Springville de­tec­tives given Medal of Valor

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Lt. Dave Caron

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.

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