News Cast for August 21st:

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s investigators have three local men and one woman in custody on a host of serious charges following a series of thefts over the past few years. Investigators arrested 37 year old Aubrey Lynn Waldron Friday evening and sometime before that, they arrested 24 year old Ethan King, 23 year old Andrew Wheeler and 38 year old James Janata on charges ranging from dealing in stolen property, grand theft, burglary, conspiracy to commit grand theft and more after agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested the four in connection with the thefts of 16 four-wheel-drive trucks throughout Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades and Polk Counties between 2016 and 2018. Investigators say the theft ring stole trucks totaling more than $300 thousand dollars in value to trade them to a drug trafficking organization in Highlands County for methamphetamine. The suspects were planning to use the drugs for their personal use. Waldron’s bond is set at $277 thousand dollars while the bonds of the other three are not known. FDLE agents began their investigation last year with the help of investigators from sheriff’s departments in Okeechobee, Highlands and Glades Counties.

The Okeechobee City Council met last evening for their second workshop to discuss the city’s budget for the next fiscal year. Councilmembers decided to lower the millage rate from 7.75 mills to just over 7.6 mills. Mayor Dowling Watford says this will generate the same amount of money as last year with increased property values but it is misleading because it will not generate enough money to fund the budget and it will force the city to dip into their reserves to fund the nearly $7.6 million dollar budget. Watford says it was not prudent to lower the millage rate (Watford-2019 Budget Workshop 1). The budget also had some additions to it, with the largest one being an amended contribution of $50 thousand dollars to the Economic Development Committee, where it had originally been budgeted at $30 thousand dollars. Councilmembers will hold a public hearing on the budget at their next meeting on September 3rd.

On the arrest report:

30 year old Mark Russell Eston Taylor of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on a Georgia warrant for violating probation on a previous charge of aggravated stalking. He’s being held without bond.

35 year old Salvador Sanchez of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

29 year old Damian Rivera Oyola of Okeechobee was arrested for disorderly intoxication. His bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

30 year old Edwin Javier Castro of Okeechobee was arrested for violating a pre-trial condition of his release stemming from a previous incident involving contact with a woman. His bond is set at $30 thousand dollars.

41 year old Windy Lynn Dunn of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug possession charges. She’s being held without bond.

26 year old Chase Andrea Cunningham of Okeechobee was arrested on warrants from St. Lucie County for violating probation on previous charges of grand theft and uttering a forged instrument. She’s being held without bond.

58 year old Terry Ray Plank of Okeechobee was arrested for assault and obstruction following a noise complaint. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

56 year old Geneva Guyton of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drunk driving and disorderly conduct charges. She’s being held without bond.

33 year old Alfred Marion Ward, Junior of Okeechobee was arrested on a local warrant for criminal mischief. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

31 year old Scott Anthony Carnley of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of synthetic cannabis and drug paraphernalia during a drug deal behind a gas station. His bond is set at six thousand dollars.

26 year old Kristopher Nickolas Hudak of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of burglary, trafficking stolen property and giving false information to a pawnbroker. He’s being held without bond.

59 year old Kristine Kim Fisher of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at $250 dollars.

49 year old Robert Ivan Starnes of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving on a suspended license for the third time after a traffic stop. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

34 year old Bobby Lynn Shears of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.