Crime Beat: recent felony arrests

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Jack Johnson – August 12
Jack Johnson, 48, of Monticello, was arrested on Monday, Aug. 12 by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Cpl. Bethea for one count of failing to re-register himself as a sex offender.
According to Johnson’s arrest report, Cpl. Bethea made contact with Johnson on Thursday, July 25 at the Raj Food Mart in Monticello after attempting to contact Johnson at the address listed on his sex offender registration.
Cpl. Bethea had been unable to contact Johnson at the provided address and had been informed that Johnson had not lived at the residence for some time.
While speaking to Johnson at the food mart, Cpl. Bethea was informed by Johnson that he had moved to another address, where he had been living with his girlfriend for the last two weeks.
When asked why he had not re-registered, as required by law, Johnson (who is a State of Florida Registered Sex Offender for the crime of lewd assault/sexual battery on a victim under the age of 16) replied that it had been “too hot.”
Due to Johnson failing to register his new permanent address within 48 hours of moving, Johnson had violated Florida State Statute 775.21(10) (1), failure to re-register.
Jack Johnson was arrested and booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Monday, Aug. 12

Alaysja Burnley – August 13
Alaysja Burnley, 21, of Monticello, was arrested by the Monticello Police Department (MPD)’s Lt. Tharpe on Tuesday, Aug. 13, under the authority of a warrant that called for her arrest.
According to her warrant, Burnley had previously been placed under probation in 2018 for credit card fraud and grand theft.
However, in July of 2019, Burnley violated the terms of her probation by providing a false report to her probation officer (stating that she was not employed when she was, in fact, holding a job in Tallahassee) and for leaving her county of residence without the consent of her probation officer. Further, Burnley failed to live without violating the law, as Burnley had been arrested for grand theft, fraudulent credit card usage and petit theft in Tallahassee after being placed on probation.
On Wednesday, July 24, Judge Caloca-Johnson sealed the warrant that called for Burnley’s arrest and on Tuesday, Aug. 13, Alaysja Burnley was placed under arrest and booked into the Jefferson County Jail.

Carilon Bryant – August 13
Carilon Genese Bryant, 54, of Monticello, was arrested by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Kalinowski on Tuesday, Aug. 13 after Bryant violated the terms of her probation.
According to a warrant that called for Bryant’s arrest, Carilon Bryant was sentenced in March of 2019 on charges of grand theft and placed on a probation period.
However, three months after being placed on probation, Bryant violated the condition of her probation by using intoxicants to excess/being in possession of a drug or narcotic that had not been prescribed to her by a doctor.
Due to this violation, an arrest warrant was sealed by Judge Caloca-Johnson on Monday, July 22 and on the authority of that warrant, Bryant was placed under arrest and transported to the Jefferson County Jail on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Ben Denson – August 15
Ben S. Denson, 22, of Monticello, was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 15 by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Harrison on the authority of an arrest warrant after Denson violated the terms of his probation.
In 2017, Denson was sentenced for felony battery and placed on probation.
In June and July of 2019, however, Denson violated the terms of his probation when he failed to pay his monthly $30 supervision cost to the State of Florida, left his county of residence without procuring the permission of his probation officer, neglected to make court cost payments and failed to complete 50 hours of community service. Denson also failed to live without violating any laws, as he had been arrested for possession of cannabis (more than 20 grams) in Tallahassee while still under probation.
Due to these violations, Judge Caloca-Johnson sealed Denson’s arrest warrant on Wednesday, July 17 and Denson was placed under arrest and booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Thursday, Aug. 15.

Van Johnson – August 15
Van Alexander “Alex” Johnson, of Monticello, was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 15 by MPD’s Officer Sauls on the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Shortly after 1 a.m. on Aug. 15, Officer Sauls was dispatched to the area of 2nd Street in Monticello, regarding a call that a man had pointed a gun at a woman and threatened to harm her.
Upon arriving at the scene, Officer Sauls made contact with the victim, who stated that “Alex” Johnson had pointed a gun at her and threatened to shoot her in front of her children. The victim also gave a description of the firearm and advised Officer Sauls of Johnson’s current location.
A witness informed law enforcement that the victim and Johnson had been arguing when Johnson pulled a gun and pointed the weapon at the victim.
Both the victim, as well as the witness provided sworn statements.
Officer Sauls, accompanied by MPD’s Cpl. Sheats and Lt. Pitts, went to the residence provided by the witness, to make contact with Johnson.
After knocking on the door, they could hear a disturbance inside the residence and observed someone look through the front door’s window before they heard Johnson tell another individual inside the home to “hide the gun.”
A few moments later, Johnson answered the front door, and while speaking with law enforcement officers, Johnson advised that he had just returned home from drinking and playing cards with his friends.
When asked if he’d had a gun on his person earlier that night, Johnson said no, and his girlfriend – who was present – added that Johnson didn’t have a real gun, only a BB gun, at which point Johnson told his girlfriend to “stop talking.”
Lt. Pitts asked to see the gun, and Johnson allowed him inside before showing Lt. Pitts a black BB handgun that was located one of the residence’s bedrooms.
After exiting the residence, Lt. Pitts advised Cpl. Sheats to place Johnson under arrest for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Johnson was placed in double-locked handcuffs behind his back, but as soon as he’d been cuffed, Johnson immediately began to resist arrest by refusing to walk and sitting down on the front porch steps, prompting officers to assist Johnson to his feet and escort him to the patrol car. When Johnson refused to get into the back seat of the vehicle, he reacted by kicking and kneeing Lt. Pitts in the leg and thigh. Johnson then refused to get into the car by sitting on the ground and began to yell when Lt. Pitts maneuvered Johnson into a standing position.
Despite Johnson’s refusal to cooperate, officers eventually got him into the vehicle. During the transport to the Jefferson County Jail, Johnson repeatedly kicked the driver side rear window for the duration of the ride.
Johnson was arrested on criminal charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest with violence.

