Senior Citizen’s Awareness Network (SCAN) Partners with LPD for Operation Blue Light Delivery

Although SCAN has temporarily suspended their volunteer home visits by limiting exposure to our senior citizens, Director Debbie Pare’ and Sgt. Don Witherspoon will remain vigilant in keeping up with program recipients by addressing any needs or concerns anyone might have amid the COVID-19 pandemic. SCAN will continue to take safety measures to ensure that we protect those who are at most risk. SCAN is also proud to announce that they will be partnering with the Lebanon Police Department’s “Operation Blue Light Delivery” to assist seniors in need of food.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Issues Warning on Coronavirus Scams

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus.
Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

• Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
• Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
• Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
• Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowd funding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

What the FTC is Doing:

The FTC and FDA have jointly issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. The companies’ products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver.

The FTC says the companies have no evidence to back up their claims — as required by law. The FDA says there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.

COVID-19 Update

We are working every day to implement safety measures to help minimize the risk of exposure or further spread of the COVID-19 virus not only for our employees, but also for the general public. Effective immediately, the access to the inside of our building will be limited to employees only and mail delivery services.

Citizens wishing to file a report are urged to first contact our dispatch at (615) 444-1412 ext. 0. If the report does not rise to the level of an emergency, you will be contacted at our earliest convenience by a phone call from a deputy that will take the report over the phone. If you come by our office for a walk-in report, a deputy will be made available to speak to you through a glass window. Depending on the situation, the deputy may ask you to go home and do the report over the phone; or, in a dire situation, will take the report through the glass window located in the front lobby of the Sheriff’s Office. To obtain a copy of a report, you can request a copy in the front lobby of the Sheriff’s Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday. Please allow 3-5 business days from the time your report was initially filed to when you request a copy. Prior to requesting a copy of your report, please have a copy of your driver’s license.

Also in response to the state and national emergency regarding the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Wilson County  Sheriff’s Office is immediately suspending the service of all civil process except for papers related to the following:
– Proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants, including bond-related matters and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals
– Proceedings related to relief from abuse, including but not limited to orders of protection
– Proceedings related to emergency child custody orders
– Department of Children’s Services emergency matters related to child protection
– Proceedings related to petitions for temporary injunctive relief
– Proceedings related to emergency mental health orders
– Proceedings related to emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable persons
– Proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency
– Other exceptions as approved by the Chief Justice
***This suspension will continue until further notice. ***

Inmate visitation will continue to be limited to video/electronic visits only as this may be subject to change as we continue to monitor the situation daily.

We appreciate your patience during this difficult time and we are continuing to monitor the situation daily. As we proceed forward, we will keep everyone informed on any changes as it relates to this office.

WILSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE OPERATIONAL CHANGES TO REDUCE CORONAVIRUS EXPOSURE

LEBANON, TN – Wilson County Sheriff Robert C. Bryan announced today he has implemented the following operational changes to reduce the chances of exposure to WCSO employees, inmates, program volunteers, and the public served by these programs as it relates to the Coronavirus, COVID-19.

The changes include the following:

• Inmate visitation will be limited to video/electronic visits only.
• Attorney visits will be allowed as normal (pending daily review)
• All Jail programs are suspended until further notice. These include Jail Ministry, AA, NA, GED, etc. Our Jail Chaplain will continue to coordinate our jail ministry and address special needs of inmates.
• All Senior Citizens Awareness Network (SCAN) home visits are suspended. The SCAN Director, Debbie Pare’ and Sgt. Don Witherspoon will continue to coordinate phone visits with program recipients and address emergency needs on a case by case basis. They can be reached by calling the SCAN office at 615-444-1412, ext 498 or 499.
• All new inmate intakes will be assessed immediately for any possible symptoms of the Coronavirus and appropriate steps will be taken by medical personnel to reduce exposure.
• All Sheriff’s Office programs are suspended until further notice, which include the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy and the Sheriff’s Explorer program.

