Florida Commission on Offender Review Holds Hearings at Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

The Florida Commission on Offender Review (FCOOR) held hearings today at the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters on Utilities Road in Punta Gorda. Commissioners preside over approximately 36 hearings annually at the Central Office in Tallahassee and various other locations throughout the state as required by statute. During these public proceedings, the Commissioners make a variety of determinations regarding parole and other releases. In addition, the Commission reviews releasees’ supervision status every two years.

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Relatives of an inmate speak on his behalf during a hearing.

Every parole-eligible inmate has a constitutionally protected right to proper consideration for parole, and these proceedings must be conducted as required by law. In both parole and conditional medical release, testimony and pertinent information may be provided by representatives of the inmate, the inmate’s family, by persons who were victims of the crime, and the victim’s family. The Commissioners may also hear from law enforcement, state and private attorneys, as well as other interested parties.

During hearings, the Commission also conducts other types of proceedings, such as imposing conditions of conditional release or addiction recovery supervision. The Commission makes final determinations with regard to revocation of post release supervision, where a releasee may have violated the conditions of their release. When the Commission determines that the releasee is guilty of a willful and substantial violation, the Commission may order the violator returned to state prison to complete service of the original term of imprisonment.

A total of 41 hearings were held today, bringing in a total of 116 visitors to the agency. Representatives from local government attended the hearings, as well as members of the State Attorney’s Office and the Fraternal Order of Police.

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(L-R Back Row) – Sgt. Terry Cochran (CCSO),  DFC Thomas Laux (CCSO), Commissioner David A. Wyant, Commission Chair Melinda N. Coonrod, Commissioner Richard D. Davison, Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex, CDFC Jose Ortiz-Cruz (CCSO)    (L-R Front Row) Honorable George Richards, Circuit Court Judge and  Richard Montecalvo, Deputy Chief Assistant State Attorney

 

National Missing Children’s Day – May 25

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day. Each year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) commemorates Missing Children’s Day with a ceremony honoring the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals to protect children.

Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority. It serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families and an occasion to honor those dedicated to this cause.

The 2018 Missing Children’s Day Ceremony will take place on May 23, 2018, in Washington, DC.

To commemorate this day, we wanted to share the following safety tips with you:

  • Teach children their contact information. Make sure your child knows his or her full name, home address and telephone number. Include this contact information in their backpack, coat, etc. Teach your child not to share this information with anyone he or she does not know without your permission.
  • Practice safe social media. Talk to your children about the risks of sharing too much information on social media. Explain how “checking in” on social networks and sharing location information or routines can have negative consequences.
  • Listen and ask questions. Listen if your child says someone makes him or her feel uncomfortable. Ask questions to clarify their feelings. It is important for children to learn to trust their instincts.

Photo Credit – 2017 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention poster contest. Fifth graders from 34 states and the Aviano U.S. Air Force Base in Italy submitted winning poster contest entries. The winner of the 2017 poster contest (pictured) was Audrey Link from Resurrection Catholic School in Lakeland, Florida!

 

Detectives Arrest Four Suspects in String of Burglaries; Stolen Items and Firearms Recovered

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit, with assistance from the Strategic Targeted Area Response (STAR) Team, located and arrested two burglary suspects last night. The arrested subjects are suspects in 17 burglaries in Charlotte County as well as several burglaries in North Port’s jurisdiction. Detectives were able to recover a stolen ATV, stolen vehicle, 3 firearms, and other miscellaneous stolen property.

Timothy Walters (11/29/99) and Kenny Chambers III (9/02/00) were arrested on Friday, May 18, after they were brought in for questioning during the investigation.

Many of the burglaries were to unlocked vehicles. The crimes occurred between May 4th and May 18th in Port Charlotte on Conway Blvd, Sargeant Street, Temple Avenue and Wakashan Avenue, and in Punta Gorda on San Marino Drive, Tarrywood Terrace, Whitman Avenue, Heights Terrace, and Lindsey Avenue.

The investigation is still ongoing. Detectives are still seeking the owners of two recovered firearms. Timothy Walters is in custody at the Charlotte County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of a $261,000 bond. Kenny Chambers III was transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

**Update 5/21/18** On Sunday, May 20th, Detectives arrested Naquan Guillory (03/01/97) on charges stemming from the above listed burglaries. His charges and photo are in the article below.

