Springville detectives given Medal of Valor
The Springville Police Department has recognized two of its officers, Detective Ray Flores and Detective Mike Stanton, with the Medal of Valor in recognition of their bravery while saving the life of another person. Ray Flores Detective Ray Flores has been assigned to the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force. While so assigned, he has been extremely effective and has proven to be an exemplary officer. During his time with MCTF, Flores was able to develop a confidential informant who provided substantial information to him. This information eventually led the MCTF to begin an investigation of a drug trafficking organization operating out of a motel in Salt Lake City. Members of the organization were known to be selling drugs not only in the Salt Lake City area, but also throughout Utah County. (They were selling methamphetamine and other drugs.)
Detective Flores was working on obtaining sufficient information to secure a search warrant. While he was doing so, he was advised by his informant that the drug dealers had kidnapped someone who purportedly owed them money for drugs. Flores learned that the kidnap victim was bound and gagged with duct tape and was stuffed in a closet at the motel room. The victim had been repeatedly beaten and threatened.
Flores and his partner contacted SLC PD for assistance. SLC sent some patrol officers to the area and began to ready their SWAT team for response. However before SWAT could get there, one of the suspects left the room. This forced Flores and the other officers to act immediately. That suspect (who was armed with a handgun) was taken into custody, and the officers immediately moved into the motel room to rescue the kidnap victim.
Once inside, they found another armed suspect and quickly disarmed him and took him into custody. They then completed the rescue of the victim. In the end, four suspects were taken into custody. All four were armed. Officers recovered guns and drugs, including a pound of heroin and two pounds of methamphetamine.
The investigation also led to arrests in neighboring states plus the arrest of two more suspects wanted for committing violent crimes here in Utah. The case has now been turned over to the federal authorities because it has spread to multiple states.
The efforts of Detective Flores to rescue the kidnap victim were certainly instrumental in saving the man’s life. Ray’s MCTF field commander said, “It is because of Detective Ray Flores’ work that [the kidnapped person] is alive today. There is no doubt in my mind that efforts were underway in planning his death.” Mike Stanton Detective Mike Stanton recently worked a case where three suspects from the Las Vegas area were caught leaving the Springville Walmart store. These three are part of a larger organization operating out of the Vegas area. The group is suspected of stealing bank account information and using it to create forged credit cards. That case has expanded to surrounding cities and states, and it too is being considered for investigation by federal authorities.
But Stanton doesn’t stop at working cases he is assigned to work.
Earlier in the year, while Stanton was off duty, he observed smoke billowing from a home in Springville. He headed to the scene to see what he could do to help. When he arrived, he saw that the garage of the home was fully engulfed in flames and that smoke was pouring from the house as well.
While it appeared that most of the residents of the home had escaped, one of them had apparently gone back inside. Stanton attempted to persuade the man to get out of the burning house, but he kept going back in. This not only put his own life at risk but also would put the lives of firefighters and other emergency personnel charged with protecting the involved lives and property at risk. Many people apparently don’t understand the dangers of being in a smoke-filled, burning home. It isn’t just the fire that can be deadly; the smoke can be extremely toxic, and people can be quickly overcome and incapacitated by the lack of oxygen and the chemicals in the smoke. Ignoring those dangers, Stanton entered the home and physically removed the man, bringing both of them to safety.