WATCH: Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Award Ceremony Honors Outstanding Performance
By Space Coast Daily // March 26, 2021
Deputy of the Year: Sergeant Chris Ferrante
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his Command Staff hosted the annual Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremony at the Church of Viera on Friday night.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his Command Staff hosted the annual Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremony at the Church of Viera on Friday night.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey issued this statement about the awards ceremony:
On behalf of the nearly 1,700 members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to personally thank the family members, friends and community leaders that have taken the time to join us tonight for our Annual Awards Ceremony.
Your attendance and continued support for the outstanding men and women of our law enforcement profession is greatly appreciated by all of those who serve this community.
Tonight is an opportunity to recognize the truly impressive actions of our agency members, volunteers and citizens who work each and every day to make Brevard County a safe place to live and raise our families.
While tonight’s recipients are being recognized for their outstanding achievements, they represent only a small percentage of the amazing work that the members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office collectively accomplish each year.
As Sheriff of Brevard County, I get to see firsthand the incredible accomplishments that our team members achieve, but tonight it is our privilege to share with you how each act of courage, valor and passion made a difference in someone’s life.
I hope you enjoy the event and remember, it takes a community to protect a community!! Tonight’s award recipients are nothing less than your community’s real-life Super Heroes!!!
Thank you again for being here tonight and for all of the tremendous support you continue to give our agency.
Deputy of the Year: Sergeant Chris Ferrante
In March of 2020, West Precinct deputies responded to an armed carjacking in the county jurisdiction of Cocoa. A description of the vehicle and suspect was broadcast, which led to the vehicle being observed at a local convenience store several hours later.
As a deputy approached, the driver exited the store and refused commands to stop, fleeing in the vehicle at a high rate of speed. The same vehicle was observed on multiple occasions and the BCSO Aviation Unit was able to get into a position to surveil the vehicle.
The vehicle traveled through the city of Rockledge and Cocoa until traveling east on State Road 520 toward Merritt Island.
As the vehicle cleared the H&H Bridge, Deputy Matthew Rush was able to deploy stop sticks, successfully striking both driver’s side tires. The suspect continued driving until abandoning the vehicle in front of a convenience store located at State Road 520 and North Tropical Trail.
As the suspect ran into the store parking lot, Sergeant Chris Ferrante arrived on the scene and was able to position his agency SUV to block the suspect’s avenue of escape. The suspect entered a vehicle that was parked at the gas pumps, however seeing his route to escape was blocked, again took flight on foot toward the intersection.
As the suspect was fleeing, Corporal Gary Haas observed a firearm in his hands and announced on the radio that the suspect was armed. The suspect began running up to cars that were stopped in the intersection, attempting to force his way into their vehicles with Sergeant Ferrante and Corporal Haas pursuing on foot.
Knowing that the suspect was armed, and fearing for the safety of the citizens stopped at the traffic light, Sergeant Ferrante was able to take a position that would enable him to address and neutralize the imminent threat to the community.
Sergeant Ferrante used a break in the flow of traffic, and his position of advantage to discharge his firearm, striking the suspect and eliminating the potential for further violence.
The actions of Sergeant Ferrante resulted in the incapacitation of the suspect and stopped an armed felon who could have killed or caused serious injury to innocent victims.
Corrections Deputy of the Year: Corporal Mike Nettles
Corrections Corporal Michael Nettles exemplified the tenets of professionalism, dedication and teamwork by his actions and testimony which were instrumental in the conviction of a Palm Beach County man for two brutal murders in Greenacres, Florida.
Corporal Nettles was assigned to provide hospital security for Inmate Zachary Penna for a three-week period while he was incarcerated at a local hospital. During this time, Inmate Penna began initiating conversations with Corporal Nettles, who used his interpersonal skills to build a rapport with the inmate.
Penna willingly began divulging specific details of his crimes by providing the locations and his motives to Corporal Nettles. The details Penna provided were so heinous in nature, Corporal Nettles began to meticulously document the information. Penna disclosed specific details about two homicides, a felony battery, the robbery of an elderly woman, and a false imprisonment case which had been under investigation by the Greenacres Police Department in Palm Beach County.
At the conclusion of his hospital stay, Corporal Nettles submitted an in-depth case report regarding the information provided by Penna to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Greenacres Police Department, and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.
On December 17, 2019, Corporal Nettles testified in Palm Beach County about the confessions Penna had provided during his hospital stay. With clarity, Corporal Nettles relayed to the jury the specific descriptions and accounts to which only the perpetrator would have knowledge.
As noted by the State Attorney, Corporal Nettles’ notes were the greatest contributing factor to Penna receiving convictions of his crimes. He displayed the highest level of professionalism, dedication, and commitment to bringing an extremely violent and dangerous criminal to justice who received two life sentences for his heinous crimes. Corporal Nettles’ actions ensured the victim’s families received the closure they deserved and we are proud to name him our 2020 Corrections Deputy of the Year.
Employee of the Year: Peggy Brooks
Victims of Domestic Violence can feel lost and confused, having many times endured years of emotional and physical injury from their abusers.
Domestic Violence advocates provide a service that assists and guides the victim to resources that can allow them to gain the courage to break away from their abuser and once again become self-sufficient.
Our employee of the year is being recognized for not only her assistance to a victim of abuse but also her tenacity in making sure that justice was gained for the victim.
Her determination to have investigators reopen a closed case led to the development of new evidence needed to successfully prosecute this violent offender.
In November of 2019, Victim Advocate Brooks was contacted by a domestic violence victim who was referred by the State Attorney’s Office.
Over the next several months, Peggy would assist this victim through multiple injunction hearings, and counsel the victim as she was continually terrorized by the suspect with acts of criminal mischief, disconnection of utilities and threats of violence.
All of these acts were accomplished without leaving the evidence in any one incident to be charged.
Peggy assisted the victim by helping her with setting up life away from the abuser and providing unending support as she went through the recovery process.
Peggy also asked for investigative assistance in reopening the victim’s case after finding that it had been closed due to lack of evidence.
By providing additional information and working with the Special Victim’s Unit, the case was investigated further, which ultimately led to the arrest of the suspect for Domestic Violence Strangulation, False Imprisonment and Tampering with a witness.
For her commitment and tenacity that allowed this victim to free herself from this abusive relationship, we are proud to recognize Peggy Brooks as our 2020 Employee of the Year.
Communications Officer of the Year: Shift Supervisor Monica Mahl
Monica Mahl joined the BCSO Communication Center in October of 2012 and during her tenure, has trained many Public Safety Telecommunicators along with receiving numerous Commendable Service Awards.
In just three short years after being hired, Monica excelled and was promoted to Assistant Shift Supervisor and recently received a promotion to Shift Supervisor, where she continues to focus on training and mentoring new hires.
Monica participated in multiple high-priority calls throughout the year, demonstrating her commitment to excellence during each one.
In March of 2020, Monica answered a call for an armed robbery in which a vehicle was stolen by the suspect. The caller stated that they were still in shock and Monica was able to quickly obtain vital information about the armed suspect and the victim’s vehicle description.
That same day, Monica led her squad as they handled emergency radio traffic during the pursuit of the same suspect vehicle with shots fired. Ultimately, the stolen vehicle was recovered and the suspect was apprehended.
In May of 2020, Monica was nominated for Communications Officer of the Month for her handling of an armed domestic disturbance call in which the husband had made suicide threats the previous day and was now firing his gun inside the residence.
When the husband fled in a vehicle on State Road 528 from Merritt Island, Monica handled nearly all radio traffic involving deputies from both West and North Precincts. She also completed a radio patch with East primary and countywide radio channels.
When the vehicle entered neighboring Volusia County, she continued to relay vital information from the BCSO Aviation Unit (STAR) to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office dispatch for their responding deputies.
As STAR continued tracking the vehicle, Monica continued documenting and relaying pertinent radio traffic. The call concluded with the vehicle and occupants being taken into custody in Edgewater, Florida.
Monica is considered one of the best in the business; she is committed to excellence and possesses a sincere desire for service to the citizens of Brevard and the entire law enforcement community. We are proud to recognize her as our 2020 Communications Officer of the Year.
Reserve Deputy of the Year: Commander Ken Willis
Commander Ken Willis has been serving as a Reserve Deputy with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for more than 38 years. Even though he was working a full-time job in the corporate world, Ken felt it necessary to volunteer his time with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. At the time he initially joined the Reserve Unit, the unit consisted of only a few deputies.
Ken has consistently elevated through the ranks of the Reserve Unit and in 2004 he was promoted to the position of commander over the unit. The unit had grown to almost 40 deputies when Ken took over command.
At that time, the unit was donating approximately 10,000 hours of law enforcement service each year to the citizens of Brevard County. In 2012, after Sheriff Ivey took office, and under Ken’s guidance, the unit has grown to approximately 70 working deputies, who are contributing approximately 25,000 hours of law enforcement service each year to the citizens of Brevard County.