On Monday, May 21, Detectives arrested Nathan Faust 12/20/00 on charges stemming from the above listed burglaries. His charges are in the article below.**

Walters, Timothy
Timothy Walters

Timothy Walters was charged as follows:

Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling Unarmed
Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance Unarmed (13 Counts)
Burglary of an Unoccupied Dwelling Unarmed (2 Counts)
Burglary of Dwelling Structure or Conveyance While Armed (2 Counts)
Burglary of Dwelling Structure or Conveyance While Armed
Contributing to Delinquency By Causing Child to Commit Delinquent Act (8 Counts)
Drug Paraphernalia – Possession or Use Of
Grand Theft of Firearm (2 Counts)
Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle
Grand Theft Property More than $300 but Less Than $5000 (4 Counts)
Petit Theft 1st Degree – Property $100 to $300 (7 Counts)
Petit Theft 2nd Degree 1st Offense <$100
Marijuana, Possession < 20 grams

Kenny Chamber III was charged as follows:

Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling Unarmed
Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance Unarmed (9 Counts)
Burglary of Dwelling Structure or Conveyance While Armed (2 Armed)
Grand Theft of Firearm
Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle
Grand Theft Property More than $300 but Less Than $5000 (4 Counts)
Petit Theft 1st Degree – Property $100 – $300 (4 Counts)
Petit Theft 2nd Degree – 1st Offense <$100

Guillory
Naquan Guillory

Naquan Guillory was charged as follows:

Burglary of an Occupied Conveyance Unarmed
Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling Unarmed
Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance Unarmed (9 Counts)
Burglary of Dwelling Structure or Conveyance While Armed
Contributing to Delinquency By Causing Child to Commit Delinquent Act (8 Counts)
Grand Theft of Firearm
Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle
Grand Theft Property More than $300 but Less Than $5000 (3 Counts)
Petit Theft 1st Degree – Property $100-$300 (4 Counts)
Petit Theft 2nd Degree – 1st Offense <$100

Nathan Faust was charged as follows:

Burglary of an Occupied Conveyance Unarmed
Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling Unarmed
Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance Unarmed (9 Counts)
Burglary of Dwelling Structure or Conveyance While Armed
Grand Theft of Firearm
Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle
Grand Theft Property More than $300 but Less Than $5000 (3 Counts)
Petit Theft 1st Degree – Property $100-$300 (4 Counts)
Petit Theft 2nd Degree – 1st Offense <$100

 

This is still an active investigation. Anyone with information regarding these crimes is encouraged to contact the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office at 941-639-0013 and request to speak to a Detective.

Suspect Arrested for Multiple Vehicle Burglaries; Public Reminded to Lock Doors and Secure Valuables

Detectives have arrested a suspect for a spree of burglaries to unlocked vehicles that occurred in the Deep Creek area, and one in Port Charlotte. The Deep Creek burglaries occurred on the evening of May 6th into the early morning hours of May 7th, and the burglary in Port Charlotte was reported on the evening of May 7th.  Trevor McPeak (9/28/98) of Punta Gorda, was arrested May 17th on multiple charges of Burglary and Theft after a thorough investigation by Detectives.

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Deep Creek Gardens Parking Lot

Deputies first responded to Deep Creek Gardens, 25100 Sandhill Blvd, on the morning of May 7th, for several reports of burglaries to unlocked vehicles. Three victims reported their vehicles were unlawfully entered by an unknown suspect. Two victims reported items were missing; a wallet, credit cards, and cash. Surveillance video on the property showed the suspect walking from vehicle to vehicle pulling on door handles to locate ones that were unlocked.

On the evening of May 7th, deputies responded to the 23000 block of Dean Avenue in Port Charlotte for a reported vehicle burglary that had just occurred. Upon arrival the victim advised that an unknown male was observed inside her vehicle, and that the male fled upon being confronted by her sister’s boyfriend. The victim observed a blue bicycle and backpack on her property and stood by the items until deputies arrived. Deputies later searched the backpack, locating a Florida Driver’s License for Trevor McPeak. It was observed the McPeak matched the description provided by the victim and her witnesses, as well as the subject captured in the Deep Creek Gardens surveillance video.

Deputies made contact with McPeak’s mother, confirming he owned a blue bicycle and was not currently at home.  Detectives obtained a warrant for McPeak’s arrest for the Dean Avenue burglary.

