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Lee County deputies feted at Chamber luncheon

October 25, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

What started as a routine traffic stop turned into something much more serious and potentially deadly, including guns and even a pipe bomb.

It is this kind of danger that the Lee County Sheriff's Office protects us from every day, and it is why deputies Corey Manley and Kevin Fowler were awarded the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Deputies of the Quarter during their monthly Business Leader's Luncheon at the Shell Factory's Dolphin Room last week.

For Manley, it was simply about doing his job, not about the accolades.

"I was just doing my job. I like to have fun and be aggressive, find and get into stuff. I don't want to just be inactive," Manley said. "The award shows I put in the hard work. I don't need an award to feel good about the job."

According to the report, on Friday, Sept. 15, Manley and Fowler observed a spray-painted silver four-door Ford Taurus bearing Florida registration backing up, in the middle of Cypress Street near the intersection of Fourth Way in North Fort Myers.

Deputies had prior knowledge that the driver was driving on a suspended driver's license. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver was taken into custody without incident.

In plain view, a loaded semi 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun was located in an open compartment above the gear shift, with the handle sticking out, and a round in the chamber, the report states.

On the passenger floorboard were two wooden boxes containing multiple pieces of male and female jewelry and collectible coins.

It was also discovered the vehicle was reported stolen during a residential burglary.

The vehicle, a red Ford Taurus with a Pennsylvania tag, had been spray painted silver and the registration plate was changed to a Florida tag.

A query on the driver confirmed he was a convicted felon.

Deputies developed a rapport with the passenger, who explained the driver had retrieved two boxes of jewelry from a residence on Pinecrest Street and a set of car keys, which led deputies to a U Haul truck parked on Marx Drive, the report said.

A search warrant was executed at the Pinecrest Street address, where eight stolen firearms and additional stolen jewelry was located.

A second search warrant was executed on the U-Haul truck. There was no stolen property, but a pipe bomb, was located in the vehicle, officials said.

The jewelry and firearms have been linked to five residential burglaries which were reported during the State of Emergency following Hurricane Irma, where items were taken from those who were displaced by the storm.

This arrest was the result of the pro-active patrol deputies Fowler and Manley continually demonstrate during the course of their duty, officials said.

"Corey is very modest. He's hard worker who was just promoted to the intelligence unit," said Capt. Christopher Reeves. "He's a father of five, goes to college and does it all. He's out there beating the streets and helps keep North Fort Myers safe. He took a major criminal off the streets. His actions are not minimal."



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