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Shelby County Sheriff's Office, Alabama
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To view a specific press release, click on the title below. The most recent press releases begin at the top.

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Robbery at Walgreen on Hwy 280 (Lee Branch)
2015-06-30

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Shelby County deputies responded to a reported robbery at Walgreens located at 101 Doug Baker Blvd in the Lee Branch Shopping Center on Hwy 280. The witnesses at the scene were able to provide our 911 operators with descriptive details of the fleeing suspect and vehicle. Moments after receiving the call, deputies identified a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle’s description. Shelby County deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, but the vehicle fled. After a short pursuit traveling east on Hwy 280, deputies stopped the vehicle and placed the suspect under arrest without injury or further incident. This release will be updated as more information becomes available. Any additional witnesses or anyone who has information about this robbery is asked to contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office directly at (205) 669-4181, or through our website at www.ShelbySO.com by clicking on the “Report Criminal Activity” link, and choosing the “General Information” category.

Certified Jail Manager Certificate
2015-06-16

On Tuesday June 16, 2015, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that two of its jail administrators have successfully completed the Certified Jail Managers curriculum and passed the associated examination. The Jail Manager Certification Commission (JMCC) and the American Jail Association (AJA) promote the concept of voluntary certification for all jail managers. Certification is one part of a process called credentialing. It focuses specifically on the individual and is an indication of current competency in a specialized field. Jail managers who become Certified Jail Managers (CJM) will be distinguished as individuals who have reached one of the highest levels of achievement in their field. Captain Jay Fondren and Lieutenant Leslie Hood have each successfully completed the course of study and passed the examination. They are now members of a select group of jail administrators across the country with this certification and it is hoped that we will have other jail administrators complete this same program. There are currently 428 CJM certified jail administrators nationally and only four of those are in Alabama. Sheriff Samaniego believes in professional growth and keeping up with “best practices” in all of the disciplines within the Sheriff’s Office. “I am pleased to have employees with this level of competency managing our jail and hope to add others to this list. We take the responsibility that comes with a jail very seriously and are constantly striving to improve our own”, said Sheriff Samaniego.

“Project Lifesaver” Locates Missing Family Member
2015-06-10

At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was notified by 911 that an 80 year old family member was missing from a residence on River Road, near the City of Helena. This resident was a member of the “Project Lifesaver” program, so specially trained Shelby County deputies responded to the area where she was last seen and activated the “Project Lifesaver” system. The area is un-incorporated and very rural with several bodies of water close by. “Project Lifesaver” equipment led deputies straight to the resident, approximately three quarters of a mile in the woods from the last known location. Indian Ford Fire and Rescue treated the patient at the scene for dehydration before being released back to family members in good health. Sheriff Samaniego would like to thank all of those who helped in this search and rescue, as well as those who made this program possible. “Yesterday, we had another success story as a result of law enforcement partnerships, the public’s support and Project Lifesaver. Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies, local police officers, firemen and many other groups come together when a loved one wanders and, with the help of Project Lifesaver, are able to locate the missing. It is also important to recognize the Shelby County Commission, the private companies and local residents who have continued to help in funding this program. It takes support at every level and we are lucky to have that”. Project Lifesaver International (PLI) was founded by public safety officers themselves, to bring about a solution that facilitates not just the speedy return of wanderers to their families, but the actual rapid location of the wanderers themselves — a strategy that greatly increases the chance that the wanderer will be found alive. Our “Project Lifesaver” team encompasses specially trained deputies that place personalized wrist bands containing radio transmitters on individuals who suffer from debilitating disease or autism to locate them should they wander away from home. Search times for those participating in the program have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has been an active participant in this program since 2005. Thank you again to everyone who helps with this program in any way. For more information on this program, the public may visit the Sheriff’s Office website at www.shelbyso.com and click on the “Project Lifesaver” tab or visit Project Lifesaver International at www.projectlifesaver.org . The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office “Project Lifesaver” team is affiliated with “Project Lifesaver” International.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is now on YouTube
2015-05-15

On Friday, May 15, 2015, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will launch a personalized YouTube Channel for instantly sharing videos, Public Service Announcements, and pre-recorded press releases. Other videos that will be found on this channel will be those that highlight the duties and responsibilities of various units and divisions within the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Samaniego has stated that his goal in utilizing this YouTube Channel is, “…to offer our community the opportunity to understand, in greater detail, the many facets of their Sheriff’s Office, and the people and resources we have available to better serve Shelby County.” If you wish to subscribe, please follow this link (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOdpRUYklENJM_zyAgRdSAA), or you can access the channel from our Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page or website, www.shelbyso.com.

