VIDEO: Sheriff’s Awards Honors Outstanding Work

By  //  May 26, 2014

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ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Sheriff Awards Ceremony – Watch this special feature honoring the outstanding accomplishments of the men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey: “Together we stand with our community with one mission – to make Brevard County a better place for all.”

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA — Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his Command Staff  hosted the annual Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremony at the Church at Viera.

Each year, hundreds of deputies, employees and volunteers come together with their families, along with leaders of the community, to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments throughout the year.

IVEY-120913-180-2“I have been truly blessed to be a part of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for the past year and to witness the incredible achievements of the remarkable men and women of this agency, some of which we will be recognizing tonight,” said Sheriff Ivey.

“You will hear a common theme throughout the following recognitions: Team Player, Teamwork, Team – a theme I am extremely proud of because it represents absolutely everything your Sheriff’s Office stands for. We are a team, no member is more important, no unit is more important, together we stand with our community with one mission – to make Brevard County a better place for all.”

Deputy of the Year: Agent Michael Spadafora

Agent Michael Spadafora has literally rescued countless children from a living hell, from locations around the world, most from places where they should feel safe, within their own home. He does so, day after day, night after night, but you will never see his picture in the paper or in the news.

Agent Michael Spadafora

Agent Michael Spadafora

Spadafora has a very unique skill set, he hunts those that prey on our children. He uncovers those that seduce and victimize our children.  He brings them from the shadows to face justice. His heart and soul are completely committed to the protection of children, and unfortunately, there are far too many monsters out there.

His actions are heroic and dangerous. He often performs his own undercover activities, pitting himself against those who violently abuse others.  All for one common purpose – to ensure that every child he rescues will never be abused, exploited or victimized again.

Courage Award: Deputy Dan Thrush

The Courage Award honors an agency member who is committed to the safety and welfare of others, while protecting and serving the citizens of Brevard County despite the most difficult of personal circumstances.

Deputy Dan Thrush

Deputy Dan Thrush

Deputy Dan Thrush began his career with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in January 1996 as a Patrol Deputy, and in 1999 was assigned to the Motor Unit.  Anyone who knows him knows that the two great loves of his life are his beautiful wife and being a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Motor Unit. He is a Police Motorcycle Instructor and has participated in countless escorts, including presidential motorcades over the years.

To most, Deputy Thrush is known for his daily demonstration of being a consummate professional, his teamwork, his friendship. He is willingness to help others, displaying empathy for his fellow man.

What most of you probably don’t know is that for the past several years, he has been fighting a courageous battle against cancer.  He never speaks of his pain or hardship, set-backs or treatments.  If you ask him how he’s doing, you’ll always get a smile, see a twinkle in his eye and hear him say, “One day at a time… How are you and your family doing?”  His courage and perseverance in the face of adversity is an inspiration to all who know him.  He confronts each new obstacle with strength, motivation and a remarkable sense of humor and grace.

Lucy Ross Award: Crew Supervisor Kurt Kolczynski

Kurt Kolczynski has positively impacted the lives of over 5,000 Brevard County children, serving for the past 13 years as the president of Brevard County’s Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization.

Kurt Kolczynski

Kurt Kolczynski

In this unpaid position, Kolczynski oversees 12 youth football leagues, scheduling and supporting over 500 regular season games, 30 playoff games and eight Super Bowl games, as well as scheduling and coordinating referees and volunteer support staff. He is personally responsible for meticulously supervising the management and allocation of funds, facilitating support efforts, and overseeing contracts for referees and vendors.

Kolczynski is also responsible for reviewing the validity of certifications for referees, coaches and volunteers to ensure the safety and well-being of the children. He leads by example, ensuring sportsmanship, teamwork, positive conduct and self-esteem of both the participants and parents.

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Lucy Ross Award winner Crew Supervisor Kurt Kolczynski, left, and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Kolczynski also volunteers as the Master of Ceremonies for the Annual Cheerleading Event and Competition, entertaining hundreds of Brevard County’s cheerleaders and their families at each event.

He supports the Bright Futures Scholarship program by organizing and assigning volunteer assignments for Brevard County schools, documenting hours and actively mentoring seven of Brevard County’s “at risk” students by serving as their advisor for educational, financial and college planning. Kolczynski also serves as a liaison between college recruiters, student athletes and parents.

Kolczynski actively participates in the Sheriff’s Office Shop with a Cop program, ensuring that children, whose families who are experiencing hardship can receive a very Merry Christmas. Additionally, he volunteers his time as co-driver for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Christmas Parade float for parades in Titusville, Merritt Island, Port Saint John and Palm Bay, sharing the joy of the Holiday season countywide, and the Handlebars for the Holidays Bike Give-Away resulting in over 190 children in need receiving bicycles, helmets and locks for Christmas.

Citizen of the Year: George Taylor, Sr.

This award is for someone who is not a member of BCSO, but who is recognized for the incredible work he/she has done within the community.

George Taylor, Sr.

George Taylor, Sr.

“Tonight’s ceremony has been dedicated to all those who either have, or continue to serve in our military, and our next honoree fits that bill,” said Sheriff Ivey.

“As many of you know, one of my heroes is General George Patton, and one of his favorite quotes was, “L’audace L’audace toujours L’audace,” which translates as, “Audacity, Audacity…always Audacity!”  Audacity is courage, bravery, mettle…Guts!

“When I think of our Citizen of the Year, George Taylor, Sr., those are the words that come to mind.”

Taylor joined the Army at 17, serving in the 82nd airborne for two years and extending his service to be a paratrooper.  In April 1969, just 19 years old, he found himself in the jungles of Vietnam.  For over a year he cleared the jungle paths and secured the front lines.

In April of 1970, he came home, but the war had taken its toll, and his mind was full of combat and distress.  In those days, PTSD was barely spoken of, or even acknowledged.  Like many others who came home suffering, he just wandered…for years.

Citizen of the Year George Taylor, Sr., left, with Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

Citizen of the Year George Taylor, Sr., left, with Sheriff Wayne Ivey. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Twenty years later, he eventually accepted help from family, he was one of the very first veterans treated at the VA center in Miami for PTSD.  After receiving treatment, he began to understand the nature of the illness and wanted to help others, working for the advocacy of homeless veterans. He knew that his story, the story of a young man seeking purpose and a position of honor by supporting his family, his community and his country, only to find the horrors of war, the humiliation of PTSD, and a country that couldn’t understand.

In the years that have followed, Taylor has fought loudly for our homeless heroes, so loudly that the country started to pay attention. His voice brought help and awareness, led to positive legislation, always presenting veteran affairs as a top priority.

In March 2008, he founded the non-profit organization National Veterans Homeless Support, Inc. after considering the staggering data from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, which identified there were over 1,200 homeless veterans living in the woods and parks throughout Brevard County.  With amazing support from the community, Taylor and the NVHS have set new sights on a way to help transition our homeless veterans back into society.

“This man had the audacity to make it happen,” said Sheriff Ivey.

Volunteer of the Year: COP Vince Wilson

A caring, dedicated and outstanding citizen are only a few adjectives that can be used to describe Vince Wilson, this year’s Volunteer of the Year.  Wilson committed his entire life to make our world a better place.  His actions have truly defined and established the standard for a volunteer.

Vince Wilson

Vince Wilson

Originally from England, Wilson settled in Florida and began volunteering immediately with the Grant Volunteer Fire Department and Grant Community Club where he personally assisted in the construction of the Club buildings.  As member of the Loyal Order of Moose since 1970, he was key in fundraising efforts and for the “Tommy the Moose” concept, where stuffed animals are provided to Sheriff’s Deputies for children in need.

Our Volunteer of the Year has been an active volunteer for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office “Citizen Observer Patrol” program, working in the Grant/Valkaria area for the past six years.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey congratulates Citizen Observer Patrol (COP) volunteer Vince Wilson on his 90th Birthday. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey congratulates Citizen Observer Patrol (COP) volunteer Vince Wilson on his 90th birthday last year. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Staffing the front desk of South Precinct, Wilson was the first person the public met every Monday.  On Friday’s he could be found patrolling in the COP squad car.  During 2013, he supported the citizens of Brevard County by volunteering 418 hours in only eight months, all at the tender age of 90.

In October of 2013, our Volunteer of the Year moved on to serve in another capacity.  Wilson was incredibly dedicated, sharing his love and friendship with all.

For these reasons and many more, we present the 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award posthumously to Vince Wilson.  Accepting on his behalf was his beautiful wife Geraline.

Partnership Award: Denise Postelweight

The Partnership Award recognizes an individual who through their efforts has built partnerships and relationships between agencies to enable and assist those in their time of need.  This year’s recipient, Denise Postelweight, has long been involved in serving Brevard County.

Denise Postelweight

Denise Postelweight

She has served on the Executive Board of the Police Athletic League for the past six years, most recently participating in the selection process for the new Executive Director.

When the sheriff asked for a volunteer to spearhead a non-profit charity concept to benefit First Responders who are experiencing personal hardship, Postelweight provided the drive and expertise necessary for the development and implementation.  She then provided the guidance and support during the six-month process to gain non-profit status for the Brevard County Charities. Fully functioning, this charity can now help those that commit their lives to serving others wile experiencing hardships and circumstances beyond their control.

Whether assisting at risk children or preparing a new pathway to give help to our first line defenders, Postelweight’s compassion and caring for others is being recognized tonight.

Reserve Deputy of the Year: Frank Flake

Frank Flake came to the Reserve Unit after an honorable and distinguished career with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Frank Flake

Frank Flake

His retirement from full time status did not slow him down one bit.  Flake’s dedication to the agency and the community is just as strong.  He can be counted upon any time his services are needed and the training and mentorship he provides to the unit is second to none.  Flake’s years of experience and leadership have proven absolutely invaluable.

Flake is both an outstanding member of the Reserve Unit and an incredible asset to our agency and citizens.

Communications Officer of the Year: Regina Oliver

Regina Oliver was selected because of her involvement in two incidents this year.  In the first incident, Oliver was commended for the handling of a call where a woman and her son were severely beaten with a baseball bat.

Regina Oliver

Regina Oliver

Due to the critical injuries, the caller thought she was going to pass her out, but Oliver kept the victim actively engaged in conversation with her calm and compassionate demeanor.

In the second incident, Oliver was recognized for her keen observations after she noticed a coworker had received two high priority calls at once.  She immediately jumped in to take over one without prompting or delay.

Oliver regularly lends herself to peers as a source of information and strives to be an expert in the scope of her duties. She personifies the term team player and is recognized throughout the Communications community as being the ”best in the business.”

Employee of the Year: Laura Cline

Analyst Laura Cline began working for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in 1998.  In 2005, she became a member of a new, elite unit designed to register and track sexual offenders and predators.  The re-allocation of analytical personnel to the precincts combined with the unexpected resignation of another analyst left this employee not only as the only analyst in the SORT Unit, but the only analyst to support the entire Criminal Investigative Services.

Laura Cline

Laura Cline

This personnel shortage did not stop the daily stream of offenders and predators who are statutorily required to register. Cline continued to provide this important service, as well as analyze the required information for the three databases that are updated on each offender and provide information to municipalities, the state and our investigators to ensure that each offender I s properly verified.

The dedication and professionalism displayed by Cline during this trying period is greatly appreciated.  Her responsibilities and duties are always completed timely and effectively, in a manner that exemplifies exceptional performance.