Ernest Sweat – August 16
Ernest Loren Sweat, 53, of Monticello, was arrested by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy McCoy on Friday, Aug. 16 on charges of malicious battery.
Sweat, formerly a sergeant with the Jefferson Correctional Institute (JCI) was witnessed physically battering an inmate after escorting the inmate from a confinement housing unit to a recreational confinement cell.
According to the report issued by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), in July, Sweat and two other officers were escorting the inmate when Sweat and the inmate began to argue.
Sweat placed the inmate into a cell and left the cell door unsecured. After removing his equipment belt and uniform top, Sweat entered the cell and attempted to goad the inmate into physically attacking him. When the inmate would not respond to Sweat’s confrontation, Sweat struck the inmate in the chest and pushed him backward. The report states that the inmate was not combative and did not attempt to harm Sweat – therefore ruling out that Sweat’s actions were in self-defense.
Sweat’s actions were witnessed by two other JCI officers, who provided a sworn statement to law enforcement on the former sergeant’s actions.
In an interview with investigators, Sweat provided a sworn post-Miranda recorded statement where he denied ever touching, pushing, striking or shoving the inmate.
“Sergeant Sweat knowingly and with intent; gave false statement while under oath during an official proceeding (a criminal investigation) to conceal his direct involvement in the commission of a crime,” reads Sweat’s arrest report.
Therefore, the report concluded that Sweat had committed the criminal offenses of: violation of authorized force by a correctional officer on an inmate (malicious battery) and perjury not in official proceedings.
Ernest Sweat was arrested and booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Friday, Aug. 16.

Anthony Hamilton – August 17
Anthony Jerome Hamilton, 42, of Greenville, Fla., was arrested by JCSO’s Investigator Burrus on Saturday, Aug. 17 after being found in possession of a controlled substance.
According to the arrest report issued by the JCSO, Inv. Burrus was patrolling the area of Gamble Road near Waukeenah Highway on Aug. 17, shortly after 9 p.m., when he observed a gold pickup truck traveling east on Waukeenah Highway.
The vehicle appeared to not have functioning tag lights, and as Inv. Burrus fell in behind the pickup truck, he ran the vehicle’s tag through the Electronic License and Vehicle Information System (ELVIS).
From the ELVIS database, Inv. Burrus learned that the plate that was attached to the gold vehicle belonged to a silver Chevrolet.
With this knowledge, Inv. Burrus conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and made contact with the driver, who was identified as Anthony Hamilton.
When asked to show his driver’s license, Hamilton informed Inv. Burrus that his license was currently suspended. While Hamilton was speaking, Inv. Burrus was able to see what appeared to be cannabis remnants on Hamilton’s lap.
Hamilton admitted that he had smoked cannabis earlier and allowed law enforcement to conduct a search of his vehicle.
During that search, Inv. Burrus was able to locate a plastic bag with a white, powder-like substance (field-tested positive for cocaine).
Hamilton also admitted (in a post-Miranda interview on-scene) that he had thrown another bag of cocaine from his vehicle before being stopped by Inv. Burrus.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Peacock, who had arrived on scene to assist, conducted a search of the area and found an additional bag of cocaine approximately 10 feet from Hamilton’s parked vehicle.
The cocaine discovered in Hamilton’s vehicle amounted to 0.2 grams, while the cocaine found nearby weighed 6.8.
Since the average amount of cocaine powder that is found in the possession of a standard user is 0.2 grams, Hamilton was placed under arrest for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance (cocaine).
Hamilton was booked into the Jefferson County Jail without further incident.

Kevin Russell Carlson, 38, of Tallahassee, Fla.; arrested Sunday, Aug. 18; charged with DUI. Bond set at $500. No release day provided.

Freida Beyonka Scott, 34, of Monticello, Fla.; arrested Thursday, Aug. 15; charged with failure to appear in court (FTA) on assault charge. Bond set at $100. Released same day.

Geneva Sandra Gill, 31, of Monticello, Fla.; arrested Wednesday, Aug. 14; charged with out-of-county warrant from Leon County. Bond set at $5,000. Released same day.

Hector Mendez Canales, 39, of Tallahassee, Fla.; arrested Wednesday, Aug. 14; charged with operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license. Bond set at $100. Released same day.

Latonya Marie Smith, 38, of St. Mary, Ga.; arrested Monday, Aug. 12; charged with interfering with a prisoner. No bond amount or release day provided.