Identity theft case ends in prison term
A 46-year-old Brooksville man was sentenced in federal court this week to 3 1/2 years in prison on charges of theft of government monies, making false claims, and identity theft. Federal prosecutors say that in 1988, Charles Wesley Dupree began fraudulently using the identity of a New Jersey man who lost his wallet while vacationing in Florida. From 1988 to 1991, both Dupree and the New Jersey man, named Kenneth Bailey, posted earnings under Bailey's Social Security number. Bailey eventually discovered the identity theft and received a new number. Then in 2005, prosecutors said, Dupree submitted an application for disability benefits as Bailey, using Bailey's original Social Security number. Dupree was awarded benefits based on the income both men had posted under Bailey's name — approximately $93,000, which is $34,000 more than he would have been entitled to based on his own actual income, authorities said. Dupree, who pleaded guilty in April, was ordered to repay the money.
Man, 49, faces sex charge and more
A 49-year-old man is accused of sexually touching a 37-year-old woman against her will. William Hower Melendez, of 7407 Windsor Drive, came over to the woman's house Tuesday evening to do some work on her vehicle, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. The victim told deputies that Melendez pushed her into the house, held her down on a couch, pulled down her shorts and touched her while she repeatedly told him to stop. After she reported the incident to authorities, she placed a monitored phone call to Melendez, in which he acknowledged the incident. He later denied the incident to a detective, authorities said, and became "verbally abusive" when he was arrested and spat at the deputy who drove him to the jail. Melendez, whose listed occupation is lawn service, was charged with sexual battery and battery on a law enforcement officer. He remained at the Land O'Lakes jail Wednesday in lieu of $55,000 bail.