Without Cline’s experience and dedication to duty, offenders and predators could have fallen through the cracks and evaded verification with the ability to reoffended children in our community.

Corrections Deputies of the Year: Corporal Jason Brimm and Corrections Deputy Barre Taylor

Jason Brimm

Jason Brimm

Barre Taylor

Barre Taylor

While off duty, Brimm and Taylor witnessed a disturbance at a local retail store.  They observed what was a dangerous situation for not only the store employees involved, but for innocent shoppers in the store and those in parking lot, and they didn’t hesitate to take action.

Brimm and Taylor are extremely proactive in the jail and no one was surprised to learn that they are as alert when off duty as they are on duty.

Meritorious Awards

Agent Chris Cardinal, Agent Jay Church, Agent Troy Deavers, Agent Kristen Fettes, Deputy Jeremy Hart, Agent Ethan Kersey, Deputy Chase Jicha, Corporal Robert Manley, Agent Joseph Martin, Sergeant Frank Sarivola, Deputy Kyle Scott, Deputy James Simon, Deputy Mark Spencer, Agent Adam Steuerwald, Sergeant Rob Vitaliano and Agent Jason West

Deputy Jeremy Hart and Corporal Robert Manley

Last February, Corporal Robert Manley and Deputy Jason Hart responded to an apartment in Cape Canaveral after receiving a call that a woman had cut her throat.

Corporal Robert Manley

Corporal Robert Manley

The deputies were immediately directed to a 2nd story apartment by the victim’s husband who told them that his wife had attempted suicide.

When they entered the apartment, Deputy Hart and Corporal Manley found the woman lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood, the wound on her neck still bleeding.  Deputy Hart attempted to place pressure on the deep neck cuts, but the woman actively resisted, screaming that she wanted to die.

The female was air lifted to Holmes ER where she underwent emergency surgery.  Were it not for the quick actions by Cpl. Manley and Dep. Hart in rendering aid to the victim, there was a very real possibility of death. Both deputies remained calm and professional while tending to the victim.

Deputy Kyle Scott

Last May, several schools in Port St. John were victims of multiple burglaries, thefts and criminal mischief. North Precinct deputies were asked to conduct walking patrols of the schools in order to prevent further criminal activity.

Deputy Kyle Scott

Deputy Kyle Scott

On Wednesday, May 30th at approximately 2222 hours, Deputy Kyle Scott and another deputy began a foot patrol of Space Coast Jr./Sr. High. After walking the property for approximately 30 minutes, Deputy Scott located an open gate and noticed the lock had been cut.  Additional units were called to assist, but Deputy Scott knew there may be a very short window of opportunity to put an end to this crime spree.

Deputy Scott directed another deputy to maintain position by the open gate on the northwest side of the school. He then activated the emergency lights on his patrol vehicle parked on the south side, hoping to make any suspects believe there was a deputy positioned there. He then went to the northeast corner of the school near the cafeteria.

While securing that position, Deputy Scott observed two suspects fleeing with black bandannas covering the lower half of their face, carrying backpacks and wearing gloves.  One had a three foot pry bar in his hand. These two individuals were addressed by Deputy Scott at gunpoint and taken into custody without incident.  Inside the backpacks were pry bars, a drill, screw drivers, gloves, and various property the pair had taken from throughout the school.  Both were carrying knives.

A check of the school showed numerous doors had been pried open and the pair had spent some time in the cafeteria consuming food and beverages meant for the students.  Both suspects admitted to not only this incident, but also to the previous burglaries of Space Coast Jr. / Sr. High School and Enterprise Elementary.

Deputy Scott’s keen observation skills and quick thinking were instrumental in capturing the suspects. During their interviews the suspects said they had planned to flee south, but saw the flashing emergency lights from Deputy Scott’s unoccupied vehicle and instead chose to leave out of the northeast exit, directly into Deputy Scott’s custody.

Agent Jay Church and Agent Adam Steuerwald

Last July, Agent Steuerwald initiated an investigation into a heroin dealer. During the course of the investigation, Agent Church was introduced to the suspect. As the investigation developed, it was determined that the suspect was dealing in large quantities of heroin.

Agent Steuerwald contacted the DEA who decided to join the investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, a search warrant was initiated on the suspect’s residence which yielded 7.2 ounces of heroin, with a street value of approximately $50,000.00. The suspect was arrested and prosecuted federally for numerous drug trafficking crimes.  The actions of Agents Steuerwald and Church also led to the seizure of two vehicles, cash, and property valued at approximately $25,000.00 dollars.

Agent Troy Deavers

Last May, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a citizen who reported that she had received a sexually explicit photograph of a four-year-old girl through a text message.  The reportee did not know who the text message came from and did not know who the female child was.

Agent Troy Deavers

Agent Troy Deavers

Forensic agents diligently searched for evidence, carefully extracting the data.  Agents were able to identify the email account that had sent the image, and were even able to determine where the photo was taken.  A search of the email account through Facebook linked it to a suspect.

With this information in hand, Agent Deavers worked around the clock.  He learned additional information about the male using the email that distributed the pornographic image.  He found the suspect’s school and determined that he had a younger sister who, from the many pictures online, appeared to be the same child in the pornographic image.

Agent Deavers confirmed the suspect’s address and that he had a sister the age of the child in the photograph. Agent Deavers then obtained and conducted a search warrant the following morning.  The suspect then confessed to molesting his four-year-old sister as well as taking pornographic images of her and distributing them.  The suspect had actually typed in the wrong phone number, which had led to the reportee receiving the image. The victim’s parents were unaware of the terrible abuse that was occurring.

A wrong number dialed in the evening hours of May 17th led to a search warrant being served and the end of the abuse of a young child on the morning of May 18th.  That’s how an effective team works!

Agent Jason West

Last February, Deputy Jason West located a person of interest in a Titusville Police Department Murder Investigation. The individual was a known methamphetamine producer who had been sought by the Titusville Police Department since December 2012. Deputy West arrested the person for driving on a suspended driver’s license as a habitual traffic offender.

Agent Jason West

Agent Jason West

During an inventory search of the vehicle, Deputy West located a .45 caliber handgun, ammunition for the handgun and a white plastic cylinder containing methamphetamine.  Realizing the potential importance to the Titusville Police Department’s homicide case, Deputy West delayed interviewing the person of interest and transported him to the Sheriff’s Office North Precinct so the Titusville Police Detectives could interview him.

After Titusville Police Detectives finished their interview, Deputy West obtained a sworn statement from suspect.  Deputy West subsequently developed additional probable cause and was able to charge him with the possession of methamphetamine, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and the possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

Titusville Police Detective Jeremy Gonzalez would later state to Major Andrew Walters that he was confident that the actions of Deputy Jason West helped bring closure to a brutal homicide. Detective Gonzalez and the Titusville Police Department also congratulated and recognized Deputy West’s actions in efforts.

Agent Kristen Fettes and Agent Adam Steuerwald

Last October, Agent Steuerwald learned that a source in the County Jail could provide details on a subject who was transporting marijuana from Colorado to Florida in large quantities. Agent Steuerwald utilized Agent Fettes and Agent Hupfer in an undercover capacity to further develop the case.

During the course of the investigation, Agent Fettes and Agent Hupfer were able to coordinate a drug transaction for 70 pounds of marijuana. The suspect in the case wished to complete the transaction in the state of Colorado where his source was located and then distribute the drugs to distributors in several states.

Agent Steuerwald worked quickly with law enforcement in Colorado to have one of their Agents assume the role Agent Hupfer had played during the investigation. Colorado law enforcement agents worked cohesively with our agents and were able to conduct a buy bust with the suspect which led to the seizure of 70 pounds of marijuana, $23,000 in US currency, two guns, and eight arrests.

The investigation also established probable cause for two search warrants in Brevard County, which lead to the arrest of a second suspect and the seizure of additional marijuana.

Sergeant Frank Sarivola, Deputy Chase Jicha, Deputy James Simon, Deputy Mark Spencer

Segeant Frank Sarivola

Segeant Frank Sarivola

Last April, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service from a woman who reported that her boyfriend threatened her with a handgun and then fired three rounds into the kitchen wall in their residence.

Members of East Precinct Delta Squad immediately began to formulate a plan to initiate a perimeter around the residence as other deputies met with the victim to gather details of the events that had just transpired.

Deputy Chase Jicha

Deputy Chase Jicha

The woman stated that her boyfriend had been drinking, was in possession of a handgun and had pointed the handgun at her and then at his own head prior to firing three rounds in the kitchen wall.

While the woman was explaining what had happened, her boyfriend called her cell phone.  A deputy answered the call and asked the boyfriend to step outside and speak with waiting deputies.  During a series of conversations, the boyfriend indicated that he would not exit the residence without his firearm in hand.

Deputy James Simon

Deputy James Simon

Eventually the man said he was going to exit the residence and this information was relayed via radio to all of the units on scene.  Moments later, the man exited the residence, still in possession of the handgun, walked to the driveway and pointed the handgun in the direction of deputies.

Deputy Mark Spencer

Deputy Mark Spencer

For their safety and the safety of others, Sergeant Frank Sarivola, Deputy Chase Jicha, Deputy James Simon, Deputy Mark Spencer, and Deputy Richard Lemons responded to the threat of deadly force with deadly force.

East Precinct Delta Squad was confronted with a high risk call for service that resulted in a deadly force situation.  No deputy ever wants to be put in such a situation, but when it did happen, you called upon your training and experience.

Agent Joseph Martin

On the evening of Friday, August 26, 1988, Benjamin Reapp reported that he and his wife were the victims of a kidnapping at the Mr. Donut in Cocoa. According to Reapp, the couple was forced to drive to a desolate area of Canaveral Groves where the kidnapper restrained Reapp and brutally murdered his wife, Wanda, disposing of her body in a canal.

CSI-COLD-435-3

The investigative efforts of BCSO Agent Joseph Martin finally led to the indictment of Benjamin Reapp on April 30, 2013. He was indicted and charged with First Degree Premeditated murder in the murder of his wife, Wanda Reapp. (BCSO image)

After the murder, the alleged kidnapper drove from the area, leaving Reapp, who was able to walk to a residence, where the Sheriff’s Office was contacted.

The initial investigation into this crime was quite lengthy, however, all leads were investigated and eventually the trail went cold. Several times over the next 20 years, agents reopened the case file in an attempt to identify the killer. Each time the trail came to a dead-end and the case returned to an inactive status.

During March 2010, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit Cold Case Agent Joseph Martin began reviewing the case. For the past three years, Agent Martin, along with other members of the Homicide and Crime Scene Units, compiled physical evidence and conducted multiple interviews. Throughout the investigation, evidence continued to point to the involvement of the decedent’s husband.

Agent Joseph Martin

Agent Joseph Martin

Agent Martin began an investigation into the life of Benjamin Reapp. This investigation would continue through April of this year. Agent Martin meticulously researched financial records, marriage records and insurance policies. He re-interviewed family members and witnesses, travelled to prisons and interviewed former cellmates of Reapp, who was incarcerated on a charge unrelated to the homicide.

Agent Martin then began coordinating efforts and reviewing evidentiary findings with prosecutors from the State Attorney’s Office. The investigative efforts of Agent Martin finally led to the indictment of Benjamin Reapp on April 30, 2013.  He was indicted and charged with First Degree Premeditated murder in the murder of his wife, Wanda Reapp.

Without the dogged determination of Agent Martin, this case might still have remained unsolved. Few investigators would have the combination of investigative savvy, determination and resolve to stay the course for the period of time this case took to put together the pieces of the puzzle.

