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 September 11th, 2009  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara will present life saving and other awards Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office headquarters
St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara will present awards to members of the Sheriff’s Office and civilians on Sept. 16 (Wednesday)  at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office headquarters at 4700 West Midway Road, Fort Pierce.

Here are the awards and the recipients:

Second Quarter

Civilian of the Quarter: Marie Brazas
Detective of the Quarter: Andy Bolonka
Detention Civilian of the Quarter: Samantha Graff
Detention Civilian of the First (2009) Quarter: Charles Strickland
Detention Deputy of the Quarter: Jason Meizinger
Detention Supervisor of the Quarter: Pat Walsh
Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Greg Farless
Patrol Operations Deputy of the Fourth (2008) Quarter: Yulieth Ortiz
Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: John Rouleau
Volunteer of the Quarter: Dorothy Vignuolo- Burke

Miscellaneous Awards

Life Saving: William Hedges, Clifford Lamm, Jason Selph

Commendation: John Parow, Keith Pearson, David Streeter, Dan Burkhardt, Chris Cheslock, Jose Estrada, Franklin Ferencz, Deborah Fleury, Michael Gargan, Scott Holshouser, Marguerite Joseph, Jason Meizinger, Kendall Mitchell, Troy Norman, Marisol Padilla, Rob Pettit, Michael Perez, Steve Sessoms, Kenneth Smith, Stephanie Wile

Exceptional: Duty Lasolomon Archie, Romualdo Arizpe, Rob Barton, Marie Brazas, Dave Brooks, Deron Brown, Jeff Buchanan, Donna Carmichael, Billy Chapman, Greg Farless, Fred Fernandez, Angela Flowers, Sindi Garns, Robert Graff, Michelle Hernandez, Brian Hester, Jon Horowitz, Pat Ivey, Chris Jadin, Grant King, Santiago Martinez, Gary Morales, Carl Muschweck, Michelle Nesmith, Troy Norman, John Parow, Rob Pettit, Rusty Russell, Charlie Scavuzzo, Mark Schimpf, Melissa Sangster, Steve Sessoms, Drew Soesbe, Neil Spector, Rick Stuhr, David R. Thompson, Diane Thompson, Rob Valentine, Jennifer Waters, Harry Wells, Scott Wells, Ron Wentz, Brett Wilkes, Fred Wilson, Steve Wise, Sue Woodward, Rich Young, Scott Young

Distinguished Service Award: Tim Wilson (Aramark)

Citizen Awards: Carl and Edward Music (life saving), Allen Goodin (Life Saving), Nichole Margerum (distinguished service ),Robert Shoemaker (Life Saving), Horacio Torres (distinguished service), Charles Ward (Life Saving)

Here are the details:

Life Saving: Edward Music and Carl Music

On May 30, Deputies LeRoy and Worthington were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident on North Old Dixie Highway. The call was dispatched as a vehicle versus a train.

Edward Music had heard a vehicle squealing its tires. He looked out his window and saw a vehicle stuck on the train tracks. Without hesitation, he went outside to see if anyone needed any help. He saw a female in the driver’s seat that was not responsive and a train was coming. Edward went inside and got Carl Music to help him. They attempted to get the vehicle off of the train tracks before the oncoming train arrived.

Edward banged on the window of the vehicle until he was able to get the driver’s attention. Both Edward and Carl were pushing the vehicle while they instructed the driver to put the car in gear. They were unable to get the vehicle off of the tracks. They quickly assisted in getting her out of the vehicle and to safety a short time before the train struck her car.

They both placed themselves in harms way by responding to a motorist in need. Their heroic actions saved the life of the driver that morning.

Life Saving: Charles Ward, Robert Shoemaker, Allen Goodin

On Aug. 10, Mrs. Nancy Nelson was operating her vehicle leaving her residence on South Jenkins Road. While exiting her driveway, Mrs. Nelson suffered a seizure causing her vehicle to go out of control. The vehicle crossed over South Jenkins Road and went down an embankment and into a water retention pond.

