Shoplifting and More at the Westwinds Publix

A reader tipped us off to an incident last night at Publix in the Westwinds plaza (Glades and 441). He noticed a couple of deputy vehicles as well as a paddy wagon:
We looked into it and found that a shoplifting incident was reported by PBSO on
We also found an arrest in the blotter that seems to fit with this incident, though we can’t say for sure.
Mr. Paul Pelchat was arrested last night and the time of booking (shortly before 10 pm) is reasonably close to the time that an arrest from a 6 pm incident would get to booking on Gun Club Road in West Palm Beach. Mr. Pelchat faces several charges including petit theft from a merchant, marijuana and trespassing:
Looking at his history in the court system we see a string of 18 mostly minor offenses and misdemeanors dating back to 2009, averaging roughly 3 per year. That doesn’t count the arrests he’s had for failing to appear. We can only see back one year and we see two of those. We also see a couple of minor incidents in Broward.
The latest blotter entry lists his address as 9966 Glades Road, which is not any building we can identify. It may refer to a spot just east of 441 where we often see vagrants gathering. Other arrests for Mr. Pelchat list his address as “at large.”

5 Drug Arrests on Tuesday

Between them the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and Boca PD made 5 felony drug arrests yesterday, with four of the arrestees having West Boca addresses. The first three were all in West Boca and were booked within a fairly short time of each other so the arrests may be related.
Serge Sando (top left, 23) was charged with two felony counts of selling an opiate in a protected area along with one count of possession. He has a history of a marijuana misdemeanor 2009 that was dropped, and a drug felony in January 2014 we covered that was resolved with diversion. He also had a couple of misdemeanor theft cases in Broward in 2010. The West Boca High grad’s reported address is in the Timberwalk townhomes near Loggers’ Run Middle School. Sando was released on $35K bond this morning. The new charges do not show up yet in the court system’s database.
Kristina Lewis (top center, 23), also a West Boca High graduate, has a reported address off Judge Winikoff just west of 441. She is currently charged with selling a synthetic narcotic, 2 counts of possession without a prescription, and resisting an officer. An August cocaine felony charge was dropped by prosecutors. She was released early this morning. Substance abuse is something employers will want to root out of their businesses and so the use of Countrywide Testing drug tests has become more commonplace because of the inherent risks associated with having people under the influence in the workplace. It’s true that drugs destroy a person’s health and relationships, but it’s important not to forget the threat to their livelihood that they themselves pose entering a situation where they may fail drug testing Honolulu required by their employers.
Kenney Desilien (top right, 21) was arrested for possession of MDMA and Alprazolam. His reported address is in Sandalfoot Cove off SW 65th near Boca Dunes. He has a substantial history. This is his 10th felony case in the Palm Beach courts, plus one in Broward. Previous cases include:

  • Grand theft and trespass 2011 – guilty
  • 2010 armed burglary – consolidated
  • 2010 burglary arrested 2011 – dropped
  • 2011 carrying a concealed firearm in Broward
  • 2011 dealing in stolen property w/ residential burglary – consolidated
  • 4 counts of dealing in stolen property with residential burglary, all dropped
  • Grand theft over $20K plus burglary – consolidated and/or dropped
  • Burglary and grand theft, both dropped
  • 2010 armed burglary – found not guilty in a jury trial in 2014
  • 2 incidents in 2012 indecent exposure – dropped;
  • 2013 cocaine felony dropped
  • 2013 assault on law enforcement officer – dropped
  • 2013 indecent exposure – dropped

Mr. Desilien was one of the subjects of a Boca PD press release back in 2011 (see bottom). He remains in custody at this writing.
Meanwhile Boca PD arrested two men several hours apart in cases that are probably unrelated. Zaven Barsoom (bottom left, 31) of the Hidden Lake neighborhood east of I-95 was charged with possession of drug equipment, marijuana and cocaine. His case is not in the court system yet. We see a previous drug felony from 2012 that was dropped, along with 9 previous felonies in Broward. He was released in the evening.
Caleb Toole (bottom right, 20) was charged with possession of hash oil and Adderall. He’s had several traffic cases along with a drug misdemeanor last month that was resolved with a diversion program. Court records indicate his arrest was actually Monday, though he was booked after midnight on Tuesday. He was released last night.
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Editorial: Yes on Amendment 2 – Medical Marijuana

While watching the Today Show this morning I saw this video against Amendment 2, the medical marijuana amendment – you may have to turn up your volume:

The video shows “Dr. Madelyn Butler, M.D.,” speaking in a strong voice to scare voters about medical marijuana. She’s lying. She says the Amendment will allow people to get marijuana without a prescription. That detail is true, sort of. But then she that’s not like “FDA-approved medication.” But plenty of medicines are available over the counter without a prescription. Thousands of drugs like Aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, and Theraflu can be purchased by anyone without seeing a doctor or pharmacist.
In fact it will be harder to get marijuana under Amendment 2 than these over-the-counter drugs because marijuana users will have to get approval from a licensed physician before being able to buy any from licensed stores. Even those looking to grow marijuana themselves also need to have a license to do so, therefore, it would by no means be a free-for-all, unregulated market.