Sergeant Robert Vitaliano

Last July, the members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of the Sheriff’s Office partnered with nine other member agencies from around Central Florida in an operation aimed at identifying and arresting people who were using the Internet to find underage children for the purpose of having sexual relationships.

Sergeant Robert Vitaliano

Sergeant Robert Vitaliano

The Operation spanned a six day period and resulted in the arrest of eleven individuals, nine of whom traveled from their homes to the target location to have sex with a minor.

We’ve all seen these type of operations on television and how shockingly successful and definitive they can be.  But what we don’t see is the incredible planning that goes into making them a success.  Without the efforts of Sergeant Rob Vitaliano and Senior Staff Assistant Jean Palmer to design and coordinate the logistics, none of this would have come to fruition.

They used grant funds to obtain a location, arranged hotel accommodations for traveling agents, obtained donations of food and beverages for agents working around the clock, and scheduled personnel to reduce the need for overtime.

An incredible amount of effort went into the organization of the operation, and for his efforts, Sergeant Vitaliano is awarded a Bar of Merit.

Agent Chris Cardinal and Agent Ethan Kersey

Last February, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a business concerning the theft of a 31 foot vessel valued at approximately $225,000.00. Deputies responded to the scene and initiated a theft report which was forwarded to West Precinct GCU.  Due to the nature of the theft, the Ag/Marine unit was closely involved in the investigation.

Agent Chris Cardinal

Agent Chris Cardinal

A few days after the theft, the business owner provided video footage that captured the suspects and their vehicle stealing the boat during the early morning hours of February 26th.  The poor quality black and white footage was shown to Corporal Keith Grosse.  Remarkably, Corporal Grosse was able to recognize some details about the suspect vehicle, conducted a traffic stop on it later that afternoon and contacted the case agent, Ethan Kersey.

There was not enough probable cause to arrest the suspects at that time, but Agents Kersey and Cardinal spent the next two months investigating this crime and the theft of two other high performance boats.

Agent Ethan Kersey

Agent Ethan Kersey

The investigation culminated with the arrest of two subjects and warrants issued for an additional two suspects, all of which are involved in an organized boat theft ring operating out of south Florida.

This theft ring has been operating out of south Florida for many years and has been responsible for millions of dollars in high performance boats and vehicle thefts. As a direct result of this investigation, approximately $500,000 worth of stolen boats and vehicles were recovered and several additional suspects were identified, which has led to additional cases being solved statewide.

The dedication and tenacity of the employees involved in this investigation not only solved several local cases, but has developed new leads and suspect information to assist other agencies with similar cases throughout the state.

Life Saving Awards

Deputy Craig Adelman, Retired Sergeant Mike Brown, Deputy Jeremy Flake, Deputy Daniel Genova, Deputy Jorge Lopez, Deputy Luke Pearson, Retired Corporal Charles Primmer, Deputy James Roemer, Deputy Paulette Stewart, Deputy Scott Stewart and Deputy Danielle Stitt

Deputy Luke Pearson and Deputy James Roemer

Last February, Deputies Pearson and Roemer responded to a residence in Merritt Island when a woman called to say she found her boyfriend unresponsive in the bathroom.

Deputy Luke Pearson

Deputy Luke Pearson

The deputies arrived to find the man lying on the bathroom floor without a pulse.

Deputy James Roemer

Deputy James Roemer

They dragged him out of the bathroom and into the living room where they performed CPR for approximately five minutes until Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived on scene and assumed medical treatment. The man regained a pulse and was transported to the Hospital.

Once at the Hospital, it was determined that man suffered a massive heart attack and had to undergo a heart procedure. The prompt response and action displayed by Deputies Pearson and Roemer saved the man’s life.

Deputy Jeremy Flake and Deputy Daniel Genova

Last February, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an unresponsive man at his Port St. John residence.

Deputy Jeremy Flake

Deputy Jeremy Flake

Deputy Jeremy Flake and Daniel Genova found the victim seated in an electric wheelchair, slumped over, unconscious, with no pulse.

Deputy Daniel Genova

Deputy Daniel Genova

Working together, they removed him from his chair and placed him on the floor where they could perform rescue services.

They both began CPR and initiated the AED.  The AED was used, at which time the man began breathing and a pulse was revived. They then continued providing aid until Fire Rescue arrived. The man made a full recovery from the incident, but if it were not for the actions of Deputies Flake and Genova, he surely would have expired.

Deputy Jeremy Flake, Deputy Jorge Lopez and Deputy Scott Stewart

Last March, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a vehicle that drove into a retention pond in Melbourne.

Deputy Jeremy Flake

Deputy Jeremy Flake

Deputies Scott Stewart, Jorge Lopez and Jeremy Flake were on duty and in the area conducting training exercises for a class they were participating in.

Deputy Jorge Lopez

Deputy Jorge Lopez

According to witnesses at the scene, the driver was still inside.  All three deputies entered the water to rescue the elderly driver. At this point, the vehicle was continuing to sink and the water was now up to the driver’s face.  The three deputies were able to free the driver and bring her back to shore safely.

Deputy Scott Stewart

Deputy Scott Stewart

Deputies Scott Stewart, Jorge Lopez and Jeremy Flake acted quickly without regard to their own personal safety.

As a team, they quickly assessed the situation, entered the water and rescued a person who was facing imminent peril. If it were not for the actions of these deputies, the circumstances surrounding this incident would have been tragic.

Retired Sergeant Mike Brown

Last April, Sergeant Mike Brown and a fellow deputy were having dinner at a Melbourne restaurant when Sergeant Brown’s attention diverted to an elderly male sitting nearby. The man appeared to be choking on something he had swallowed.

Sergeant Mike Brown

Sergeant Mike Brown

Sergeant Brown quickly approached the man and attempted to determine the subject’s condition. The man indicated he was choking by using hand gestures and was obviously in distress.

Sergeant Brown immediately administered quick blows, using an open hand, to the man’s back in an attempt to dislodge the object.  When this action was unsuccessful, Sergeant Brown pulled the man from his seat and administered the Heimlich maneuver.  On the third abdominal thrust, a large piece of food dislodged from his throat and was expelled. He immediately took a deep breath and began to cough. After a few moments he was able to breathe normally.

The man later explained he had a medical condition that causes him to have a difficult time swallowing. While eating his meal, a piece of food became lodged in his throat. He advised he could not breathe and does not know what he would have survived if it had not been for Sergeant Brown. He and his wife expressed their gratitude multiple times for Sergeant Brown’s actions. Many of the other customers in the restaurant also responded with a round of applause for Sergeant Brown.

Retired Corporal Charles Pfrimmer

Last June, Cpl. Pfrimmer responded to a vehicle crash on I-95 . The initial dispatched call advised that a vehicle was observed leaving the roadway, overturning, and appeared to be upside down in a ditch. Fortunately, Cpl. Pfrimmer was nearby.

Corporal Charles Primmer

Corporal Charles Pfrimmer

Upon arrival, Cpl. Pfrimmer observed that the vehicle was upside down in a water filled ditch. He ran to the vehicle to check for possible occupants and injuries. As he got to the vehicle, he heard faint calls for help coming from inside the partially submerged vehicle. Cpl. Pfrimmer waded into thigh deep water and attempted to open the driver’s side door, discovering it was jammed. Cpl. Pfrimmer then moved to the passenger side where he was able to force that door open.

When Cpl. Pfrimmer looked inside the vehicle he saw that the driver was trapped upside down in the driver’s seat. The driver’s head was submerged under water and he could not breathe. Cpl. Pfrimmer was able to reach into the vehicle and hold the driver’s head slightly above the water level. He then used his utility knife to cut the seatbelt, allowing extra mobility for the driver’s upper body, however, the driver remained pinned within the vehicle.

Cpl. Prrimmer remained inside the vehicle, holding the driver’s head above water until Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived and freed the driver using the “Jaws of Life” to cut the vehicle away enough to remove the driver.  If not for Cpl. Pfrimmer’s quick actions, the driver would certainly have drowned in the vehicle.

Deputy Craig Adelman

Last September, Deputy Craig Adelman, responded to a residence in Cocoa regarding a man who had been found unresponsive in the shower.

Deputy Craig Adelman

Deputy Craig Adelman

Deputy Adelman entered the residence with his agency assigned AED in hand and was directed to the bathroom of the residence, where he observed a male laying half in the shower and half on the floor. Deputy Adelman quickly pulled the male to a flat surface in the bathroom and attached his agency issued AED, but no shock was advised and CPR was initiated.

Deputy Adelman worked with the another resident to perform chest compressions and rescue breathing until Fire Rescue arrived and transported him to the hospital.  The man required a heart procedure, which was successfully completed.

Deputy Danielle Stitt

Last July, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a report of CPR in progress on a six-year-old child. The child had been found unresponsive in a pool at an apartment complex. Dep. Danielle Stitt responded to the scene and retrieved her AED.

Upon her arrival on the pool deck, Dep. Stitt quickly took control of the scene. Dep. Stitt conducted a quick assessment of the child’s condition and determined the need for continued CPR. Deputy Stitt began CPR and efforts to revive the child, performing life saving actions until BCFR arrived.

Deputy Stitt remained with the child on scene until she was transported to the Hospital, followed BCFR to the hospital, and then stayed with the child until she was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital. At the hospital, Dep. Stitt met with the victim’s mother, providing a comforting presence while maintaining a calm professional demeanor for the family. Dep. Stitt’s quick actions and calm demeanor during the incident were critical to keeping the six year old alive until advanced medical care was able to be provided.

Sadly, the child passed away at Arnold Palmer Hospital, but Deputy Stitt’s actions are heroic nonetheless.

Deputy Paulette Stewart

Last October, Dep. Stewart responded to a Cape Canaveral apartment regarding an unresponsive female.  Deputy Stewart found the female on her bed not breathing.  Dep. Stewart pulled her off of the bed and onto the floor where she began CPR.

Deputy Paulette Stewart

Deputy Paulette Stewart

Dep. Stewart continued performing CPR until BCFR arrived on scene. BCFR continued medical treatment and the woman started to breath.

It was learned that the woman, who has a heart condition, had accidently taken methadone that was prescribed to her daughter, causing her to become unresponsive. Deputy Stewart’s actions are credited for saving the woman’s life.

Communications Officers of the Month

Sara Arias, Amanda Barber, Nicole Bernhard, Antonio Berrios, Marsha Guido, Regina Oliver, Monica Pettit and Nicole Tarbox

911-GRAPHIC

BCSO 911 Communications Officers are usually the first contact for our citizens in an emergency. They are trained to gather critical information as quickly as possible.

This requires a very unique skill set. They must multi-task during the most chaotic of circumstances.  They must be able to communicate with strength, clarity and compassion. The are the voice offering help, direction and relief at a caller’s lowest point in life. Selecting monthly winners is no easy task, as there are many submissions each month covering a variety of calls received and dispatched in an outstanding fashion.

Officers are evaluated based on the manner they handle emergency situations and the compassion and professionalism they demonstrate.”

January: Communications Officer Antonio Berrios

Communications Officer Antonio Berrios received a 911 call regarding an armed robbery and obtained a partial tag for the suspect vehicle. He then ran the tag with numerous variations and successfully identified the correct tag.  Because of his diligence and tenacity, deputies were able to respond to the suspect’s residence and make an arrest.

