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Transient Takes Squatting to a New Level; Says “I’m building a home”

BROOKSVILLE – During the early 19th Century thousands of migrant Americans moved west in the hopes of starting a new life and fulfilling their dreams of owning land. Unfortunately, most of the western frontier was already owned by the Federal Government but that didn’t stop some would-be settlers from using the land to farm, even though they knew one day government officials would reclaim their property. These nomadic “land sharks” were later referred to as squatters and the act is no less prevalent today than it was 200 years ago.

On Saturday, Brooksville Police made an unusual find on a wooded lot along Hale Ave, while executing an unrelated arrest warrant. According to reports, officers noticed 33-year-old Josephe Ranvel Hawkins trespassing on the heavily wooded lot which is owned by the City of Brooksville. Upon further investigation, officers discovered that Hawkins was living in a tent on the property and had dug a 20’x20’x6’ pit that resembled the beginnings of a residential foundation. When asked what he was doing, Hawkins replied “I’m constructing a residence on the property.” Officers placed Hawkins into custody and charged him with Criminal Mischief for destruction of City Property. After his arrest, Officers discovered glass pipes containing methamphetamine and marijuana residue, as well as baggies containing meth. Hawkins was booked into the Hernando County Jail where he remains behind bars – held on a $5,000 bond.

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Hawkins Damage to property

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  • OK my opinion on this matter ,,,,,A : The land was owned by the city ,,,, Wrong the land is owned by the people that pay the city taxes to own said land ,,,,, B: I hate and despise meth and what it is doing to our society and should be stomped out like the plague of old , but then I think ,,,, C : We all are human and everyone of us has made plenty of mistakes with our lives and others so feel nobody including myself have any room to judge anyone ,,,, That will be left to only one being,,, the lord himself ,,,,, saying that remember one thing ,,, judge not unless you wish to be judged in return. TY all for allowing me to post my comment

    Friday, 8 January 2016, 7:33 pm
  • Give a man a tent…..he takes the land….nice try…

    Wednesday, 6 January 2016, 9:26 pm
  • This story sounds like an episode of Moonshiners, digging a hole in the ground to make moonshine or in this case to do something else. Meth is not an RX drug it is made of poisons that rot your teeth and cause your skin to breaking out like a severe case of acne, not to mention what it does to your internal organs. People who have RX medicine have prescriptions from their physicians that they need to take this medicine. People from all walks of life take medicines whether they live in a trailer or a big fancy house as mentioned in an earlier comment. The fact is Joe was found with an illegal substance and now is in the county jail as anyone else would have if found with the same. This man needs help, Caitlinn why couldn’t he stay with your family? If he was working as a roofer he could have contributed then he would not be a burden on your family. If only the hole was under roof and camouflage as in the Moonshiners episode, he would have been free for another day. Caitlinn you should have been out their helping him dig the hole deeper so he could have had it under roof before he was found by those foolish Brooksville poe poe serving an unrelated arrest warrant. Who do they think they are doing their job and looking around to keep the area safe. Curses !!!!!

    Wednesday, 6 January 2016, 10:01 am
  • Well, first off your response pretty well indicates your education level. Any reason to use expletives to validate your point already means you’ve failed in the conversation. Unfortunately “JoJo” your cuzzo has failed to really make a dent in his life because people like you continue to pander to him and validate his way of thinking. What you should be doing is letting him know that his life of crime, and living in a hole smoking meth isn’t acceptable. Your cuzzo truly needs intervention, drug rehab, financial training, and probably a few other things. Sounds like he has work ethic, so that’s a start. I’ve personally witnessed people come clean after a life of drugs, and really become success stories, home owners, business owners, loving parents. It can be done, it just takes the help.. Stop validating his current waste of life, get him the help he needs to turn the tides. Right now, based on his current arrest photos he’s nothing more than a potential candidate for the “faces of meth” site.

    Wednesday, 6 January 2016, 9:43 am
  • Most of y’all are on here just to talk s**t about people who areny doing as well as everybody else . Thats whats wrong with y’all, whats wrong with hernando county is that , my friend got stabbed & the guy didnt get arrested . My cousin gets caught living in a man made , dug hole & all of a sudden hes a “burden” to everybody . **** off , all y’all are *****stupid . Most of y’all dont even know how it is to have an addiction . Thats all i gotta say , keep your head up JoJo , you got your family & we know the real you . I love you cuzzo .

