Inside Poinciana Florida

Archive for October 2009

Osceola County – On October 24 at approximately 4:55 p.m., Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 502 Glade Court in Poinciana. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with the resident who indicated someone knocked on the door. The resident did not answer the door, but several minutes later, he heard noise coming from the back bedroom. When he went into the room, he observed a black male remove the screen and attempt to gain entry into the house. The victim recognized the suspect as Jurrel Towns, someone he knew from school. A short time later, deputies located Towns at his residence on Lucaya Drive. Towns was arrested and charged with Burglary Occupied Dwelling and Criminal Mischief. He was booked into the Osceola County Jail.


“This was a web of drugs, lies and violence,” said Sheriff Grady Judd regarding the October 4, 2009, Double Homicide – Home Invasion. “Here is another example of the violence intrinsically connected to the street level use of marijuana and cocaine.”

All 5 are charged with 2 Counts each of First Degree Murder, and Armed Burglary.

Currently in custody:

38-year-old Joshua Bryson – 09/03/1971, 4617 Oliva Street, Orlando. Currently in the Polk County Jail.

28-year-old Major Griffin, aka “Mate” – DOB 03/22/1981, 38 Channing Avenue, Orlando. Currently in the Orange County Jail.

28-year-old Robert McCloud, aka “Bam” – DOB 06/20/1981, 3533 Ocoee-Apopka Road, Apopka. Currently in the Orange County Jail.

Wanted are:

40-year-old Andre Brown, aka “Dre” – DOB 09/28/1969, 2006 Chamberlin Street, Orlando.

25-year-old Jamal Brown, aka “Finger” – DOB 11/21/1983, 3090 C.R. Smith Street, Orlando.

At approximately 6:00 am, on Sunday October 4, 2009, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 619 Dunlin Lane in Poinciana, Florida in reference to a reported Home Invasion and Shooting.

When they arrived they found that the front door of the residence had been forced open, and inside the residence were two victims, 26-year-old Tamiqua Taylor, and 23-year-old Dustin Freeman, deceased from apparent gunshot wounds to the head. They also found a three-year-old child asleep, under Taylor’s body, and 29-year-old Wilkins Merilan who had sustained severe burns to his lower abdomen, injuries to his head, and two apparent gunshot wounds. (Taylor was Merilan’s girlfriend, and Freeman was an acquaintance, visiting in the area.)

Merilan told deputies that five to six armed black males forcibly entered his home demanding drugs and money. He was later transported to Tampa General Hospital where he was treated and has since been released. The child, Merilan’s daughter, Winter, was unharmed and reunited with her mother. Neither the mother nor the child resides at the Dunlin residence.

Fingerprints were recovered from the scene and forwarded to the PCSO Identification Section for processing. Using the Automated Fingerprint identification System, or AFIS, a match for Joshua Bryson was recovered from the prints.

In the hours and days that followed, PCSO detectives learned that Merilan had sold Cocaine to Joshua Bryson in late 2008. Bryson was located at his residence in Orlando and admitted to buying drugs from Merilan but initially denied being at the residence on October 4th. However, detectives had additional evidence that placed Bryson in the Poinciana area at the time of the murders.

When confronted with the new information, Bryson admitted to being at a party in Orlando with Robert McCloud, aka “Bam,” on Saturday, October 3, 2009, where they conspired to commit a Burglary of Merilan’s residence. Bryson then followed McCloud and a third suspect, Andre Brown, aka “Dre,” to Poinciana.

Bryson drove his 2001 tan Ford Expedition. McCloud and Brown, who were joined by Major Griffin, aka “Mate,” and Jamal Brown, aka “Finger,’ drove a 2003 gold Cadillac.

Once the group arrived at the residence, they forced their way into the house and began searching for drugs. The suspects bound Freeman, forced Taylor to lie on the couch while holding the child. Both Freeman and Taylor were later shot and killed execution style. Merilan was forced to the floor where the suspects poured boiling water onto his buttocks. He was beaten, shot twice, and left to die. He suffered 2nd degree burns to 16% of his body.

Bryson was arrested and booked into the Polk County jail at 10:30 pm, Tuesday, October 20, 2009.

Orlando Police Department arrested Griffin on a narcotics charge early Wednesday morning, October 21, 2009. He was booked into the Orange County Corrections Facility where he remains with a hold regarding the Homicide and Burglary charges.

At approximately 6:00 pm, on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 members from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), made contact with McCloud in Apopka, Florida. He attempted to flee but was apprehended after a short foot pursuit. McCloud was taken into custody and also has a hold regarding the Homicide and Burglary charges. He is also at the Orange County Corrections Facility.