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Trevor McPeak

Trevor McPeak was located on May 17th in Port Charlotte. He was arrested on the warrant and transported to a district office for questioning on the Deep Creek Gardens burglaries. At his time of arrest, Trevor McPeak was observed to be wearing shoes that matched the shoes observed on the suspect in the Deep Creek Gardens surveillance video. During his interview with Detectives, a small piece of torn plastic that still contained marijuana flakes was located in his pocket.

After the interview, Trevor McPeak was additionally charged with the Deep Creek Gardens burglaries, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In Charlotte County, 58% of the vehicles burglarized in 2017 were unlocked. Help us reduce vehicle burglaries by removing valuables from sight and locking your doors to prevent crimes of opportunity.

Lieutenant Graduates Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course

42081270202_669c6c0b88_oLieutenant John Heck, Jr., recently completed the 139th Administrative Officers Course at the Southern Police Institute (SPI). Lieutenant Heck graduated the prestigious program on the Dean’s List. He currently serves as the Major Case Commander within our agency.

The Southern Police Institute is part of the Department of Criminal Justice of the University of Louisville. It is an advanced educational and training institute whose mission is to enhance the professional development of law enforcement practitioners. The Administrative Officers Course is a twelve week accredited college level educational program. The course curriculum is designed to develop informed, effective, ethically and technically competent law enforcement managers.

Since 2006, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has sent 13 employees through the Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officer Course, creating a leadership team that is committed to the agency’s vision of using innovation, technology and community partnerships to remain a leader in public safety.

 

Deputy Commended by the Sons of the American Revolution for Involvement with Community Youth

Deputy First Class Joella Moore was recently honored by the Florida Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) with their Law Enforcement Commendation Medal. The medal recognized her work with the youth at Crossroads New Hope Academy, as a school resource officer with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, and in her personal life within the community.

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DFC Moore with other award recipients.

The Sons of the American Revolution is a patriotic, historical, and educational non-profit organization which values teaching an appreciation of American citizenship. DFC Moore has dedicated much of her career with the Sheriff’s Office to enriching student’s lives as a School Resource Officer, and consistently seeks out new and unique ways to interact with youth in our community, doing her best to build their civic engagement and capacity for change.

DFC Joella Moore infuses our core values of Integrity, Professionalism, and Trust in her everyday work with our youth population. We are proud that she is a member of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office family!

Corrections Emergency Response Team Participates in Mock Prison Riot

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Members of the Corrections Emergency Response Team placed 18th out of 31 teams in competition.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) had the opportunity to attend and compete in a competition and training event called the Mock Prison Riot. Held every spring at the decommissioned West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, the Mock Prison Riot features hands-on training and technology exposure to corrections, law enforcement, military, and public safety practitioners from around the world. At the Mock Prison Riot, exhibitors and operators work together in a living, breathing environment, continually pushing the envelopes of tactics and technology.

Competitions for the teams involved achieving specific objectives during a scenario through teamwork, tactical decisions, practical application of skills. The CCSO CERT team finished in 18th place overall of 31 teams that competed in the competition. Once the competition ends, the Mock Riot training begins.

During the mock riot, there are vendors on hand displaying and demonstrating their gear and they allow teams to use some of the equipment on a trial basis. Local residents and members from competing teams volunteer to role play as inmates for training scenarios, set up and staged for each team to test their tactics. The entire CERT team was able to attend training in Crisis Intervention, Hostage Negotiation Techniques, Dynamic Cell Extractions, Dealing with Mental Illness, OC Certifications and Re-certifications.

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CDFC Benson Prosper placed 5th out of over 40 individual competitors. 

The final competition of the Mock Riot, the Iron Operator Challenge, was hosted by the National Tactical Officers Association. This competition consisted of a series of physical tests, challenging the will and fitness levels of each individual operator competing. CDFC Benson Prosper represented the CCSO CERT team in the competition, placing 5th overall out of over 40 operators from around the world.

 

 

 

For more information on this event go to http://www.mockprisonriot.org/

Sheriff Prummell Honors Recipients During Quarterly Awards Ceremony

This quarter’s award ceremony was held at the Laishley Crabhouse. Jim Reddington sponsored the luncheon, allowing the Sheriff’s Office to donate the proceeds from the meal ($800!) to the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch.