Over Ken’s many years of dedicated service, he has also held several certifications; to include FTO, airboat, riverboat and ATV operator.
His skills and talents have allowed him to serve in many of the specialized units within the Agency, such as the Ag/Marine Unit and the Mounted Posse. He has served the citizens of Brevard County with integrity and professionalism as shown by the numerous commendations and awards that he has received throughout his tenure.
For his more than 38 years of dedicated service and leadership to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy Unit, it is our honor to recognize Commander Ken Willis as the 2020 Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy of the Year.
Volunteer of the Year: Brevard County Fire Rescue District Chief Tom Neidert
Although the COVID-19 crisis kept many volunteers at home during 2020, Tom Neidert continued to volunteer, providing assistance to the BCSO and many other charitable groups, all while maintaining his full-time position with Brevard County Fire Rescue.
Tom serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Brevard County Public Safety Charity which is a not-for-profit organization created to help Brevard County Public Safety Officers and their families during difficult hardships.
In 2020, Tom also coordinated the 10th annual St Baldrick’s Foundation event to raise money in an effort to conquer childhood cancers and the “Real Men Wear Pink” program which helps the American Cancer Society combat breast cancer.
Additionally, Tom founded the Brevard non-profit Caribbean Fire Rescue Benevolent Association, which coordinated equipment donations for Hurricane Dorian ravaged areas of the Bahamas.
Tom helped locate, collect and distribute equipment including a brush truck and fire engine, an ambulance, 100 sets of fire gear and 50 air-packs, to the Bahamian islands.
In 2020, Tom was also instrumental in assisting with the 5th Annual Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Haunted Jail Trail, which continues to be a Halloween tradition for Brevard County and central Florida residents.
This one-of-a-kind event is held over 5 nights with all proceeds benefiting local charities. Each year Tom brings more and more energy and enthusiasm to the Haunted Jail Trail and can be counted upon to provide many hours of hard work during the event.
Lucy Ross Award Sergeant Marlon Buggs
The Lucy Ross Award is presented to the Sheriff’s Office employee who best exemplifies the outstanding qualities and spirit of our lost family member, Sergeant Lucille Ross. Throughout her career, Lucy demonstrated an unwavering dedication to community service and excellence in her profession.
In 1994, Marlon Buggs became a full-time Deputy Sheriff and it quickly became apparent that he had a passion and drive for helping others. Early in his career, while assigned to the Community Policing Unit, he and other unit members saw a need to serve underprivileged children during the summer months and created Camp Chance.
A program where kids spend the day at the Sheriff’s Office Lake with law enforcement officers engaged in mentorship and camp activities.
During his assignment in the Special Victims Unit, Marlon began volunteering his time as a guest speaker for the Prosecution Alternatives for Youth Diversion Program sponsored by the State Attorney’s Office that offers youthful offenders an alternative to being prosecuted.
Marlon also volunteered with the Brevard County Weed & Seed program to implement a community-based strategy to “Weed” out violence and drugs, and “Seed” with educational, social, and economic development throughout the Brevard County community.
One such “Seeding” program is the Project Safe Neighborhoods Annual Youth Crime Prevention Summit, where young people are given the opportunity to receive information about law enforcement, public safety, social skills, and community involvement.
He has been volunteering since 2006 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Neighborhood Restoration.
Marlon has also served on the Board of Directors for the Space Coast Marine Institute, now known as AMIKids, which is a nonprofit, residential facility in Melbourne, serving youths who have committed criminal offenses.
As a member of the Board, Marlon provided direction on staffing and program development that assists these troubled youths to gain the needed skills to return to their families.
Marlon has also been an active participant in the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event for over 7 years, a charitable event committed to supporting the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers.
He has participated or has been a team captain for the BCSO raising over $25,000 for the charity by himself as well as being an integral part of the team that has raised nearly $150,000.
Special Recognition: Information Technology Manager Bob Urie
Since joining the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in October of 2013, Information Technology Manager Bob Urie has displayed a sincere commitment to agency customer service, excellent technical knowledge, a dedicated work ethic, as well as the leadership skills to manage multiple projects to “get the job done.”
Under Bob’s direction and innovative leadership style, the Information Technology Unit has been able to accomplish major agency upgrades and complete a host of IT-related projects which not only made our agency more efficient but also resulted in significant financial savings to the taxpayers of Brevard County.
Some of these major upgrades include: implementing a suite of software which integrated Dispatch, the mobile terminals for patrol deputies, Corrections, and Records Management; installed an agency-wide digital phone system, greatly expanded Wi-Fi infrastructure; cloud storage at a remote data storage location to provide protection of agency users’ documents and files; installation of the jail complex Guardian RFID electronic inmate documentation system; security surveillance camera installation; implementation of a multi-agency server search to allow data sharing for other law enforcement agencies and implemented a disaster recovery site for critical IT systems.
Bob has also diligently worked to expand the Information Technology team from 8 to 20 members in order to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for technology services.
His vast knowledge and experience have also been pivotal in streamlining and protecting the agency from the never-ending threat of cybersecurity attacks. Throughout his tenure, Bob has made many significant technology improvements that have advanced the agency greatly, as well as build partnerships between the countywide law enforcement agencies.
Citizen of the Year: Pastor Jarvis Wash
The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes a member of the community who has provided outstanding service and commitment to the citizens of Brevard County and for the continued support of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. One man, who long ago decided to use the adverse experiences in his own upbringing to renegotiate his purpose – one based on serving, is giving back to the disadvantaged in his community by helping them to create better futures for themselves.
Motivated by the tragic and violent death of his son Brandon in 2004, Pastor Jarvis Wash, an impassioned community leader, visionary, and trusted friend, founded the R.E.A.L. Church, with the mission of Reaching, Equipping, and Affecting Lives for Christ. Pastor Wash was born in Oakland, CA. His mother and father were both involved in a life of crime, ill-equipped for the responsibilities of raising a child. This unscrupulous upbringing, marred by criminal activity, could have determined Wash’s fate. Instead, he used the adverse urban experiences of Oakland to achieve his goal in helping others. His current desire is to not only win souls to Christ but to simultaneously assist others with positive personal growth and empowerment, such as identifying job opportunities and resources, as well as continuing education.
Through The R.E.A.L. Church’s non-profit organization, My Community Cares, Inc., Pastor Wash has led the community through a series of outreach initiatives heavily focused on crime prevention. The primary focus of My Community Cares, Inc. is caring for and establishing pride within our communities. Pastor Wash has a strong passion for protecting families, reducing crime and supporting at-risk youth. His approach to community engagement has netted him a reputation for being ever vigilant. It is often stated that he not only pastors The R.E.A.L. Church, but he pastors the community as well. It is with great pleasure that we honor Pastor Jarvis Wash as the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, “Citizen of the Year.”
Deputies of the Month
January: Agent Philipp Urbanetz
In November 2019, a nineteen-year-old female was found deceased in her bed by her mother, which an autopsy later revealed was a result of strangulation. Agent Urbanetz was assigned to the investigation determining that during the timeframe the death occurred, the victim and her brother were alone at the residence. Agent Urbanetz spent countless hours interviewing witnesses, writing multiple search warrants, reviewing cell tower information and coordinating forensic testing of the small amount of evidence collected at the scene.
Agent Urbanetz narrowed the suspect pool to the victim’s brother and compiled an entire homicide investigation based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence. During the course of the investigation, Agent Urbanetz was faced with a grieving family that was torn apart by the loss of possibly two of their children. According to family members, his compassion and empathy for the family helped bring them closer together and provided closure to an act of violence that ultimately took two children away. For his professional investigation in this case he is also receiving a Bar of Merit.
February: Deputy Bruce LaBier
Deputy LaBier responded to the scene of a traffic crash involving a motorcycle and upon arrival, found the male motorcycle rider had suffered an amputation of his right lower leg. Deputy LaBier immediately utilized his agency-issued tourniquet to the upper area of the leg, which prevented further blood loss.
The male was transported by helicopter to Health First Trauma Center where he was stabilized. The Trauma Physician confirmed that the proper usage of the tourniquet by Deputy LaBier saved this man’s life by preventing the male from bleeding to death at the scene. For his actions that led to this man’s recovery, Deputy LaBier is receiving a Life-Saving Award.
March : Sergeant Chris Ferrante and Corporal Gary Haas
Several hours after an armed carjacking in the county jurisdiction of Cocoa was reported, the vehicle was located by the BCSO Aviation Unit in Rockledge. Aviation began surveilling the vehicle providing updates to patrol units on the direction of travel. As the vehicle traveled east on State Road 520, the vehicle was successfully disabled, causing the suspect to abandon the vehicle in front of a convenience store. As the suspect ran into the store parking lot, Sergeant Chris Ferrante and Corporal Gary Haas arrived on the scene. During the foot pursuit that ensued, Corporal Haas observed a firearm in the hands of the suspect and announced on the radio that the suspect was armed. The suspect was observed attempting to force his way into the vehicles that were stopped at the intersection. Fearing for the safety of the citizens, Sergeant Ferrante and Corporal Haas ran to positions that would enable them to address the suspect. Sergeant Ferrante used a break in the flow of traffic to discharge his firearm, striking the suspect and eliminating the potential for further violence.