February: Communications Officer Nicole Tarbox

During the month February Communications Officer Tarbox stepped up to assist other employees on multiple occasions when they needed assistance. She has shown herself to be a great team member who never hesitates to help others.

March: Communications Officer Antonio Berrios

On March 14th, while working a primary radio channel, Tony answered a 911 call that sounded like an armed robbery to a business. He was able to take pertinent information from a pregnant victim who was hysterical that a gun had been pointed at her. He ascertained that it was, in fact, not a robbery, but a domestic disturbance in which the male pointing the gun at the victim was her ex-boyfriend.

Tony was able to keep the victim calm, obtain the information responding deputies needed, all after a rifle had been pointed at her head while threatened she was going to be killed. His professional handling of this difficult call facilitated a successful arrest of the violent suspect.

April: Communications Assistant Shift Supervisor Sara Arias

Sara was training a new employee while dispatching East Precinct radio when an armed domestic disturbance call was received. The deputies that responded to the dispatched call were then invoked in an officer involved shooting.  Sara quickly took control of the radio and ensured that all the communications were recorded in the CAD comments. She maintained a calm and professional demeanor on the radio throughout the call.

May: Communications Officer Regina Oliver

On May 5th, while working telephone intake, Communications Officer Oliver answered a 911 call from a female who advised she had been battered with a baseball bat. Regina ascertained that the victim knew the suspect and that the suspect had also battered her 9 year old son.

There were a total of three children home at the time of the attack. Regina immediately notified her supervisor, ensured an ambulance was en-route to the residence, maintained telephone contact until assistance arrived on scene, all while gathering pertinent information.

June: Communications Officer Amanda Barber

On June 24th, while working West Radio, Communications Officer Amanda Barber Amanda handled 4 priority 1 calls in a 3 1/ 2 hour period. The calls consisted of a robbery to a store, an armed home invasion, a vehicle burglary with suspects detained on scene and a prowler call with someone knocking on the victim’s windows.  Although she is a fairly new addition to Communications, Officer Barber handled the calls with the ease of a veteran dispatcher.

July: Communications Officer Regina Oliver

On July 6th, while working a primary radio channel, Communications Officer Regina Oliver’s coworker was working another primary radio and answered a 911 that turned out to be an in-progress verbal disturbance.  While landline with that caller and dispatching a primary radio, the co-worker received an in-progress residential burglary.

Without being asked or prompted, Regina took over the disturbance phone call and kept the call updated. This freed up the other radio operator, allowing her to concentrate on the now 2 in progress calls on her screen. Regina embodies the spirit of teamwork through her willingness to step in and help her coworkers.

August: Communications Officer Antonio Berrios

On August 28th, while working the telephone position Communications Officer Berrios received a call from a newspaper delivery person who wanted to report suspicious activity. Berrios recorded the information given to him in a timely manner transmitting the call to the radio in less than 3 minutes. He remained on the line with the caller and updated the CR as information was provided to him. Suspects were eventually located and arrested for Burglary and Theft.

September: Communications Assistant Shift Supervisor Sara Arias

On September 9th, while working phone intake, Assistant Shift Supervisor Arias answered a 911 call reference a subject threatening to commit suicide. The man had a gun and was threatening to shoot himself in front of his wife and children in a park with other families around.

Sara directed the wife to stay calm for the children, to make sure she had the children in a safe area, and if possible, to advise others to get to safety. Sara didn’t hesitate, even when the wife screamed and cried out that the male pulled the trigger in front of her and several others at the park. She stayed on the telephone and updated the call with important information for the responding deputies.

October: Communications Officer Marsha Guido

On October 17th, while working South precinct primary radio, Communications Officer Marsha Guido handled a call involving a subject shooting into a vehicle. She handled all the radio traffic while simultaneously coordinating efforts with the West precinct radio operator. As the call progressed, she took over to expedite the exchange of information. Her efforts directly led to the apprehension of the suspect.

November: Communications Officer Monica Pettit

Communications Officer Monica Pettit has demonstrated a incredible sense of community service. In August she collected school supplies and delivered them to needy children.  In November, she organized a collection of toys for donation to the Children’s Home Society of Brevard.  During both of these events, she engaged and challenged her coworkers to participate.  Monica’ s caring and giving nature has a positive impact on the community that we serve.

December: Communications Officer Nicole Bernhard

On December 29, 2013, Communications Officer Nicole Bernhard received a 911 call regarding a robbery that had just occurred.  She was able to calm the caller and obtain the information she needed, and then initiate the call within 45 seconds.

Nicole then stayed on the phone with the caller and updated the call with descriptive information until the deputies arrived on scene.  This call was the first in progress robbery call that Nicole had ever received as she was still in the training program, having only been hired the previous month.

Employees of the Month

Gloria Brinson, Laura Cline, Lisa Connors, Jimmy Fielding, Kurt Kolczynski, Amy Moody, Mary Moseman, Jean Palmer, Kaitlin Pill, Tina Ringfield, Cheryl Sink, Jessica Vanatta, Angela Weber and Angela Williams

January:  Senior Staff Assistant Jean Palmer

As mentioned earlier this evening, a CIS operation targeting child predators required an incredible amount of planning an organization to culminate successfully.

Senior Staff Assistant Jean Palmer

Senior Staff Assistant Jean Palmer

For her efforts in that operation, Senior Staff Assistant Jean Palmer is being awarded a Bar of Merit.

Jean was additionally recognized for her efforts in spearheading a massive reorganization of the Criminal Investigative Services building, including construction and electrical work, all while completing her assignment as Senior Staff Assistant and her previous roll as Staff Assistant to the Special Victims Unit until her replacement could be hired.  She is a tremendous asset to to the agency.

February: Jail Records Manager Jessica Vanatta

Jail Records Manager Jessica Vanatta was nominated for her attention to detail and most especially for her verbal and written skills at explaining sometimes extremely complex situations to judges, judge’s assistants, Veteran, Outreach Specialists and others outside the corrections community.

I could stand here and list all of the wonderful things Jessica has done and continues to do, but here is just one example:  An inmate, after his arrest was discovered to have a critical illness and was in need of immediate medical treatment.

With the intervention of Jessica Vanatta, the inmate was released on a medical furlough so that he could be moved to Shands Medical Center in Gainesville to receive the medical treatment that he critically needed, but was unable to obtain locally. This action not only saved the taxpayers many thousands of dollars, but ensured the individual received the specialized care needed.

March: Crime Scene Investigators Kaitlin Pill and Lisa Connors

Youth sports provide teenagers an avenue to develop, to connect with others, mature, and above all else, use those skills to contribute to their community. Positive peer relationships between young people are encouraged through physical activity and coaching is considered a key aspect of how to encourage the best from our future.

In 2009, Crime Scene Investigator Kaitlin Pill began coaching lacrosse on her off duty hours at several club teams within Brevard County. She was joined in this community activity the following year by CSI Lisa Connors. Their passion for the game of lacrosse began when they helped establish and played on a club team as roommates at West Virginia University.

In an effort to expand the opportunities for young women to compete in a sport and gain the satisfaction of representing their school, CSI’s Pill and Connors used this experience in 2011 as they spearheaded the effort to convert the Lacrosse Club Team to establish a Merritt Island High School varsity team.

The was a long process, as they spent countless hours petitioning and attending meetings with the Florida High School Activities Association to establish lacrosse as a varsity sport in Brevard County. Their efforts paid off when Merritt Island High School joined four other high schools in the county to field the first season of varsity lacrosse.

There are now 10 high schools in Brevard County with lacrosse teams that provide an opportunity for hundreds of girls to compete in the sport and gain valuable lessons from sportsmanship to competing as a team.  This successful effort was the direct result of interest, determination and commitment by CSI Pill and CSI Connors.

These two coworkers and friends did not stop with that success. They continued to contribute to the sport and the young athletes involved by volunteering their talents as coaches.  During the Lacrosse season, which runs from February through May, CSI Pill and CSI Connors attend and contribute daily, travel to the matches throughout Brevard County, and attend and participate in fund raising events.

All of the aforementioned activities are done on their own time, this is truly remarkable, with a job assignment that demands so much.  Providing our youth with structure, respect, and team building is a result of their passion. They are valued mentors, providing a positive image of real life role models!

I know many of you in this room have been influenced by a High School sports program, as a result, you understand the importance of effort and commitment by the many volunteers and coaches like Kate Pill and Lisa Connors.

April: Senior Staff Assistant Amy Moody

In 2011, Amy Moody obtained her FDLE Instructor Techniques certification and has done an outstanding  job over assisting our Career Development unit by creating lesson plans and providing instruction to our personnel. Additionally, she has created Instructor Guides and a Power Point presentations for 6 different programs which she has instructed.

Amy facilitated more than a dozen agency-wide classes during 2013.  Always displaying a positive ”can do” attitude and willingness to assist to benefit the agency.

May: Analytical Support Specialist Laura Cline

You’ve heard several times tonight about the successful CIS operation conducted to identify and arrest child predators.  Laura Cline, along with her fellow analysts, provided a tremendous amount of assistance during that operation by taking limited information such as a screen name or email address to identify a suspect.

Knowing everything possible about a suspect is very important to ensure the safety of the surveillance and take down teams. Identifying potential safety concerns or previous charges lows the agents to obtain the arrest and search warrants needed to secure evidence, prevent destruction and support a successful prosecution.

Laura’s primary job since she joined Criminal Investigations has been in the SORT Unit, handling the registration and tracking of sex offenders, but those who know her will tell you she does so much more. Approximately 130 sex offenders register at CIS on a monthly basis, which is the important responsibility normally shared by two analysts.

However, in June, Laura’s partner analyst moved on to a new career, leaving all SORT responsibilities to Laura.  At the same time, the four analysts assigned to the Analytical Support Unit, previously assigned at CIS were reassigned to the respective Precincts. With these personnel changes, Analyst Cline took on all analytical responsibilities for CIS.

During the year, Analyst Cline performed exceptionally. She assisted investigators, provided an exemplary work product, identified suspects, researched criminal histories, subpoenaed records all while maintaing the registrations.

June: Crew Supervisor Kurt Kolczynski

In addition to the wonderful things you heard about Kurt earlier this evening, he provided an expertise in accomplishing several high-visibility projects, which resulted in a savings to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in excess of $20,000 during the month of August. He used his knowledge and skills as an independent contractor to completely refurbish the Work Farm’s tool shop roof using funding that was created from recycling refuse into scrap metal.

Additionally, he saved thousands of dollars through the refurbishment of a farm utility vehicle, installed the plumbing for the irrigation system used to irrigate the vegetables for Jail consumption, and built a hydroponic growing station for vegetables, which expanded the farm’s production capabilities.

As you can see, Crew Supervisor Kolczynski’ s expertise, dedication and positive attitude have made him a “go to” Crew Supervisor. He continually provides his expertise and mentorship to other crew supervisors to assist in their projects as well.

July: Crew Supervisor Mary Moseman

In 2013, Crew Supervisor Mary Moseman “adopted” 10 homeless families using her personal funds to provide each with food, clothing, water and presents for the children.

She volunteers her time to raise money and support for the “Shoes For The Needy,” and cooks and serves meals to homeless veterans.  She volunteers weekly at the Shepherd’s Closet Thrift Shop, personally collected and delivered donated clothing and toys in support of the Toys for Tots and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren’s Holiday programs, and even dressed up as the Easter Bunny to visit nursery schools and nursing homes.