Special Recognition Presentation
Cpl. Joe Eilerman & DFC Joella Moore

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DFC Moore and Cpl. Eilerman with Sheriff Prummell

In the past few months, DFC Moore and Cpl. Eilerman saw a rise in calls at Crossroads New Hope Academy.  DFC Moore made it a priority to visit with these youth in order to address their needs. DFC Moore and Cpl. Eilerman teamed up with Habitat for Humanity and scheduled a build with the foster children on March 3, 2018.  When the build was canceled, Cpl. Eilerman and DFC Moore decided to take 6 juveniles to Ponce de Leon Park and clean up trash along the shore and trails for 2 hours. Cpl. Eilerman then treated the kids to lunch. In addition, they toured the wildlife sanctuary where one youth signed up to do further volunteer hours. Cpl. Eilerman stated they all had a good time, and it served as a great relationship builder for these kids that need a mentor in their lives. Cpl. Eilerman and DFC Moore are to be commended for their unique approach to building these youths’ civic engagement and capacity for change.

Sheriff’s Coin Special Recognition Presentation
Kyle Tucker

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Kyle Tucker with Sheriff Prummell

On March 16, DFC Ciolino conducted a traffic stop on Duncan Rd. The vehicle made a simple stop sign violation, but after an evaluation of the situation, the driver appeared to be under the influence.

DFC Ciolino asked the driver to step out of the vehicle. During a search for weapons a struggle broke out. DFC Ciolino called for back-up on his radio, but could not continue to talk due to the struggle. To DFC Ciolino’s relief, a silver Dodge pickup stopped beside the patrol vehicle and offered “you need help”. DFC Ciolino yelled “yes” and told the driver to park his vehicle. Kyle Tucker ran up asking, “What do you need me to do”. There was no hesitation from him in helping a Law Enforcement deputy.

DFC Ciolino gave his handcuffs to Kyle Tucker as he continued to hold the suspect down.  Kyle was then able to apply handcuffs to the male, so that DFC Ciolino could take him into custody.

Without Kyle’s help in securing this male subject, there was the potential of his eluding arrest or further harming DFC Ciolino before backup arrived. Kyle saw an opportunity to help and acted upon it, making sure to follow the directions given to ensure both of their safety.

Life Saver Awards

DFC Trista Zimmerman

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DFC Zimmerman with Sheriff Prummell

On January 30th, DFC Trista Zimmerman responded to an emergency call for an infant not breathing. She was just around the corner from the call’s location when it was disptached. DFC Zimmerman arrived within seconds and observed the mother holding the infant who appeared to be in distress. After evaluating the situation and determining the infant was choking on an unknown object, DFC Zimmerman delivered five back blows to the infant which appeared to dislodge the object. She reevaluated the situation and found the child to be breathing normally without straining. DFC Zimmerman held the child and monitored its breathing until EMS arrived on site.

Cpl. Rebecca Allese & DFC Paul Cignarale

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Cpl. Allese and DFC Cignarale with Sheriff Prummell

On January 16, DFC Paul Cignarale was dispatched to a local gas station in North Port in reference to a medical call for a subject reportedly not breathing. Upon arrival, DFC Cignarale observed several subjects standing around a silver vehicle. The multiple subjects advised the male inside the vehicle was unconscious and not breathing. The front seat passenger of the vehicle appeared unconscious and was covered in vomit. DFC Cignarale checked for a pulse but could not obtain one and determined CPR needed to be started immediately.

The subject was removed from his vehicle and placed onto the ground. DFC Cignarale attached his agency issued AED and performed CPR (multiple chest compressions and rescue breaths) until the AED indicated to clear for analysis.

Cpl. Allese arrived on scene shortly after the AED had been attached and took over chest compressions while DFC Cignarale continued with rescue breaths. At one point, the AED did advise shocks were required and multiple shocks were delivered.

These life-saving measures continued until North Port Fire/Rescue arrived and took over. A short time later, the subject regained a pulse and started to breathe again. Paramedics advised the subject’s vitals were good, even though he had not been breathing for over 5 minutes.

Cpl. Jack Collins & DFC Jacob Patten

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DFC Patton and Cpl. Collins with Sheriff Prummell

On January 23, Cpl. Jack Lee Collins was dispatched to the area just south of the Desoto County line in reference to a medical call. The call was that a male subject was slumped over behind the wheel of a car and the male was having difficulty breathing.

Once on scene, Cpl. Collins made contact with the subject’s wife, who was trying to revive the male. It was determined that the male subject was in some form of medical distress. At that time, Cpl. Collins was attempting to maintain the subject’s airway by keeping his head upright and the airway open. DFC Jacob Patten arrived on scene and assisted in the above efforts. During this time, the subject still had a pulse and lifesaving efforts were continued.