The actions of Sergeant Ferrante and Corporal Haas resulted in the incapacitation of the suspect and stopped an armed felon who could have killed or caused serious injury to innocent victims. They are both being recognized with a Bar of Merit.
April: Deputy Don Flammio
Deputy Don Flammio responded to a residential fire in Cape Canaveral and being the first to arrive on the scene, learned that the elderly homeowner, who was also handicapped, was still inside a bedroom of the burning residence. Due to the thick smoke, Deputy Flammio broke a window and gained entry into the house. Using his flashlight, he was able to crawl through the residence, eventually locating the male who he was able to drag to the window and remove from the house with the assistance of arriving deputies. After rescuing the male, Deputy Flammio stayed in the residence and also successfully located the man’s dog, and brought him outside. Both the elderly male and his dog were treated by Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue. If it were not for the heroic actions and determination of Deputy Flammio in putting his own life at risk, both the homeowner and his dog may have perished in the fire. For his actions in this incident, Deputy Flammio is receiving a Life-Saving Award.
Agent Wendy Wheeler and Agent Reggie Hammond
Agent Wendy Wheeler was assigned the investigation into an attempted homicide of a female who was shot multiple times at Scottsmoor Landings. In reviewing surveillance video captured from a local residence, Agent Reggie Hammond was able to identify a suspect vehicle in the shooting. Over the next several weeks, Agent Hammond began to search the US 1 corridor from north Brevard to south Volusia County, gathering surveillance video in hopes of determining the direction of travel for the suspect prior to and after the shooting. Agent Wheeler coordinated the efforts of investigators and analysts from multiple counties. Those efforts would result in the positive identification of both the vehicle and suspect. The suspect and vehicle were located by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office at a local hotel. Agent Wheeler responded and the vehicle was secured for processing and a suspect interviewed. Multiple search warrants were authored the male was ultimately arrested and charged with the shooting and attempted homicide of the victim. Due to the outstanding work and tireless efforts of Agent Wheeler and Agent Hammond, this armed and dangerous suspect was arrested before he could commit any further violent acts against the public. For their determination in bringing justice for this victim, they are both receiving a Bar of Merit.
June 20-145 Field Training Officer Jason Lewis
FTO Jason Lewis responded to a residence in Cocoa for a well-being check on a male who was possibly suicidal. Upon arrival, FTO Lewis observed the male on the screen porch with a revolver against his head. As a perimeter was being established, FTO Lewis used his car as cover and began to engage the male in conversation. After approximately 15 minutes, FTO Lewis convinced the male to put the gun down and exit the porch. As FTO Lewis approached, the male abruptly changed his mind and began moving toward the gun. FTO Lewis entered the porch and tackled the male preventing him from reaching the gun. The male was taken into custody and transported to a mental health facility for treatment. Upon further investigation, FTO Lewis learned that the male was also a convicted felon and registered sex offender. FTO Lewis authored a search warrant for the residence and during that search uncovered another firearm and ammunition. FTO Lewis obtained an arrest warrant for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon that was served on the male upon his release from treatment. For his investigation into this offender, FTO Lewis is also receiving a Bar of Merit.
July: Agent Carmen Minthorn
Agent Carmen Minthorn responded to a residence in Satellite Beach in reference to a sexual battery investigation. During initial contact, the victim was very reluctant to assist due to the sensitive nature of the crime. When Agent Minthorn expressed the importance of preventing the suspect from victimizing others in the community, the victim overcame this reluctance. Having only the first name of the suspect, Agent Minthorn worked tirelessly for several months to identify the suspect. Through the use of cell phones and DNA search warrants, incorporated with statements from both witnesses and the suspect, Agent Minthorn developed probable cause and arrested the suspect. After the arrest, the State Attorney declined prosecution, however undeterred, Agent Minthorn continued to gather evidence and identify witnesses which refuted the suspect’s alibi. The State Attorney ultimately filed charges of Kidnapping and Attempted Sexual Battery against the suspect. For her determination in serving the victim in this case, Agent Minthorn is being recognized with a Bar of Merit.
August: Agent Chris Caporizzo
Agent Chris Caporizzo received an anonymous telephone call from a person who advised they had information in reference to a suspect threatening to harm a corrections deputy. The reporter advised that this suspect wanted the caller to find a person to assist them in burglarizing the home of this corrections deputy and in order to enable the suspect to harm the intended target. Agent Caporizzo conducted a series of controlled phone calls that led to an undercover officer meeting the suspect to make arrangements to carry-out the intended crime. During this meeting, the suspect advised the undercover officer of the assistance needed, the name of the target and where they lived, as well as their desire to kill the corrections deputy. Based on this meeting, an arrest warrant was completed and the suspect was arrested for Solicitation to Commit First Degree Murder. Agent Caporrizo conducted a thorough and immediate investigation that required the coordination of multiple units that led to the arrest of a suspect who fully intended to take the life of a member of this agency. For his efforts, Agent Caporrizo is receiving a Bar of Merit.
September: Deputy Justin Kirk
East Precinct Deputies developed probable cause to arrest a domestic violence suspect in Merritt Island. As Deputy Justin Kirk was responding to the location, he observed the suspect in a vehicle that fled as he attempted a traffic stop. Deputies at the scene were able to provide Deputy Kirk with a possible location of where the suspect may be found. As Deputy Kirk arrived at that address, the suspect quickly retreated into the garage upon seeing him. Deputy Kirk followed the suspect into the garage, who now reached into his waistband and produced a knife, holding it toward the deputy in a threatening manner. The suspect then fled into the residence and once inside, armed himself with a second knife which he used to cut both his wrists. While speaking calmly to the suspect, Deputy Kirk approached him to provide first aid, while still maintaining officer safety. As the suspect tried to lurch past Deputy Kirk in an attempt to reach another knife, Deputy Kirk pinned him against the doorframe for several minutes until additional units arrived and assisted in taking the suspect into custody. Deputy Kirk’s performance in this incident displayed confidence, determination and calmness with his actions ultimately allowing him to take the suspect into custody without sustaining further injury. For his actions, he is also receiving a Bar of Merit.
October: Agent Tim Liston and Agent Josh Ellison
Agents Tim Liston and Josh Ellison began an investigation targeting street-level sales of heroin and fentanyl in the Central Brevard area. Using the assistance of confidential informants, these agents were able to identify members of an organization that was affiliated with gang-related activity, as well as trafficking substantial amounts of heroin and fentanyl. The investigation culminated with the issuance of arrest warrants for 44 individuals as well as multiple search warrants. During the execution of these warrants, agents seized eight firearms, $55,000 in U.S. currency and trafficking amounts of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. The efforts of Agents Liston and Ellison dismantled a high-level drug organization and removed dangerous controlled substances from the streets of Brevard County. For their investigation into this narcotics operation, they are also being recognized with a Bar of Merit.
November: Deputy Joe Spinelli
Deputies responded to a residence in Titusville in reference to a subject who had a firearm and was making suicidal threats. As deputies set up a perimeter, Deputy Spinelli obtained the subject’s phone number and began attempting to make contact with the distraught male. Over the course of 90 minutes, Deputy Spinelli made over forty phone calls, eventually establishing a line of communication where he was able to build a rapport with the subject. Deputy Spinelli was able to convince the subject that he would get the help he needed and to end the incident peacefully, without anyone getting hurt. The subject ultimately exited the residence where he was taken into custody and transported to a mental health facility. This very volatile situation ended without injury to the subject and for his actions, Deputy Spinelli is also receiving a Bar of Merit.
December: Deputy Alexander Vila
Deputy Vila responded to a traffic accident on Interstate 95 and upon arrival, found a female victim who was trapped inside her vehicle, bleeding profusely from the amputation of her left arm. Deputy Vila immediately utilized a tourniquet and applied it to the upper part of her arm to prevent further blood loss. Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived on the scene, extricated the female and transported her to the hospital where she received further medical care. The actions of Deputy Vila during this extreme emergency were directly responsible for saving this female’s life. Deputy Vila is also being recognized with a Life-Saving Award.
Agent Mike Thomas
In December 2019, Agent Thomas began an investigation into a Home Equity Scheme where an individual had defrauded a local Credit Union out of over $42,000 in one day. After collecting the financial records and while viewing surveillance footage, Agent Thomas learned that this case was part of a nationwide fraud ring that had defrauded banks with losses totaling over a million dollars. Working with investigators from many states, the individual was identified and preventative information was forwarded to law enforcement and financial institutions that led to the arrest of the suspect in Jacksonville, Fl. Upon his arrest, the suspect’s cell phone was seized and using this information, Agent Thomas authored the first “complete cell tower dump” warrant issued in Brevard County. Using the information obtained from the warrant, Agent Thomas was able to identify other members of the organization. His investigation has led to the case being referred to the Federal Court system for prosecution. Agent Thomas’ determination and innovation led to the arrest and prosecution of a high-level fraud network that was committing fraud throughout the United States.