If there is ever an event that needs a volunteer, I can guarantee,  you will see Mary’s smiling face there. Crew Supervisor Moseman also uses her position as an opportunity to provide daily mentorship to the incarcerated female inmates assigned to her work crew, which has directly contributed to an increase in their self-esteem and independence and most importantly, successful return to society.

The awards committee received three nominations for Mary this year.  Two were for the wonderful things that Mary continues to do on a daily basis to better the lives of everyone around her and the third was for her attention to detail where she thwarted the attempted introduction of dangerous contraband into the Jail Complex.

While supervising her inmate trustee work crew, Crew Supervisor Moseman overheard inmates talking suspiciously about an area that they provide labor services.  Based on her instinct, experience and training, she immediately notified her supervisor of her suspicions, believing that a contraband drop was being planned. She redirected her crew to another project so her supervisor could search the suspected area for contraband. Due to Crew Supervisor Moseman’s situational awareness, several items of contraband was located, preventing the introduction.

August: Account Clerk Gloria Brinson

On August 28, 2013, while counting and verifying money envelopes to prepare the funds for a banking deposit, Accounting Clerk Gloria Brinson discovered thirteen $100 currency notes that were suspicious, felt different and appeared to be counterfeit. She placed the suspect bills in the money counter which verified that the bills were suspect.

She then verified that the bills were counterfeit, removed the $1300 from the booking deposit, thus saving a potential agency loss. The counterfeit bills were returned to the arresting officer for additional charges to be placed on the individual responsible for the introduction of the bills into the facility.

September: Patrol Support Specialist Angela Williams

Angela Williams was recently assigned to a new Patrol Support Specialist position at North Precinct. Part of Angela’s job description is to review and process administrative paperwork and case reports completed by our Uniform Patrol Deputies.

On August 5th, Deputy Andrew Johnson initiated an investigation into a stolen cell phone at a discount beverage store in Mims.  The initial report contained limited suspect information; however, surveillance video was captured at the business.

Deputy Johnson and the other members of North Precinct were unable to identify the suspect captured in the surveillance video, thus the case was referred back to patrol pending further developments. On August 6th, Angela was processing Deputy Johnson’s case report and took it upon herself to read the entire case report, which is not required in her job description. Angela became suspicious when she read the description of the suspect’s vehicle.

Angela is well established in North Brevard and knows a number of residents.  Angela accessed the surveillance video, identified the suspect and delivered the information to the deputy’s attention.

Deputy Johnson immediately continued his investigation and was able to establish sufficient probable cause. Additionally, the victim’s cell phone was recovered and returned to the victim because of Angela’s efforts.

Angela is very passionate about serving the citizens and the Deputies at North Precinct. Without her dedication and exceptional service, this case would have remained pending and  unsolved.

October: Media Specialist Cheryl Sink and Crew Supervisor Jimmy Fielding

Last October, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office implemented the inaugural Brevard Jailbreak Adventure Race on the grounds of the Brevard County Jail Complex. This 5K race was a fundraiser for the United Way and Crosswinds Youth Shelter. The event drew over 650 competitors and raised over $50,000 for these worthy not for profit organizations.

Watch out for the bloodhounds and SWAT team. You don’t want to get detained in the holding cell! The event will be held at the Brevard County Jail Complex, 860 Camp Road in Cocoa. (See map below)

Last October, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office implemented the inaugural Brevard Jailbreak Adventure Race on the grounds of the Brevard County Jail Complex. This 5K race was a fundraiser for the United Way and Crosswinds Youth Shelter. The event drew over 650 competitors and raised over $50,000 for these worthy not for profit organizations.

The success of this event was the due to the dedication and commitment of many BCSO employees and volunteers. Months of planning and coordination went into the event.

Cheryl Sink, without question, was the single most driving force behind the Jailbreak Adventure Race. She secured the event registration site and monitored and planned the event. She coordinated race day registration with volunteers from the United Way and Crosswinds.

Cheryl was charged with the production of a promotional video to promote the event. She tirelessly assisted other committee members with tasks above and beyond those assigned to her. All told, the success of this event is largely due to her outstanding contributions.

Corrections Officer David Buonocore provided the boots on the ground support from day one in the construction and clearing of the race course. With little more than three months to complete, CO Buonocore directed crews to map out and construct a challenging race course with little no budgeted funds.

Media Specialist Cheryl Sink, center, and Crew Supervisor Jimmy Fielding, left, receive their awards from Sheriff Wayne Ivey. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Media Specialist Cheryl Sink, center, and Crew Supervisor Jimmy Fielding, left, receive their awards from Sheriff Wayne Ivey. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Together with Crew Supervisor Jimmy Fielding Sr., a heavily wooded area was transformed into an adventure race track in very short order.  There is no way this course could have been completed without the assistance of Crew Supervisor Fielding.

As a result of their hard work on the Jailbreak Adventure Race, Jimmy, Cheryl, David and Deputy Maria Fernez will be receiving Community Service Bars.

November: Corrections Deputy Angela Weber

(Angela was selected Civilian Employee of the Month for November for her actions prior to becoming a Sworn Corrections Deputy.)

August 16th, a female inmate was received into booking that had caused a disturbance during transport after being arrested by the Palm Bay Police Department.  Once in the Jail, she continued to be disruptive and was placed in a court holding cell away from other inmates.  Correction Technician Weber noticed the inmate attempting to cut her wrist with an unknown object and immediately notified Correctional Staff. While being interviewed by staff, the inmate continued using her fingernails to pick at her wrists saying she wanted to die.

As a direct result of Correction Technician Weber’s training, awareness, and quick response, she immediately recognized an emergency situation, took immediate action, therefore stopping the Inmate from further harming herself.  Her actions prevented an incident that could have had a very different outcome.

December: ID Supervisor Tina Ringfield

In August 2013, Tina Ringfield began her employment with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office as the Supervisor of the Identification Unit. Supervisor Ringfield brought with her an abundance of experience in the realm of fingerprints.

ID Supervisor Tina Ringfield

ID Supervisor Tina Ringfield

When she accepted the job of supervising the Identification Unit, she did so with an understanding the Unit was backlogged in cases. To help define the term backlog, there was approximately twenty-three hundred, or approximately three years of cases.

Supervisor Ringfield accepted the challenge and responsibility of working to rid the Unit of the extensive backlog. During her first four months (September-December), she made significant changes and improvements in the operation of the Identification Unit in both report writing and analysis, which directly resulted in an approximate 60% savings of the examiner’s time on each case assigned. This enabled the unit to close 1,803 cases in a four-month period.

Due to the improvements implemented by Supervisor Ringfield, the backlog of cases in the Identification Unit have been significantly reduced and the turnaround time for new cases has greatly improved.   For her efforts, Supervisor Ringfield is being awarded a Bar of Merit.

Corrections Deputies of the Month

Donald Bernier, Christine Bisbee, Jason Brimm, Robert Brown, John Cabrera, John Courtney, Michael Ingram, Jason Lewis, Mark Orndoff, Antwan Price, Noel Remillard, Vere Samuel, April Strother, Barre Taylor and Corinne Viscardi

January: Corrections Deputy Jason Lewis

On February 2, 2013, Corrections Deputy Jason Lewis was performing his duties in the booking room and began the receiving process of an inmate into the jail. He stepped out to the booking sally port, asked the Inmate if he had anything on him such as drugs, needles, piercings or anything he should not be bringing into the jail.

The inmate said no and Corrections Deputy Lewis began the pat down search.  The inmate, who had a history of narcotics possession, was wearing multiple layers of clothing, so Corrections Deputy Lewis decided he would escort him to the changing room.

The inmate appeared very nervous and started sticking his hands near the front of his pants. He was then asked to remove his pants and shirt and to change into a jail issued uniform. Deputy Lewis noticed as the inmate attempted to conceal something within his underclothing.

As Deputy Lewis continued to address the inmate, he could see items within the inmate’s underwear.  Through Deputy Lewis efforts, he located several items of drugs that had been concealed by the inmate.

The inmate was then charged with additional charges of possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell, introduction of contraband into a correction facility and possession of drug paraphernalia.

February: Corrections Deputy Christine Bisbee

On January 12, 2013, Corrections Deputy Bisbee was performing her duties in the booking room when she learned that an inmate had been arrested previously in another state. During processing she remembered that this inmate’s warrant check came back with no warrants or wants.

She rechecked the file and discovered that this inmate indeed had an FBI number. Using this information, Deputy Bisbee received confirmation that there was an active no-bond warrant for the defendant in New York.

March: Corrections Deputy Donald Bernier

On January 10, 2013, the Cocoa Police Department brought in a female suspect.  A Rapid Identification check and AFIS verified a different first name, same last name and a similar date of birth.

Corrections Deputy Donald Bernier immediately conducted a warrants check with negative results, but discovered she was currently released on felony community control. Cocoa Police Department was notified who placed additional charges on the inmate. With Corrections Deputy Donald Bernier diligence, the correct person was identified and charged.

April: Corporal John Courtney

Big John!  Corporal Courtney has been a great influence for many Corrections Deputies and others on his shift. He has proven himself to be a leader and has organized a physical fitness program for his coworkers. This included Supervisors, Corrections Deputies, Corrections Technicians, Nurses, and Kitchen Staff.  He is always there to motivate and push the group to fitness, health and success. The more motivated he became, the more motivated the group became.

Corporal Courtney is a tremendous asset to the agency and his leadership is very much appreciated.  We just wish he could have motivated the Bucs to have as successful when he played for the Tampa Bay!

May: Corrections Deputy Mark Orndoff

Last March, Corrections Deputy Mark Orndoff was assigned to Pod 500. He later received an inmate into the dorm who had been to court and was scheduled to be released on Community Supervision later that day. After looking at the inmate’s face and the picture on his floor card, Corrections Deputy Orndoff remembered a Police Department BOLO issued earlier in the month.

It stated he was extremely suicidal and will utilize any means necessary to attempt to die or commit suicide by way of provoking an officer’s response.  After reading this information and recognizing that the individual was now an inmate in his dorm, Corrections Deputy Orndoff notified his supervisor, Corporal Wood. Corrections Deputy Orndoff also recommended that the Inmate be screened by Mental Health.

Mental Health responded immediately and determined that prior to arrest, the Inmate had recently attempted suicide. The Inmate was placed on Direct Watch for mental health evaluation.

Corrections Deputy Orndoff is commended for his outstanding attention to detail.  He took precautions to prevent a potential suicide attempt of an inmate.  His observations also led to his assisting Mental Health in providing needed assistance to this inmate.

June: Corporal Noel Remillard and Corrections Deputy Michael Ingram

In April 2013, Sheriff Ivey instituted a “Chain Gang” program at the Brevard County Jail to help deter crime. The program consists of eight inmates who must meet strict classification criteria in order to work off site. Under the supervision of Corrections Deputies, the chain gang work crews provide manual labor throughout the county.

In order to get this program underway, Corporal Remillard and Corrections Deputy Ingram were selected to spearhead the implementation supervision of the chain gang program, bringing it from a concept to reality.

The trustees spent many hours practicing cadence skills and demonstrating self-discipline. Since the conception of this program, they have been assigned numerous cleanup details throughout the county, in addition to accomplishing a visible deterrence against crime.

July: Corrections Deputy Barre Taylor and Corporal Jason Brimm

On May 31, 2013, Corporal Brimm and Corrections Deputy Taylor were off-duty and entering the Titusville Business.  As they approached the entrance, they noticed a struggle between the loss prevention officer and a man attempting to leave with a cart full of unpurchased items.

