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Photo by Tom Marshall
Local partners involved in the development of the new pool project under way next to the Clay Community Center joined together Tuesday for a groundbreaking at the site. In attendance were members of the Mt. Sterling Parks and Recreation Commission, the Mt. Sterling City Council, Montgomery County Fiscal Court, Mt. Sterling-Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, the project architect and Packs+Walker that will be doing the construction. State Rep. David Hale was also in at

Local police arrest Florida man suspected in gang-related shooting death
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

A suspect charged with manslaughter for an alleged gang-related shooting death in Florida in 2017 was arrested Saturday night near Walmart, according to authorities.

John M. Lugo, 30, was apprehended after police received a report that he had allegedly stolen a woman’s vehicle, according to an arrest citation.

The woman reported that Lugo had allegedly taken the keys to her 2011 Jeep Compass and she tried to get them back, but was unable to do so, the citation says.

The theft report was taken by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Shackleford, the sheriff’s office said.

Lugo allegedly took the vehicle, which was reportedly seen at Walmart by Mt. Sterling Police officers Chris Hall and Cody McDaniel, authorities said.

Shackleford reported that he told Lugo to stop, but Lugo allegedly fled on foot in the store before he was apprehended by authorities with both agencies near the freezers.

It was at that point that Hall reportedly discovered a warrant for Lugo’s arrest out of Polk County, Fla., on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon, MSPD Det. Chris Haddix said.

Lugo also faces additional charges here of theft by unlawful taking-auto and second-degree fleeing or evading arrest (on foot).

Lugo listed an address of 5832 Spencer Road, and had apparently been living here at least six months, Haddix said. He said he was unsure what brought Lugo to Mt. Sterling.

Lugo is currently being held without bond at the Montgomery County Regional Jail, where he reportedly tested positive for THC (marijuana) and amphetamine following his arrest.

Lugo is scheduled to make an appearance in Montgomery County District Court Thursday morning (today). He will have an opportunity to either waive extradition back to Florida or ask for a hearing.

According to media reports, Lugo was wanted in connection with the death of 17-year-old Jake Andrew Castillo near Lakeland, Fla., July 3, 2017.

Lugo and Dario Trejo, reported members of two rival gangs, are said to have had an altercation at a gas station.

After the reported altercation, Trejo reportedly picked up two friends—Christopher Garcia and Jose Tinoco—in his Cadillac and drove by the area where Lugo lived. When the Cadillac turned around and came back, Lugo reportedly fired a shotgun at the vehicle, striking Tinoco in the face and Trejo in the arm, according to media reports.

Trejo, 18, suffered a gunshot wound to the upper torso and Tinoco had a gunshot wound to his lower left jaw, media reported.
Trejo allegedly returned fire with a handgun.

Castillo, who was reportedly letting Lugo stay at his home, was fatally wounded, media reported. He was reportedly paralyzed and in a wheelchair from a 2011 drive-by shooting that killed his brother.

Garcia, who was sitting in the backseat of the Trejo vehicle, was not injured. Lugo allegedly fled on foot, according to media reports.

Trejo was also charged with manslaughter with a firearm for allegedly “furthering an altercation and furthering gang related issues that contributed to the unlawful killing of Jake Castillo,” according to an excerpt from an affidavit filed in the case.

Trejo was part of a gang called Sur 13. Lugo belonged to Norte 14, according to media reports.

Authorities in Florida had been trying to generate leads on Lugo’s whereabouts through Heartland Crime Stoppers.

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