The following letter was received from Investigator Mike Irwin of Okaloosa Co. SO, AL regarding the coordinated usage of an NIJ placed Powered Parachute in Escambia Co, AL.
On 02-14-11, a citizen informant provided information about an ATV chop shop being operated on Gilmore Road, rural North Okaloosa County. Subsequent investigation revealed several stolen ATVs, lawnmowers, a motorcycle, multitude of tools and Methamphetamine (crank) production. While investigating the said violations, information was received that two other ATVs were possibly hidden on or around the surrounding property, which consisted of pine plantations and farmland. ATV trails interweave the rural property for miles and span over 6 square miles.
On 02-17-11, I contacted Lt. Adam Johnson; Investigator with Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (Alabama) and inquired about their assistance with a Parachute plane they use for a multitude of tasks which require a slow speed aircraft. Lt. Johnson immediately responded with Sheriff Grover Smith and assisted us with an aerial search of the area in question. Sheriff Grover Smith piloted the aircraft and with their assistance, several things were learned about the area to include hidden locations that are used for scraping stolen metal along with two ATVs spotted. The assistance provided did not cost the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office any money and is deeply appreciated. The parachute Plane is a vital asset and a great tool for future use.
Thanks for the assistance and the quick response.
Inv. Mike Irwin
Criminal Investigations Division
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office