Deputies find dope, gun in woods in Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — Two deputies on foot patrol in the Douglas Park subdivision made big finds in a wooded area off N.E. 14th Avenue.

According to Major Noel Stephen, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), foot and bicycle patrols are nothing new and are ways to stave off any possible problems.

“Any subdivisions where we have chronic, reoccurring problems we’ll do foot patrols and bike patrols,” he said.

The bicycles, he continued, give deputies a “quiet mode of patrol.”

OCSO deputies Leland Schoonmaker and Cody Hurst were on foot patrol between 2 and 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, when they made their respective finds.

While patrolling in the 700 block of N.E. 14th Avenue, Deputy Schoonmaker found a black backpack in a wooded area.

“This particular area is a well-known area for illegal narcotics sales and violent crimes,” stated the deputy in his report.

When the deputy opened the backpack he found suspected methamphetamine, cocaine and flakka. Deputy Schoonmaker’s report went on to state the meth weighed .9 grams, the cocaine weighed 3.3 grams and the suspected flakka weighed 2 grams.

“The suspected illegal narcotics (were) collected and placed into evidence to be fingerprinted and sent to the (Indian River) Crime Lab for analysis,” added his report.

A report by Deputy Hurst documented how he was searching the same area when he came up on a .38 Special Smith & Wesson handgun. The six-shot revolver was found under some foliage.

“I collected the firearm and noticed the serial number had been removed,” stated his report. “The firearm contained five unfired rounds of ammunition and one fired round of ammunition.”

He went on to state the gun was turned over to OCSO crime scene technicians in hopes they will be able to recover the gun’s serial number. They will also check the weapon for fingerprints.

An Enfield rifle, similar to the one pictured here, has been recovered locally by the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. It is believed the rifle was stolen three to four years ago in Okeechobee County. If the rifle belongs to you, or you have any information about the gun, you are asked to call Detective Marty D. Faulkner at 863-357-5330.  Submitted photo/OCSO.

An Enfield rifle, similar to the one pictured here, has been recovered locally by the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. It is believed the rifle was stolen three to four years ago in Okeechobee County. If the rifle belongs to you, or you have any information about the gun, you are asked to call Detective Marty D. Faulkner at 863-357-5330. Submitted photo/OCSO.

Once the crime scene techs have finished with the gun it will be placed into evidence at the sheriff’s office.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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