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Three deputies honored for removing illegal drugs

July 2, 2014
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A strong round of applause went out for three deputies working out of the East District's Lee County Sheriff's Office when they were honored for their "investigative prowess" that resulted in the arrest and re-arrest of a suspect who had in his possession a large amount of illegal drugs.

Lt. Paul Cummings, accompanied by Capt. Todd Garrison, read citations that showed that on June 2 while conducting a traffic stop for a seatbelt violation, Deputy Gabe Rose conducted an investigation of the vehicle's occupants which lead to the arrest of one person and the seizure of 10.4 grams of heroin, several pieces of crack cocaine, 2.4 grams of marijuana, 4.2 grams of cocaine, and several Xanax pills.

It's all part of what local deputies in Lehigh Acres go through each day of their work when probes and searches are done during routine traffic stops when there is reason to believe illegal contraband may be in the vehicle - and at this time, the traffic stop netted a cache of several illegal substances.

Article Photos

Three deputies were honored last week by the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce for nabbing a suspect twice who had in his possession a large cache of illegal drugs. At the presentation were, from left to right, Capt. Todd Garrison and Deputies Dave Jennings, Kevin Armstrong and Gabe Rose. At the top is Lt. Paul Cummings, assistant commander of the East District, who read the citations given to the men. At the right is Jarrett Glosson, regional director of Modern Woodmen of America, who presented each deputy with an American flag.

Later, on June 11, while conducting a surveillance operation on a suspected location of illegal drug sales in Lehigh, the members of the East District's Special Enforcement Team (SET) saw the same suspect from the June 2 incident.

Cummings said this suspect fled from the area when he spotted law enforcement.

The members of SET conducted an investigation that subsequently led to the re-arrest of this individual and the seizure this time of 20.6 grams of cocaine, 85.7 grams of heroin, 32 Amphetamine pills, 53 Zolpidem pills, 78 capsules, and 7.8 grams of Xanax.

In addition to Deputy Gabe Rose, he was joined by Deputy Dave Jennings and Deputy Kevin Armstrong as part of SET.

"These men are commended for the arrest and subsequent re-arrest of this individual and the substantial seizure of illegal and controlled substances.

"Their investigative prowess, determination and teamwork made Lehigh Acres a safer place for its law abiding citizens," Cummings said on June 24 at the monthly luncheon of the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce, hosted by Inke Baker, the executive director of the chamber.

Baker said the chamber "is very proud to recognize the three deputies as the officers of the month." The luncheon was held at The Hut restaurant on Buckingham Rd.

The next meeting will be held on July 29 at 11 a.m. at the same location, unless otherwise noted. The luncheon and program are over by 1 p.m.

Not only are chambers members invited, but Baker said there is an open invitation to all businesses in the community. The luncheon also hosts a speaker for the event. At the June luncheon, Jennifer Pellechio, deputy director/ grant manager of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, spoke about solar energy and what her agency is doing to promote solar power in the state, including Southwest Florida.

At times, others in the business community are honored and Baker said she wants to remind business owners that if there are outstanding employees working for them, nominations are accepted by the chamber for recognition.

Often outstanding chamber members are also honored and any member can nominate another member for this recognition.

Those who wish to attend the luncheons are encouraged to call the chamber at 239-369-3322 to make a reservation.



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