Corporal Jose Santos, Field Training Officer William Carrion and Deputy Paul Phillips
In May 2020, Corporal Jose Santos, Field Training Officer William Carrion and Deputy Paul Phillips responded to a domestic violence incident that was occurring at the Key West Bar in Satellite Beach. Upon arriving, it was learned that the suspect had struck his girlfriend several times and pushed her out of the vehicle into the parking lot before leaving the area. While speaking with the victim, the suspect aggressively entered the parking lot, driving his vehicle toward the deputies who quickly moved out of the way to avoid being injured. Deputy Phillips, FTO Carrion and Corporal Santos approached the vehicle and removed the suspect who was extremely intoxicated and belligerent. The suspect was taken into custody and during a search of the vehicle, deputies located a handgun in the back seat, as well as a semi-automatic rifle in the trunk. It was later learned that prior to returning to the area, the suspect had sent threatening text messages to the victim, which led deputies to believe that he had intended to seriously injure the victim and possibly other persons at the bar. Due to the quick response by these deputies in controlling the suspect, it is likely that a terrible tragedy may have been prevented.
Agent Jamie McGowan
During the month of May and June 2020, numerous burglaries occurred to residences under construction in the Indian River Preserve subdivision located in Mims. Agent McGowan was assigned these cases and after reviewing available surveillance video, located two rental vehicles which did not belong to area residents. Agent McGowan surveilled the address of the person on the rental agreement and observed building materials and parts that could be used in residential construction. As he continued his surveillance, he also observed a truck at the residence with materials in the bed. He was able to obtain the tag number of the vehicle and learned that the owner was on felony probation for trafficking in stolen property. Agent McGowan met with the suspect’s probation officer and was advised that the suspect was completing a home renovation project at the suspect’s parents’ house. Agent McGowan met with the parents and obtained consent to enter the residence and matched serial numbers of major appliances to those listed in the burglary reports. The investigation culminated with search warrants being issued for two large storage units and several residences which recovered approximately $100,000 worth of stolen appliances and new home construction materials. The determination displayed by Agent McGowan not only resulted in the suspects arrest, but also led to the recovery of a substantial amount of stolen property.
Agent Don Reynolds
In April of 2019, Agent Reynolds began a yearlong investigation into a homicide that involved several gang members from Mims. From the outset of the investigation, the witnesses and involved persons were uncooperative and provided false information in an attempt to deter the investigation. Over the next year, Agent Reynolds conducted 68 interviews, authored multiple search warrants and reviewed hours of video footage of the incident. This review ultimately led to the discovery of two cell phone videos that captured the event from two different perspectives. Using these videos and information obtained from the interviews, Agent Reynolds was able to positively identify five suspects who were involved in the homicide. Through his determination and hard work, Agent Reynolds was able to bring charges that ranged from manslaughter to tampering with evidence against the suspects. Throughout the yearlong investigation, Agent Reynolds maintained direct contact with the victim’s family, overcoming and ultimately gaining their respect and trust. His actions brought closure and justice to the victim’s family by solving a very challenging gang-related homicide.
Agent Mike Thomas
In September of 2020, Agent Michael Thomas received federal indictments on three individuals who were responsible for approximately 90% of all counterfeit currency cases in Brevard County. The investigation began in 2018 and during a three-year period, Agent Thomas meticulously tracked each counterfeiting case, completed multiple search warrants and made arrests on each of the three suspects. All of his investigative effort was ultimately used to build the case against each of the individuals who were behind this large-scale criminal enterprise. Due to the thoroughness and determination of Agent Thomas, his investigation was presented to the U.S. Secret Service who assumed the entire case, leading to the above indictment, where these suspects are now facing federal counterfeiting charges.
Deputy Adam Steuerwald
In September of 2019, Deputy Adam Steuerwald conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle and as he approached, noticed the driver was very nervous and learned he had recent arrests for possessing a firearm illegally and trafficking in narcotics. Deputy Steuerwald’s K-9 “Merle” conducted a free air sniff around the vehicle and alerted to the presence of drugs. A search located a loaded firearm in the center console and a backpack containing marijuana, pills, methamphetamine and scales. Deputy Steuerwald contacted the Special Investigations Unit and the Drug Enforcement Agency, learning that the suspect was a target of a federal drug investigation. Deputy Steuerwald began surveilling the suspect’s residence, recording tag numbers and conducting investigative stops on vehicles and person’s leaving the house. In October, these efforts led to the arrest of an individual during a traffic stop where the search led to the discovery of a large amount drugs and currency. The individual was later determined to be using a fake name because he was in the country illegally. All of this information was turned over to the DEA who accepted the case for prosecution. These suspects were sentenced to six and nine years in federal prison, along with the likely deportation of the second suspect at the completion of his prison sentence. Through his determination and thorough investigation, Deputy Steuerwald removed two known traffickers of dangerous drugs from the community.
Agent Don Reynolds
In July of 2020, Agent Don Reynolds was assigned as the lead investigator on a drug related homicide that occurred in Viera. The homicide victim was discovered in his vehicle in an apartment parking lot with a gunshot wound to his neck. With no initial investigative leads, Agent Reynolds used multiple resources to find any evidence that would help identify the person responsible for the murder. Over the course of four months, Agent Reynolds was able to develop three suspects in the homicide. He continued building the case, using fragments of information from interviews, cellular phone data, and ultimately recovering a cell phone video that captured a portion of the incident from the forensic evaluation of one of the suspect’s phones. As the investigation culminated, Agent Reynolds obtained confessions from two of the three suspects. As a result of his investigation, all three suspects were indicted on the charge of First Degree Felony Murder. Through his efforts and determination, Agent Reynolds was able to bring closure for the victim’s family through the assurance that those responsible for the death would receive the maximum punishment for their crime.
Deputy Joseph Groski
In November of 2020, Deputy Joseph Groski responded to a suspicious incident alleging that a female was possibly being held against her will in a vehicle. As a description of the vehicle was broadcast, Deputy Groski immediately began canvassing the area and began following a vehicle that was leaving the area and matched the description. As additional deputies arrived, a traffic stop was attempted at which time the vehicle fled and tag information determined it was reported as stolen. Deputies pursued the vehicle from Merritt Island, through Cocoa and eventually southbound on I-95. Just north of Wickham road, stop sticks were successfully deployed causing the suspect to flee on foot from the vehicle. Deputy Groski engaged in a foot chase that ended with the successful apprehension of the suspect. Deputy Groski’s calm demeanor and professionalism during this law enforcement action was paramount to the successful apprehension of this dangerous suspect.
Agent Keaton Mauldin
During December of 2020, deputies responded to the burglary of a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper’s personal vehicle. Taken in the burglary were three firearms, multiple rounds of ammunition, as well as firearm accessories. Preliminary investigation uncovered that the burglary might be related to local gang activity. Based on this information, GAMEOVER Task Force members focused efforts on tracking down these stolen guns that may have fallen into the hands of violent gang members. On December 30th, a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle as it left the residence of a known gang member. Narcotics were located during a search and also found in the trunk was a brown purse that contained firearm accessories that matched items taken in the burglary. Agent Keaton Mauldin began to interview the occupants of the vehicle and was able to gain information as to the whereabouts of the stolen property. Through the information gained by Agent Mauldin, family members of the suspects were contacted and the three stolen firearms were turned over to GAMEOVER members a short time later. Agent Mauldin’s actions and expertise in interviewing these violent offenders led to the recovery of three firearms that most likely would have been used in violent crimes. His interview has also provided evidence that was instrumental in identifying the persons responsible for the burglary of the trooper’s vehicle.
Deputy Caleb Pinkham
In July 2020, Deputy Pinkham responded to a disturbance where the caller advised that several persons were armed with guns. Dispatch further advised that unknown persons had robbed the victim of narcotics and the victim was reluctant to meet with deputies. As Deputy Pinkham arrived, he observed approximately 50 people in the street. He was able to locate the victim who was uncooperative and continuing to argue with the crowd. Deputy Pinkham also observed several persons in the crowd who were armed with firearms and heard threats being yelled at the victim. Deputy Pinkham quickly detained the victim, who was still uncooperative, in order to remove him from the area for his own protection. While placing the victim in the back seat of the patrol car, the victim suffered a seizure. With the help of additional deputies, Deputy Pinkham was able to carefully remove the victim from the vehicle and place him in the recovery position until medical personnel arrived and transported the victim to the hospital for treatment. Deputy Pinkham used tremendous discretion in handling this potentially violent situation. Additionally, he immediately recognized that the victim was in medical distress and took appropriate actions to care for him until medical personnel arrived.
