Alan Stroh

Winter Haven man sentenced to 7 years for trafficking methamphetamine

A Winter Haven man was sentenced to seven years in prison in October for trafficking more than $2,000 in methamphetamine.

Alan Stroh

Alan Stroh

Alan Stroh, 56, was found guilty Oct. 14 after six jurors deliberated for about two hours. Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen sentenced Stroh following the conviction.

Assistant State Attorney Michael Nutter prosecuted the case. Nutter told jurors that Stroh was caught “red handed” with the drugs.

Stroh was arrested during a traffic stop by a Polk County Sheriff’s detective on Jan. 10 in Winter Haven.  When deputies approached the car, Stroh was seen sitting in the backseat of a car. Once Stroh exited the car, deputies saw two bags of pills where Stroh had been sitting.

Stroh told detectives the pills belonged to the driver, not him.

But Nutter said during the trial that the 201 pills was something that an owner would have wanted nearby.

“If the meth in the back seat did belong to the driver or passenger, then you would expect them to keep them in a place where they can maintain control over them,” Nutter said.

A test at the stop determined the pills were positive for methamphetamine, and Stroh was arrested and charged with trafficking.

State Attorney Brian Haas thanks ASA Nutter and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for their work on the case.

 

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Justin Handshoe

Man who attacked roommates with box cutter sentenced to 17 years

A Winter Haven man, who stabbed two roommates with a box cutter in 2018, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Justin Handshoe, 35, pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, which are second degree felonies.

Justin Handshoe

Justin Handshoe

Handshoe attacked his roommates, a man and a woman, several days after he moved out of the apartment in May, 2018. Handshoe said he needed to move out because he lost his job. When he returned, the roommates thought he was picking up his belongings from the Winter Haven apartment.

For unknown reasons, Handshoe, upon entering the home, said, “Sorry, I got to do this,” and cut the man’s throat. When the woman jumped on Handshoe in an attempt to help the man, Handshoe stabbed her in the head before running from the home.

Both victims have fully recovered from their injuries.

Assistant State Attorney William Beaver prosecuted the case.

State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Beaver and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for their work on the case.

 

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Eric Cerruti

Lakeland Instagram stalker sentenced to prison

Eric Cerruti

Eric Cerruti

A 54-year-old Lakeland man who stalked a 19-year-old woman on Instagram for months has been sentenced to 3½-years in prison.

Eric Cerruti pleaded no contest to the charge of written threats to kill or do bodily harm, a second degree felony. In addition to the prison sentence, Circuit Judge Michael McDaniel sentenced Cerruti in July to six years of probation, which includes not having any devices with Internet capabilities and no contact with the victim.

Assistant State Attorney Tim Coleman prosecuted the case.

The stalking began in August, 2018 ,when Cerruti told the victim over Instagram that he saw her “around Lakeland a lot” and planned to “put a bullet” to her head. The victim told Polk Sheriff’s detectives that she thought the stalking had ended after she blocked the suspect.

In October, 2018, the victim again received threatening messages on Instagram from a different Instagram username. This time, Cerruti sent a picture of himself to her while he was holding a knife. Detectives tracked the suspect to his home in Lakeland where he told law enforcement he picked random people to troll on Instagram, and had made dozens of accounts because he continued to be blocked. He told law enforcement that he had a drinking problem, but “didn’t want to use that as an excuse,” according to an arrest report.

State Attorney Brian Haas thanks ASA Coleman and Polk Sheriff’s detectives for their work on the case.

 

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Johnny Emmons

Lake Wales man sentenced to 15 years for having child porn

Johnny Emmons

Johnny Emmons

A Lake Wales man was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this month after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Johnny Emmons, 29, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of enhanced possession of child pornography, a second degree felony, and also admitted to violating his probation from a 2015 child porn case.

In January, 2019,  the Sheriff’s Office received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that included images and videos from Emmons’ Tumblr account. The files showed young children having sex with adults and other children.

Detectives tracked Emmons to an apartment in Lake Wales where they searched the home and found a cell phone with images of child pornography.

Circuit Judge William Sites sentenced Emmons, who also was designated a sexual predator by Sites because this was his second qualifying sexual offense.

Assistant State Attorney Monica Smith prosecuted the case.

State Attorney Brian Haas thanks ASA Smith and Polk Sheriff’s detectives for their work on the case.

 

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