Street code helps fugitives avoid capture
'Wall of warrants' packed with 5,400 warrants
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Talk about the nine-day manhunt for alleged cop killer Markeith Loyd and Sgt. Chuck Stallings of the Orange County Sheriff’s fugitive unit will tell you that lies slowed them down.
“I know for a fact people knew where he was," Stallings told News 6. ”It’s all about some myth, that I call it, some code of honor.”
Stallings said that code of honor is an attitude among some members of the community to not help law enforcement even when there is money on the line.
During the hunt for Loyd, Central Florida Crime Line offered $125,000 for tips leading to his arrest.
In the end “good police work” led to the alleged murderer’s capture, not a solid tip.
Paul Zambouros, a former fugitive unit lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office, said that street code makes the chase even more difficult.
“There’s an insane amount of people who are wanted for various crimes,” Zambouros told News 6 "Of course we’ll get them. Usually you can run but you can’t hide.You can’t outrun the warrant.”
At the end of 2016, the county still had 26,237 active warrants. Of those 5,421 were felony warrants.
Those warrants are filed on the second floor of the Orange County Courthouse in a place called the wall of warrants.
During a recent assignment with the county fugitive unit, Stallings and his team closed in on a felony sought on suspicion of alleged drug possession and sales.
The suspect was arrested at a 7-Eleven not far from John Young Parkway and Orange Blossom Trail about an hour into the search. The warrant was executed without incident.
“You’ve got to be in court just like everyone else because you have to fix the warrant ... ," he said. "If it were the wrong guy, we would have said thanks for your cooperation and would have left.”
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