Deputy Anthony DelDuca
In January of 2020, Deputy DelDuca responded to a medical call where upon entering the residence, he found a male who was not breathing. Deputy DelDuca immediately began CPR and continued for approximately four minutes until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to the hospital where it was determined he had suffered a massive heart attack. Due to the quick intervention of Deputy DelDuca, the male recovered from this life-threatening medical event.
20-015 Field Training Officer Ashley Jennings and Deputy Chaney Rice
In January 2020, Field Training Officer Jennings and Deputy Rice responded to a local business in reference to an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, it was determined the male was not breathing and without a pulse. Deputy Rice began CPR while FTO Jennings deployed the AED and delivered one shock. The paramedics arrived a short time later and took over lifesaving efforts. The male was transported to the hospital where he was stabilized following the incident. The quick response of FTO Jennings and Deputy Rice directly resulted in the saving of this man’s life.
Agent Adam Walkington, Deputy Taylor Dunn and Deputy Joe Groski
In February 2020, Deputies Groski and Dunn responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to an unconscious male. Upon arrival, they found the male unresponsive and not breathing. Deputies Groski and Dunn moved the male to the floor and began CPR, while also deploying an AED. A shock was delivered, however CPR was still advised. When Agent Walkington arrived on scene, he along with Deputies Groski and Dunn, rotated rounds of CPR for approximately 30 minutes until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to the hospital in serious condition where he later made a full recovery from the medical event. Agent Walkington and Deputies Groski and Dunn, are to be commended for their outstanding lifesaving efforts.
Deputy Greg Matthews and Deputy Roldano Rivera
In March of 2020, Deputies Mathews and Rivera responded to a residence in Cape Canaveral regarding an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, they learned that the male had gone into distress while in the pool and had been submerged for a period of time before being removed from the water. Deputies Matthews and Rivera immediately began CPR and deployed an AED. Both deputies continued providing CPR until the arrival of paramedics. After the male was transported to Cape Canaveral Hospital, both deputies responded to another residence where they believed the male was vacationing and made contact with his wife. Realizing that the female was distraught and unable to drive, Deputy Matthews transported her to the hospital and introduced her to the hospital staff. Unfortunately, the male did not survive, however due to the lifesaving interventions of these deputies, family members were able to travel and be with him prior to his death.
Deputy Don Flammio, Deputy Joseph Snyder and Deputy Greg Matthews
In April 2020, Deputy Don Flammio, Deputy Joseph Snyder and Deputy Greg Matthews responded to an apartment in Cocoa Beach regarding a male who suffered an apparent heart attack. Deputy Flammio located the unresponsive male on a bed and moved him onto the floor using the bed sheet. Deputy Flammio began CPR as Deputy Matthews arrived on scene with his AED. A shock was delivered after which Deputies Flammio and Mathews continued performing CPR. Deputy Snyder also arrived on scene and a rotation began with each of the three deputies providing CPR to the still unresponsive male. Fire Rescue began advanced life support after their arrival until the male could be safely moved from the fifth floor to the ground level where an ambulance transported him to a local hospital. According to medical personnel, the actions of the deputies were critical in saving the life of this male.
Deputy Heather Bivins and Deputy William Howard
In March of 2020, Deputy Heather Bivins and Deputy William Howard responded to a medical call in West Melbourne in reference to an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, the deputies discovered that the female was not breathing and had no pulse. Deputies Bivins and Howard immediately began CPR and deployed an AED. Two shocks were delivered to the female in between rounds of CPR until the arrival of paramedics. The female was transported to the hospital where she made a full recovery. Paramedics advised that had the deputies not immediately began CPR and deployed the AED, the female would have likely not survived this medical event.
Sergeant Orlando Vecchio and Corporal Jeremy Flake
In April 2020, while off-duty, Sergeant Orlando Vecchio was advised that a person had been shot in the area of Scottsmoor Landings. Sergeant Vecchio located the female victim who had suffered multiple gunshot injuries and relayed the information to responding deputies. Corporal Jeremy Flake arrived on scene and was advised that the victim was bleeding profusely. Corporal Flake retrieved his medical bag and began assisting Sergeant Vecchio by applying a blood clotting agent to the most serious wounds. Both deputies continued to comfort the victim who was unable to speak but responded by squeezing Sergeant Vecchio’s hand. The victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition and according to hospital medical personnel, the actions taken by Sergeant Vecchio and Corporal Flake likely prevented the female from bleeding to death at the scene.
Deputy Heiden Irizarry-Rodriguez
In February 2020, Deputy Heiden Irizarry-Rodriguez responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to an unconscious male. Upon arrival, he found the male on the kitchen floor unresponsive and not breathing. Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez immediately began CPR, while also deploying an AED. A shock was delivered, however, CPR was still advised. While continuing CPR, Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez learned that the male was prescribed seizure and pain medication for a back issue. Deputy Irizarry –Rodriguez administered Narcan with negative results of improving the male’s condition. Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez continued performing CPR until the arrival of paramedics who took over lifesaving efforts. The male was transported to the hospital where he was expected to make a full recovery. Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez responded to this life-threatening medical emergency by providing emergency aid as he had been trained. The actions he took directly led to saving the life of this male.
Corporal Bridgette Johnson Deputy Tyler Burgess and Deputy Michael Loucel
In April of 2020, Corporal Bridgette Johnson along with Deputies Tyler Burgess and Michael Loucel responded to a call in reference to a possible “jumper” on the Hubert Humphrey Bridge. Deputy Burgess arrived first and met with a Cocoa PD officer who was talking with the male subject who was despondent over losing custody of his children. Deputy Loucel also began speaking with the man and was soon joined by Deputy Burgess and Corporal Johnson. All three engaged the male in conversation in an attempt to get him to come down from the guard rail. Corporal Johnson was able to build a rapport with the subject who eventually stepped down from the rail, and sat down on the edge of the sidewalk, allowing deputies to take him into custody for a mental health evaluation. It is clear the male intended to commit suicide when he climbed on to the railing of the bridge; the patience and compassion shown by these deputies saved his life and allowed him to receive the professional help he needed.
Field Training Officer Elliott Edwards and Deputy Tyler Young
In June of 2020, FTO Edwards and Deputy Young responded to a request from a male to check on the well-being of his uncle who had sounded distraught during a recent phone conversation. Upon arrival at the uncle’s residence, the deputies observed the male laying on the couch and appeared to be sleeping. Attempts to wake the male from the outside of the house were unsuccessful and the deputies also observed two open and empty pill bottles on a table by the man. Fearing for his safety, the deputies were able to enter the residence through an unlocked side door. Once inside, they found the man breathing but unresponsive. A short time later, the male stopped breathing and FTO Edwards and Deputy Young immediately began CPR. Their efforts were successful in the male regaining a pulse, however he still remained unresponsive. Deputies Edwards and Young remained with the male until the arrival of paramedics where he was transported to local hospital and made a full recovery from his suicide attempt. FTO Edwards and Deputy Young should be commended for their quick actions in preventing this suicide and allowing the male to receive the proper medical care he needed.
Corporal Danielle Stitt and Deputy Brian Otto
In June of 2020, Corporal Danielle Stitt and Deputy Brian Otto responded to a residence in Merritt Island where a male was reported to be unresponsive. Upon arrival, they found the male unresponsive and wedged between his bed and the wall. They successfully removed the male and placed him onto the floor where Corporal Stitt began CPR while Deputy Otto deployed his AED. A shock was given, after which both deputies worked together performing CPR until the male regained a faint pulse and began breathing sporadically. The deputies continued with chest compression until the arrival of paramedics and the male was transported to the hospital where he fully recovered. The quick response and lifesaving measures taken by Deputies Stitt and Otto ultimately led to this male surviving this life threatening medical event.
Agent Randy Truitt and Deputy Michael Neill
In June of 2020, while driving in his agency vehicle, Agent Truitt heard a dispatched call for a male who collapsed while walking down the roadway. Being in the area, Agent Truitt responded to find several citizens providing CPR. Agent Truitt exited his vehicle and obtained his AED, which he deployed upon reaching the male. Deputy Neill also observed the group while driving through the area on his way home from agency orientation. Deputy Neill stopped to assist and began chest compression along with Agent Truitt, while a citizen provided rescue breaths. The male was provided three shocks by the AED without success and the group continue CPR until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to the hospital where he recovered from this medical emergency. The actions of Agent Truitt and Deputy Neil, along with the concerned citizens, assisted in saving the life of this male who had suffered a massive heart attack.
