Two arrested on drug trafficking charges
SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill woman and man were arrested Friday on charges of drug trafficking and possession of several controlled substances.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office used a search warrant to enter Jessica Balmer's home at 1359 Whitewood Ave. in Spring Hill. Deputies said they found 200 oxycodone tablets, 19 methadone HCL tablets and 15 Suboxone tablets, all without prescriptions, plus 8.9 grams of marijuana.
In addition to the tablets, deputies found five glass marijuana smoking devices, a digital scale and a silver marijuana grinder, authorities said.
Based on the type of materials found, deputies believe Balmer and Nicholas Chechile were storing, concealing, injecting and selling illegal controlled substances.
Balmer, 21, was taken to the Hernando County Jail, where she remained Monday in lieu of $206,000 bail. Chechile, 25, was also taken to the jail, though additional information about him was unavailable Monday.
Man charged in several burglaries
SPRING HILL — A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on charges of multiple residential burglaries.
Sheriff's deputies believe Kyle Ryder unlawfully entered several homes in Spring Hill via unlocked doors. The Spring Hill resident then proceeded to remove various items, including a laptop computer and jewelry, on five different occasions during a four-week period, deputies said. The merchandise was valued at $4,800 at one residence, on Fairview Road.
Some of the jewelry was sold to support Ryder's addiction to painkillers, according to the sheriff's report.
Authorities located some of the missing jewelry at Spring Hill Jewelers, where the victim purchased her former belongings back for more than $1,000.
Ryder was charged with burglarizing another home on Altoona Avenue after the victim noticed several items missing, including a computer, cell phone and designer sunglasses. After being confronted by the deputies, Ryder admitted stealing the items.
According to the report, Ryder attempted to sell some of the stolen merchandise to neighbors.
Records show the Spring Hill man has been arrested eight times before for crimes including assault, burglary and retail theft. Ryder was taken to Hernando County Jail, where he remained Monday in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Two charged with burglary after chase
SPRING HILL — Two men were arrested Sunday on charges of residential burglary after the victim chased both men out of his home and into the woods.
Robert Musselman, 25, and Cody James Bartosek, 21, are accused of unlawfully entering the home on Montano Avenue, where authorities say they stole a television and cell phone.
The homeowner arrived home, caught both men in the act and chased the suspects into the woods.
After a physical altercation, the suspects were able to free themselves and escaped to their vehicle.
The Dodge minivan was abandoned in a nearby church parking lot. The suspects were located by using the license tag to trace the owner.
After being confronted by deputies, Musselman said he and Bartosek were responsible for the burglary.
Musselman has been arrested on 10 different occasions on charges including residential burglary, grand theft and sexual battery. He was taken to the Hernando County Jail, where he was being held Monday in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Bartosek, who had no prior arrests, was also taken to jail, where he remained Monday in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Mobile home burns; family left homeless
BROOKSVILLE — A mobile home fire on Sunday left a family homeless, but no injuries were reported.
Hernando County Fire Rescue responded to the home on Stromberg Street, south of Brooksville in the Garden Grove community, about 4 a.m. and found it engulfed in flames.
All five residents were at the home during the fire, but were able to evacuate.
William Brown, 56, told authorities he was sleeping when he heard an unusual sound coming from the electric breaker.
Brown said he saw the circuit breaker ignite furniture in the living room. Eventually, the entire home caught on fire, according to the report.
District fire Chief Patrick Taylor said the preliminary investigation did not reveal any suspicious activity.
Ryan Strong can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or at [email protected]