gary Calhoun said that he was familiar with Steven’s and his family. The chief was also aware that Stevens had a long history of mental health issues that would cast doubt on any statement he made to authorities. He also said he was not contacted about the matter by MCSO.

The memo also states that, after MCSO received the information from the LCSO about the statements that Stevens made, they did not interview him. Instead, they went to the property and confirmed that there was a shed on the property, the container was built into the floor, and that there may have been some sort of “booby trap” device on the property. The “shed” turned out to be a multi-room shed that was being lived in. Based on these observations, and the unrecorded statement of Stevens, a search warrant was obtained.

MCSO investigators remained on the property while the search warrant was being obtained. The search warrant was approved by the State Attorney prior to the judge signing it.

Upon execution of the search warrant, Robertson and Conger were found in the multi-room shed.

The floor safe only contained a few pieces of paper, a photo of a man who lived on the property, and some photos of women.

The memo noted that the dimensions of the safe were not mentioned in any reports, but photos showed that the safe was not large enough to hold the items described by Stevens.

Also on the premises, investigators found 22 firearms, several containers of black powder , two bullet proof vests, powder and crack cocaine, more than a pound of marijuana, prescription pills, scales, and other drug paraphernalia.

The memo states that none of the drugs or weapons were found in plain view.

In the “Under charging decisions” section, the memo states:

“All current charges stem from the items found after the initial search warrant. If those charges were litigated, the Court would likely be presented with the question of the validity of the first search warrant. The failure of the law enforcement officers to conduct an interview of the source prior to applying for the warrant in order to verify and document his very serious accusations would present a serious problem in an argument in support of the validity of the warrant.”

The sheriff’s office said they had probable cause for Conger’s and Robertson’s arrest and they were charged accordingly. They said they presented the case to the State Attorney’s Office, who ultimately chose not to prosecute Conger and Robertson for these offenses.

Sheriff Chris Blair said, “I believe that the Eustis Police Department is still standing today because of the agency’s actions to interrupt criminal activity by these two individuals that could have possibly caused death and destruction to a number of innocent people.”

Full, unedited details of this case, including, but not limited to, all charges and why the charges were dropped, can be viewed here.

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  • john1967

    There was a lot of chatter about the initial arrests having been political. A lot of people never believed there was an attack, including the Eustis police chief. when i saw it on the news he said he had not had contact with the criminals in a long time. yet mcso led everyone to believe the attack was planned out of revenge for being arrested by eustis police. if you cannot trust information released by the police who can you trust? the documents spell out a lot of things left out of the reports. it almost seems like it was done intentionally. lets hope not.

  • alltoooften

    WTF…so the suspect told the deputies he was there to sell a car and they didn’t believe him, but a person shows up to buy a car and deputies sent him on his way WITHOUT even identifying the person in the car. This is one of the reasons why people do not trust cops. And for the chief to basically say the sheriff’s office was lying??? Did the deputies not think the facts would come out in the end. SMH.

  • Randy Morris

    Who dare call this law enforcement? This can only be compared to the Keystone Cops!

    This had absolutely nothing to do with whether any one of these guys had broken any laws. This was all about a photo
    op and yet another False Flag like Sandy Hook, which was a total made for panic movie. Porta Pots ordered before the crime begins for this school site that had been closed to students for years. Even the FBI forgot to lie for them and
    admitted not one person died in Newtown, Ct [Sandy Hook School] on December 14, 2012 in their annual report.

    What do we have here? A contest to see which so called law enforcement agency can lie, concoct and wreak havoc on the
    citizens of their area? Are they rewarded with more dollars and war toys from
    Washington for being the winner of the scams of the month?

    You could call this just another comedy
    of errors, but the two guys they arrested are in this case victims of an over
    zealous culture whose soul goal is to please it’s masters.

    Like Sandy Hook, the first clue here that something just wasn’t right was; breaking news on a Monday morning. Then for
    those with one eye and half sense, you can see these two guys were arrested on the Friday afternoon three days before this major breaking new release.

    As the legend goes, the confidential informant (who by all ethical law enforcement protocol should have been protected because that’s what real, professional law enforcement officials do – they protect their sources for possible use another day.) was arrested and booked in the Marion County Jail on a Lake County warrant. While in the Marion County Jail this person asked to talk to a Marion County Deputy Sheriff (about
    something). Standard operating procedure for Marion County no one ever come to talk to him. We know informants who tried to talk to former Marion road Deputy Gregory Spicher, Jr. and he refused to talk to them – after Spicher ordered neighbor’s
    to halt their CPR attempts on a juvenile that died – the sheriff transferred Spicher to the Marion County Jail. So, if this informant was unlucky enough to have jailer Spicher guaranteed he never passed his request on to the proper
    sheriff’s authority.

    The informant arrested on the Lake County warrant is transferred to the Lake Jail. Again the informant tells a
    jailer at the Lake Jail he wants to talk to law enforcement. This time the message is passed on and a Lake County Deputy Sheriff (Detective maybe) goes to the jail and interviews the informant. They did not record the interview and they apparently did not write any kind of report. Which they don’t really do anyway – all their reports are prepared by report writers – no written report was identified in this article.

    Apparently the Lake Deputy Sheriff Deputy contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and verbally passed on the information obtained from the jail inmate.

    According to legend, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office proceeded directly to the property in question and made
    certain determinations such as shed location and possible even entered the structure and found the floor safe in question. Then they apparently remained on or near the premises while they went to secure a search warrant for the premises.