Corporal Willard Freeman and Deputy Angela Itri
In June of 2020, Deputy Jeffreys met with a female who advised that she had received a message from her boyfriend that led her to believe he was suicidal. Deputy Jeffreys was able to make phone contact with the male who sounded as if he was having trouble breathing and talking. Corporal Willard Freeman and Deputy Angela Itri responded to the male’s residence in an effort to check on his well-being. Upon arrival, they heard a loud noise and what sounded like a person in distress coming from a wooded area near the residence. Corporal Freeman and Deputy Itri began searching the heavily wooded area, finding the male, who apparently had attempted to hang himself unsuccessfully due to the branch breaking. Upon falling to the ground, the male became entangled in dense vines and panicked to the point where he had restricted his airway and was gasping for breath. Corporal Freeman climbed into the area, reaching the male who had the vines tightly wrapped around his throat. Corporal Freeman was able to calm the male, breaking him free from the vines and ultimately saving his life. Deputy Itri transported the male to a mental health facility where he received appropriate follow-up treatment. The quick response and diligent search undertaken by Corporal Freeman and Deputy Itri were responsible for this male surviving the attempt to take his life and enabled him to receive the mental health care he needed.
Field Training Officer William Carrion
In July 2020, FTO Carrion responded to a residential fire in unincorporated Indialantic. Upon arrival, FTO Carrion found the residence fully engulfed in flames. Without hesitation, he began banging on the door, making contact with a male who he was able to safely assist out of the residence. Upon learning that the male’s 90-year-old mother was still inside, FTO Carrion re-entered the burning home and began calling for the elderly female. Hearing coughing from a rear bedroom, FTO Carrion was able to locate the elderly female who was disoriented and having difficulty breathing. He quickly identified himself and assisted the female out of the residence, reuniting her safely with her son. If not for FTO Carrion’s quick actions and bravery, there could have been a different outcome, as one or both of the homeowners could have perished in the fire.
Deputy Taylor Dunn and Deputy Joseph Groski
In August 2020, deputies responded to an attempted suicide at a residence in Merritt Island where a juvenile female was threatening to harm herself. During their response, they learned that the female had shot herself in the chest. Deputies Dunn and Groski arrived to find the juvenile sitting in a chair suffering from a through and through gunshot wound that had entered her chest and exited her back. As other deputies secured the scene, Deputies Dunn and Groski immediately began performing life-saving measures, working together to close the wounds and stop the bleeding. They continually reassured the victim she would survive in an effort to keep her calm. Paramedics arrived on the scene and the female was airlifted to the hospital. It was later learned that the courageous and decisive actions taken by Deputies Dunn and Groski ultimately resulted in saving this distraught juvenile’s life.
Deputy Dale Craig
In December 2020, Deputy Dale Craig responded to a report of a head-on collision that occurred in Micco. After arriving on-scene, Deputy Craig found a female in one of the vehicles who was unresponsive and without a pulse. He immediately removed the female from her vehicle and began chest compression, which he continued until the arrival of paramedics. By the time rescue personnel arrived on scene, the female had regained a pulse and her condition was upgraded to stable. The female was transported to the hospital where she fully recovered from her injuries. The prompt response and immediate actions taken by Deputy Dale Craig were instrumental in saving the life of this female.
Field Training Officer Gaston Robin
While traveling on Viera Boulevard in November of 2020, Deputy Gaston Robin noticed a vehicle stopped on the railroad tracks with its reverse lights illuminated. Deputy Robin approached on foot and made contact with the driver who was still seated inside the vehicle. At that moment, Deputy Robin also observed a train rounding the curve heading towards the vehicle. Deputy Robin notified the Communications Center to contact FEC and advised them to stop the train. He then turned his attention to the driver, who he instructed to exit the vehicle and walk towards him. The driver complied, eventually joining Deputy Robin at his patrol vehicle away from the tracks. Although the approaching train had slowed, it was unable to stop, and struck the vehicle head-on before stopping approximately a quarter mile north of the location. Further investigation determined that the driver was under the influence and had intentionally positioned the vehicle on the tracks in an attempt to commit suicide. Without the direct intervention by Deputy Robin, this male would have surely lost his life when the vehicle was struck by the oncoming train. Deputy Robin’s calm and professional demeanor helped ensure the safety of the driver, train personnel and the citizens who had stopped to provide assistance.
Deputy Adam Benke and Deputy Joe Spinelli
In December of 2020, Deputies Adam Benke and Joe Spinelli responded to a vehicle accident in Titusville. Upon arriving at the scene, the deputies found that a vehicle had crashed into a tree and was beginning to catch fire. As Deputies Benke and Spinelli reached the vehicle, they found the driver slumped over the steering wheel and unresponsive. As the fire continued to grow, both deputies attempted to enter the vehicle to remove the driver, but were unsuccessful due to the damage to the door from the crash. Having no other option, Deputy Spinelli pulled the driver out of the vehicle through a window and with the assistance of Deputy Benke, carried the driver to safety, moments before the entire passenger compartment was engulfed in flames. The driver soon regained consciousness and was treated by medical personnel at the scene. Both Deputy Benke and Spinelli are to be commended for performed life-saving measures and placing themselves in personal danger in order to save the life of this driver.
Deputy Bruce LaBier
In November of 2020, Deputy Bruce LaBier was notified by a passerby that a male subject was lying face down on the ground. Deputy LaBier located the male who was unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse. With the assistance of a citizen, Deputy LaBier immediately began CPR. After completing several cycles, Deputy LaBier was able to also deploy his AED, which administered a shock to the subject. CPR was continued during which time the male regained his pulse and began breathing. After the arrival of paramedics, the subject was transported to a local hospital where he made a full recovery. Deputy LaBier’s quick intervention with CPR and AED deployment, ultimately saved this male’s life.
Communications Officers of the Month
January: Public Safety Telecommunicator Abigail Sanders
As PST Sanders began her shift, she was immediately faced with dispatching deputies to an in-progress burglary. She quickly set off an alert tone and requested deputies to respond to the scene. While communicating with the aviation hangar to notify STAR of the in-progress call, PST Sanders also requested another radio channel to attempt to raise a K-9 unit to respond to assist. Additionally, as the incident unfolded, she communicated the owner’s names and addresses for vehicles involved in the incident, as well as initiated and monitored emergency radio traffic until deputies safely cleared the scene.
February: Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard
While working North Dispatch, Shift Supervisor Bernhard received a call in reference to a traffic crash in Port St John. After first dispatching patrol to the scene and checking on the safety of those involved, Supervisor Bernhard began gathering information from the caller that would be integral in assisting in the prosecution of an impaired driver. Supervisor Bernhard obtained information that was relayed to the deputies that positively identified the driver at fault and the actions that led to the crash. Using this information, the responding deputy was able to quickly recreate the events and arrest the driver for DUI and DUI with property damage. Her actions also greatly assisted in the successful prosecution of the case.
March: Public Safety Telecommunicator Shelby Kochendorfer
After being employed by the BCSO for only two months, PST Kochendorfer, received a call of a burglary in progress involving three suspects. As deputies were responding, PST Kochendorfer began obtaining detailed descriptions and updated locations of the suspects from the caller. Using this information, deputies were able to easily locate the suspects and take them all into custody as a result of the real-time information provided by PST Kochendorfer.
April: Public Safety Telecommunicator Cherraine Faucher
PST Faucher received a 911 call redirected from Cocoa PD where a male caller advised there was a medical emergency and needed help. By keeping the male calm, PST Faucher soon learned that the subject had shot his wife. PST Faucher continued the conversation with the male, gaining vital background information of the events that led up to the shooting. She was able to successfully relay to responding deputies the location of the male, as well as the victim and where the firearm was now safely located. Her calm and professional demeanor kept the caller on the phone until deputies arrived on scene keeping a potentially dangerous situation from escalating.
May: Shift Supervisor Monica Mahl
Early in her shift, Supervisor Mahl received a 911 call in reference to an armed carjacking. She was able to obtain the suspect information and victim’s vehicle description which was broadcast to patrol deputies. Later in the shift, Supervisor Mahl learned that units had spotted the vehicle and an active pursuit was in progress. While still monitoring her trainee, she was able to coordinate the activities of patrol units from multiple jurisdictions, provide continuous notifications to command staff, to include that an officer-involved shooting had occurred, while still monitoring West primary channel for the duration of the incident. For her efficiency in handling this significant incident, she is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
June: Public Safety Telecommunicator Lisa Treinen
While working dispatch, PST Treinen was advised that a stabbing had occurred and within seconds, was able to update responding deputies on the victim’s location. Throughout the incident, PST Treinen, handled emergency traffic, coordinated with other dispatchers, the response of STAR, K-9 and Brevard Fire Rescue. Due to her ability to coordinate the quick response of multiple specialized units, the male stabbing victim received medical assistance that ultimately assisted in saving his life.
July: Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew LeBeau
PST LeBeau received a call from a concerned citizen in reference to a suspicious male who appeared to be in distress and may have also been a special needs person. PST LeBeau began researching prior calls in the area and was able to determine the possible identity of the male. His initiative gave the responding deputies the ability to locate the mother of the nonverbal male, who was having a medical issue. The male was transported to a local hospital where he received further medical treatment. For his actions in this incident, PST LeBeau is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
August: Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard and Public Safety Telecommunicator Garrett Herring
Supervisor Bernhard received an emergency 911 call from a frantic male advising that his girlfriend had overdosed and needed immediate medical attention. While trying to calm the caller down, the call was disconnected. Although Supervisor Bernhard was unable to regain contact, she narrowed the area of the caller to two blocks according to where the phone was plotting. Shortly after, the male called back and PST Herring was able to obtain the correct location of the victim.