Charles Ward, Robert Shoemaker, and Allen Goodin observed the vehicle in the water. The three men responded to the vehicle which was sinking. Without regard for their own personal safety, they entered the pond and swam out to the vehicle. Upon reaching the vehicle, they were able to pull Mrs. Nelson, who was still suffering the effects of the seizure, from the vehicle. Mrs. Nelson was brought ashore, and they tended to her until rescue’s arrival.
There is little doubt that without the quick thinking and actions of Mr. Ward, Mr. Shoemaker, and Mr.Goodin, this would have been a tragic day for Mrs. Nelson and her family. These gentlemen deserve to be recognized and honored as heroes.

Distinguished Service Award: Horacio Torres

On July 14, Mr. Horacio Torres observed Deputy Tucker in a foot pursuit of a male later identified as Geneus. Geneus was observed driving recklessly in the area of Orange Blossom Estates. He was travelling approximately 70 mph in a 25 mph zone almost striking several small children. Deputy Tucker attempted to conduct a traffic stop at which point Geneus bailed out of his vehicle and a foot pursuit began.

Mr. Torres observed the chase and without regard for his personal safety exited his vehicle and tackled Geneus, directly resulting in his apprehension. Geneus was subsequently arrested for possession of marijuana, driving while license suspended, reckless driving, and resisting without violence.

Mr. Torres is a great example of what can be accomplished when citizens work together with law enforcement to safeguard their neighborhoods.

Distinguished Service Award: Nicole Margerum

Nicole witnessed a man crouching by the front door of the All Star Grooming and Pet Supplies. The subject was wearing dark colored clothing and had in his possession a 1 ½ foot crowbar. When the subject saw Nicole, he fled the area.

Her curiosity led her to believe that the subject was trying to break into the business. She immediately notified 9-1-1 and provided them with the suspect’s physical description and direction of travel. With the help of the air unit and canine, the suspect was tracked and arrested.

Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: John Rouleau

Deputy John Rouleau has been with us since November 2002 and has been assigned to the Court Security since January 2007.

Deputy Rouleau brought an idea to light. Since court deputies do not have issued agency vehicles, it is difficult for the them to just jump in their vehicle and be ready to be deployed somewhere other than the courthouse. Hence the “GO BAG” idea was born.

Deputy Rouleau, garnering assistance from other deputies both in and out of the Section, was able to get the idea packaged and approved. The bags, which contain forms and equipment necessary, will allow a quicker and more complete deployment should the court security deputies be needed elsewhere. Deputy Rouleau came up with the idea, researched the products, and put together 35 sets, one for each deputy.

This is just one example of Deputy Rouleau’s resourcefulness. He regularly brings issues to light about safety and security in the court environment. He encourages fellow deputies to be on alert and assists supervisors in information processing and future needs assessments. He is one of the first deputies to always jump in where needed and who looks forward to new challenges. Deputy Rouleau is reliable and trustworthy and is truly dedicated to his job and agency.

Volunteer of the Quarter: Dorothy Vignuolo – Burke

Mrs. Vignuolo-Burke was a student in the Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Academy #6 in 2006. This past February Linda Smeykal’s volunteer, June, sadly passed away. Linda immediately thought of Dorothy, and she came to work two days later.

Did you think that Human Resources was the only unit that had a file on every employee? The Training Unit also has a file on every employee. Dorothy is working on updating all our folders and insuring all pertinent information is in the proper place and in the correct order. She’s completed the civilian folders and is now working on all the law enforcement and detention files.

When a new employee is hired Dorothy makes their folder and assures all the appropriate paperwork is included. Dorothy has put all the binders together for our upcoming Citizen’s Academy, uses the copy machine, computer, riso machine, distributes memos, organizes all training announcements and completes the monthly Training Bulletin. She was kind enough to donate her time for the past two Chili Cook Offs. Mrs. Vignuolo-Burke always comes to work with a big smile on her face and tackles all tasks with enthusiasm.

The Training Unit was lucky to find such a hard worker.