Corporal Brimm identified himself and displayed his badge in an attempt to stop the man from fighting, but the would-be thief refused to comply. Corporal Brimm and Corrections Deputy Taylor then assisted in trying to restrain the man who was violently resisting.  The man struck Corporal Brimm with a closed fist to his face several times and struck Corrections Deputy Taylor in the chest with his elbow.

Corporal Brimm and Corrections Deputy Taylor restrained the suspect until a Titusville Police Officer arrived and then assisted him with handcuffing and detaining the man.  The incident was recorded by the Walmart video security system. The suspect was taken to the Brevard County Jail where he was charged with several crimes, to include Grand Theft and Battery.

August: Corrections Deputy John Cabrera

For the past two years, Correction Deputy Cabrera has been spending at least one evening a week helping children as a Police Explorer Associate Advisor for the Titusville Police Department. He is involved in organizing and supervising activities for teenagers and young adults ages 13 thru 21 in the Titusville Police Department Explorer program.

In addition to the weekly meetings, John also leads the Explorers in a 3 day training session held throughout the state 3 times a year and a week-long competition held once a year.  Not only is John’s work personally benefiting the Explorers, but also the City of Titusville through civic event and function support throughout the City.

John mentors and supervises the Police Explores with duties such as traffic control, security details, fingerprinting, traffic stops, traffic accidents, first aid, crime scene and crisis intervention.

John averages over 800 hours of community service with the Police Explorer program. John is mentoring these young people to become responsible citizens within our community and helping them become future Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and members of our Armed Forces.  John volunteers his time because he truly cares!

September: Corrections Deputy Vere Samuel

Corrections Deputy Vere Samuels has served as an assistant or head coach of the girls and boys soccer teams for Astronaut High School since 2004. This is a volunteer position, which he has invested numerous hours of his personal time for the development of youth by teaching athletic and teamwork skills.

When speaking with Deputy Samuel about the teams, you immediately understand that winning games is not the most important message; it’s about teaching our youth to be winners in life.

In 2008, Corrections Deputy Samuel was selected as the Assistant Director of the non-profit organization “Youth United for Christ”. This organization encourages young people to strive for spiritual and educational excellence as well as community services. They select and reward outstanding efforts with financial scholarships as well as commendations for their achievements.

Throughout the years they have hosted youth summits, workshops, and made three mission trips to Haiti to distribute shoes and clothing to the children of Haiti.  Deputy Samuel spoke with his fellow employees concerning the essential needs of the children and adults in Haiti to encourage donations and support.  He also organized a golf tournament to raise funds for scholarships and awareness for future mission trips.

In 2013, Corrections Deputy Samuel has also been volunteering his time assisting with support for the Children’s Home Society of Florida. A letter from Christa Griffin, Resource Development Specialist for the organization detailed the incredible amount of time that Deputy Samuel has spent coordinating a team of volunteers needed for the many events. Ms. Griffin stated that he is always the first volunteer to arrive and the last one to leave, demonstrating his commitment to giving back to his community and the value he places on serving those in need.

Corrections Deputy Samuel’s willingness to volunteer his time speaks volumes about the type of person he is. He is truly a servant to those in need just as he is a servant to the citizens of Brevard County every day.

October: Corrections Deputy Antwan Price

On August 24th, Corrections Deputy Price was assigned to the 200 Pod and was assisting with a search in A Cellblock when he discovered pills surreptitiously hidden within a bag of sugar. The medication was a controlled substance that was not prescribed to the inmate. After being questioned, the inmate admitted that he had gained possession of the medication from another inmate who had been prescribed the medication.

Corrections Deputy Price was in the final phase of completing his field training. Even though He was a new employee, the thoroughness in which he performed this shakedown resulted in the location of potentially harmful contraband that was well-hidden and could have been easily overlooked.

November: Corrections Deputy Corinne Viscardi and Corrections Deputy April Strother

On October 10th, Corrections Deputies Viscardi and Strother responded to booking control to assist a co-worker who was having a seizure. They did not hesitate to jump into action when they realized the need for assistance.

They alerted the booking nurse, cleared the area, placed blankets around her for protection and remained with her to reassure and calm her during the traumatic event.  While waiting for her to be transported, they continued to help keep their co-worker and the work area as calm and relaxed as possible.

December: Corporal Jason Brimm and Corrections Deputy Robert Brown

On December 7th, Correction Deputy Robert Brown was assigned to the 300 Pod as a “Rover.”  His duties included supervising Maximum Security Inmates with telephone calls, showers, feeding, medical security, mail, and legal correspondence.

In this housing unit, the Alpha and Bravo cellblocks house administrative and disciplinary confinement inmates. Within these two cellblocks, inmates are let out of their assigned cells, one cell at a time.  During showers, telephone usage and cell clean up, the corrections deputies keep a log and work from one cell to another conducting their daily operations.

Some inmates are classified as double restraint. These inmates are restrained before they exit their cells. During shower, telephone and recreational activities, one of their hands is freed from the double restraint to shower or use the telephone.

As Correction Deputy Robert Brown and Corporal Jason Brimm took a double restraint, maximum security inmate to use the telephone. The inmate refused to comply with directions. Several more orders were given by Correction Deputy Brown and Corporal Brimm to end the conservation, hang up the telephone and return to his cell. The inmate still refused and challenged the correctional deputies by telling them they would have to use their department issued chemical agent and spray him to get him off the telephone. Several more orders were given and the inmate still refused.

Corporal Brimm then attempted to end the call by hanging up the telephone receiver. The inmate then blocked the telephone and pushed Corporal Brimm away, turned and attacked, using his one free unrestrained hand to strike Corporal Brimm several times in the face with a closed fist. As Corrections Deputy Brown attempted to restrain the inmate, he was struck in the face by the inmate, breaking his glasses, cutting his face, and causing him to temporarily loose vision in his left eye.

As the corrections deputies and inmate fell to the ground, the inmate was able to climb onto Corporal Brimm, straddling him, using his leg irons to pin Corporal Brimm’s legs, and his restrained arm to hold Correction Deputy Brimm to the floor and striking him several more times in the face with closed fist punches.

Corrections Deputy Brown, was able to reengage the inmate, apply bursts of his department issue chemical agent onto the inmate giving Corporal Brimm an opportunity to break free. Corporal Brimm was then able to gain control of the inmate ending the attack on the two corrections deputies.

Correction Deputy Robert Brown was immediately treated by the Jail’s Medical Staff and then transported to a Medical Facility outside the Jail for further treatment of his eye injury.  He has also been awarded a Wound Bar as a result of this incident.  For his actions, Corporal Brimm was awarded a Bar of Merit.

Deputies of the Month

Marlon Buggs, Greg Darville, Kirk Geweniger, Kraig Hupfer, Keith Grosse, Richard Lemons, Laura Lytle, Tom Mulligan, Daniel Ogden, Matthew Preston, Jerry Shealy, Ronald Smith, Michael Spadafora, Nicholas Walker and Justin Wood

January: Deputy Justin Wood and Deputy Matthew Preston

On January 3rd, 2013, the Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a vehicle crash in the area of Stadium Parkway and Wickham Road.  As more information was provided it appeared that one of the vehicles drove into a nearby pond and its occupants had become trapped inside as the vehicle became submerged.

Deputy Justin Wood

Deputy Justin Wood

Deputy Justin Wood arrived on scene and observed the driver of the vehicle being rescued by two other citizens.  He immediately entered the water in an attempt to rescue the remaining passenger who was still inside the vehicle.

Deputy Wood was assisted by an Airman who saw the scene and stopped to help.  Deputy Matthew Preston arrived a short time later.  By this time, the car was completely submerged in approximately eight feet of water.  The two deputies and airman worked together, searching underwater, in hopes of retrieving the passenger.

Deputy Matthew Preston

Deputy Matthew Preston

The water was very cold and murky, making the rescuers depend on their touch rather than sight.  The Airman was able to reach inside the passenger compartment and determine that the occupant was still seat belted in the front passenger seat.  He then cut the seat belt which allowed Deputy Preston to remove the passenger with the assistance of Deputy Wood.  The elderly female passenger could not be revived and was subsequently pronounced deceased.

These deputies, without hesitation, reacted quickly to the circumstances and immediately rendered aid in an attempt to save the life of another. Their actions were recognized by the citizens at the scene who assisted with the rescue and the emergency personnel who assisted thereafter.

February: Agent Thomas Mulligan

On January 27, 2013, while working an off duty security detail at a local restaurant, Agent Tom Mulligan was alerted by the restaurant staff that a patron was down and unresponsive. Agent Mulligan immediately went to the aid of the victim, who was unconscious on the floor, and quickly realized he was not breathing and had no pulse.

Agent Thomas Mulligan

Agent Thomas Mulligan

Agent Mulligan began chest compressions while directing the staff to call 911.  Agent Mulligan then performed single person CPR until the arrival of Fire Rescue personnel because no one else in the restaurant was able to assist.

The victim was transported to Parrish Medical Center and recovered from what assuredly would have been a fatal heart attack if it were not for the quick actions of Agent Mulligan.

In addition to receiving a Life Saving Bar and February Deputy of the Month, Agent Mulligan received one of the highest rewards possible.  The victim contacted Agent Mulligan and personally thanked him for saving his life.

March: Corporal Keith Grosse

You heard earlier this evening about the hard work of Agent Ethan Kersey and Agent Chris Cardinal in shutting down a ring of boat thieves around the state.

Corporal Keith Grosse

Corporal Keith Grosse

The successful conclusion of that case came about from the amazing instinct and observational skills of Corporal Keith Grosse who was given a grainy black and white video of a truck stealing a boat in the middle of the night and managed to identify enough detail to conduct a traffic stop on the very same truck later that day.

In addition to receiving Deputy of the Month, Corporal Grosse is awarded a Bar of Merit.

April: Deputy Richard Lemons

On May 5th, at approximately 1:30 am, Deputy Lemons was off-duty at an apartment complex in the capacity of a courtesy officer. He was awakened by loud knocking at his front door and subsequently heard multiple subjects outside of his residence, screaming and yelling.

Deputy Richard Lemons

Deputy Richard Lemons

He put on his department issued shirt and armed himself with his assigned duty weapon. As he exited his apartment, he observed a male subject engaged in a physical altercation with a female. The male was standing over the female, repeatedly slamming her head on the surface of the parking lot. The female was screaming and appeared to be helpless against the attack due to the fact the male was 6’03, 250lbs.

Deputy Lemons addressed the male, giving verbal commands for him to stop.  This met with negative results. The male eventually ceased his actions, turned towards Deputy Lemons and stated, “You want some too?”  Deputy Lemons gave several verbal commands to the subject, directing him to the ground. The subject disregarded the commands and continued towards Deputy Lemons in an aggressive fashion.

Realizing an attack was imminent; Deputy Lemons placed his firearm in his pants pocket and engaged the subject’s attack.  Deputy Lemons attempted a take-down; however, the subject tensed his body, sprawled backwards and began striking Deputy Lemons in the head with a closed fist. Deputy Lemons was able to create distance by pushing off of the subject.

The subject then began kicking Deputy Lemons. Deputy Lemons engaged the subject once more, successfully taking him to the ground.  Deputy Lemons was then assisted by Palm Bay PD, who had responded to the scene. The subject continued to violently resist all law enforcement efforts at control and was subsequently administered two cycles from a Palm Bay Officers ECW.  Due to the fact Deputy Lemons was actively engaged with the subject during the cycles, he received the effects as well.

