Around the region for Jan. 12, 2012


Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 9:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Marijuana seized, 2 suspects arrested

Columbia County authorities seized more than four pounds of marijuana and arrested two Lake City residents Tuesday when a shipment of pot was intercepted.

Grace Lynn Willis, 23, of 181 SE Custer Way, and Troylon Devon Menefee, 21, of 219 SE Hanover St., Apt 2., were charged with possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, sheriff's Sgt. Ed Seifert said in a press release.

The arrests resulted from an undercover operation after the county's multi-jurisdictional task force received information from other law enforcement sources about a large amount of marijuana being shipped from California to a Columbia County address.

Detectives intercepted the marijuana, which Seifert said has a street value of more than $10,000.

— Cindy Swirko

Fingerprints link suspect to attempted break-ins

Police are crediting a burglar alarm at one home and a cautious resident at another home with preventing two burglaries last fall.

Then it was work by a fingerprint examiner who connected one suspect to the two cases and led to an arrest this week.

In early October, the Gainesville Police Department found evidence that someone tried to break into a home on Southwest 35th Court through a window.

Officers said it appeared the burglar abandoned the attempt when an alarm sounded, but they were able to collect fingerprints from the window.

On the same day, a resident in a nearby home on the same street said someone she did not know rang her doorbell. The woman told police she did not answer the door because she did not know the man at the door.

A short time later police said they discovered that someone had tried to get into a window in the home in the same way as at the other house.

According to an arrest report, fingerprints found at both of the houses were turned over to latent print examiner Melissa Kilmer, who matched them to Kishon Marquis Jones, 18, of 2304 SW 35th Place.

Jones was arrested Tuesday for attempted burglary after a witness identified him in a photograph as the person seen in the area where the two attempted burglaries were committed.

Jones was booked into the Alachua County jail.

— Karen Voyles

UF police investigating chemical explosion

A small chemical explosion occurred Wednesday evening in a University of Florida laboratory, UF police Maj. Brad Barber said.

Barber described the incident at Sisler Hall, used for engineering classes, as minor but added that a UF student was injured and taken to Shands at the University of Florida for treatment. The student’s name and condition was unavailable late Wednesday night.

Barber said the incident was reported at 5:47 p.m. Gainesville Fire Rescue was at the scene for more than two hours to clear and decontaminate the lab. Barber said Sisler Hall would remain closed Wednesday night and possibly into Thursday to ensure the building was free of contaminants.

— Cindy Swirko

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