Another deputy arrived, escorting the family out of the vehicle and out of sight so that he could help them to calm down. At that time, DFC Patten was unable to locate a pulse and advised the others that the subject had stopped breathing. DFC Patten and Cpl. Collins then removed the subject from the vehicle and immediately began CPR. CPR was continued until Charlotte County Fire and EMS arrived and took over life saving measures.

The subject was transported to the hospital, where he continued to receive lifesaving treatment. The EMT and Paramedic members on scene said that the measures taken by the deputies gave the subject a fighting chance and that he appeared to be recovering. A follow-up showed that the subject did survive after some time in the ICU and was later released.

Law Enforcement Member of the Quarter
DFC Don Woelke

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DFC Woelke with Sheriff Prummell

Detective Don Woelke currently serves as the Task Force Officer for the FBI. As a liaison for our agency, this first quarter of 2018 he has and continues to investigate several cases resulting in the apprehension, arrest, and indictment of offenders participating in the collection, transmission, or orchestration of child pornography.

The victims Don works to protect are our most vulnerable, children. These cases are typically very convoluted, require time and patience to investigate, along with a strong sense of determination to get past the horrific acts these children suffer. One such case involves Brian Thomas who resided in Charlotte County. Although this case was opened in 2016, it has just recently come full circle outside of any appeals. This case began as an investigation into peer-to-peer distribution of child pornography. Once the investigation was able to substantiate a search warrant, he was ultimately indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for the possession of child pornography and sentenced to 30 years. Through further forensic investigation, Det. Woelke and the investigative team were then able to substantiate additional crimes where Thomas was sexually assaulting an 11-year-old child he had contact with through a relative. Thomas was sentenced to Life in Prison on April 23rd for Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, Sexual Battery of a child less than 12 years old, and Video Voyeurism charges.

This is just one example of the many cases Det. Woelke is dedicated to bringing to successful prosecution. Although many cases are distribution of child pornography, which affect children worldwide, cases like Thomas where intervention stops the physical abuse of a child physically in your presence is extremely rewarding. We also applaud Assistant State Attorney Stephanie Powers who worked in conjunction with Det. Woelke, and supported his efforts to ensure this case resulted in prosecution and a sentencing so successful that this child victim will never have to fear facing the perpetrator again in her life.

Don works diligently on behalf of these innocent children to stop these heinous crimes. In addition to his own caseload, Don often assists other agents and agencies by offering his investigative skills, expertise, and time.

Law Enforcement Team of the Quarter
Sgt. Jim Vanande and Cpl. Jacob Hawkins (Narcotics Unit)

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Lt. McBee (accepting for Narcotics Unit) with Sheriff Prummell

On January 11, the Narcotics Unit was notified of two subjects that were located within approximately a mile of each other that had overdosed on unknown narcotics. The subjects were both revived, treated, and left the hospitals.

Members of the Narcotics Unit quickly tracked down one of the subjects and obtained the information for the source of the narcotics causing these overdoses. Members then began developing a surveillance plan, intelligence gathering, and threat assessment on the target location. A search warrant was written, submitted, approved, and executed that same night.

During initial entry, members located a suspicious powder substance leading to the belief that it was possibly Fentanyl. Contact was made with our Meth Investigation Group, requesting their assistance. Sgt. Jim Vanande and Cpl. Jacob Hawkins responded to the scene where they worked alongside the Narcotics Unit to safely remove evidence piece by piece, ensuring the safety of our members, as well as neighboring residents. This was a painstaking process that took until the early morning hours to complete.

The dedication of these members, resulted in the arrest of two subjects, the recovery of multiple drugs, paraphernalia, and a firearm. This investigation most certainly saved the lives of others who may have fallen victim to an overdose.

Civilian Team of the Quarter
Communications – Squad D

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Communications Squad D with Sheriff Prummell

On January 29, Operator Geidy Bermudez answered a 911 call from a female in distress stating that someone was going to kill her and that she could not speak.

Geidy, using phase 2 location, asked the caller if she was at a specific location in Punta Gorda, but the caller just kept saying that a male subject was going to kill her and that he was coming into the camper that she was in. Geidy quickly saved the call with the Phase 2 location, while Dispatcher Maureen Poisson dispatched units. The female could not verify the address. At this point, other members of the squad jumped into action looking up history of the phone number and the name of the male she provided. Geidy kept reassuring the caller help was on the way and would ask the caller questions as she was being prompted by her supervisors and the responding road units. When units were getting close, Geidy obtained directions on how get to the location of the caller and the camper she was in since both were in a remote area of the county.