    They somehow secured a search warrant from a judge by going through the office of Fifth Circuit State Attorney Brad King – the Marion County Sheriff’s Office accomplished
    all of this without ever traveling to Lake County and interviewing the informant face to face. They served the search warrant and recovered some weapons and a small amount of marijuana and put the two arrestee’s in the Marion County Jail on Friday afternoon. Then they took off for the weekend!

    Monday morning they started calling around and trying to set up a breaking news fiasco on all the local TV stations. Sheriff Blair is said to have called the Chief of Police of Eustis,
    Fl and asked him if he wanted to be in on the grandstanding – the Chief is said to have refused the invitation. By the time the string pullers got involved in this run away fiasco – they were telling everyone that they had a rocket launcher (which was never found) and they were not only going to blow up the
    Eustis Police Department but also the Catholic Church and the Elks Club facilities on 450 West of Umatilla.

    Every last bit of this information was hear say and not documented sworn affidavit form from the informant. No one can ever substantiate exactly what the informant was supposed to have told the lake Deputy or what the Lake Deputy
    told the Marion County Sheriff’s Officials.

    But, the fact remains the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was able to get a search warrant that is required to be issued
    by a judge and enter a private property on absolutely 100% undocumented hearsay. And the fact that the Marion County
    Sheriff Blair said that he believes, “the Eustis Police Department is still standing today because of the agency’s actions to interrupt criminal activity by these two
    individuals that could have possibly caused death and destruction to a number of innocent people” can only be described as total bull shit! What were they going to use to accomplish all this destruction? You didn’t even find a rocket
    launcher! Rumor’s on the street are they tried to get the FBI involved in this False Flag and they were too smart for this photo op scheme. If true good for the FBI.

    The truth is everyone from the Marion County Jail to the Lake County Deputy who failed to record and document the informants allegations back to the Marion Sheriff’s Office, SA Brad King’s Office and whomever the Judge was they conned into signing this search warrant without an ethical probable cause affidavit are as guilty as sin of violating the rights of these too persons whose property they caused to be illegally searched and whose arrests they arranged illegally.

    If these people are to lazy or too stupid to do ethical police work which will result in ethical arrests, convictions and sentencing they should all take their retirement; first; second; third or whichever one they are working on now and let the people have real honest law enforcement from which they can again build confidence and a rapport in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

    Everyone in Lake County knows what they have for a sheriff. They have had more employee’s arrested for theft and sex crimes within the department than they have off the
    streets. But, when State Attorney Brad King attacked Chris Blair and tried to keep him off the Republican ballot a lot of people hoped that Blair was not going to jump on this dark side bandwagon with King, Gary Borders and so many
    more around Central Florida.

  • Randy Morris

    Some of the people involved who would like to know how all the people come together to secure a search warrant without an affidavit from the informant have been saying the Assistant State Attorney involved in the case Rick Ridgeway either was or is an auxiliary police officer for the Eustis Police Department. Does this matter?

  • tomfromocala

    I appreciate the fact that you included the memorandum. The people at the sheriff’s office can try and cover their ass all day, but the memorandum is in black and white. I will never trust ANYTHING they say again. The media should not take their reports for face value either. I also lost respect when I found out today that they hired a reporter from TV20 so they could run their own news at 5 or what ever they are calling it. Clips that make fun of victims..not cool. I have un-followed their FB page and will not vote him back in.

    • Randy Morris

      George Walker Bush Executed 131 Inmates in Texas- Many With Seriously Flawed Trials

      Gov. George Walker Bush, Texas executed dozens
      of Death Row inmates whose cases were compromised by unreliable evidence, disbarred or suspended defense attorneys, meager defense efforts during
      sentencing and dubious psychiatric testimony, a Chicago Tribune investigation found.

      While campaigning for president, Bush expressed confidence in the fairness and accuracy of the death penalty system in Texas, the nation’s busiest executioner. He said he saw no reason for Texas to follow Illinois’ lead by declaring a moratorium on executions.

      “Executing juveniles, the mentally disabled, the innocent, violating international law by denying foreign
      citizens the right to contact their government before they’re sentenced to death, even accusations of genocide”

      “Please,” George Walker Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, “don’t kill me.”

      Karla Faye Tucker

      She was executed in spite of enormous protest from the public, even those religious groups that advocate the
      death penalty. Even Pat Robertson thought that Karla was truly repentant and asked George Walker Bush to spare her life. He refused. Afterward, in a Talk
      Magazine interview, Bush mocked the woman whose death warrant he had sanctioned, pursing his lips and whimpering, “Please don’t kill me!”

      As governor, Bush had the final say on whether a death sentence was carried out, even though most cases were tried long before he took office in 1995. By his own account, Bush was loath to second-guess jury verdicts, and he almost always deferred to reviewing courts to settle whether the trial was fair.

      Bush commuted only “one” death sentence –that of Henry Lee Lucas to life in prison, saying he had doubts that Lucas had committed the murder for which he faced execution. Why would the hard core governor of death spare the life of Henry Lee Lucas?

      Back in the nineties, there were a couple of serial killers languishing in the death rows of Texas and Florida. They were Henry Lee Lucas, and Ottis Toole. They claimed to have body counts in the hundreds, if you’d believe them. Toole had killed Adam Walsh, son
      of John Walsh, of America’s Most Wanted. That’s why he started doing the show, believe it or not. Lucas
      and Toole were both commuted by two members of the Bush family. Future president, George Walker Bush, and brother and hope to God never president, Jeb Bush. Now, there were around a hundred and thirty other death sentences that George Walker Bush had the opportunity to commute, but the only one he signed while in office? That of Henry Lee Lucas. Why?