The Jail administration will continue to ensure the correctional environment is sanitary and extra cleaning measures have been put into place to ensure the safety of correctional staff and inmates.

As of this date, no staff members or inmates present any symptoms of the virus. There are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Wilson County according to the State Health Department. Sheriff Bryan urges citizens to keep up to date with current information provided by Tennessee Department of Health by visiting www.tn.gov/health

***FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR STORM VICTIMS***

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced on March 5, 2020 that Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson counties will receive federal aid through an expedited Major Disaster Declaration as a result of the severe weather on March 3, 2020. Through the Major Disaster Declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide both its Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA) programs in the three counties.

Individuals in the declared counties who may be eligible for these programs can begin the application process at www.distasterassistace.gov. FEMA provides a Disaster Assistance
Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Individuals are encouraged to call this helpline if they want to learn more or have questions about the application process.

To learn more information on FEMA’s IA program, go to https://www.fema.gov/individualdisasterassistance. For more information on FEMA’s PA program, go to
https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-localstate-tribal-and-non-profit. This material is based on information provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Safety Tips for Biggest Online Shopping Period of the Year

Online shopping around Black Friday and Cyber Monday has become the biggest online shopping period of the year. There’s nothing like finding the best price on the 4K television you’ve always wanted, but are you buying it safely? Don’t end up like thousands of victims this time of year, having your new gadget and an empty bank account or identity stolen.

Sheriff Robert Bryan and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office reminds you to follow the practices below so that you remain Cyber secure on Cyber Monday – and all other days of the year.

1) Verify the deals sent to you in an email. Your inbox likely gets full with amazing Cyber Monday and holiday deals. Most are legitimate and likely good deals. But, there will be spam or phishing mixed in there. Phishing emails will look like Cyber Monday deals but are really designed to get you to click on malicious links that will infect your computer with malware, or steal your personal information. Many of these links will appear to be legitimate websites, so remember to double-check the URL, and if possible, go to the website directly through your browser rather than clicking on the link from the email.

2) Make sure the website is secure. Before entering your details and credit card information, make sure you see a lock icon and the word “Secure” in the URL bar. This will ensure that the information you share with that website will be handled securely and encrypted. 

3) Create strong, memorable, and individual passwords. Shopping quickly to get the deals is convenient, especially when you use the same password on all the shopping sites. However, taking this shortcut could cost you in the long run. Never use the same password for all your Cyber Monday and holiday shopping websites. Create a unique password for each. If you’re like most shoppers and can’t remember a different password for each website, use a password manager app.

4) Use your credit card. Never shop with your debit card. Use a credit card to put a level of protection between you and the website. If you use a special credit card, you can cancel it if one of your Cyber Monday websites gets hacked. This will also make it easier to spot weird activity on the card. There are several free pre-paid credit cards and App-based credit cards to isolate your account information.

5) Watch out for fake shopping and “deal” apps. Many of us shop on our mobile devices, so be careful about downloading any new Cyber Monday deal apps. One of the worst are copycat apps that appear to be legitimate deal apps but their sole purpose is to infect your phone and steal your personal information.

6) Share as little information as possible. Websites that ask for more than your email address and credit card info may be asking for too much. Always try to provide the bare minimum personal information. While it may be convenient to set up an account with an online retailer to make future shopping easier, you don’t have to and if that’s the only way to buy from the website, look elsewhere.

7) Search safely. We all can spend hours searching Google, Bing and other websites to find the absolute best price on the most wanted gifts, but there’s also a lot of bad or sketchy links out there. Most search engines do a good job of keeping you away from the bad links, but aggregation websites are scraping the internet for products and pricing. Some bad guys know how this works and set up websites that look like legitimate shopping websites, but they may actually be designed to steal your identity. If the website lacks the security lock icon or is hosted outside the U.S., take a moment to consider the other options.

