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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ocala men nabbed in Marion sheriff’s sting targeting bicycle-stealing bandits

Sylvester Leon Morman

Two Ocala men were jailed Dec. 2 after getting caught in a Marion County Sheriff’s Office sting targeting bicycle thieves.

Dubbed Operation Training Wheels, sheriff’s detectives placed a black-and-orange Cannondale Trigger mountain bike valued at $1,100 outside the Silver Springs Circle K at 5182 E Silver Springs Blvd. While conducting surveillance, the detectives saw two men, later identified as 61-year-old Sylvester Leon Morman and 35-year-old Lee Dennis Schieferstein in the area near the bike, “constantly looking over their shoulders in a suspicious manner,” a sheriff’s office report states.

A short time later, Schieferstein, accompanied by Morman, allegedly took the bike and pushed it across Silver Springs Boulevard. Once both men crossed the roadway, detectives made contact with them and ordered them to the ground, the report says.

Lee Dennis Schieferstein

While conducting a pat-down for dangerous weapons, Schieferstein advised detectives that he had a “rig,” which is slang for a hypodermic needle. He said that he used the needle for “ice,” or methamphetamine, the report says, adding that when searching Morman detectives found a clear glass pipe that contained a dark-colored residue.

Schieferstein told detectives he was getting the bike for a friend named James, but he couldn’t confirm his identity. Both men were then placed under arrest and transported to the Marion County Jail.

A deputy then searched the backseat of his patrol vehicle and on the driver’s side where Morman had been sitting and found a small white rock that field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine, the report says, adding that the drug was found in the vehicle after it had entered the sally port at the jail.

Morman said he didn’t know anything about the narcotic and denied it was his. He was charged with grand theft, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and introducing contraband into a detention facility. He is being held on $7,000 bond and is due in court Jan. 7 at 9 a.m.

Schieferstein was charged with grand theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was being held on $3,000 bond and also is due in court Jan. 7 at 9 a.m.