The call was very intense. At moments, the caller said the male was shooting, set the camper on fire, and hooked up the camper trying to drive away with her in it. When units were in the general area, Dispatcher Maureen Poisson, with the aid of the CAD mapping system, was able to guide the responding units to the correct streets and verify that indeed they were headed in the correct area.

After the units were on scene, the male subject fled on foot and units started a search. Geidy kept the female caller on the line even though the deputies were on scene, and stayed on the line until she was safely with a deputy. Geidy remained on the 911 call for over 45 minutes, ensuring the caller’s safety and providing calming assurance that we had help coming to her. The members of Squad D are to be commended for the team work they demonstrated, resulting in emergency services being able to find the victim as quickly as possible and prevent her injury.

30 Years of Service
Rose Manfredo

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Rose Manfredo with Sheriff Prummell

Rose Manfredo started her career with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on April 12th, 1988.  Rose was originally assigned to the Purchasing office as a secretary, and worked with Earl Miller.  Shortly after, she worked with Lt. John Davenport in Central Services and Receiving.  After a couple years with Purchasing, she transferred to Civil in January 1990.  During the past 28 years in Civil, Rose has worked both in the office and finally on the road serving Civil process for the last several years.

Rose looks forward to spending quality time with her family, both here and in Ohio; and has intentions of spending time reading in the sunshine and traveling.  Rose has enjoyed her time with the agency and working in Civil on the road.  She has no immediate plans for retirement.

Congratulations, Rose, on 30 years with CCSO. We look forward to working with you for many more!

Special Recognition (2016 – Quarter 4)
Omayra Pabon

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Omayra Pabon with Sheriff Prummell

Omayra Pabon started with CCSO as an Express part-time support member for HR and Risk Management on November 4, 2016.  Her organizational and Microsoft skills were quickly noted, as she became an instant asset to Risk Management during the 2016 open enrollment period.

Over the course of the past year, she has learned all aspects of Risk Management and continuously seeks additional training and responsibilities.

Within a week of starting a large project project, Hurricane Irma arrived.  Omayra, originally from Puerto Rico, would soon be watching helpless as her family in Puerto Rico was faced with devastating Hurricane Maria.  On September 20 and throughout the next week, Omayra reported to work each day while waiting for information on her family in Puerto Rico.  Because of the devastation there, it was several days before she received any word of their well-being. Thankfully, Omayra’s family survived Hurricane Maria, but they were not unscathed by its devastation. Although Omayra faced several situations during the month of September, she was still able to complete the project asked of her, exceeding her supervisor’s expectations.

Omayra’s dedication, hard work, and ability to stay focused even during a family crisis, illustrates the core values of CCSO.

 

 

Detectives Arrest Suspect for Arson After Burning Vehicle Discovered in April

A suspect in an April arson investigation was arrested on Monday, May 7th. Christopher De Armas (12/17/85), of Middleburg, Florida, was arrested by detectives on the charge of Arson after a vehicle he recently purchased was set on fire in south Punta Gorda.

1804-001784_PIC_investigation (5)At approximately 11:00pm on April 3rd, Deputies responded to the 27000 block of Zemel Road for a report of a vehicle on fire. The caller reported the vehicle was fully engulfed and was on the shoulder of the road. The fire department also responded and extinguished the flames prior to the fire spreading to surrounding brush.

Detectives retrieved the VIN number from the vehicle, identifying it as a black 1999 Lexus registered to a subject in North Carolina. The owner was contacted and he advised Detectives that he sold the vehicle to a man named “Chris” in Florida. He provided Detectives with a phone number he had for “Chris”, which was found to be linked to a Christopher Lazaro De Armas. Florida DMV records further showed that De Armas had a black 1999 Lexus registered in his name.

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Christopher De Armas

On May 2nd, the Detective assigned to the investigation made phone contact with De Armas. De Armas confirmed he purchased the Lexus, but stated he then sold it to a subject in Naples. On May 7th, De Armas responded by request to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office to speak to investigators. De Armas provided a statement about the vehicle and the incident after he was read his Miranda rights.

The Detective also determined that De Armas had used many of the parts from the burned Lexus as replacement parts for another vehicle.

Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation and the statement provided by the suspect, Christopher De Armas was placed under arrest and transported to the Charlotte County Jail.

No one was injured in the fire.

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