Crime Stoppers is Seeking Public’s Assistance

MT. JULIET, TN – The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying suspects responsible for theft of miscellaneous items totaling an approximate value of $500.00 from an affiliate with Big Brothers. Big Brothers, one of the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring networks, creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

On 11/24/2019, a deputy responded to an address around the 400 block of Quarry Road regarding a complaint of stolen goods. The complainant, who is affiliated with Big Brothers, stated that the stolen items were taking out of semi-trailers sometime between 10 a.m. and later that evening.

Anyone with information which leads to the successful identification, prosecution, and conviction of the person(s) responsible in this incident could be entitled a cash reward of up to $500.00. Please call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers at 615-444-5245 with any information that would assist in the investigation of this incident or any crime, callers can remain anonymous.

Lebanon Man Indicted on Second-degree Murder Charges in Death Involving Fentanyl

LEBANON, TN – A Lebanon man has been indicted on two counts of second-degree murder after distributing fentanyl-laced heroin which resulted in the death of a Gladeville man back in September. Jason Dwight Dennis, 44, was indicted last week by the Wilson County grand jury and was booked into the Wilson County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Under a new state law, if a dealer sells, delivers, or administers fentanyl-laced drugs to a user that results in death, it can warrant a charge of second-degree murder.

“We are seeing more and more fentanyl-laced drugs on the street than we ever have before,” stated Sheriff Robert Bryan. “We are working closely with other agencies on the opioid epidemic and want to make one thing very clear; we will prosecute those who are found to have sold, supplied or administered illegal narcotics that results in death to the fullest extent of the law. We are responding to potential overdoses almost on a weekly basis and the epidemic is affecting many families in our community.”

In 2018, there were a total 28 total overdose deaths that occurred in Wilson County. Of those 28 deaths, 19 were a result from opioid overdose and 8 resulted in heroin overdoses. For anyone who is struggling with addiction or have family members struggling with addiction, a list of resources can be found at www.drugfreewilco.org/resources/.

Uber Driver and Heroin/Fentanyl Suspect Taken Into Custody after Lengthy Investigation

OLD HICKORY, TN – Narcotic Detectives with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and Lebanon Police Department, along with the assistance of the Metro Nashville Police Department, conducted a lengthy investigation on the distribution of heroin and fentanyl by 30 year old Isaiah Richard Gates. 

On Tuesday evening, agents received information that Gates would be delivering a large amount of heroin and fentanyl to an unknown subject at a local business in the Old Hickory area by utilizing an Uber for transportation. Surveillance was conducted at the location on Lebanon Road in Old Hickory. 

A black Chrysler arrived with an Uber emblem in the front window around 6pm. Gates was seen exiting the back seat.  Detectives attempted to make casual contact with Gates until he recognized law enforcement and began to run. After a short foot pursuit, law enforcement made contact with Gates in the parking lot.  Gates ripped open a large bag of powder heroin in an attempt to destroy the evidence.  When taking Gates into custody, several agents and Gates were heavily exposed to the heroin.  Gates was also in possession of a smaller bag of white powder believed to be fentanyl that remained sealed. Gates was administered Narcan due to his exposure. The Uber driver, Tariku Gezahegn Bulit, was also taken into custody.

Wilson County Emergency Management responded to the scene to assess Gates and each law enforcement officer that was exposed and to decontaminate the scene. Agents were able to collect approximately 100 grams of heroin and 8 grams of fentanyl from the scene.

“We are continuing to see the rise of heroin and fentanyl use on the streets that are feeding into the addictions of many of our citizens,” stated Sheriff Robert Bryan. “The detectives that were involved with this investigation are to be commended for their work in taking Gates and Bulit off the street. These are very dangerous drugs that are taking the lives of many people and we are going to continue to hold the ones responsible accountable for their actions.”

Both Gates and Bulit were taken into custody and transported to the Wilson County Jail.  Gates is in custody on a $100,000 bond and charged with Possession of Schedule I (Heroin) with Intent for Resale, Possession of Schedule II (Fentanyl) with Intent for Resale, Reckless Endangerment x 5, and Tampering with Evidence.  Bulit was booked on a $25,000 bond and charged with Criminal Responsibility by Facilitating a Felony.