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Traffic Stop Lands Driver in Jail for Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin

Date:           April 1, 2020

On 03-31-20 just after 2:30 a.m., as Deputy V. Donato and Deputy A. Valdes were conducting proactive patrols in Spring Hill, the deputies observed the driver of a multi-colored pickup truck fail to stop at the stop sign located at Pinehurst Drive and Holiday Drive.

Almost immediately, three other vehicles (a black motorcycle, a black Honda Accord, and a dark colored Jeep Liberty), traveling in the same direction, also went through the stop sign without stopping.  It was unknown at the time if all four vehicles were all traveling together.

Knowing they would be unable to stop all four vehicles, Deputy Donato radioed for additional deputies to assist with Traffic Stops.

Deputies Donato and Valdes followed the four vehicles to the traffic light (which was red) at Spring Hill Drive and Deltona Boulevard.

The deputies pulled up beside the motorcycle and activated their emergency lights.  Almost immediately, the driver of the pickup truck and the operator of the motorcycle fled the area.  The deputies were able to conduct a Traffic Stop on the Jeep Liberty and the Honda Accord at the intersection.

Deputy Valdes approached the driver’s side of the Honda Accord and requested the driver, and sole occupant of the vehicle, Kristine Katherine Schaefer, to step out.  When asked for her driver’s license, Schaefer told the deputy it was suspended.  A query of Schaefer’s license confirmed the suspension and listed her as a Habitual Traffic Offender, effective 05-14-19, for a five-year period.

Deputy J. Jernigan and K-9 Maxx were called to the scene so K-9 Maxx could conduct a drug sniff on the Honda Accord.  K-9 Maxx alerted to the odor of narcotics inside the vehicle.

Deputies then conducted a search on Schaefer’s vehicle and located the following:
–       Black pouch in the driver’s seat (was initially in Schaefer’s lap at the time of the stop) which contained a glass smoking pipe
–       Black backpack in the trunk which contained Schaefer’s ID, a plastic bag containing a brown, powdery substance, two additional plastic bags which contained crystal-like substances, another plastic bag containing a brown powdery substance, and three syringes.

The crystal-like substances from each bag were tested separately; each tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.  The total weight for the two bags was 24.2 grams.

The brown powdery substance from each bag was also tested separately; each tested positive for the presence of heroin.  The total weigh for the two bags was 18.4 grams.

Schaefer denied ownership of the illegal substances that were located within her vehicle.

Kristine Katherine Schaefer DOB/02-05-1982 was placed under arrest and charged as follows:

–       Trafficking in Methamphetamine
o       Bond – $25,000
–       Trafficking in Heroin
o       Bond – $25,000
–       DWLSR w/Knowledge as Habitual Offender
o       Bond – $2,000
–       Possession of Paraphernalia
o       Bond – $1,000.

As deputies continued to locate one or both of the vehicles that fled from the scene, they were able to locate the multi-colored pick-up truck in the area of Founder Road and Belen Ave in Spring Hill.  This vehicle was found to have been stolen from a resident in the city of Brooksville on March 29, 2020.

Deputies located the driver of the pick-up truck, identified as Michael Valentine.  Valentine, a convicted Felon, was found to be in possession of brass knuckles and the keys belonging to the stolen pick-up truck.  A witness also positively identified Valentine as the driver of the stolen pick-up, at the time of the attempted Traffic Stop.

Michael Jon Valentine DOB/06-02-1990 was placed under arrest and charged as follows:

–       Carry a Concealed Weapon
o       Bond – $10,000
–       – Grand Theft Auto
o       Bond – $10,000.

The investigation is ongoing regarding the operator of the motorcycle.

The Office of Sheriff:
The Office of the Sheriff is established by the Florida Constitution. As a constitutional officer, the Sheriff has the exclusive authority to administer his or her agency and is responsible for preserving the peace throughout the entire county, carrying out the laws of the state, the orders of Florida courts, and the ordinances of the Board of County Commissioners. The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement and correctional officer of the county.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis was initially appointed as the Sheriff of Hernando County by the Governor in January of 2011.  He was then elected by the people of Hernando County in 2012, ran unopposed in 2016, and remains accountable to them.