Employees of the 2nd Quarter 2014
Sheriff Paul C. May is proud to announce the "Employees of the 2nd Quarter" of 2014.
Five employees were recognized for the second quarter of 2014. There are four categories for which employees may be recognized: Administration Employee, Citizen Volunteer, Detention Deputy and Law Enforcement. The recipients are as follows:
Administration Employees –Jason Knapp and Joseph Smith
Citizen Volunteer – Morgan Lumpkin
Detention Deputy – Sgt. Iris Marrero
Law Enforcement – Cpl. Randy Thomas
Jason and Joseph were nominated by Lt. Brad Stark. "Both have been busy with renovating the computer system throughout the agency. Joseph has just recently taken care of issues with the cellular phone backup system and installed programs that have been needed by investigations. Both Jason and Joseph are easy to contact and pleasant to talk with while discussing technical issues", stated Lt. Stark.
Morgan was nominated by Lt. Scott Deloney who stated, "Mr. Lumpkin and the other volunteers of More 2 Life have worked hard to help reach the inmates of the Okeechobee County Jail. His program has been so well received by the inmates that Mr. Lumpkin comes in more than once a week so that all the inmates are able to attend. I want to say thanks to Morgan Lumpkin who tries to help and hopefully reach at least one person. If more people were like him this world would be a better place."
Iris was nominated by Cpl. Stacy Ellerbee. "I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Sgt. Marrero for her outstanding work performance that she reflects on a daily basis during her tour of duty. Sgt. Marrero is a Sergeant that is often referred to as a "Working Sergeant". Sgt. Marrero projects a positive attitude that promotes teamwork throughout the jail and by this she influences staff to project a similar outlook on their job assignment," stated Cpl. Ellerbee.
Randy was nominated by Captain Gary Bell who stated, "I would like to take this time to commend Randy on a case that was a domestic call that was serious in nature. His quick thinking and use of a skill that he learned resulted in the arrest of a person that deserved just that. It's always a pleasure when I hear of one of our own using good sense and thinking a plan out and then carrying out that plan. Thanks for the good work and Stay Safe."
Congratulations to all of you.
Florida Fallen Peace Officer Bass Tournament
On July 19, 2014, the Florida Fallen Peace Officer Bass Tournament was held at Lake Okeechobee Scott Driver Boat Ramp. On behalf of Crappy Jack's Bait & Tackle, we would like to thank Tin Fish Grill for their donation of $450.00 in gift certificates for the anglers in 1st thru 10th place and 1st and 2nd Big Fish.
In addition, thank you to the following businesses: Original Equipment, W&W Lumber, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreen's, Car Quest, St. Lucie Battery & Tire, Tire Kingdom, Tires Plus, Los Cocos, Advanced Auto, Brown Cow Sweetery, Sign Guy, Golden Corral, Pueblo Viejo, Dunkin Donuts, Publix, Parrott Island Grill and Geechee Mons.
Thank you to the Glades County Sheriff's Office for lending their grill and to the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office for cooking.
Lastly, thank you to all the anglers that participated and everyone that came out to support this event. All monies raised were donated to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund for Florida fallen officers and their families.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Deputy Sheriff Unit supports the Sheriff's Office in both operational and administrative functions. With the assistance of the Auxiliary Deputy Sheriff Unit, the Sheriff's Office is able to maximize the availability of our deputies to the community. The unit is comprised of non-paid volunteer citizens from Okeechobee County. Auxiliary Deputy Sheriffs have the unique opportunity to participate in the working relationship between local law enforcement and the community while assisting deputies with their routine duties and special events throughout Okeechobee County.
On July 17, 2014, three members of the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Unit were promoted. Keith Pearce has been with the OCSO unit since 8/29/90, and was promoted to the rank of Captain.
Jason Egger has been with the OCSO unit since 6/11/07 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
Crispin Bottari has been with the OCSO unit since 6/11/07 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Sheriff Paul May said of the promotions, "We thank these gentlemen for the contributions to Okeechobee County and our department. They and the other auxiliary officers risk their lives for no pay, they do it just for the satisfaction of helping their community and their fellow officers. It don't get any better than that!"
Congratulations to all of you!
Marijuana Grow House
Marijuana Grow House Arrest
On July 17, 2014, Detective Scott Morgan arrested Jose Rodriguez, DOB: 8/1/62, for Cultivation of Marijuana, Trafficking in Marijuana, Theft of Electric-Grand Theft, Ownership of Property for the Purpose of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance and for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
On the above date members of the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office and Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at 22020 NW 264 Street. The search warrant was signed by the Honorable Judge Sweet on the same day. During the execution of the search warrant, Rodriguez was present at the residence.
The following items were located inside the residence: Thirteen (13) growing marijuana plants with active root systems that weighed approximately 38.10 pounds. The plants were approximately 4 feet tall. The approximate value of the marijuana is $114,000.00; large black plant buckets, timers, capacitors, breakers, AC chiller, 1000 watt bulbs with aluminum housing and ballasts. Two (2) Ziploc bags each containing approximately ½ ounce of marijuana; a calendar with a list of the chemicals needed to grow the marijuana plants. It also contained numbers that coincided with the marijuana grow and what stage the plants were in; a shoe box that contained well over $10,000.00 in U.S. currency; and a plastic bag that contained marijuana trimmings.
Rodriguez-Hernandez was transported to the Okeechobee County Jail. Bond is to be set at first appearance.
Sheriff Paul C. May said of the raid, "The Drug Task Force has been successful again. We will continue to rid our county of these growhouses. When you're in this type of business you never know when we will pay you a visit. But rest assured, we will."
As always, the nature of the probable cause to obtain the search warrant is privileged information and will not be released.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office, along with Okeechobee City Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on Thursday, July 24, 2014. The checkpoint will be set up on Highway 441 South, Okeechobee, Florida.
DUI checkpoints are a proven enforcement tool effective in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of (20) percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.
Deputies will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint and looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Deputies will also check drivers for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
If you're going to drink...
Designate a driver
Call a cab
Call a friend or family member
DUI Takes Its Toll...
A decision by the Supreme Court requires Law Enforcement to publicize DUI checkpoints. While it is widely argued that DUI Roadblocks / Sobriety Checkpoints are violations of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution (being stopped without probable cause or a search warrant), they are in fact legal in the United States and specifically in Florida ((483 So.2d 433 (Fla. 1985). Because of this, Law enforcement agencies in the state of Florida established guidelines to notify the public that a sobriety checkpoint will be conducted in specific locations at certain times.
Their legality was established by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz (1990). While the Supreme Court acknowledged that DUI Roadblocks infringe on a constitutional right, Chief Justice Rehnquist argued that the state interest in reducing Driving Under the Influence outweighed the infringement, and that Sobriety Checkpoints were in fact effective and necessary. Upon notifying the public of a sobriety check point location and time, this helps to fulfill the obligation "of being stopped without probable cause or having a search warrant". This notification is usually completed by means of advertisement to a local newspaper, however can also be accomplished by means of a radio broadcast or internet social media correspondence such as Facebook.
Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office does not make the laws, we just enforce them