Detention Civilian of the Quarter: Samantha Graff

Samantha Graff has been working as a property clerk. While in this position, she led the entire Booking Unit in the number of releases processed. A few weeks ago, she was given a temporary duty assignment as the law librarian to fill a vacancy on short notice. Being dedicated to her home unit in booking, she continued to fill in overtime to help out, and she is still in the top three for the number of releases processed within the past year. While doing all this for the library and booking, she also fills in for the front lobby when asked.

Samantha’s work ethic is second to none. She will drop whatever she is doing to help the department as well as go wherever she is needed without complaint. She brings fun to the job, yet her no-nonsense approach keeps her work at the forefront. She has a very strong drive with dedication, seeking to become a deputy when the position is available; already taken the necessary steps to fulfill her goal.

Detention Civilian of the Quarter (1st Qtr 2009): Charles Strickland

Mr. Strickland has been an employee since March 2006 and is assigned to the detention lobby. He has suggested these ideas which have been implemented:

-  Self-inking stamps with different responses printed on them with the reason why mail is returned to sender. The self-inking stamps reduced the workload and improved efficiency in the work area.

- Installing two fax machines, one in the lobby/switchboard area and another in the attorney visitation area. This expedites the movement of inmates to the area in a timely fashion.

- Implementing a money release form for inmates being released from jail to have their money sent to them instead of waiting. Our Aramark manager commented “it is a wonderful suggestion because it reduced the traffic at the window while waiting inmates were there for checks.”

Mr. Strickland also trains new lobby clerks when needed. On numerous occasions, he has discovered contraband through the incoming mail.

In addition, Mr. Strickland has had no sick usage from his date of hire (2006) to present and is clearly an asset and a valued employee.

It is for these reasons we are recognizing Charles Strickland as Civilian Employee of the First Quarter of 2009.

Detention Deputy of the Quarter: Deputy Jason Meizinger

Deputy Jason Meizinger is a pro-active deputy. He continually assesses areas of officer safety and is dedicated to reducing the amount of contraband being spread throughout the facility.

On June 30, Deputy Meizinger was gathering inmates for bond hearing in the B3 housing unit. While being escorted out of the housing unit inmate Stephens asked Deputy Meizinger to secure his cell while at court. Inmate Stephens went on to say he had medication from the doctor in his cell, and he didn’t want anyone to steal it. Deputy Meizinger secured the cell and waited for the inmate’s return.

Deputy Meizinger believed that the inmate had items in his possession that would be considered contraband inside the facility. Upon his return Meizinger searched the cell of inmate Stephens and recovered a lighter and seven cigarettes that had been smuggled into the facility.

It is because of Deputy Jason Meizinger’s keen instincts and work ethic that these items were found and removed from the inmate population. It is because of incidents like this and his dedication to this agency that Jason Meizinger is being recognized as Detention Deputy of the Quarter.

Supervisor of the Quarter: Captain Pat Walsh

Captain Pat Walsh is one of the most fair, devoted, and compassionate supervisors in the Sheriff’s Office. In addition to her heavy workload, she maintains an open door policy. She is available to the clerks, deputies, sergeants, and lieutenants. Her close proximity to the front lobby makes her a quick access “fix all” for the disgruntled public. A job she takes on regularly, interrupting her normal work.

Captain Walsh does not have a secretary. Yet, she maintains the filing for the jail and handles all of her own incoming calls, many of which could be handled elsewhere. Captain Walsh is one of the most approachable supervisors. Her approach helps boost morale for those that serve under her. Many deputies will come to her with personal issues that they would not share with others. Captain Walsh understandingly listens and usually has an amicable solution that keeps everyone happy.

She has a unique supervisory style – much like a protective mother – someone that wants to see you succeed and someone you don’t want to let down. Captain Walsh always keeps the safety, liability, and morale of the jail employees in the forefront.