During this incident, Deputy Lemons displayed extreme professionalism and dedication to duty. Deputy Lemons’ quick response, prevented further serious injury to the victim. Deputy Lemons placed the safety of the victim as well as other citizens first and foremost.

In addition to Deputy of the Month, Deputy Lemons is awarded a Merit Bar for this incident.

Deputy Lemons was also involved in an incident last April that you heard about earlier this evening that required the use of deadly force.  Thanks to him and the other deputies involved, no innocent civilians or deputies were injured.  For his actions in that incident, Deputy Lemons was awarded a Bar of Merit.

May: Agent Daniel Ogden

You heard earlier this evening about boy who took a pornographic photograph of his sister and accidentally sent the image to a wrong number.  Before Agent Deavers could identify the suspect and interview him, Agent Dan Ogden had a lot of forensic work to do.

Agent Daniel Ogden

Agent Daniel Ogden

In addition to identifying the author of the text message, there was the image itself.  Agent Ogden examined it for the presence of Data, which are tags used by digital cameras that include information.  In this instance, it included GPS coordinates of where the photo was taken.

Agent Ogden additionally assisted with the CIS Child Predator operation, working as a chat coordinator for the inexperienced personnel and evaluating the cases prior to any arrest action being taken.

Agent Ogden has also been instrumental in the creation of a bill that would criminalize what is commonly referred to as Revenge Porn. Agent Ogden has researched the problem, identified victims and testified before legislative committees.  His efforts have been extraordinary!

Agent Ogden has been called upon many times throughout the year to provide forensic support to his fellow agents in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

In addition to Deputy of the Month, Agent Ogden received a Bar of Merit and a Commendable Service Bar.

June: Agent Nicholas Walker

On January 7, 2013, the Brevard County Sherif’s Office received a call from the Sussex Community Corrections Center in Delaware about an escaped prisoner.  A Tier 3 sex offender had escaped from the Delaware Department of Corrections. It was thought that escapee may be planning to stay with a family member in Brevard County.

Agent Nicholas Walker

Agent Nicholas Walker

Agent Nick Walker was called in and began identifying potential areas to avoid detection. The following morning, Agent Walker received a BOLO from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office that Escapee had committed an Armed Robbery at a convenience store in their jurisdiction and involved in a pursuit where he abandoned a stolen vehicle.

Inside the stolen vehicle was information relating to Brevard County.  Shortly thereafter, another vehicle was reported stolen and then abandoned in Dixie County after a short pursuit by the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office and, within minutes, another vehicle, was reported stolen.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office generated a BOLO statewide, with special emphasis on Brevard County. Surely Wood wasn’t foolish enough to continue to a Brevard County destination after leaving possible destination information in the abandoned vehicle for law enforcement to find.

Agent Walker requested agents conduct surveillance on a Merritt Island residence.  Surveillance agents then observed the most recent stolen vehicle pull past and to the rear of the residence in an attempt to conceal the vehicle. The Escapee, now with bleach blonde hair, was observed on the porch.  The men went inside the residence and a perimeter was established.

Other occupants immediately exited the residence, but the escapee refused.  The SWAT Team responded and after a brief standoff, the escapee, who had barricaded himself inside the residence, surrendered and was taken into custody.

After executing a search warrant on the stolen vehicle, Agent Walker recovered a flannel jacket and hat, which was used in three armed robberies committed after the escape.  Agent Walker also recovered property belonging to an additional victim whose house was burglarized.

In addition to Deputy of the Month, Agent Walker has been awarded a Bar of Merit for his actions.

July: Corporal Jerry Shealy

On July 24th, a 911 call was received in reference to a small child that suffered a severe head injury and was not breathing after falling off a bar stool in the kitchen. Corporal Jerry Shealy responded and located an unresponsive 6-year-old.  The child’s father and grandfather were trying to revive her by performing CPR.

Corporal Jerry Shealy

Corporal Jerry Shealy

Corporal Shealy immediately took over first aid and noticed she was showing signs of a seizure. Corporal Shealy determined she had a weak pulse, was not breathing and her lips were turning blue. Corporal Shealy performed the head tilt method and noticed her airway was obstructed by vomit.  Corporal Shealy cleared her airway by using a finger sweep and began CPR. He was then able to get the child breathing on her own and continued to monitor the child until BCFR arrived.

The doctors at Arnold Palmer credited Corporal Shealy for saving the child’s life and advised she did not suffer any injuries as a result of her fall, but was exhibiting signs of having suffered a serious seizure.  Her doctor confirmed that the seizure could have caused all the symptoms that were observed, including the lack of breathing and the immediate need for CPR.  The child has since made a full recovery.

In addition to Deputy of the Month, Corporal Shealy is being awarded a Life Saving Bar.

August: Agent Marlon Buggs and Agent Kirk Geweniger

On May 14, 2013, human skeletal remains were found in a remote area of Palm Bay.  Homicide and Crime Scene Units were summoned to the scene to assume the investigation. Agent Marlon Buggs was assigned as the lead investigator and his partner, Agent Kirk Geweniger assisted.

Agent Marlon Buggs

Agent Marlon Buggs

The victim was determined to be a dismembered elderly female and a cardiac pacemaker was located with the body. Information obtained from the pacemaker provided a potential lead that could be useful in identifying the victim.

Agent Buggs and Geweniger made contact with a representative of the pacemaker company who provided tentative identification of the victim as a seventy-one year old female.

Agent Kirk Geweniger

Agent Kirk Geweniger

The data obtained indicated the victim was recently residing in Melbourne.  Agent Buggs obtained a search warrant for the residence which was executed on May 16th. On the date the search warrant was executed, the home was in the process of being remodeled by the landlord. The Crime Scene Unit was able to process and collect trace evidence indicating that the murder occurred at the home.

Witness interviews revealed that the residence was abruptly vacated by the family in early April.  The victim formerly resided in the home with her son, his wife and their three children.

The investigation revealed that the family may have relocated to New York State where they have family roots. Contact was made with the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad and a request for assistance was initiated. Agent Buggs, Agent Geweniger and Sergeant Reyes travelled to New York to continue the investigation.

The suspects were located and transported to the 61st Precinct in Brooklyn for questioning.  The victim had been moved out of an assisted living facility in New York to live with her son and his family in Florida in December 2012.  The victim was subsequently brutally beaten to death and her body discarded in a remote ditch.

The son was charged with First Degree Premeditated Murder, and Mutilation of a Human Body.  His wife was charged with Accessory to Murder and Destruction of Evidence.

In addition to Deputy of Month, Agents Buggs and Geweniger were also awarded Bars of Merit for their actions.  Sergeant Reyes was additionally awarded a Bar of Merit.

September: Agent Michael Spadafora

In January 2013, Agent Mike Spadafora began an undercover operation in a public Internet chat room that caters to persons who have a desire to meet underage children for the purpose of having sexual relationships. This undercover operation began after he placed a classified ad that advised he was looking for” like-minded” individuals who wished to trade ideas.

Agent Michael Spadafora

Agent Michael Spadafora

Agent Spadafora received a response from a person later identified as Shuhel Ali who was from the United Kingdom. As horrifying as this may sound, Ali stated that he was looking to start a relationship with a teenage girl for an absolutely unimaginable purpose. Mr. Ali and Agent Spadafora continued to communicate with each other through April 2013, when Ali traveled from the United Kingdom to Brevard County to engage in activities with a child.

During this almost four-month operation, Agent Spadafora had to coordinate not only his conversations with the subject, but also the conversations of a civilian employee who was acting in the capacity of his daughter. This employee spoke with Ali on multiple occasions where he described the activities in vivid detail that he wished to commit with this child.

As Agent Spadafora continued his investigation, it was learned that the subject might have a history of abusing children in different parts of the world. The subject spoke of traveling to several European countries in order to have relationships with children. The investigation revealed that the subject had travelled to these countries and, based on the conversations, there was a belief that he had been previously involved in the exploitation of many children.

Since this travel involved multiple countries, the coordination was extremely time sensitive and detailed.  Agent Spadafora coordinated this effort while still actively playing the role of the father that the subject would meet when he arrived in the United States.

Ali eventually traveled from Manchester, England, to the Sanford Airport in April, where he met with Agent Spadafora. During the drive from the airport to Brevard County, Agent Spadafora gained information from the subject who detailed the prior conversations that had occurred over the Internet. Ali described prior instances where he was involved in the abuse of children, to include his plans for the upcoming abuse. Agent Spadafora was able to obtain conversation to gain the most evidence against the subject.  He also obtained information that the subject was in possession of child pornography.

Due to the professionalism of Agent Spadafora and his coordination of the operation, the subject was arrested without incident once they entered Brevard County.  This did not end the investigation for Agent Spadafora. He authored search warrants for the computer and other evidence found in the possession of the subject.  He coordinated with the European authorities and their search of the subject’s residence, which led to the recovery of a vast amount of computer equipment.

The examination of these items led to the discovery that the subject had been involved in the abuse of children and was in possession of a large amount of child pornography. The investigation is continuing into these images, many of which may have been produced by the subject, who captured this abuse on camera.

Because of the investigative expertise of Agent Spadafora, a very dangerous criminal has been taken off the streets of the world. Ali, by his own admission has abused children in multiple countries.  Were it not for the proactive efforts of Agent Spadafora, this subject would have been roaming the world looking for his next victim.

In July 2013, Agent Spadafora worked as a chat coordinator during a CIS Operation, which aimed at identifying and arresting child predators.  The operation spanned six days and eleven individuals were arrested, nine of whom traveled to the undercover operation house for a minor.

On September 9, 2013, Agent Mike Spadafora observed a Craigslist ad that read, “New nudist family seeks other nudist families to host us in space coas-m4m.” The ad continued by saying they were a nudist family and comfortable being nude in the home. The poster also advised they had a four-year-old boy and three-year-old girl they would bring with them.

After observing the ad, Agent Spadafora used his undercover persona, posing as a father with a young daughter, and contacted the poster.  For the next two days, Agent Spadafora had several email conversations with the subject. During the conversations, the suspect briefly discussed his desire to meet with Agent Spadafora and his fictitious daughter.

On October 11, 2013, Agent Spadafora received an email from the suspect, who initiated conversation about Agent Spadafora traveling to the suspect’s residence in Merritt Island.  During the online conversation, the suspect asked for Agent Spadafora’s phone number. Agent Spadafora provided him a phone number. Several minutes later the suspect called and the two began a conversation.

During the conversation, the suspect began talking about his three-year-old daughter that was with him at the residence. The suspect then invited Agent Spadafora to his residence to engage in activities with his three-year-old daughter. While still on the phone, the suspect stated that he was currently engaged in criminal activities with the child. Concerned for the child, Agent Spadafora asked to speak with the child. The suspect allowed the child to talk on the phone, which allowed Agent Spadafora to confirm she was a small child.

Knowing that to save this child from further abuse, time was critical. Agent Spadafora began researching the email addresses, phone numbers and any other data to help identify the suspect and his current location.  A short time later, the suspect was identified and location was successfully confirmed by the GAMEOVER Task Force. The address was identified and a surveillance team was assembled to watch the Merritt Island home.

