Detention deputy faces drug charges

Published January 12, 2007

A Hillsborough sheriff's detention deputy has been placed on administrative leave without pay after she was arrested, accused of armed trafficking in cocaine. Jacqueline Patty-Grant, 37, was arrested at 8 p.m. Jan. 10 on charges of armed trafficking in cocaine and possession of marijuana, according to the Sheriff's Office. Her husband, Johnnie Lee Grant, 39, faces the same charges. Patty-Grant has worked as a detention deputy at the Orient Road jail for 10 years. The pair was arrested after deputies served a search warrant at their Plant City home and found 11 grams of marijuana, a loaded 9mm firearm and 80 grams of cocaine, valued at $4,500, deputies say.

Officer justified in gunfire exchange

One of the police officers who shot at Angilo Freeland was justified in discharging his weapon, a finding by the State Attorney's Office says. Freeland, 27, was shot 68 times after deputies found him hiding in the woods on in Lakeland on Sept. 29. Freeland had been the object of a huge search that began Sept. 28, after he allegedly killed Polk County Deputy Vernon Matthew Williams, 39, and his canine partner during a routine traffic stop. According to the Ledger, Lakeland police Sgt. Jeff Birdwell responded to the scene of the original Sept. 28 encounter and exchanged gunfire with the Freeland. Birdwell fired at Freeland only after Freeland shot at him, state attorney spokesman Chip Thullbery said. Birdwell's bullet did not hit Freeland, but sent him running into the woods. Thullbery said Thursday's finding is the first and only so far in an ongoing investigation of the events leading to Freeland's death.

Robber faked pain to enter home

A woman offered help to someone who was feigning illness and ended up being robbed at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon. The robbery happened at 1:15 p.m., when Luzselenia Viera, 68, of 274 Van Gogh Circle saw a woman pull into Viera's driveway. The woman got out of her car holding her stomach as if in pain and asked Viera for a glass of water, deputies said. As Viera walked into her home to get the water, the robber followed her, pulled out a pistol and demanded money, deputies said. Viera gave the woman money, and the robber left.