Life Saving Award: Deputy William Hedges

On May 30, Deputy William Hedges was conducting his morning headcount in B3. When he approached the cell of inmate Amin, he noticed the inmate was in distress. Deputy Hedges quickly called a signal 84 and began to obtain as much information from the inmate as possible.

During a quick scan of the cell, Deputy Hedges was able to see fresh blood throughout the cell and the toilet was filled with fresh blood. By this point, inmate Amin had collapsed and was in significant pain. Deputy Hedges escorted the inmate to the medical unit where he discovered the inmate had been stabbed the night before, prior to being arrested. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Deputy Hedges helped inmate Amin regain his composure and remained with him until he was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center.

Once at the medical center, inmate Amin was rushed into emergency surgery for internal bleeding and damage to his internal organs.

It is because of the quick response and attention to duty and detail, that Deputy Hedges prevented this from being a fatal incident.

Life Saving Award: Deputy Clifford Lamm

Deputy Lamm witnessed a juvenile inmate with a sheet tied around his neck hanging from the air vent. Deputy Lamm immediately left the control tower and entered the dorm and called in an attempted suicide. When he entered the cell, the inmate was hanging from the air vent and gasping for air. Deputy Lamm ripped the sheet from the vent and grabbed the inmate. The inmate was placed onto the floor. Deputy Lamm checked for a heartbeat. The inmate was almost out but came around. Medical arrived and assessed the inmate and escorted him to medical.

Because of Deputy Lamm’s quick response and level head, a tragic incident was avoided, we recognize Deputy Lamm with this Life Saving Award.

Life Saving Award: Deputy Jason Selph

On June 6, Kathy Archambeau (Detention civilian) was snacking on a stalk of celery when she suddenly started to choke. Deputy Jason Selph responded to the scene. As he walked into the classification unit at the jail, he saw Kathy struggling to breathe and that she was choking.

He quickly acted and started giving her the Heimlich Maneuver. Deputy Selph gave her the first thrust, nothing changed, then a second, still nothing. He then gave her a third thrust using a little more strength and she was finally able to take her first breath.

Thanks to Deputy Selph’s quick thinking he saved Kathy’s life.

Commendation: Deputy David Streeter

Nurse Canas has worked at the St. Lucie County Jail for approximately two years and during that time has witnessed Deputy David Streeter respond to several medical emergencies with professionalism and the authority that his past medic training has afforded him.

Deputy Streeter has also completed the CIT training and has been an asset in that area as well. He was able to recognize the erratic behaviors of an inmate in Delta East and immediately referred him to medical. The inmate was seen by mental health and subsequently housed in medical on psychiatric observations. The inmate in question has a history of acting inappropriately with violence.

Deputy Streeter was able to circumvent an incident arising by his observations and quick action. Deputy Streeter has volunteered his time to assist with the role-play portion of our recent CIT training class. His service is invaluable as it is difficult to procure individuals willing to commit the time necessary during the week, especially when it’s on their day off.

Deputy Streeter is a great asset to the Department of Detention.

Commendation: Dan Burkhardt, Chris Cheslock, Jose Estrada, Franklin Ferencz, Deborah Fleury, Michael Gargan, Scott Holshouser, Marguerite Joseph, Jason Meizinger, Kendall Mitchell, Troy Norman, Marisol Padilla, Michael Perez, Rob Petit, Steve Sessoms, Kenneth Smith, Stephanie Wile

On May 18, a total of 119 thirty mg. oxycodone pills were recovered from a female inmate. Here are the events leading up to the recovery of the pills:

At noon the emergency call button in dorm four, cell H, was activated. Deputy Joseph answered the call and an inmate said “there are drugs in the cell.” Deputy Padilla immediately went into the dorm and inmate Mayra was yelling that a girl was using drugs in her cell.

Deputy Padilla observed a white substance in between the toilet and the sink. Inmate Mayra told Deputy Padilla that inmate Alexis had come into her cell to use the toilet and removed an item that was considered drugs.

