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Latest from Michael Frank

    The Clay County Sheriff’s Office took 29 people into custody during a drug bust on Tuesday. CCSO Spokeswoman Mary Justino tells WOKV they wanted to serve 24 of their 48 arrest warrants.  Four additional suspects who were not on the original list were arrested on probable cause during the Tuesday afternoon bust. Justino says they arrested people all over the county. “From Orange Park, to Fleming Island, Middleburg, Keystone, you name it,” she said. Undercover detectives investigated a home in the 3200 block of County Road 215 in Middleburg.  They were looking for one suspect but ended up finding five other adults in the home as well as children and a meth lab. “We do consider it an actual meth lab that was in process,” Justino said. They contacted the Department of Children and Families who will determine if the children should be placed into their custody or in alternate housing if necessary. Justino says the children could have easily been exposed to harmful chemicals in the home. She says they typically serve many arrest warrants in a day in a one-day sweep like this because it makes the arrests a surprise to the suspects and it helps to conceal the undercover nature of the investigation. “It’s common, when we do these, that certain individuals get wind of what we’re doing.  And they may take off and try to hide from us.  In which case we will certainly continue to search for him,” Justino said. She says they may even get the U.S. Marshals Service involved if they think the suspects have fled the area. Expect an update from WOKV on this story, as Justino says they will continue to locate and serve out warrants to the other 23 suspects on Wednesday.
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  • A 5.8 earthquake centered in Mineral, Virginia has been felt in areas as far away as Washington D.C., Detroit, New York City and North Carolina. It's prompted an evacuation of the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.  A District of Columbia fire department spokesman says there are numerous injuries as a result of an earthquake that struck near the nation's capital, but so far there are no reports of serious injuries or deaths. The earthquake struck Mineral, Virginia just before 2pm.
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  • The JSO officer shot in an exchange of gunfire which killed a man on the Westside was actually hit while pursuing the suspect, but continued to chase and help take him down. It’s the newest information coming from Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, as they continue to investigate the incident. We first told you earlier Tuesday that police were called to the area of 103rd and Old Middleburg Road as part of their search for a man suspected in two bank robberies. Williams now confirms several tips from the community helped lead them to that area, which is where officers found 28-year-old Michael Joseph Harris. When JSO approached Harris, he got out of his car and in to a small silver vehicle that had a woman driving. Williams says JSO is still working to determine whether the woman was a willing participant in the chase that ensued, or another victim in this crime spree. The chase lasted around two miles, and JSO confirmed earlier Tuesday that it ended in some kind of incident involving a civilian car. Williams says their investigation has led them to believe the suspect vehicle ran a stop sign and was hit by a civilian vehicle who had the right of way. A person in that civilian vehicle was taken to the hospital for injuries resulting from the crash. Williams also now confirms that the officer who was shot in the chin-area was actually hit by shots fired during that vehicle pursuit. 11-year veteran K9 Officer Jeremy Mason is stable, but faces a long road back, according to Williams. Despite the injury, Williams says Mason continued to pursue the suspect, and was ultimately one of two members of JSO who fired on Harris when he got out of the vehicle and fired his gun again. “We talk a lot about these men and women here at JSO that put their lives on the line every single day. That’s not a tag line, that’s not a slogan,” Williams says. The other man who fired was 10-year veteran Detective Brad Hurst, who Williams says was working in the area on a sex offender notification case, but heard what was happening through their radio communication and joined in. Neither Mason nor Hurst have been involved in a police shooting previously, according to Williams. Williams says Harris is a three time convicted felon. In addition to those convictions, he is considered the suspect in a bank robbery earlier today and one that took place yesterday. Duval County court records show Harris pleaded guilty to a 2006 burglary and 2010 charges of burglary and dealing in stolen property. He was also found guilty on a 2008 charge of resisting an officer without violence. There are a few other minor arrests, according to Duval County Jail logs, including a probation violation.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office continues to investigate after a deadly officer-involved shooting on the Westside.   According to JSO, officers were patrolling the area looking for a bank robbery suspect responsible for two robberies in the last two days; one at Wells Fargo and the other at the Atlantic Coast Federal Credit Union.   Officers eventually spotted that suspect in the same vehicle used in those robberies.   