The Hernando County Sheriff's Office started the investigation seven months ago after anonymous tips accused the last three chiefs of the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department of misappropriations of funds. Since then, Hernando County has taken over the fire department in Hernando Beach.
On Friday deputies arrested Travis Morris, David Freda, and David Murdock. All men were former fire chiefs at the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
Morris, a current FEMA employee was arrested at the Hernando County Emergency Operations Center. Morris is charged with a first degree felony of organized fraud of more than $50,000.
Murdock, a current fire captain for the city of Brooksville is charged with a second degree felony of organized fraud of more than $20,000.
Freda, a current fire chief for the city of Brooksville was arrested at a 7-eleven in Pasco County on Friday night. He is charged with organized fraud of more than $50,000. Pasco County Sheriff's Office says they also arrested on an additional person, Anthony Bucaro, for attempting to help Freda flee from deputies.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s office says it is not releasing details of the fraudulent charges because the investigation is ongoing.
Freda and Murdock are currently on administrative leave from the city of Brooksville without pay.