Sgt. Fleury was notified, and all other inmates were secured in their cells. Deputy Grandison evaluated and observed inmate Alexis due to an accelerated pulse and erratic speech. Sgt. Burkhardt collected the white power substance as evidence and testing to determine its origin. Deputy Grandison escorted inmate Alexis to the shower room in medical and a strip search was conducted.

A limited ERT call was initiated by Sgt. Smith at the direction of Lt. Wile to conduct a shakedown with canine. Deputies Norman and Petit arrived with their dogs. Results of the shakedown were negative. All inmates were thoroughly pat-searched. Detective Sessoms interviewed inmate Alexis and explained what she could be facing if she did not cooperate. The inmate turned over a pill bottle.

Inmate Alexis received added charges for attempting to smuggle a controlled substance into a correctional facility. She was returned to the medical unit for detox observations.

We commend these individuals for their professionalism and dedication to the safety and security of the jail. We also like to extend thanks to Troy Norma, Rob Petit and Steve Sessoms for their assistance with the investigation.

Distinguished Service Award (Aramark Staff): Tim Wilson

On June 25, canteen was delivered in Delta South. All dorms received canteen as ordered except dorm seven. Deputy Joslin spoke to the dorm to determine if any of the inmates had ordered canteen and found that several had placed orders.

Deputy Joslin spoke to Tim Wilson, Aramark canteen staff, and asked if he would look into the matter for him. Tim found that there were several orders that had been scanned and charged to various inmates in dorm seven but could not find the pick tickets for that dorm.

Knowing how important canteen items are to the inmates, and since the orders had been scanned, Mr. Wilson took it upon himself to pull the items, fill the orders, and deliver the canteen to dorm seven that same day.

We commend Tim for his effort. He went above and beyond. His actions were appreciated, not only by the inmates who benefited, but by the deputies working in that unit as well. Tim showed the true meaning of teamwork and his actions are very much appreciated.

Civilian of the Quarter: Marie Brazas

The desire to stay active and current in her job assignment and case law has resulted in Marie Brazas taking a pro-active role in addressing the agency’s need for information sharing, threat assessment distribution, and crime trend identification. Recently the Crime Annalist Unit was reduced to one person, yet Marie has continued to perform at an outstanding level.

Marie’s was able to assist Vero Beach Police Department and Fort Pierce Police Department by identifying wanted subjects on two separate occasions. Vero Beach Police Department was investigating an armed robbery where someone used an AK-47. When the request for information was sent out, Marie researched the information and was able to provide a possible identification of the suspect. This information proved to be accurate and an arrest was made.

In a similar instance, the Fort Pierce PD was investigating a burglary and sent out an information request. Based on the information provided, Marie was able to provide an identity and an arrest was made. Because of Marie’s knowledge and experience she has become the primary contact person in the region for Crime Analysis related issues.

Marie is a standout in all areas of job performance and presents a positive image of the members of the Sheriff’s Office. Marie’s attitude, initiative, motivation and professionalism have earned her the Civilian of the Quarter.

Detective of the Quarter: Andy Bolonka

Detective Andy Bolonka has been with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office for nine years and has been assigned to SIU since 2007. In 2008, Detective Bolonka began an investigation into a street level narcotics organization. He was able to infiltrate the organization by using an undercover officer to buy cocaine from one of the organization’s members. During this investigation, Detective Bolonka established that this organization was responsible for the distribution of over 10 kilos of cocaine a month in the Fort Pierce area. Specifically, it was responsible for the drug trade and income of the 29th Street Gang.

The source of supply for this organization was located and identified to live in Brevard County. In January, Detective Bolonka led a joint operation aimed at arresting and indicting all of the individuals involved in this cocaine distribution ring that stretched from Brevard to Martin County. During this operation all three of the main suspects were arrested in our county after making a three kilogram drug transaction at a residence.

Detectives then rounded up and arrested another 10 individuals. Detectives served 7 search warrants, seized $130,000, 11 luxury vehicles, jewelry, drugs and other items.

