Crash North Of Atmore Claims Life Of Teen

May 15, 2021

A traffic crash Friday night claimed the life of an Atmore teen.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said the 17-year old was driving a 2007 Ford Fusion that left the roadway and struck a tree on Atmosphere Road north of Atmore. He was pronounced deceased at the scene of the 7:23 p.m. crash.

Troopers have not released any additional details as their investigation continues.

Fire Destroys Vehicle In Barrineau Park

May 15, 2021

Fire destroyed a vehicle in Barrineau Park Saturday morning.

The vehicle fire was reported about 10:30 a.m. at a residence at the end Blueberry Lane. There were no structures immediately threatened and no injuries reported.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Escambia Graduations Now Open At 100% Capacity, No Tickets Needed

May 15, 2021

Escambia County has opened all graduations with no capacity limits and no tickets needed.

The Pensacola Bay Center has increased arena capacity to 100% for graduations. Seating inside the Pensacola Bay Center arena is first come, first served, and no admission ticket is needed to enter for high school graduations.

CDC guidelines indicate that individuals who are immunized no longer need to wear a face covering. Those individuals who are not immunized are encouraged to wear face coverings, according to the school district.

“We are very grateful not only to our high school administrations for their continued hard work during this process, but we also thank the Pensacola Bay Center for their constant communication and keeping us informed each step of the way. We look forward to celebrating with seniors, families and friends,” Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith said.

The Escambia County School District graduation schedule is below.

The following graduations will be held at 6 p.m. June 3 at Pensacola High School:

  • Escambia Virtual Academy
  • George Stone Technical Center
  • Success Academy

The following graduations will be held at the Pensacola Bay Center:

June 4

  • Washington High School 9 a.m.
  • Pensacola High School 12:30 p.m.
  • Escambia High School 4 p.m.

June 7

  • Tate High School, 9 a.m.
  • Northview High School, 12:30 p.m.
  • West Florida High School,   3:30 p.m.
  • Pine Forest High School, 7 p.m.

The following graduations will be held at 6 p.m. June 3 at Pensacola High School:

  • Escambia Virtual Academy
  • George Stone Technical Center
  • Success Academy

Additional graduations will be held:

  • District Extended Graduation, June 2, 9:30 a.m., Hall Center Room 160
  • Westgate, May 21, 6 p.m. at Booker T. Washington Auditorium

Santa Rosa County has also opened all their graduations with capacity limits. For Santa Rosa County schools will outdoor venues, tickets may be provided in the event graduation must be moved indoors due to weather.

Plane Makes Hard Belly Landing At Atmore Airport

May 14, 2021

A single engine plane made a hard belly-landing at the Atmore Municipal Airport Friday afternoon.

The plane slid some 200 feet after a landing gear failure at the Atmore Municipal Airport, according to officials. The pilot walked away from the incident without injuries.

The Atmore Fire Department responded to a reported plane crash at the airport about 4:40 p.m. They reported the pilot was not injured, and there were no fuel leaks or fire.

According to FAA records, the plane is a 1968 Beechcraft Bonanza V35A owned by a Bay Minette man.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Former Tate High Homecoming Queen Pleads Not Guilty In Vote Scandal

May 14, 2021

A former Tate High School homecoming queen has entered a not guilty plea to the charges against her.

Emily Rose Grover, 18, was scheduled to appear in court Friday. She waived her appearance and instead entered a written plea of not guilty through her attorney Randall Etheridge.

Grover was 17-year old juvenile at the time of her arrest in April by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. She turned 18 just a few days later, and is now being tried as an adult.

Grover and her mother Laura Carroll, former assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School, were charged by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with one count each of felony offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices; felony unlawful use of a two-way communications device, felony criminal use of personally identifiable information, and conspiracy to commit these offenses. The misdemeanor conspiracy charge against both has been upgraded by prosecutors to a felony count.

Carroll previously pleaded not guilty remains free on a $6,000 bond. Grover is free on a $2,000 bond.

Both are accused of illegally accessing the Escambia County School District FOCUS computer system and casting 246 for Tate homecoming queen in the fall of 2020. Grover won, but she was expelled and has been stripped of the crown.

