Senate Honors ODAFF's Investigative Services DivisionTue, 15 Apr 2014 17:37:39 CDT
On Monday, the Senate honored the work and dedication of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry's (ODAFF) Investigative Services Division and their Chief Agent, Jerry Flowers. Sen. Ron Justice was joined by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb in presenting Senate Resolution 69.
"It's an honor to recognize the leadership of Jerry Flowers and the work of his outstanding agents. They have done a great job across the state in helping capture those who are breaking the law, stealing cattle and equipment on farms," said Justice, R-Chickasha. "With the price of livestock what it is, cattle theft has been on the rise but they have worked hard to protect those in rural Oklahoma and return what is rightfully theirs. We want to commend them for their dedication and service to rural Oklahoma."
The ODAFF Investigative Services Division investigates agriculture crimes ranging from the theft of livestock, agriculture equipment and timber to wild land fire arson. Flowers and his nine special agents recently made national news when they apprehended former ranch hands David Wallace and Larry "Snag" Smith who are accused of stealing 100 cows, worth $100,000, from Oklahoma Rancher and former "The Amazing Race" contestant, Jet McCoy.
Since 2007, the Division has investigated an average of just over 200 cases annually and since 2009, has filed an average of more than 380 felony counts each year.
Lt. Governor Lamb said he was honored to recognize ODAFF's Investigative Services Division not only because of the importance of their work to the state but also to have the opportunity to recognize Chief Agent Flowers who was his former partner on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
"It's no secret that the greatest commodity we have in Oklahoma, without a doubt, is our people. However, in rural Oklahoma, livestock outnumber the people and they are a huge and precious commodity. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and I commend this agency for their work in protecting Oklahoma's agriculture community and the livelihoods of our hardworking farmers and ranchers," said Lamb. "I appreciate Chief Agent Flowers' leadership and what he has done for our community and state. This division has received national recognition for what they've done in rural Oklahoma and we applaud them for their hard work and dedication."
Flowers has 40 years of experience in law enforcement, having worked for the Oklahoma City Police Department for 34 years, retiring as Senior Detective in the Criminal Intelligence Unit and Senior Hostage Negotiator for the Tactical Response Team. He is a lifetime member and has served both as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association and was a member of numerous other gang-related associations. He has 21 years of experience in gang investigations and is qualified in federal and state courts as a street gang expert witness.
In 2001, Flowers was assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in the Oklahoma City office to investigate domestic- and U.S.-related international terrorism and was deputized as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal with top secret clearance. Flowers joined ODAFF's Investigative Services Division in July 2008 as Captain and became the Chief Agent in January 2013.
"It is without a doubt one of the greatest privileges we have to be able to represent the people of this state when they call us at their greatest time of need," said Flowers. "These guys are the best law enforcement agency in the state and I'm proud that we get to recognize that. We appreciate this tremendous honor."
Under Flowers' leadership, the Division solved 242 cases and recovered more than $957,000 worth of property and livestock in 2013 for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. This year, the Division has investigated 55 new cases, filed 69 felony counts for agriculture-related crimes and recovered more than $726,000 in stolen cattle and agriculture equipment.
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