For some reason, he got out of that vehicle and into another vehicle with a woman inside. When officers tried to stop that vehicle, the woman fled, and a short pursuit was initiated.   That pursuit lasted about two miles, with the lead officer reporting gunfire coming from the vehicle.   As the vehicles approached Buttercup and Old Middleburg Road, the pursuit ended. JSO is still piecing together whether the pursuit ended with a crash or with lawful intervention.   When officers tried to approach the suspect, he got out of the vehicle, and shooting ensued.   A K-9 officer was taken to the hospital with a bullet to the chin area. The suspect was also transported, but has died.   A civilian also had to be taken to the hospital from a crash, but police aren't sure if it's a result of the suspect striking them, or something officers did.   JSO describes the officer as in 'good spirits', but no exact condition has been released.   At this time, it's not clear what the women's connection is to the suspect or if she will face any charges. Police say she could have been forced to drive the vehicle during the pursuit, but detectives are working to interview her.   JSO plans to hold another briefing to update this shooting later Tuesday night.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a deadly, triple shooting on the Northside.   According to JSO, three black males, all in their 20’s, were shot near the Raceway on the 1000 block of Golfair Boulevard.   One of the men has died from his injuries, while the other two are in the hospital. Police describe one of the men’s injuries as life-threatening.   At this time, police there is no suspect information available.
  • Hours after Republicans barely mustered enough votes to start debate on a House-passed GOP bill designed to overhaul the Obama health law, the Senate easily rejected one plan put forward by Republican Senators, as GOP leaders continued to struggle to figure out how to forge a health care bill that could win final approval on the Senate floor later this week. The first casualty was an amended version of the “Better Care” plan from GOP leaders – along with additions from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who wanted to add back $100 billion in Medicaid funding, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who pressed for his ‘Consumer Freedom Amendment,’ which would let insurance companies that sell regular Obamacare plans also offer lower-cost plans with less health coverage. “What we know won’t work is Obamacare,” Cruz argued on the Senate floor. But the Cruz plan ran afoul of strict Senate budgetary rules, and needed 60 votes for approval. Republicans were not even able to muster a majority, getting only 43 votes, as nine GOP Senators voted against the plan. Nine GOP 'No' votes on BCRA as amended : Lee, Paul, Moran, Corker, Cotton, Graham, Collins, Heller & Murkowski — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) July 26, 2017 “We can’t give up,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), as Republicans fully acknowledged they weren’t sure where the debate was headed in terms of the details of a GOP health care overhaul bill. “It will depend on what’s in the final bill, which nobody has any idea as to how that’s going to end up,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Opponents of the Republican effort were still ramping up their efforts to push back against GOP health care plans, worried that something will pass late this week by the narrowest of margins. “The voting now means nothing,” said Andy Slavitt, who ran the operations of the Obamacare exchanges under the Obama Administration. “The backroom deals mean everything.” Reminder, several of the upcoming votes are window dressing while GOP leadership attempts to negotiate a compromise bill behind the scenes. https://t.co/gzoJJhDkNH — Joseph (@JoePWilliams31) July 26, 2017 More votes were set for Wednesday, as Republicans were desperately seeking a way to get almost anything approved this week – and then send that on to House-Senate negotiations.
  • Jacksonville police are searching for a man who robbed a Wells Fargo with 14 people inside. JSO was called to the scene on Blanding, near Harlow, at 10:25 AM. We’re told the suspect walked in to the bank, waited in line, and then approached the counter. “He told the teller to look at him. When the teller looked at him, he lifted his shirt, and brandished a black, semi-automatic handgun from his waistband,” says JSO Lt. Jennifer Short. The suspect got an undisclosed amount of cash from the teller and then fled in to a dark colored vehicle in the parking lot, according to JSO. The suspect is described as a white or hispanic man, 5’9”, 180 lbs., with a dark beard. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, dark pants, and black “RVCA” ball cap. JSO is expected to release surveillance from the bank at some point, and we will update as that is available. While JSO says there were about 14 people in the bank, including customers, it doesn’t appear the customers knew there was a robbery taking place. Nobody was hurt. This location was hit with a robbery last year as well. JSO says this robbery is not believed to be connected to any other active investigations. If you have any information about the identity of this suspect, you’re asked to contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip and be eligible for a possible $3,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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