Posted by: Media Relations

February 6, 2015


Sheriff One Helps Nab 2 Felony Suspects

Sheriff One, the Sheriff’s patrol airplane helped located two fleeing felony suspects in the last seven days. The fuel efficient light sport aircraft is equipped with a Forward Looking Infra- Red (FLIR) camera system, which produces an image based on temperature differentials. This enables the observer to virtually see in the dark.

 On January 30th at 6:30 pm It was that FLIR capability which enabled the crew to spot 33 year old Gary Turner, who was wanted on a felony warrant, as he fled his residence as deputies arrived to arrest him. The observer (called the TFO or tactical flight officer), Deputy Ballantyne, was able to follow Turner  with the camera as he fled the residence in the 1300 block of Tomah in Porterville, then jumped fences through neighboring back yards. Turner eventually hid in a carport near Putnam and Beverly. Dep. Ballantyne was able to direct Deputy England and his canine partner Rosco to that location where Rosco help subdue Turner who was booked on the warrant and for resisting arrest.

On February 5, 2015 at 8:20 pm Sheriff One responded with Patrol to a “shots fired” call in the Woodville Labor Camp. TFO Ballantyne spotted the suspect, later identified as 19 year old Alejandro Espinosa, running from the vehicle. Using the FLIR, the TFO followed Espinosa, relaying his movements to the patrol deputies on the ground. The TFO directed the deputies to a storage room where Espinosa was found hiding.  Espinosa was taken into custody for Illegal Discharge of a firearm, Burglary and Illegal possession of ammunition.