On Sept. 11, Jeffrey Tyrone “Bonjo” Lockley was arrested on felony charges including grand theft and racketeering.
The arrest was the culmination of a complex investigation of an attempt to purchase golf carts with stolen credit cards and move them across state lines.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) probable cause statement, at the beginning of December 2011, two golf carts were purchased from the Battery Source in Tallahassee using two separate credit cards. Both were purchased over the telephone from the same telephone number with a 561 area code. The combined cost of the carts was over $12,000.
The golf carts were transported to 408 West Bayshore Drive on St. George Island, a residence belonging to William I. Sheffield who resided in Atlanta. David Shawn Smith formerly of Eastpoint had use of the house and had loaned it to Lockley.
A neighbor observed the carts being delivered, grew suspicious and contacted the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO). Officers were dispatched to the scene and found the carts and Randal “Randy” Schimek owner of “Economy Moving and Storage.” Schimek had transported the carts to the island. He told police he had become concerned for his safety and wrote down the tag number of a Lexus SUV, carrying two African American males that met him at the Sheffield house to receive delivery. He gave the police the tag number of the SUV, which was later traced back to Lock Bail bonds, a business belonging to Lockley.
Smith arrived on the scene and called Sheffield, who assured the police that everything was fine and ordered them to leave his property.
Since the carts had not been reported stolen and credit card fraud was not yet suspected, the police left. On Dec. 4 or 5, FCSO Deputy Lawrence Brannan observed the carts being hauled away by Smith’s employee Preston Garcia.
Garcia later told the police Smith paid him $150 to transport the carts to the home of Karnell A. Simmons in Calhoun County. Simmons is a cousin of Lockley.
Police obtained the credit card numbers used to purchase the carts from the Battery Source and traced them to Leonora Echeveste of Gran Haven, MI and Patrick Dwyer of Vero Beach. Both said the use of cards was unauthorized.
Karl Glass, who works for the Battery Source, told police a man calling from the same 561 telephone number used when purchasing the first two carts, had called again and attempted to purchase three more carts with a third card. Because the combined value of those carts was more than $15,000, Glass informed the caller he would have to appear in person to make the purchase. The transaction was never completed.
The third card was traced to Donald McHugh of Houston, TX who said the purchase was unauthorized.
FCSO informed the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and the Blountstown Police Department about the stolen carts, which were located and taken into custody. Simmons surrendered to CCSO and waived his rights. He told police he was holding the carts until Lockley could have them delivered to Dothan, AL.
On learning the golf carts had been confiscated, Lockley contacted the FCSO and requested a meeting with Sheriff Skip Shiver.
Lockley did not wish to discuss the golf carts or credit cards but detailed his interactions with one Earl Battle Jr. of North Port. He told police he needed protection from Battle.
An interview with Sheriff Shiver
Lockley said he met Battle when bonding him out of jail in Bay County.
Battle then asked Lockley to sponsor a rap concert to be performed in Apalachicola on Oct. 29, 2011.
Lockley said Battle stayed at his Apalachicola residence the weekend of the concert and told him about murders he had been involved in South Florida. He said that, after Battle returned to South Florida, he called Lockley and told him there was cocaine buried in Lockley’s back yard. Battle told him to retrieve it.
Lockley said he searched for the drugs but never found them.
He said Battle then became irate and threatened him with a “hit man” known as K-9 aka Audrey Leonard Rollins.
Police then interviewed Smith, who was incarcerated at the Florida Department of Corrections Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley at the time.
Smith said that, at the time of the golf cart delivery, Lockley, who he referred to as “Bonjo” was staying at the Sheffield house with a friend who may have been named Chuck.
Chuck had two teardrops tattooed by his right eye. Smith said he got “bad vibes” from Chuck. When shown photographs, Smith said he did not believe Chuck was either Battle or K-9.
Smith said Lockley had sworn to him that the carts were not stolen and said he planned to transport them to Alabama.
Based on evidence obtained about the purchase of the two golf carts, an FDLE special agent obtained arrest warrants for Lockley for one count Racketeering, one count Scheme to Defraud, two counts Dealing in Stolen Property, three counts Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card and five Counts of Grand Theft (more than $300.00 less than $10,000).
Lockley was arrested on the 12 felony charges on Sept. 11, by FDLE agents in Apalachicola without incident and was booked into the Franklin County Jail where he is being held on a $160,000 bond.
Lockley is a former Apalachicola Police Department Officer and a Department of Corrections Officer.
The second, unidentified man at the beach house, Chuck, is being sought for the same charges brought against Lockley.