After the above, Detective Bolonka then identified the next level up in the organization. He established that an individual in Broward County was responsible for supplying South Florida with over 100 kilograms of cocaine a month. Andy discovered that several million dollars were changing hands on a monthly basis for the purchase of cocaine for this organization. The top source of the supply for this organization’s cocaine was coming from Haiti and organized by a Haitian male.

This individual had an elaborate and intricate organization responsible for smuggling money out and cocaine into the country. In May, 297 kilograms of cocaine was seized as it was brought into South Florida by the Haitian male. Five search warrants were served, five vehicles, large amounts of cash, jewelry and other assets were seized. Four more subjects were arrested in the case including the main supplier of cocaine.

All of the subjects arrested have been federally indicted and the case is currently moving to prosecution. This case was a tremendous success and it eliminated the distribution of over 300 kilograms a month into the South Florida area. Andy’s resolve and commitment was one of the driving forces behind the case.

Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Greg Farless

Deputy Farless has been with the agency since November of 1994. He has worked in CID, SIU, and patrol. A review of Deputy Greg Farless’ activity for the 2nd quarter is as follows:

2 – felony arrests totaling 5 charges
6 – misdemeanor arrests totaling 11 charges
20 – warrant arrests
15 – traffic citations
2 – written warnings
10 – correction cards
63 – verbal warnings
46 – criminal reports
54 – directed close patrols
25 – foot patrols

During the last three months, he has consistently maintained a high level of productivity. Deputy Farless has been instrumental in teaching and mentoring the squad’s newer deputies. Greg has acquired a talent for finding almost any person no matter of their persistence not to be found. He has been contacted by several different detectives throughout the Treasure Coast wanting his assistance in locating a person or persons wanted for a particular crime or even a hard to find person of interest.

During the second quarter, he arrested 20 persons with outstanding warrants while still responding to calls for service in his assigned zones. Those 20 individuals were wanted on 16 misdemeanor charges and 9 felony charges.

We thank Deputy Farless for a job well done.

Patrol Operations Deputy of the 4th Quarter 2008: Yulieth Ortiz

Deputy Yulieth Ortiz is assigned to Squad B. Her statistics for the fourth quarter are as follows:

24- felony arrests
25 – misdemeanor arrests
35 – traffic citations
24 – written warnings
7 – correction cards
36 – field interview cards
151 – self-initiated contacts

Deputy Ortiz is bi-lingual and frequently offers her assistance to other members of the agency with regard to language skills. In 2008, she obtained a confession from a Spanish speaking suspect in a sex crime against a child.
During December of 2008, Deputy Ortiz responded to Bentonwood Mobile Home Park in reference to a burglary. Deputy Ortiz conducted an investigation and identified four separate victims. As a result of her investigation, the suspect was arrested and over $2,600 worth of property was recovered. Deputy Ortiz is a team player and a vital asset to the Patrol Operations Division.

Exceptional Duty:
Captain Dave Thompson       Captain Mark Schimpf
Lt Diane Thompson                Sgt. Grant King
Lt. Charlie Scavuzzo                Sgt. Harry Wells
Sgt. Carl Muschweck              Sgt. Dave Brooks
Sgt. Scott Wells                        Sgt. Brian Hester
Det. Rich Young                       C.S.I. Donna Carmichael
Det. Sindi Garns                      Det John Parow
Det. Ron Wentz                        Det. Fred Wilson
Det Sue Woodward                 Det. Rob Barton
Det Neil Spector                       Deputy Michelle Hernandez
Det. Jeff Buchanan                  Det. Angela Flowers
Det. Billy Chapman                 Det. Rusty Russell
Det. Deron Brown                    Det John Horowitz
Det. Steve Wise                        Det. Drew Soesbe
Det Archie Lasolomon            Det. Jennifer Waters
Det Rob Pettit                            Det. Santiago Martinez
Det. Rob Valentine                   Det. Troy Norman
Det Robert Graff                       Det. Scott Young
Det Greg Farless                     Det. Chris Jadin
Det. Romualdo Arizpe             Deputy Gary Morales
Det. Brett Wilkes                       Master Deputy Rick Stuhr
Deputy Pat Ivey                          Deputy Fred Fernandez
Marie Brazas                              Melissa Sangster
Michelle Nesmith                      Det. Steve Sessoms

On October 13, 2006, a motorist traveling the Florida Turnpike on his way to work spotted something lying in the grass. This motorist thought it was a person and stopped to see if they needed help. What the motorist found was the bodies of the Escobedo family. They had all been killed.

