March 11, 2017
Walton County, Fla— A crime spree that began in Orange County California and ended in Jacksonville, Florida has landed two behind bars after Walton County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime analysts identified one of two suspects involved – breaking the case wide open.
On January 30, 2017 the Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to several vehicle burglaries in the Miramar Beach area, one involving a stolen .380 caliber handgun. The two suspects targeted unlocked vehicles stealing everything from wallets, to debit cards and checks. On the same day, two suspects attempted to cash a check drawn on a victim’s account at Regions Bank located at the Cordova Mall in Pensacola, Florida using a stolen driver’s license belonging to Jeffrey Winkler from California. Contact was made with Winkler’s mother who advised he was currently incarcerated. Winkler’s mother was able to positively identify Daniel Asano, 25, as one of her son’s former friends who had access to Jeffrey’s driver’s license after he was incarcerated. Asano was also suspected of depositing a check into another victim’s account in Gulf Breeze in an attempt to withdraw it.
Upon further investigation by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Bureau, Crime Prevention Analysts and multiple cooperating agencies including Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, investigators found that Asano and Gweynn Brown, 32, committed similar crimes in Bay, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties, as well as seven other jurisdictions during their crime spree. The two were captured in Jacksonville, Florida checking into a hotel with a stolen rental car on February 16th.
Daniel Asano and Gweynn Brown have been charged with more than fifteen crimes, including petit theft, burglary of an unoccupied vehicle, grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and armed burglary.
Asano was extradited on February 24th and Brown was extradited today from Jacksonville.