The reference to FDA approval is also nonsense. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. So the FDA can’t approve it for medical use.

Let’s be clear about Dr. Madelyn Butler. She does not practice in a specialty where marijuana might be used as therapy. She’s an Obstetrician and Gynecologist.
According to Wikipedia:

Cannabis has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy and people with AIDS, and to treat pain and muscle spasticity.

For more see Top 10 Medical Uses for Marijuana. These are not generally areas that are handled by Ob/Gyns.
Dr. Butler is heavily involved in the political scene and this ad is funded by Drug Free Florida, a group sponsored by the GOP establishment. It’s likely that the purpose of the ad is not about the issue itself, but rather a political trick to affect voter turnout – discouraging pro-marijuana voters from showing up at the polls and thus reducing the number of people likely to vote for Charlie Crist. Dr. Butler supported Rick Scott in 2010 as well.
Regarding our own prejudices, West Boca News opposes drug prohibition and would legalize marijuana not only for medical use but also for recreational users. We do not use marijuana and do not recommend recreational use to anyone. But plenty of people do use it, and marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. It’s not even close, according to the British medical journal Lancet:

As for my financial bias, I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars representing people accused of drug crimes. Most of these have been marijuana cases, from as little as one gram to a guy who was caught with 200 pounds of it. Drug arrests also make wonderful news stories for West Boca News. I will lose a lot of money if marijuana is made legal.
Vote “No” if you want to protect the income stream for lawyers like me and many others. Vote “Yes” if you want to end a failed prohibition that causes crime, takes billions from taxpayers and accomplishes nothing.

Drzewucki Arrested: Drugs, Battery, Kidnapping, Tampering

Back in May we mentioned Alexander Drzewucki (46) in one of our arrest stories. He’d been picked up on a warrant from Broward County.
Well, Friday he was arrested on various charges in Palm Beach County. It’s quite a list:

Drug Equipment
Drug Possession
Domestic Battery by Strangulation
Kidnapping or False Imprisonment
Tampering in a Felony Proceeding
Probation Violation

His reported address is in Sandalfoot Cove (east of 441). Court records show a substantial history for Mr. Drzewucki including multiple felony cases in Palm Beach County and a couple in Broward, one of which is still pending.
Sheriff’s records show he remains in custody at this writing.

Arrests: Heroin, Coke, Pot and DUI

Clockwise: Green, Shuman, Brown & Benhayoun
Clockwise: Green, Shuman, Brown & Benhayoun

We have eight arrests in our latest summary from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s blotter. On the upper left of the top photo we have Christopher Green (23) of East Boca, arrested by Delray police Friday night for possession of heroin and drug equipment, and also a couple DUI counts. He was released on bond Saturday. The Spanish River grad might be a fan of another Chris, the Birdman, of the Miami Heat. It appears to be the same man who had a felony battery charge back in 2008, and a couple of traffic cases.
Next we have Alexa Shuman (also 23) of Boca West. Ms. Shuman stands accused by deputies of marijuana possession. She was booked Friday morning and released that afternoon. Ms. Shuman may have had a prior marijuana arrest in New Jersey a couple years ago. She also had a traffic ticket back in 2011.
Anthony Brown (bottom right) was arrested Friday by Delray Beach police, allegedly selling cocaine. The charge is “enhanced” – the legal term for making it worse – because it supposedly occurred too close to a church, school, or some other restricted location. His reported address is in Countrypark, just south of SW 18th near the Turnpike. He was released last night on bond.
The charges against Mr. Brown date back about a month before the arrest, which always makes us suspicious about the quality of the case. He’s had a few misdemeanor and traffic cases dating back to 2003.
If we’re reading the charges correctly, Leslie Benhayoun (49) initially encountered deputies Saturday night because of a non-moving violation having to do with state right of way. That led to charges for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. She was still in custody when we checked the blotter. Her reported address is in West Sandalfoot, aka the Sandalfoot trailers. Her name shows up as a possible witness in a 2009 lawsuit against IHOP, so she may have worked there in the past. We see no prior cases for her, either traffic or criminal, in Palm Beach and Broward.

David Kornstadt (upper left, 29) was arrested Friday for battery on an officer, firefighter or EMT. He previously appeared in one of our October reports for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His reported address is in “Boca Trails” on the south side of Judge Winikoff just west of 441.
Tamas Orosz (upper right, 38) was arrested for domestic battery Friday morning by deputies and released Saturday afternoon. His reported address is in the Bella Vista apartments in Boca Del Mar (southeast of the Powerline-Palmetto Park intersection). The only history we see for him is a couple of minor traffic tickets.
Richard Utter (bottom left, 46) was arrested Saturday night for burglary. On a previous arrest in December (a drug case that was dropped) his reported address was in the Sandalfoot trailers, though this arrest has him as “at large.” He was still in custody with bond set at $5,000 when we checked the blotter. He has some history including a felony burglary in 2011 for which he got probation, and a 2003 felony case in Broward with burglary, indecent exposure and prowling counts.
This is one of those moments when we wonder why someone would get probation on a repeat felony burglary. Welcome to South Florida. In that 2011 case he eventually violated his probation and did about 3 months in county jail.