Deputies make child neglect, drug arrests at Middleburg home

Father of 10-year-old boy among 3 jailed after raid

By Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - Three people were arrested Thursday after deputies raided a Middleburg home, which led to an investigation at another home nearby, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Members of the Sheriff's Office's narcotics and street crimes units, as well as SWAT, served a search warrant sometime before 1 p.m. at a home on Johns Cemetery Road, just west of Mimosa Avenue.

Sheriff's Office Division Chief Ken Stivers told News4Jax that investigators had been watching the house for a long time. Stivers said a 10-year-old boy lived in the house where the raid occurred, so deputies purposely raided the home when they knew the child would be at school.

During the raid, according to Stivers, deputies found evidence of meth, but they did not find proof that meth was being made in the house. 

The Sheriff's Office posted on social media that deputies made arrests on drug and child neglect charges at the house, and Stivers told News4Jax that one of the people arrested was a father of the 10-year-old.

Charles McMillan, 40, and Keri Ann Oliver, 41, were booked into the Clay County jail, each on a charge of child neglect, according to online jail records. McMillan also faces a charge of keeping a place for drugs, jail records show. 

The serving of the search warrant, which stemmed from information obtained during a sheriff's walk in the area, also led to another investigation at a home about a half-mile away, according to the Sheriff's Office.

During surveillance of the first house, which Stivers said they had been watching for a long time, investigators noticed people walking back and forth between that house and the other one just up the road.

According to Clay County jail records, Cherie House, 27, was arrested Thursday at Johns Cemetery Road and Foxtail Avenue and booked into the jail on charges of possession of methamphetamine and drug equipment.

A neighbor, who did not wish to be identified, said she first contacted law enforcement about the drug activity a month ago.

"They just walk up and down the street all day, and it's pretty obvious. ... Some of them would walk through the woods behind the house and pull up on the side street and we'd see somebody else pull in," the neighbor said. "I want to thank the Clay County Sheriff's (Office) because they said that day we would have our neighborhood back, and they've taken a major step to get our neighborhood back."

The Sheriff's Office posted photos on social media of search warrant being served Thursday, which included an image of a piece of plywood reading, "You had options," that was posted on the first home. The sign has since been taken down. It's part of the sheriff's "zero tolerance" policy on drugs. A Sheriff's Office spokesperson said deputies have made six major drug busts within the last few weeks. 

Clay County Sheriff's Office

Photo: Clay County Sheriff's Office

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