BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County sheriff’s recently formed Operation Safe Children task force is asking people to help locate eight fugitives.
Since the program was implemented in January, the task force has reduced the number of backlogged warrants it must serve by about one-third, to 2,000.
The sheriff’s office has asked for the public’s assistance in finding the following people, some of whom might be out of state:
♦ David Lee Bessette, 39, described by the sheriff’s office as a Utah sex offender. He is wanted on a 2004 burglary charge.
♦ Manuel Cruz, 43, wanted for failure to appear in court to face a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12 and 16. Cruz’s case is being handled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
♦ Joseph Vincent Michaels, 56, wanted for the 1989 sexual battery of a child under 12.
♦ Juan Martin Perez, 39, wanted for unlawful sexual activity with a 16-year-old girl.
♦ John Jairo Fernandez Patino, wanted for the 2003 lewd and lascivious molestation of a 12-year-old girl.
♦ A. Hussam Armashi, 67, wanted for raping a patient under anesthesia in 2005. Armashi is suspected of leaving the country for Syria.
♦ Alton Glen “Rusty” Findley, 53, wanted on a 2000 child abuse charge.
♦ Amanda Charlie Griffin, 32, wanted for unlawfully acquiring a controlled substance and child abuse in 2010.
Anyone with information can call the sheriff’s office at (352) 754-6830, or Hernando County Crime Stoppers at 1 (866) 990-8477.
Information in this report was provided by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.