The agents then made immediate contact with the suspect.  Agent Spadafora conducted an in-depth interview, where the suspect confessed to a list of terrible criminal activities as well as videotaping and photographing encounters that were transmitted to other adults via the Internet.  A search warrant was obtained for the residence, which produced vital electronic and physical evidence that corroborated the confession. The suspect then identified other individuals who were committing similar crimes.

Forensic Examiners from the Digital Forensics Unit of Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation by collecting and processing the various electronic devices recovered through the investigation.  As a result of that effort, an additional suspect from Orlando was identified.  The subject was interviewed and confessed to sexually battering his children, as well as producing and distributing child pornography.  Three children were rescued from the residence and transported to the Children’s Advocacy Center for an examination and medical treatment.

Again the Digital Forensic Unit processed all of the electronic devices recovered through the investigation.  This examination led to the identification of another male subject in Texas that was sexually abusing a child and sharing those images with the subject from Orlando. ICE Federal Agents executed a search warrant and made contact with the subject, who confessed to sexually battering his young children as well as producing and distributing child pornography. The children were located inside the residence and rescued.

Agent Spadafora continued to look through the hundreds of emails and items of evidence and discovered another subject from Melbourne that had previously travelled to the Merritt Island residence and sexually battered the victim.  Agent Spadafora, thinking in advance, had already obtained approval from the original suspect to assume his email identity. Using the email account, Agent Spadafora contacted the subject from Melbourne.  On November 5, 2013, the male replied to this email and volunteered to travel to the residence to again abuse the child.

The surveillance team followed and several other units were set up near the residence to conduct a traffic stop. The Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit was also utilized to assist with surveillance. When the suspect turned down the street leading to the residence, he was stopped and subsequently interviewed. He provided a full confession to previously traveling to the residence and sexually battering the child.  He also confessed to travelling to the residence on this date with the expectation of again sexually battering the child. He was arrested.

As a direct result of Agent Spadafora’s investigation, eight children were rescued from significant and ongoing sexual abuse, which spanned over multiple states. Four suspects have been arrested, each charged with life felonies, both in State and Federal court systems.  Additionally, there have been over 50 other suspects identified throughout the country that were involved in the distribution of child pornography.  These leads have been sent out to the respective law enforcement agency in each suspects’ area. Those investigations are currently still under investigation.

Agent Spadafora is awarded two Bars of Merit this year for his actions in these investigations.

October: Deputy Laura Lytle and Deputy Greg Darville

Luis Villegas is a five year old male with Downs Syndrome. On October 14th, Luis was attending a Cub Scout meeting and, for unknown reasons, got up and ran out of the building.

Deputy Laura Lytle

Deputy Laura Lytle

The scout leader chased, but was unable to catch him. Luis ran south across the parking lot and into the travel lanes of southbound US1. He ran directly into the path of a full sized pickup truck. The driver of the truck attempted to swerve around him, but Luis was struck by the front passenger side of the vehicle.

Deputies Laura Lytle and Greg Darville responded to the scene and found Luis lying on the ground, unconscious and suffering from severe trauma.  A nurse had stopped at the scene and was checking Luis’ while Deputy Darville retrieved his AED. The nurse advised that Luis was not breathing and he had no pulse. She immediately began providing Luis with rescue breathing while Deputy Lytle provided chest compressions.

Deputy Greg Darville

Deputy Greg Darville

They did this despite the fact that Luis was bleeding from multiple injuries to his face and they did not have a protective mask. The nurse and Deputy Lytle provided three cycles of breathing and chest compressions while Deputy Darville prepared to attach the AED pads. After three cycles, Luis began breathing again and BCFR arrived on scene to provide care.

Because of the extent of his injuries, Luis was flown to Arnold Palmer Children’ s Hospital. Medics advised that with such severe injuries, it was unlikely Luis would survive. Once he arrived at Arnold Palmer, Luis was placed into an induced coma. His injuries included multiple broken bones and swelling of his brain that required surgery.

On November 7th, Deputy Lytle received a photograph from Luis’ family. The photograph was of Luis awake in the hospital and the message was thanking Deputy Lytle for her assistance.

In addition to receiving Deputy of the Month awards, Deputy Lytle and Deputy Darville have been awarded Life Saving Bars.

November: Deputy Ronald Smith

On August 14th, Deputy Smith responded to a family disturbance call in Barefoot Bay. Deputy Smith investigated and discovered a 14 year-old boy was refusing to go to school because he did not have shoes.

Deputy Smith gained the confidence of the young man and convinced him to go to school and that he would see what he could do about shoes. Deputy Smith later purchased the shoes himself and delivered them to the boy.  Deputy Smith did not expect that we would learn of his kindness, and we thank him for his actions.

On November 21st, Deputy Smith responded to a call regarding an accidental drug overdose.  He responded to the home to find the young man’s mother performing CPR.  He took control of the situation, and performed CPR until relieved by BCFR Paramedics.  The man was transported to the hospital and remained in intensive care for several days.  Hospital staff credited Deputy Smith with saving the man’s life.  For his actions, Deputy Smith is being award a Life Saving Bar.

On October 20th, a woman reported to the Sheriff’s Office that her ex-boyfriend was suicidal and had parked surreptitiously in front of her residence. She explained he had been upset due to the recent end of their relationship and had been unstable since the breakup.

Deputy Smith arrived on scene and tactically approached the man and surprised him before he could act. The man was seated in his vehicle, two driveways down from his ex-girlfriend’s residence. Upon contact, Deputy Smith noticed the man attempt to move his hand towards a loaded pistol that was lying on the passenger seat next to him.  Deputy Smith challenged him at gunpoint and he complied with his demands not to move his hands in the direction of the weapon.

Deputy Smith took immediate control of the situation by detaining him in a manner that prevented injury to himself or the distraught man.  The man told Deputy Smith that he was considering suicide prior to Deputy Smith’s arrival. The subject was placed in custody and transported for treatment.

The second incident occurred on November 6th and involved a man who was passed out inside of his vehicle at a car wash in Micco.  Deputy Smith responded and approached the vehicle in order to check the well-being of the person inside. Deputy Smith knocked on the window of the vehicle several times with no response from the occupant.

Deputy Smith advised he had trouble seeing inside the car because it had tinted windows that were still wet from the wash.  Deputy Smith opened the vehicle’s door and immediately noticed a black handgun on the passenger seat next to the man. Deputy Smith then took decisive action by grabbing the man under the left arm and pulling him out of the vehicle, away from the handgun. Deputy Smith restrained him and, upon doing so, asked if he had any other weapons on him. The man replied “yes” and attempted to reach down towards his right hip. He was handcuffed and a pat down of his clothing revealed a holster on his right hip. One his family members arrived and reported that he had recently shown signs of being suicidal in the days leading up to this event.

Deputy Ron Smith’s immediate and decisive actions in these cases to diffuse high risk incidents involving emotionally conflicted persons with firearms led to a peaceful conclusion where no one was injured. Deputy Smith demonstrated his diligence to perform difficult tasks in dangerous and dynamic situations.

For his actions in these incidents, Deputy Smith was awarded a Bar of Merit.

December: Agent Kraig Hupfer

Beginning in April 2012, Agent Kraig Hupfer and DEA Special Agent Patrick Campbell began an investigation into Maurice Evans.  Evans and his known associates, Bernard Collins and James Lovett, were suspected of moving large quantities of cocaine in the Cocoa area.

Utilizing multiple controlled purchases, agents were able to initiate a wiretap targeting the organization. During the course of the investigation, agents identified several local associates, along with a source of supply from Miami and a recipient of large quantities in Georgia.

After several intercepts of communication, it was believed that Evans was planning to pick up multiple kilos of cocaine from the source in Miami. On February 14, 2013, agents determined James Lovett was traveling to Miami to pick up the kilo(s). Agents from SIU traveled with Lovett, covertly following him back into Brevard where a traffic stop was initiated. During the stop, three (3) kilos of cocaine were discovered within the vehicle.

Five search warrants were executed in Orlando, Titusville and Cocoa. Agents learned that Lovett’s residence located in Cocoa was the reprocessing hub of operations for Evans and his associates.  Another search warrant identified the cocaine distribution residence for Collins and Evans.

Through the investigation and subsequent proffers, agents learned that Evans and his co-conspirators had been traveling to Miami to obtain three to four kilograms of cocaine from the source, Lester Bradshaw, approximately twice a month for the last two years.

The investigation determined that the organization had provided approximately 72 kilos to Brevard County over the past several years.

As a result of this investigation, Evans was arrested for federal charges of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; Lovett was arrested for federal charges of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; Collins was arrested for federal charges of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine;
Lester Bradshaw Jr. was arrested in Miami on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; and two others were arrested on federal cocaine distribution charges.

Agent Hupfer is highly respected by his peers.  He is considered an expert in narcotic related investigations.  For his actions in this case, he is been awarded a Bar of Merit. Agent Hupfer was working in an undercover capacity relating to a multi-state marijuana trafficking investigation.  For his actions in that case, he was also awarded a Bar of Merit.

20 Years of Service

Donald Bernier, Jay Core, Shawn Crook, Paolo Donisi, Roger Johnson, Yvonne Miller, Scott Molyneaux, Charles Parrott, Judy Robinson, Robbie Stokes and Ross Torquato

25 Years of Service

Gary Anderson, Donald Barker, Bonnie Canada, Scott Carson, Eric Daddow, Alex Fischback, Frank Hickman, Sang Hill, Debra Holt, Charles Pfrimmer, Greg Purden, Deborah Rainey, Robyn Rasch, Greg Robertson, Brian Seeley and Michael Williams

30 Years of Service

Wayne Doler, Fernando Dominicis, Paul Drinkwater, Tim Pemberton, Scott Pikus, Mike Scully, Kent Sellers and Ken Willis

35 Years of Service

David Fitch and Rocky Roblin

‘DOING AMAZING THINGS EVERY DAY’

In closing the 2013 Brevard County Sheriff’s office Awards, Sherif Ivey said: “Our agency and its members do some amazing things every day to make Brevard County such a safe place to call home.  Few people have the honor of being a Public Safety provider, and even fewer recognize why we love doing it so much. The actions of tonight’s recipients clearly defines why we are so proud to serve, (in my humble and biased opinion), in the finest agency in the country, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office!

Members of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard and Brevard Police and Fire Pipes and Drums Unit. (BCSO image)

Members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard and Brevard Police and Fire Pipes and Drums Unit. (BCSO image)

I would like to extend special thanks to the Pastor Mark Ragsdale and all the wonderful staff here at the Church at Viera; Chaplain Roger Alexander for our opening prayer; Chaplain Terri Alexander for our closing prayer; Pedro Arroyo, Brevard Police and Fire Pipes and Drum Corps, BCSO Honor Guard, for that wonderful flag ceremony and my daughter, Janna, for singing the national anthem.  

Dr. Jim Richey

Dr. Jim Richey

I would also like to thank my good friend Eastern Florida State College President Jim Richey and the WESF-TV Team led by John Bober for filming tonight and all the work that they will be doing in post-production; President Vince Champion and Al Boettjer with Coastal Florida PBA who are here tonight to support us; our good friend Al Gandolfi with Blue Ridge Awards; Manager Ron Spangler and his team who worked so hard to engrave the Years of Service Plaques; Pollo Tropical of The Avenues who have catered a wonderful meal and all of the family and friends who have joined us.

Finally, I would like to thank our citizens, for their continued support, and the nearly 1,400 members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for their incredible service, commitment and devotion in making Brevard County such a wonderful place to live, work and raise our families.”


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