    Wednesday, 6 January 2016, 2:10 am
  • Meth heads sure stick together around here. Think of the hole you could dig together as a big methed out family! Lol

    Tuesday, 5 January 2016, 11:16 am
  • if he works- he should have money for rent. It may take a while to save it up but if you are not buying meth……just sayin…

    Tuesday, 5 January 2016, 10:41 am
  • Caitlinn…. 8 different arrests in Hernando County alone for various different crimes.. I’m pretty sure he’s on his way to being a habitual offender… Not someone who has “never been in trouble before”

    Tuesday, 5 January 2016, 3:04 am
  • What’s sad is that every one of these stories have the same types of folks who are excusing the actions of the individual. “It’s not his fault”, “he got dealt a bad card”, “you don’t know him”, ” leave him alone, so he’s addicted to meth, I’ll bet you’re addicted to something too” and the popular “he fought for your rights”. You people never focus on the true problem, which is the individual in question. “A good guy” isn’t addicted to meth, living in the woods. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, people definitely fall on hard times, and clearly this guy needs a hand up so he can be pulled out of the proverbial hole to be successful. He’s not a success, so let’s stop excusing his sorry excuse for a life, let’s call it what it is, “existing”…. If you’re just existing, you’re not a productive member of society, and if you’re living in a hole smoking meth, I’m pretty sure that’s self explanatory. Enough with the excuses.

    Tuesday, 5 January 2016, 2:57 am
  • Okay , first off nobody knows his habits , cause y’all dont know him at all, youre going off of an article. You don’t know the man he is , & what he’s capable of or not . But that’s also none of your business , so what he does meth ? So did i , but ive been clean for almost 3 years , its not easy gettin off the shit , and with no insurance & no money how is someone even suppose to get help ? Thats my family & yes we’re trying to help him but someone can only do so much . How is not taking handouts “bullshit” , he worked , he paid for his rent , his own food , everything at one point until he got evicted & was in the hospital for a week after that , lost all his stuff because of the landlord . Hes had a rough life , but i forgot all y’all on this website are stuck up . Make yourselves sound so perfect , not everybody grew up with a life like you did . None of y’all even know , he’s never even been in trouble before . But you guys know everything , even though me & JoJo are family . & just because someone does drugs doesnt mean they arent going anywhere in life or havent been . My cousins a great man & has fought to protect every single one of you judgemental & ignorant people . Fuck what any of you have to say , theres people on here that know JoJo just as well as I do , and they’re saying the same thing I am .

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 11:23 pm
  • Ok seriously cousin caitlinn. I get he is trying to find a place to lay his head but building a house on property that is not yours is stealing. He is on Meth that is a far cry from being down on your luck. If he does not want help then it is only going to get worse I am sorry. I have been down this road him not wanting a hand out is BS sorry if he wanted to change he would accept the help not choose to live in the woods on someone else’s land. Jojo if you are truly wanting to clean up your swallow your pride take the hand up not hand out get your s**t together and be a productive member of society!!

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 10:34 pm
  • Simply asking a question, hope he gets the help and support he needs .good luck to you

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 8:27 pm
  • I just can’t grasp why doing drugs is the only part anyone is seeing here?! Just leave him alone…..he is living his life the way he wants to not bothering anyone….so he does drug more than 90% of america is on rx pain medications…..but live in big fancy houses so its okay right?!. I hope he gets out. He was minding his own buisness…..

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 8:24 pm
  • To anybody who has something to say to me , i have given him a place to lay his head, made him food & anything else i thought he needed , but he started to refuse help from me , because he hates living off of someone else . Yes he has a problem , yes we’re getting him help . But y’all some ignorant people judging someone because they do something you dont agree with . Family comes first , i love you JoJo .

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 7:58 pm
  • A positive post, I think he is a really good digger, nice big hole he dug, deep too. Have a nice evening everyone and I am not being mean, truly nice for whatever reason idk

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 7:29 pm
  • I may have had an easier time if I had even an iota of the motivation this guy has as an addict. I think someone should give this guy a small plot of land and let him build. Problem is he may have lost his job over this and its the one thing that distinguishes the productive addicts from the degenerate ones. I wish this dude good luck.

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 6:44 pm
  • Well…. Clearly he has a meth issue, that’s where the big problem lies. Stop excusing him of his addiction, and if you know him?… Get him help, imagine how much more productive he could be not being high? Like maybe he could have a real house, or maybe a car? Or maybe spend his money on something other than meth. Not judging, just basing it off the facts that were given. Chances are he isn’t as productive as he could be not hooked on meth. Get him help you bleeding heart friends and family members, because that’s what he truly needs.