Sheriff’s deputies to help carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope
2015-05-14

On Friday, May 15, 2015, at 8:30 a.m., Shelby County deputies and law enforcement officers from around the state will come together at the Pelham Civic Complex to proudly run with the Flame of Hope to raise awareness for Special Olympics of Alabama. Five Shelby County deputies along with members of The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics (LETR), will carry the Flame of Hope from the Pelham Civic Complex, 500 Amphitheater Rd, Pelham, AL 35124, to the State Capital, and finally to Troy University where it will be used to light the cauldron to start the 2015 Special Olympics Summer Games. The LETR is an international organization comprised of over 85,000 volunteer law enforcement officers from the United States, Canada, and 35 other nations. In 2013, LETR raised over $50 Million for Special Olympics programs. For more information about LETR, please visit www.letr.org. For more information about the Pelham Leg of the Torch Run, please contact Deputy Debbie Sumrall at 205-225-4007.

Escaped Inmate captured
2015-05-06

On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, local law enforcement were notified by the Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) of an escapee from the Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility, located in Columbiana. The Alabama Department of Corrections obtained an additional warrant on 43 year old Danny Gene Fair, for the charge of Escape. On Wednesday morning, May 6, 2015 at approximately 8:30 am, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from a local resident near the city limits of Montevallo, who reported seeing someone matching the description of the escaped inmate. Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Montevallo Police Department, Alabama Game and Fish Conservation Officers, and the Department of Corrections canine search team established a perimeter in the area of Alabama Highway 25 and Shelby County Road 216, near Montevallo. At approximately 9:00 am, the escaped inmate, Danny Gene Fair, was taken into custody by Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies along the roadway of Highway 25, without incident. Fair is currently being held at the Shelby County Jail awaiting extradition back to the Alabama Department of Corrections. Sheriff John Samaniego would like to offer his appreciation to the local and state agencies who joined together to safely apprehend Mr. Fair. “This was a true partnership of resources and personnel, none of which would have been successful without the helpful citizen who made the call to the Sheriff’s Office.”

Traffic Pursuit and Arrest
2015-04-30

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Thursday April 30, 2015, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a person acting suspiciously at a retail store in the 16000 block of U.S. Highway 280, near Chelsea, Alabama. Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and were alerted to the possibility that the person may have been the same suspect who stole items from the store previously. Deputies were told the suspicious person looked like the previous suspect and that he left in a blue vehicle, possibly a Suburban. A few minutes later a deputy spotted a vehicle on U.S. Highway 280 traveling west-bound and both the driver and vehicle matched the descriptions given in the “Be On Look Out”. Deputies attempted a traffic stop of the vehicle and the driver refused to stop and attempted to elude deputies. A traffic pursuit was initiated and it ended on Interstate 20 when the suspect lost control of his vehicle. No injuries were reported and deputies with Irondale police officers took the occupants of the vehicle into custody without further incident. Sheriff’s investigators are working on the previous theft case and will also investigate today’s events. Sheriff Samaniego would like to thank those other law enforcement agencies and their officers for their help and quick response. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office does not release suspect information until after they have been formally charged and taken into custody. This release will be updated when more information is available. Anyone with additional information about this pursuit is urged to contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office directly at (205) 669-4181, through the Secret Witness line at (205) 669-9116, or through our website at www.shelbyso.com by clicking on the "Report Criminal Activity" link and choosing "General Information."