Deputies who were now in the area, were able to quickly respond to the location and provide medical care until paramedics arrived. The female was transported to the hospital where she made a full recovery.
September: Public Safety Telecommunicator Madison Duke
PST Duke was made aware of an out-of-state caller who was advising that a user of the social media platform “Tik Tok” was making possible suicidal comments. Although only a very limited amount of information was available, PST Duke was able to locate the subject’s personal page, which included a photograph. Through the photograph, the subject was positively identified and it was learned his location was in the jurisdiction of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. Contact was made with that agency who was able to locate and conduct a wellbeing check on the male. For his diligent efforts in identifying this subject, PST Duke is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
October: Public Safety Telecommunicator Logan Burkett
PST Burkett was working North radio when a deputy checked out with a suspicious person at a local convenience store. Almost immediately, the deputy advised that they were pursuing the subject on foot and the now identified subject was previously known to carry a knife. PST Burkett assisted with the coordinated search for the subject that involved units from two precincts, STAR, K-9 and members of the Special Investigations Unit. For over an hour, PST Burkett assisted with the activities of all responding units until the subject was apprehended and the incident concluded.
November: Public Safety Telecommunicator Stephanie Palumbo
While working East radio, PST Palumbo received a call from a male who advised that his mother had just left the residence armed with a handgun with the intent to commit suicide. While dispatching deputies to the area, PST Palumbo attempted to gain further information as to the vehicle description or a possible intended location. Upon advising the male that deputies needed to meet with him to gain further information, the male stated that he did not want to make contact and ended the call. Deputies were able to use the call location to find the male and gained the necessary information to successfully locate the woman who was unharmed and transport her for a mental health evaluation.
December: Public Safety Telecommunicator Tadisha Samuel
PST Samuel dispatched units to a call of a female who was assaulted and threatened by a male with a shotgun who fled the area on foot. For the next ninety minutes, PST Samuel monitored heavy traffic while also patching Countywide in order for deputies and Palm Bay Officers to coordinate the search of a heavily wooded area. During the search, PST Samuel also coordinated the response of specialty units including STAR, K-9 and Ag-Marine. Her coordination of personnel from multiple agencies and specialties was conducted in a professional and efficient manner, allowing for seamless communication between all units.
Employees of the Month
January: Inmate Programs Manager Teresa Revel
Teresa supervises the daily preparation and serving of three meals a day, while ensuring proper portion and specialty requirements for all inmates at the jail complex. Often times Sheriff Ivey also surprises Teresa with unique requests for special events or even for our animal friends at the shelter. Without hesitation she researches recipes and implements a plan to get the job done. From researching recipes and producing Doggie Sorbet to be used at the animal shelter, to making donuts from scratch for the “Milk and Donuts with the Sheriff” events at local elementary schools, Teresa always goes above and beyond to serve the needs of our community. For her dedicated service, she is also being recognized with a Commendable Service Bar.
February: Victim Advocate Peggy Brooks
Victim Advocate Peggy Brooks was contacted by a domestic violence victim, after being referred by the State Attorney’s Office. Over the next several months, Peggy assisted this victim with setting up her life away from the abuser. Peggy also asked for investigative assistance in reopening the victim’s case after finding that it had been closed due to lack of evidence. By providing additional information and working with the Special Victim’s Unit, the case was investigated further, which ultimately led to the arrest of the suspect. For her determination in serving the needs of this victim of abuse, she is also being recognized with a Merit Bar.
March: Judicial Technician Ashley Milton
After receiving several calls regarding a suspicious person walking on the beach near Cherie Down Park in Cape Canaveral, deputies responded and made contact an uncooperative male. The male provided deputies with different names, birthdates, and claimed he had no social security number. Deputy Bratsch contacted Judicial Tech Ashley Milton for assistance and provided her with very limited information. Ashley located an active out of county with a matching date of birth, but a different name. After providing the deputy with the injunction and photograph via email, the male was positively identified and arrested for multiple charges. Judicial Tech Milton’s actions displayed her personal initiative and thoroughness and is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
April: Investigative Support Specialist Darian Simpkins
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was determined that fingerprinting would be temporarily discontinued at all BCSO locations. However, the need to fingerprint our vendors, contractors and future employees was deemed essential and Criminal Investigative Services was identified as the primary fingerprint location for our agency. During the shutdown alone, Darian successfully fingerprinted over 100 of our vendors, contract, current and future BCSO employees. Darian’s dedication and effort assisted our agency in being able to continue its hiring process, as well as serve the citizens of Brevard County. For her service, she is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
May: Registration Specialists Heather Bailey and Jaime Manzo
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many statewide agencies began altering the way sex offender registration occurred: some conducted registrations by telephone while a few temporarily discontinued registrations altogether. The BCSO Sexual Offender Registration and Tracking Unit altered the process to limit the personal contact with Predators and Offenders, however, remained open to service all registrants. From March to the end of June 2020, Heather and Jaime successfully completed over 630 registrations while maintaining a positive and professional attitude towards their assignment. For their efforts in maintaining a close watch on these offenders, they are also both receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
June: Maritime Security Officer Raymond Wild
While responding to Cruise Terminal 8 to provide access for construction workers, MSO Wild observed an unidentified person in one of two vehicles located in a secured area of Port Canaveral. The person he confronted was identified and later determined to be a foreign national who has been residing and working in the United States without proper authorization. An agent with the US Border Patrol responded to the scene and confirmed this foreigner had been deported from the US on two previous occasions and was currently back in this country again without authorization. MSO Wild is also being recognized with a Commendable Service Bar for his thorough investigation in this incident.
July: Investigative Analyst Kayla Duttenhaver
While working as an Investigative Analyst at the Cape Canaveral Precinct, Kayla Duttenhaver realized that several law enforcement calls received within a few hours of each other may have been related. Without being asked, Analyst Duttenhaver utilized her training to assist deputies with positively identifying a felony suspect who had recently traveled from the state of Ohio. Due to her efforts, Analyst Duttenhaver was able to support multiple law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspect, who without her assistance, may have been able to evade capture and continue to victimize the citizens of Brevard County. For her initiative, Kayla is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
August: Crime Scene Investigator Jenna Gardner
In August of 2020, Crime Scene Investigator Jenna Gardner was asked to assist the Cocoa Police Department in a homicide case that occurred in their city. CSI Gardner, acting as the lead in the case, processed the residence for DNA, latent prints and collected multiple pieces of evidence. She collected and processed a plastic bag that was located on a bed in the master bedroom. CSI Gardner who was able to develop a fingerprint that was linked to the suspect in the homicide. Using her knowledge, training, and experience, CSI Gardner was able to develop the definitive piece of evidence needed to charge the suspect with Premeditated First Degree Murder. CSI Gardner is also being recognized in this investigation with a Bar of Merit.
September: Animal Enforcement Officer Stacey Stoneback
While in the Port St. John area and actively monitoring her radio, AEO Stoneback heard a call for all available personnel to assist with the search for an at-risk missing/endangered adult. The male was a diabetic, partially blind, and previously diagnosed with dementia. She obtained a description of the missing subject from the call comments and began actively searching the area. AEO Stoneback observed a male walking along the roadway that matched the description of the missing subject. AEO Stoneback successfully located the missing adult, who was safely reunited with his family. For her efforts in bringing this incident to a safe conclusion, she is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
October: Animal Enforcement Officer Andrew Friedman
While at a residence in Melbourne, AEO Friedman made contact with a female and a male who refused to sign a dangerous dog citation. Returning to his vehicle, AEO Friedman noticed there was a warrant alert in New World for that address. He was able to locate a photo of the wanted person, which matched the male subject. AEO Friedman had a deputy respond and concerned that the wanted subject would not answer the door, volunteered to approach the residence and attempt to serve the dangerous dog citation again. The wanted subject did exit the residence as planned, where he was taken into custody by the awaiting deputy. AEO Friedman is also being recognized with a Commendable Service Bar for his assistance in capturing the wanted fugitive.
November: Information Technology Specialist Kevin Rose
In November 2020, most of the BCSO computer systems succumbed to a software update which caused many computers to become inoperable. IT Specialist Rose began to prioritize the needs of each of the computer users and began the rigorous process of completing the necessary update on nearly 100 computers at CIS. During the same time period, the Sexual Offender Registration and Tracking Unit moved the registration responsibilities for all Sexual Predators/Offenders from CIS to the Jail Complex. Additionally, the Career Criminal Offenders/Felony Registration responsibilities were also transitioned from the Records Unit at Parkway. Specialist Rose was instrumental in the transition of all computer-related needs from both locations to the jail complex. For his efforts in these projects he is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
December: Inmate Information Clerk Pamela McPeak
While reviewing an inmate visit, Inmate Information Clerk McPeak was alerted to a possible law violation when she reviewed the inmate’s paperwork and determined that the visitor may also be the victim in a criminal case. McPeak immediately notified Criminal Investigative Services who initiated an investigation and determined that the visitor was in fact the victim of this inmate. Further review found that the inmate was employing other inmates within his cellblock to call his victim, which had been done a total of 33 times. Ms. McPeak’s attention to detail was a key factor in stopping the efforts of this inmate’s continuing violations of a No Contact Order.
