Drug trafficking trial to begin
A Port Richey man who was considered one of Hernando County's most wanted fugitives is set to go to trial next week on drug trafficking charges.
Marcus Lamar Fields, 32, faces charges of trafficking in crack cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in ecstasy. If convicted, Fields could face up to 30 years in prison.
His trial is scheduled to start Monday in Circuit Judge Jack Springstead's courtroom.
Authorities had been searching for Fields, also known as "Raw," since they broke up a drug ring in Hernando in June 2007. Called a "big fish" by local authorities, Fields was believed to belong to a high-level trafficking organization based in Hernando County.
Homeowner accused of growing marijuana
Hernando County narcotics detectives have arrested a 23-year-old man suspected of running a marijuana-growing operation from his home in Spring Hill.
Investigators acting on search warrants Thursday morning discovered the operation at 3410 Sweetgrass Court, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Authorities said they found 57 marijuana plants, about 30 pounds of processed and cut marijuana, and $1,200 inside the home. They said they also discovered lighting equipment, a separate air-conditioning system, planting buckets and a dehumidification system.
Jason Navarette, the owner of the home, was present when the search warrant was served and faces charges of cultivation of marijuana, trafficking in marijuana, possession of residence for manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was held in the Hernando County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $40,500 bail.
Also, because the wiring was improper, county building inspectors tagged the home and disconnected the power until it can be brought up to code.
Three teens arrested in thefts from vehicles
Hernando County authorities have arrested three teenagers — including a 17-year-old — who they believe are behind a string of thefts from vehicles in Spring Hill.
Several witnesses told deputies that the teens stole —or attempted to steal — money and other items from more than 20 vehicles parked in the owners' driveways or in front of their homes on Mayflower Road, Keyes Avenue, Chase and Upton streets and others.
The owner of a 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck caught the teens trying to break into his vehicle just before 10 a.m. Thursday in front of his home in the 9300 block of Chase.
Derek Lee O'Brien, 19, Michael William Levesque, 18, and the 17-year-old boy were arrested Thursday, and each faces charges of burglary of a conveyance.
O'Brien was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. The 17-year-old, who isn't being identified because he is a juvenile, was taken to the juvenile detention facility in Ocala. Levesque's status was not immediately clear.
Police seek help in finding 17-year-old girl
Police are reaching out to the public in hopes of finding a 17-year-old girl.
Isabel "Izzy" Rosita Mendez Alvarez was a resident of the New Beginnings Youth Shelter and was last seen on Aug. 18 at the Hess gas station at Cobb Road and Cortez Boulevard. Police said Alvarez was with a white female.
Anyone with information is asked to call (352) 797-8477.