Suspect Charged in Shooting Death
2015-04-28

As previously released Tuesday morning, April 28, 2015, Shelby County 911 received a call on April 27, 2015, at approximately 8:00 p.m., of a homicide at a residence in the 2500 block of Hwy 93, in Helena. The victim is identified as Gene Ward, Jr., 61 years of age, from Helena. At approximately 4:15 p.m. on April 28, 2015, Justin Taylor Ward, age 26, of Helena, was officially charged with Capital Murder, and is currently being held at the Shelby County Jail on a $500,000 bond. For information on the charge listed above, go to the link below and select Title 13A- Criminal Code, Chapter 5, Article 40, subsection a2. http://www.legislature.state.al.us/CodeofAlabama/1975/coatoc.htm Anyone with additional information about this crime is urged to contact either the Shelby County Sheriff's Office directly at (205) 669-4181, the Secret Witness line at (205) 669-9116, or through our website at www.shelbyso.com by clicking on the "Report Criminal Activity" link and choosing "General Information." To view a Shelby County jail inmate’s picture, their charges and bonds, go to www.ShelbySO.com and click on the “Inmate Listing” link at the bottom left. You may then type in the inmates last name and click on the “Search” button or, if you are unsure of the exact spelling, select the first letter of the last name to search for the inmate. An inmate’s information will not be available until he has been booked into the facility.

Suspect Held in Shooting Death
2015-04-28

On Monday, April 27, 2015, at approximately 8:00 pm, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible homicide at a residence in the 2500 block of Hwy 93, in Helena. Sheriff’s deputies and investigators responded to the scene and discovered an adult male deceased within the home from apparent gunshot wounds. A relative found the victim after going to check on him. The victim is identified as Gene Ward, Jr., 61 years of age, from Helena. Investigators and evidence technicians developed a suspect within a short period of time and arrest warrants are anticipated as early as this afternoon. The suspect is currently being held in custody on unrelated charges pending arrest. This is believed to be a result of domestic violence and there is no reason to think any other suspects are at large. A suspect’s information will only be released after he/she has been formally charged and arrested. Additional information will be made available as the investigation continues. Sheriff Samaniego would like to express his deepest sympathy for Mr. Ward’s family and friends, “It is always difficult to lose a loved one and my sincere wish for Mr. Ward’s family is that they somehow find peace as they go through this most difficult time”.

Four Arrested with Meth Lab
2015-04-20

On April 18, 2015, the Harpersville Police Department responded to a noxious odor call in the 500 block of Farmingdale Road in Harpersville. Officers arrived on the scene, and during the course of the investigation discovered evidence of a meth lab. The Harpersville Police Department then contacted the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force(SCDETF)and investigators went to the scene, where they dismantled and removed the methamphetamine laboratory. During the investigation, four individuals were questioned and subsequently arrested. The individuals arrested were: Rita Cole Gulledge, 53 years of age, of Harpersville, was charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Controlled Substance 1st. Her bond totals $750,000. Lynn Alton Vick, 49 years of age, of Westover, was charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Controlled Substance 1st. His bond totals $750,000. Randy Dale Hollis Sr., 53 years of age, of Harpersville, was charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Controlled Substance 1st. His bond totals $750,000. Randy Dale Hollis Jr., 24 years of age, of Harpersville, was charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Controlled Substance 1st. His bond totals $750,000. Task Force Commander Turner states, “We are very fortunate to have alert citizens who call in to report suspicious criminal activity and people who do not want this type of activity taking place. These type labs can be found at any time and at any location. We are at our best when we work with the public for a common goal.” For more information regarding the charges, please click here and go to Title 13 - Criminal Offenses and Chapter 12 - Offenses Against Public Health and Morals: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm. The SCDETF consists of law enforcement officers from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabaster Police Department, the Helena Police Department, the Pelham Police Department, and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. The SCDETF is funded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Shelby County Commission. The SCEDTF encourages citizens to report illegal activity by phone (205) 670-0436 or by visiting http://dtf.shelbyal.com. Citizens may click on “Tips” and submit their complaint. All information is anonymous. For more information on the suspects, including their picture, go to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office’s website, www.shelbyso.com, and click on the inmate locator link. Please direct any questions regarding this press release to Captain Kevin Turner of the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force at (205) 670-0436.

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