Detective Jeremy Lewis Named Deputy of the Year
Detective Jeremy Lewis was recognized as Deputy of the Year at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office agency awards ceremony. Detective Lewis was awarded the Tim and Ruth Johnson award, which is voted on by Pinellas County Mayors. Below is a synopsis of the investigation that Detective Lewis conducted, and for which he was recognized.
Detective Jeremy Lewis joined the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in 2000 and is currently assigned to the Investigative Operations Bureau, Intelligence Unit. The incident he received the award for occurred in March of last year. Detective Lewis was assigned to the Crimes Against Persons Section, Robbery/Homicide Unit when he received a case of a possible sexual battery. During the course of the sexual assault interview, the victim indicated that she was not ready to prosecute. However, she would provide information regarding the details surrounding the incident. She had been held captive for so long she suffered psychological trauma from her ordeal, and she was afraid of repercussions from her assailants.
Detective Lewis was able to establish a rapport with the victim, and she began to provide more information about her assault. She said she was looking for an apartment when she befriended a woman who introduced her to a man that promised her a place to rent. Instead he kidnapped and raped her. The victim continued her story of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse at the hands of not one but several captors. She was forced to give up her cell phone, and her identity. She was watched constantly, a prisoner in a home here locally in an affluent area in the City of Treasure Island. It was a neighborhood where no one would ever suspect such things could occur. As she described the horror she had to endure it became clear this was a case of Human Trafficking. She told of other victims being held against their will at the same location, and being forced to endure the same indignities. Detective Lewis had recently attended training about investigating Human Trafficking cases and he knew he had to involve the regional Human Trafficking Task Force. He was the lead in the investigation; working long hours of surveillance, obtaining search warrants and coordinating other law enforcement personal to assist. As a result of his dedication to his duty, and his tireless efforts, Detective Lewis brought this case to a successful conclusion in May2009. A total of six suspects were arrested for multiple counts of human trafficking, sexual battery, false imprisonment, and deriving proceeds from prostitution. Initially four victims were freed, however, since the arrests two more victims were identified, located, and freed. Furthermore, this is the first case of domestic Human Trafficking in the State of Florida.
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