Corrections Deputies of the Month
January: Sergeant Mark Halfhide, Corporal Kevin Landis, Sergeant Carissa LaRoche, Corrections Deputy Mark Concordia and Corrections Deputy Bobby Strange
Deputy Strange was alerted to two inmates in the medical dorm who appeared to be having seizures. Corporal Landis, along with Deputy Concordia and Sergeants Halfhide and LaRoche, responded to assist. Both inmates did not have a pulse and Corporal Landis operated the AED while the remaining officers performed CPR and rescue breaths on both inmates. As a result of performing these lifesaving measures for several minutes, a pulse was regained on both inmates. After the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue, NARCAN was administered and both inmates were transported to the hospital where they made a full recovery. In addition, these correctional deputies are each receiving a Life Saving Award for their quick intervention and teamwork.
February: Corporal Mike Nettles
Corporal Nettles was assigned to in-custody inmate security at Holmes Regional Medical Center. During a three-week period, the inmate divulged information of his involvement in multiple violent crimes in another county in Florida. Corporal Nettles kept detailed notes of the conversations that referenced two homicides, a robbery of an elderly woman and a false imprisonment. Corporal Nettles forwarded this information to investigators with the Greenacres Police Department and Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office where these events took place. Corporal Nettles testified in the trials of the inmate in Palm Beach County. His testimony and the meticulous notes he had taken were instrumental in the conviction of this inmate for these horrific crimes. Due to the efforts of Corporal Nettles a very violent career criminal will be serving the rest of his life in prison. Corporal Nettles is also being recognized with a Bar of Merit.
March: Corporal Chet Johnson, Field Training Officer John Anderson, Corrections Deputy Kross Hamilton and Corrections Deputy Mark Concordia
While conducting a security check in the maximum-security area of the jail complex, FTO Anderson located a “shank” in the shower. Corporal Johnson immediately called for a complete lockdown and a thorough search of all sixteen cells and thirty inmates was conducted. During the search, with the assistance of Corrections Deputy Hamilton and Concordia, additional contraband was located and seized. Due to their diligence, these corrections deputies were able to remove dangerous contraband from the facility, helping to ensure the safety and security of the inmates and officers. They each have received a Commendable Service Bar for their actions.
April: Corrections Deputy Tyler Smith
As Corrections Deputy Smith approached an inmate who refused to return to his cell, the inmate lunged forward, knocking him to the ground. The inmate continued to advance and stood over Smith with closed fists. Corrections Deputy Smith was able to use his legs to keep the inmate at a distance, allowing him to deploy his Taser. The inmate was able to separate the wire from the Taser and charged Smith again. Smith deployed his second Taser cartridge and chemical agent, at which time the inmate became compliant. Corrections Deputy Smith is also being recognized for his quick response with a Bar of Merit.
May: Corrections Deputy Ardley McCree
While assigned to 500 Delta Pod in the jail complex, Corrections Deputy McCree witnessed a group of inmates passing a crumpled piece of paper to each other. After retrieving the paper, he found it contained two clear plastic bags with a gray and white powdery substance, which were later identified as heroin and Fentanyl. Due to Corrections Deputy McCree’s attention to detail, harmful narcotics were removed from the jail complex.
June: Field Training Officer John Cabrera
Field Training Officer Cabrera investigated a disturbance involving multiple inmates and located a weapon consisting of two pieces of metal, each approximately 2” in length, that appeared to be made from hinge pins. With the assistance of another corrections deputy, an area search was conducted that led to the discovery of a similar item in a box truck delivering food. Continuing their investigation, they were able to positively identify where the metal pieces came from and also the two inmates involved in attempting to introduce contraband into the facility. For his actions, FTO Cabrera is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
July: Lieutenant Kimberly Wilson
Lieutenant Wilson was notified of a possible overdose of an inmate in the medical unit and began an investigation to determine how this inmate could have obtained the drugs since she was housed alone. Camera footage, housing logs and arrest affidavits were reviewed to compile the information needed to determine the source of the drugs. Lt. Wilson successfully located the inmate responsible for introducing the drugs into the jail population. Based on her investigation, a search was successful in recovering the drugs and the inmate received additional criminal charges. Lt. Wilson also received a Commendable Service Bar for her investigative work in this incident.
August: Corporal Michael Oldham
While off duty, Corporal Oldham noticed a verbal altercation that turned into a physical altercation between a male and female in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. He quickly intervened and separated the involved parties while advising an employee to contact law enforcement. While awaiting their arrival, Corporal Oldham witnessed drug paraphernalia fall from a backpack of one of the subjects. Corporal Oldham provided a statement to arriving officers that assisted them in charging the subject. Corporal Oldham intervened in this incident using an approach that assured the safety of all parties while using his observations to assist local law enforcement in the furtherance of a criminal case. For his actions, he is also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
September: Corrections Deputy Sean Roblin
While off duty, Corrections Deputy Roblin was traveling on State Road 528, when he observed a male subject walking alongside the roadway. He recalled reading a law enforcement bulletin in reference to a missing/endangered person and was able to recall the subject’s physical and clothing description. Corrections Deputy Roblin confirmed the subject matched the description on the bulletin and made contact with the male. The subject had been reported missing from a local hospital and was still wearing a medical bracelet from the facility. Corrections Deputy Roblin’s attention to detail assisted in returning this person to the medical facility to receive the medical treatment he needed. For his actions, he is also being recognized with a Commendable Service Bar.
October: Corrections Deputy Nathaniel Elliott
While off-duty and driving, Corrections Deputy Elliott witnessed an altercation between a male and female inside a vehicle. He took position behind the vehicle while contacting the Palm Bay Police Department. Corrections Deputy Elliott updated dispatch as the vehicle entered a parking lot where he witnessed the ongoing altercation between the male and female. Based on his information, the occupants were intercepted by the Palm Bay Police Department as they left the hotel parking lot. The male occupant was arrested on charges of domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and driving under the influence. Corrections Deputy Elliott remained calm, focused and provided the necessary information that led to the apprehension of this individual.
November: Corporal Darren DuVal, Field Training Officer Joseph Price and Field Training Officer Carl Jenkins
Corporal DuVal was conducting a security/confinement check when he was alerted to an emergency in Cell 320. As he approached the cell, he observed an inmate lying on the floor with what appeared to be a torn sheet wrapped around his neck. Corporal DuVal immediately called FTO Price and Jenkins for assistance. He entered the cell and attempted to remove the sheet from around the inmate’s neck, however; the inmate was still conscious and resisted Corporal DuVal’s effort by pulling the sheet tighter around his neck. With the assistance of Price and Jenkins, the three corrections deputies were able to get the inmate under control and remove the sheet. Their quick actions and teamwork helped avert a potentially life-ending event. For their actions, they are also receiving a Commendable Service Bar.
December: Director Noel Remillard & Corrections Deputy Raymond Short
The Haunted Jail Trail is a one-of-a-kind event held over two weekends and provides a family-friendly night of fun while benefiting local charities. Director Remillard and Corrections Deputy Short spent countless hours preparing the Haunted Jail Trail; building multiple structures, which made the event possible. They also spent many hours working during the event to ensure that the volunteers had everything necessary to make the event a success. Their contribution continued after the event was over as they worked for days ensuring that all of the props and structures were properly disassembled and stored for future use. For their efforts in this important community event they are also being recognized with a Commendable Service Bar.
25 Years Of Service
■ Corporal David Altman
■ Deputy Edward Becht
■ Deputy Harry Cieszynksi
■ Sergeant Robert Edwards
■ Corrections Deputy Angela Harris
■ Major Alex Herrera
■ Corporal Evan Hightower
■ Lieutenant Byron Keck
■ Major Brandon Lanza
■ Public Safety Telecommunicator Mary Proctor
■ Major Carlos Reyes
■ Agent Don Reynolds
■ Sergeant Kevin Roberts
■ Applications Support Analyst Julie Stimmell
■ Deputy Terry Turner
■ Lieutenant Rob Vitaliano
■ Lieutenant Kimberly Wilson
30 Years Of Service
■ Crime Scene Investigator Virginia Casey
■ Sergeant Tsechu Chou
■ Corporal Todd Maddox
■ Sergeant Angela Matthews
■ Deputy Brandy Torquota
■ Commander Andy Walters
35 Years Of Service
■ Records Technician II Mary Young
40 Years Of Service
■ Commander James JD Donn