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 5:59 pm
  • Wow, you just described yourself

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 5:57 pm
  • Couldn’t of said it better wow. I’m close to him he works with me he is a hard worker he does roofing and doesn’t want to be a burdenl to anyone he refuses yo get food stamps or any other kind of government help he is a good person and would give you his last dollar if u needed it I know that first hand thank you for your comment and Joe will appreciate it also when he can read this thanks again

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 5:44 pm
  • I dont know what happen here but here are a few fun facts i noticed,most of the regular crying ass douche bags that comment about how much better they are then everyone else,a)are most likly loosers b)it seems that a bit of comments here are indicating he is hard working and has a full time job,also i did not see where he was in possetion of all this stolen stuff you a$$holes are talking about.so maybe he is on meth maybe he is not i dont know,but if he paying for it himself and has a problem but is not stealing from any of you cry babies then perhaps you should s.t.f.u and mind your business also i find it funny how most of you post on this site crying the blues about everyone one here how much better you all are but do any of you have a job or anything or are you all sitting on your throne judging everyone while impatiently waiting for your gov cheeses to be deposited.i just find it strange how you can all be such productive members of society and still have time all day long to post your assine opinions here.just my observation,but maybe instead of making baseless accusations and talking smack about people and thing you have no clue about you should like get off your computer and get a life and try to stop being a gossip spreading house wife.yall know who you are

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 5:06 pm
  • Since y all so proud of him, why haven’t any of you given him a place to lay his head!

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 4:32 pm
  • He should apply for a job at HCUD , water line break specialist.

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 3:27 pm
  • You all are stuck on this meth **** go look at his charges since when does docters prescribe crystal methamphetamine he was charged with possession of a controlled substance without prescription

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 2:01 pm
  • This man I a very hard working man so what he uses drugs everyone has or does sometimes in his life at least he wasn’t collecting a check from are tax money he works and pays his own taxes its hard out here and the man needed a place to lay his head at night free cuzzo jojo

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 1:32 pm
  • I love you JoJo ; #FreeMyCuzzo .

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 1:15 pm
  • Eskimo you talking like you know him not good to assume.I happen to know for a fact never any intentions of producing selling or doing anything with meth that’s the problem today people like to talk s*** when I don’t know facts

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 12:56 pm
  • Free my cuzzo . All ya’ll talkin shit about him , but none of yall know what hes been through, he doesnt get help from the government, he does roofing during the day . This place wasn’t for meth to be made, it was somewhere for my cousin to lay his head at night . My cousin has his problems & issues , but there aint no reason to critize him for what he does or doesn’t do. If you met him, you would realize how much of a kind hearted person he is , you guys are making him out to be a junkie when hes not . & most of the stuff isn’t stolen , i had given it to him . So all y’all can fuck off & leave my cousin alone , because hed give you the only shirt he owns if you asked him
    I love you JoJo ; #Freemycuzzo

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 12:49 pm
  • **** you all talking about him like you know him you guys don’t know **** about **** so keep your nose out of it not trying to be a **** but this man works full time pays taxes and doesn’t sponge off of other working Americans don’t judge a book by its cover you don’t know **** but on bright side happy new years

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 12:36 pm
  • Viet Yvette, Sshhh, think and read before you speak. I can say OK to the pot residue, but then came the Meth, that’s a big No No. Tress passing is also against the law. Maybe a job would have helped him buy a house, or even a rental.

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 12:26 pm
  • Hey thats more organization than most meth addicts. I give him props.

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 12:23 pm
  • for 33 he looks rough. stay away from meth..

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 10:24 am
  • You people are idiots… When did Meth use become “o.k”?????

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 9:59 am
  • Waste of tax money??? You want meth heads living in the woods by your house? He was building a place to make meth, made out of stuff he stole, to sell meth to people who stole stuff to buy it.

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 8:16 am
  • Meth Billy Meth

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 8:05 am
  • get him off the streets another sick person .Intervention now ,could stop a future problem later,then you won’t have to say why didn’t someone do something.

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 6:15 am
  • sure now our tax % will support him let VIET take him in..he looks like the guy that was out there with the sign ? “will work for food”

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 5:06 am
  • Hey this is a hard working man he works he works his ass off at his day job then works after work as you all see just for somewhere to lay his head at night he don’t get any help from the government so all of you worried about your tax dollars guess what he pays taxes every week if half of the people had a quarter of his drive America wouldn’t have half
    The money problems we have would you rather have him living off. The goverment which is costing all of us money or supporting his self in a hole in the ground. Who was he really hurting. Remember he gets no gov.check or food stamps he wasn’t costing tax payers a penny .
    GOOD LUCK JOE

    Monday, 4 January 2016, 2:12 am
  • Sounds like he has a home now with HCSO!

    Sunday, 3 January 2016, 11:40 pm
  • Wow what a waste of tax payers money… Marijuana residue lmao smh did they find tobacco residue or alcohol residue how about lettuce residue?

    Sunday, 3 January 2016, 11:32 pm
  • Perhaps you could go bail him out and he can live with you viet vette, he can show you how to make meth.

    Sunday, 3 January 2016, 11:24 pm
  • Yeah, “leave the guy alone” normally I would agree with that sentiment until there are drugs such as meth involved then it becomes a problem.

    Sunday, 3 January 2016, 10:49 pm
  • Leave the guy alone

    Sunday, 3 January 2016, 9:31 pm

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