Escambia County Man Facing 93 Felony Fraud Counts For Contracting Without License In Building Five Homes

May 14, 2021

An Escambia County man is facing 93 felony charges after allegedly engaging in a systematic course of conduct with the intent to defraud multiple people in conjunction with the construction of five houses.

Carl Zarlmane Likely, Sr., was charged with 92 separate third degree felony counts of fraud for false identifying as a contractor, one count of third degree felony fraud obtaining property valued at more than $50,000, and one second degree felony count of dealing in stolen property.

According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Likely engaged in a systematic course of conduct with the intent to defraud multiple people.

He would obtain building supplies purchased with a fraudulent credit card and then use those supplies in the construction of a duplex and four other new builds in Escambia County, according to an arrest report. The supplies were purchased at building supply retailers in Escambia and surrounding counties.

Likely would pull Escambia County permits unders the license of another contactor, the report states. That contractor had listed Likely on their letter of authorization with Escambia County Building Inspections for the purpose of building a duplex on his own property, but the contractor said he was unaware that Likely was pulling additional permits, the report continues.

Investigators obtained a notarized contractor’s final payment affidavit on which Likely identifies himself as the owner of the contracting company. Notices of commencement and building permit applications were completed and signed by Likely identifying him as owner of the building company, according to the report.

Two of the five homes are currently for sale for $185,000 each, and one for $199,000.

Likely is also accused of using a fraudulent Green Dot card to purchase nearly $10,000 in shingles.

Likely was released from the Escambia County Jail on a $234,000 bond.

Owner Of Pharmacies In Pensacola And Jay Sentenced In $4.8 Million Federal Fraud Case

May 14, 2021

The owner of a former Escambia County compounding pharmacy that later purchased and involved Jay Pharmacy in the scheme has been sentenced to federal prison in a $4.8 million federal fraud and money laundering conspiracy case.

Andrew E. Fisher, 35, of Gulf Breeze, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison after a jury found him guilty last year of conspiring to use his pharmacy to defraud TRICARE, a federal health care program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families, and conspiring to launder the funds generated by the fraud. Fisher was also ordered to pay over $4.8 million in restitution to TRICARE and forfeit an over $3.8 million money judgment sentence was announced today by Jason R. Coody, acting United States attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Between October 2014 and December 2015, Fisher, the owner and operator of Physician Specialty Pharmacy (PSP) in Pensacola, conspired with sales representative Michael Scott Burton and others to defraud TRICARE out of more than $4.8 million in fraudulent claims for prescription compounded pain cream, scar cream, and wellness vitamins.

During the conspiracy, Fisher also purchased Jay Pharmacy in Jay, and used its existing insurance contracts with TRICARE and others to bill for fraudulent PSP prescriptions. NorthEscambia.com was there when the Jay Pharmacy was raided in February 2016.

Fisher agreed to fill prescriptions at PSP from a doctor’s office in Georgia whose beneficiary information was provided by Burton and individuals working for him, knowing that these particular beneficiaries had never seen that doctor and the prescriptions were not based on a legitimate doctor-patient relationship. In exchange for recruiting TRICARE beneficiaries to receive the prescriptions, Burton received approximately 50% of the amount paid to Fisher in insurance reimbursements. Those commission payments were laundered in the form of large wire transfers and direct deposits into Burton’s bank account in Georgia.

As part of the scheme, Fisher, who is not a licensed pharmacist, directed his pharmacist employees to use ingredient formulations for the drugs that would maximize the amount his pharmacy could bill to TRICARE — which was upward of $10,000 to $17,000 per medication at the time — and other insurance companies without considering what was best for patient care. Fisher also directed Burton and his employees to tell beneficiaries not to worry about co-payments, in order to ensure that the beneficiaries would not decline receiving the medications over out-of-pocket cost. Because PSP was not a TRICARE network pharmacy, Fisher paid Burklow Pharmacy in Pace a commission
of approximately 15% to allow PSP to bill TRICARE using Burklow’s network provider contract for prescriptions received, filled, and shipped at PSP, including ones Fisher knew were fraudulent.

Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Forbes prosecuted the case following a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Department of Financial Services-Bureau of Insurance Fraud, Florida Department of Health, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and Army Criminal Investigative Command.

Pictured: State and federal agencies raided the Jay Pharmacy in February 2016. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.