Detectives have Warrants for 40-year-old Andre Brown, aka “Dre” – DOB 09/28/1969, 2006 Chamberlin Street, Orlando, and 25-year-old Jamal Brown, aka “Finger” – DOB 11/21/1983, 3090 C.R. Smith Street, Orlando.

Andre Brown was last known to be driving the 2003 gold Cadillac CTS, Florida tag number M00 4BS. The vehicle has grey primer spots along the passenger side, with a black lower front bumper. The vehicle is the same vehicle witnesses saw in the area around the time of the Murders.

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 18 (UPI) — Cuban refugees control hundreds of marijuana grow houses in South Florida, dominating a lucrative trade that is nearly punishment-free, police say.

Being caught for indoor cultivation of the ultra-potent pot, which sells for $4,500 per pound, usually draws only probation, unlike the lengthy prison sentences and deportation faced by immigrants engaged in other aspects of the drug trade, The Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday.

The newspaper, citing the U.S. Department of Justice, court records and interviews, reported that since 2005, Cuban drug trafficking organizations have set up hundreds of new grow houses from Miami to Atlanta.

“This takes me back to the old days of the mob,” Polk County, Fla., sheriff’s Organized Crime Squad Sgt. Julio Lima said. “This is organized crime at its best.”

The Sentinel said South Florida police officials estimate Cubans who arrived in the United States since 2005 represent 85 percent to 90 percent of the suspects arrested on grow-house charges. In grow-house hotspot Poinciana, Fla., Cuban-born suspects make up 85 percent of those arrested.

Osceola County (October 16, 2009)– On October 15, at approximately 6:38 p.m., Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 922 Delano Court in Poinciana. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with the victim who indicated he received a call from someone, later identified as Michael Hidalgo, inquiring about a computer the victim was selling on an Internet site. The caller seemed interested in purchasing the victim’s computer but did not have a car and could not drive to the victim’s home. The victim agreed to take the computer to Hidalgo at what he thought was his residence on Delano Court. Hidalgo met the victim outside and asked him to wait in the driveway while in took the computer inside the house to see if it worked. The victim waited outside, and after about 5 minutes, the victim knocked on the door but Hidalgo did not answer. The victim walked around the house, looked in a window and realized the house was vacant. Deputies talked to neighbors who said three Hispanic males were seen walking down a nearby street carrying a computer. Deputies located the suspect and the computer at 728 Del Ray Drive. Based on the information, Hidalgo was arrested and charged with Grand Theft. The investigation is on-going with additional charges pending.

Michael Hildago (DOB 11/22/88), 728 Del Ray Drive, Poinciana

Nov. 3 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Liberty High School auditorium at 4250 Pleasant Hill Road.
A variety of topics will be discussed, including crime, the local schools, an update on Osceola Regional Medical Center’s plans to build a hospital in Poinciana, commercial developments, and the possibility of incorporating Poinciana into a city.

Oct. 11, 2009

An Orlando man faces life in prison after being found guilty of killing his girlfriend and then burning her body two years ago.

Prosecutors claim 30-year-old Mourad Balzourt strangled 22-year-old Solymarie Roman after he found out that she had been communicating with her ex-boyfriend. On Friday a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and abuse of a dead human body.

Firefighters found the woman’s charred body after responding to a brush fire in Poinciana in November 2007. An autopsy determined that Roman had died of asphyxiation before her body was torched.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a Double Homicide which occurred shortly after midnight this morning, Sunday, October 4, 2009, at 619 Dunlin Lane, Poinciana.

A third victim, 29-year-old Wilkins Merilan, who lives at the Dunlin Lane residence, is being treated at Tampa General Hospital for gunshot wounds, as well as other injuries suffered after being tortured. He is in serious condition. (Merilan is said to have been arrested previously at either Osceola or Orange County, not Polk County.)

A 3-year-old girl, Merilan’s daughter, was also in the house at the time of the incident, but was unharmed. The child’s mother was not present and does not reside at the Dunlin address.

“The two victims were executed,” said Sheriff Grady Judd addressing media at the scene. “We need the community’s help to identify these suspects.”

According to the investigation, five to six black males forced their way into the residence shortly after midnight and told Merilan, “If you’re going to deal dope, you’re going to deal for us.” The group then demanded money from Merilan before torturing and shooting him. The black female and white male victims were executed during the incident. Their identities have not been released pending confirmation of notification to next of kin.

October 2009
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