Recreational red snapper season starts June 4 in Gulf state and federal waters off Florida

The recreational red snapper season will start June 4 in Gulf state and federal waters off Florida and remain open through July 28, closing July 29.

“We are excited about Gov. DeSantis’ recent announcement of this year’s 55-day Gulf red snapper summer season, it is one of the longest we’ve had since the FWC began managing the season in state and federal waters,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.  \

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Water District prohibits campfires at campgrounds

Due to extremely dry weather conditions and high wildfire danger, the Southwest Florida Water Management District is prohibiting campfires on all District campgrounds until further notice.

The National Weather Service and the Florida Forest Service (FFS) indicate the Forecast Fire Danger Indices are in the high to very high category throughout the District’s 16-county service area.

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CCSO assists in arrest of Times Square shooting suspect

New York Times Square shooting suspect Farrakhan Muhammad arrested in Florida (CCSO photo on May 13, 2021)

After a nationwide, exhaustive, four-day search for Farrakhan Muhammad, members of the United States Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, including task force members from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, were able to take Muhammad into custody without incident.

“Arrests such as these are the precise reason why the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office partners with federal agencies,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

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Nurse charged with lewd, lascivious activity with patient

Hiram Bonilla

On Jan. 6, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was contacted in reference to the alleged sexual assault of a patient by a staff member at a local hospital.

The victim told the responding deputy that on Jan. 5 and 6, a registered nurse entered her hospital room on several separate occasions and engaged in sexual activity with her.

CitruThe suspect was identified as 57-year-old Hiram Bonilla, of Tampa.

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Deputies seize 13 firearms, narcotics cache when serving arrest warrants

Andrew Cannon (CCSO mug shot)

Citrus County deputies on Wednesday found 13 firearms and nine types of narcotics after serving a search warrant in Inverness.

Members of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) executed a narcotics search warrant at 785 S. Doug Pt in Inverness.

The target of this search warrant was Andrew Cannon, a 31-year-old Inverness man with two prior drug-related arrests, as well as a previous arrest for battery.

Cannon was taken into custody for two outstanding arrest warrants shortly before TIU detectives searched his home.

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Emory Whitt sentenced to 30 years for 2017 murder

(CCSO mug shot)

On Dec. 10, 2020, Judge Howard sentenced 28-year-old Emery Whitt to 30 years in prison for the 2017 murder of Ryan McClellan.

Detective Richey and Sergeant Holloway, with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID), conducted a lengthy and thorough investigation, leading to Whitt’s arrest in 2018 for McClellan’s murder.

These detectives continued to work closely with the State Attorney’s Office over the course of the judicial process, ultimately resulting in today’s sentencing. This sentence comes just under two years after Whitt’s arrest.

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