Four Calhoun County residents are facing a long list of charges following an investigation into a two vehicle crash that authorities allege was staged.
Rodney A. Bottoms, 45, Donna J. Bottoms, 70, Pamala M. Mayo, 45, and Anthony A. Polly, 32, have all been charged with burning to defraud the insurer, insurance fraud, and organized scheme to defraud.
Rodney Bottoms is also charged with arson to a vehicle and an additional charge for grand theft. Other arrests in the case could follow.
The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office opened the investigation Sept. 23, 2013, after an alleged crash on Melvin New Grade Road involving a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse owned by Rodney Bottoms and a 2003 Ford Focus owned by Talisha Gonzalez. The alleged crash resulted in Gonzalez’ vehicle catching fire.
Donna Bottoms, Amber Sirmans, Mayo and Gonzalez were all listed as occupants of the vehicles. All four filed claims with GEICO.
When Lt. Todd Wheetley, deputies with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, and investigators with the Florida Division of Fraud arrived at the Bottoms’ residence on Willow Bend Road Monday to serve warrants in the insurance fraud case, a white male, later identified as Casey Dallas Wilson, fled from a shed-turned-home on the property and jumped a fence.
He was quickly apprehended and a one-pot meth reaction vessel was discovered where he jumped.
Rodney Bottoms was found in the shed with two glass vials of suspected meth that later tested positive, two syringes and a one pot meth reaction vessel in plain view. Both Rodney Bottoms and Wilson are charged with manufacture and possession of meth.
For the complete story with details on the insurance fraud investigation, check out this week's print edition.