This case saw the start of 24-36 hour days, no days off for over a month, traveling all over Florida, Texas and Mexico to investigate leads, digging through 40’ long garbage dumpsters looking for evidence, issuing subpoenas, writing search warrants, reading through piles of tips, making phone calls, interviewing witness, and all other manner of investigative techniques.

Members of CID and SIU assisted in around the clock surveillance of the suspect. Marie Brazas and Melissa Sangster were invaluable in preparing photo lineups, running criminal histories and backgrounds on hundreds of subjects. Michelle Nesmith answered numerous phone calls with people providing tips. She correlated this and typed them into a database so detectives could access them. Other deputies spent hours on wiretaps listening and translating Spanish. The members of CID, SIU, and Road Patrol put their professional and personal lives on hold to investigate this horrific crime with one goal in mind, to bring to justice the killer(s) of the Escobedo family.
The investigation identified four suspects from the West Palm Beach area. They were identified as Danny Varela, Richardo Sanchez, Daniel Troya, and Liana Lopez. The investigation showed they were trafficking in large amounts of cocaine that originated in Mexico.
January of 2009 saw the start of the federal trial against all four suspects. The trial resulted in guilty verdicts on all four. All received life sentences in federal prison with Sanchez and Troya receiving the death sentence for killing the family.

The demands of the case, highlighted by these members, demonstrate their dedication to their job, their work ethic, and their due diligence in bringing these suspects to justice. They have brought honor and acclaim to themselves and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

Commendation: John Parow

Detective Parow is currently assigned to the Crimes Against Persons Unit and is responsible for investigating cases in his assigned work area. In addition to his assigned duties, Detective Parow also forensically examines electronic devices taken during the course of investigations conducted by other members of this agency.

Last year, he volunteered to attend an out-of-state five week class wherein he received specialized training to analyze computer hard drives, cellular phones and other electronic devices. Along with the training came the obligation to provide this service to federal entities in our area. During the last quarter, he completed the following analyses: 10 total cases, 21 hard drives, 4 other media (thumb drives, disks, cameras and similar devices), 11 cellular phones.

Detective Parow has put in countless hours conducting forensic analysis. The forensic analysis of electronic devices could easily be a full time assignment. Detective Parow has willingly accepted this additional responsibility. This is in addition to the 36 cases he handled this month.

We thank him for a job well done.

Commendation: Keith Pearson

Deputy Keith Pearson learned of a theft that occurred at U-Vista Court. A bright orange pull-behind rototiller was taken from the victim’s property. Deputy Pearson was not directly involved with this case and did not write the original report. He later learned a witness saw a white dodge truck in the area at the time of the theft.

The next day, the Fort Pierce Police Department responded to the Delaware school bus compound where a white truck was seen loading brake drums. The local scrap yards were notified of the truck and suspect descriptions. A salvage company called to report the suspect vehicle was there with the brake drums. Deputy Pearson responded in an attempt to speak with the subjects but missed them. The salvage company provided a tag number and suspect name to Deputy Pearson.

Deputy Pearson spoke to Detective Jadin about the incident. Deputy Pearson believed we could possibly solve our case regarding the rototiller from the information gather at the salvage company. Deputy Pearson went back to the salvage yard and located a large pile of bright orange cut up metal. He learned that the item had been brought in by the same suspects who brought in the stolen brake drums. The owner of the rototiller identified the pile of cut up metal as his rototiller.

The next day Deputy Pearson located the suspect’s white truck. Four suspects were interviewed and taken to jail for the theft. Deputy Pearson went above and beyond on this case assisting CID.

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