On Friday, June 12, 2015 the Fort Myers Police Department honored several employees at a monthly award ceremony. FMPD strives every day to not only protect and serve the residents of the City of Fort Myers, but to make it a better place to live. “It is our policy to recognize employees of exemplary performance of their duties” said Chief Doug Baker. “We appreciate their heroics and the hard work that these men and women put in each day.”
Detective Zachary Ross, Detective Charles Newell, Officer Ryan Lakatos and Officer Michael Preshard have been selected Officers of the Month for May 2015. The Officers were honored for their teamwork dedication during a burglary investigation.
Recently, an outboard motor theft (grand theft) occurred from the City Yacht Basin. It was a small outboard motor, but it was the victim’s only form of transportation to and from the marina from his sailboat (his home) for food, restrooms, and fuel.
Detective Ross was assigned the case and quickly obtained the video surveillance of the crime so it could be released to the media, which was crucial in solving this case. Almost immediately, someone from the public recognized the suspect and contacted the police department. Detective Newell made contact with the recipient of the stolen motor, obtained a statement, and issued a pick-up request. Officer Lakatos and Officer Preshard were aware of the grand theft, and when they saw the pick-up request issued – they immediately went out and arrested the suspect.
When the victim learned that his motor was recovered and the suspect was apprehended, he was extremely grateful. The entire boating community was aware of the situation, and they were ecstatic at the great job the officers did in solving this crime. It definitely cast the department in a positive light.
Officer Russell Southwick and Officer Adam Kebhart of the Community Offender Probation Education Unit (COPE) were selected as the Rib City Officers of the Month for May 2015. Officers were honored for their dedication and hard work as members of the agency, and for positively representing the law enforcement community.
On May 22, 2015, Officer Southwick and Officer Kebhart along with State Probation Officers conducted a home compliance check/probation visit on Billy Torres’ residence located at 305 Detroit Avenue. Torres was on probation for sale and possession of cocaine.
During their check, the officers observed narcotics and drug paraphernalia in plain view. The officers contacted detectives from FMPD’s Special Investigations Group and a search warrant was applied for, granted, and executed on the residence. During the search of the residence, 110 grams of heroin, 497 grams of a “possible cutting agent”, a Mini Draco AK-47 style pistol, a Ruger .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, an Astra .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, approximately $11,000 in United States currency, and a drug press were located and seized as evidence. Billy Torres was arrested and charged accordingly.
Crime Scene Technician Trina Maurice was selected as the Civilian of the Month for May 2015. CST Maurice was nominated for her professionalism and work ethic which is an example for all others to follow.
After a several month investigation the Fort Myers Police Department’s Special Investigations Group conducted a search warrant on a residence occupied by Morris Williams. On the date of the search warrant there were over fifty items of evidence collected, which included over 437 grams of heroin, almost 200 grams of cocaine, 110 grams of marijuana, and two kilogram sized drug presses. The total street value of the drugs seized was over $59,000. This residence was being used as a distribution point for a large scale illegal narcotics operation in the City of Fort Myers.
CST Maurice received a request to process the evidence which she meticulously and thoroughly completed. She was able to recover prints from the numerous items which assisted to link the suspect, Morris Williams, to the drugs that were seized.
During the trial, CST Maurice was called upon to testify for the State Attorney, which the jury after deliberating for less than thirty minutes, came back with a guilty verdict on all charges. The State Attorney remarked on Trina’s skilled testimony, professionalism, patience, and knowledge. Morris Williams is now facing up to forty years in prison.
Please join us in congratulating our award recipients!
Lieutenant Victor Medico
Public Information Officer
Fort Myers Police Department
2210 Widman Way
Fort Myers, Florida 33901