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Jail captain’s quick response saves a child

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Capt. Lesa Jones, Sgt. Martin Montalvo, Deputy Jared Oliver, Sheriff Greg Capers, Det. Sgt. Omar Sheikh, Deputy Dustin Oliphant and Duna show the items seized during a welfare check initiated by Jones. Courtesy photoCapt. Lesa Jones, Sgt. Martin Montalvo, Deputy Jared Oliver, Sheriff Greg Capers, Det. Sgt. Omar Sheikh, Deputy Dustin Oliphant and Duna show the items seized during a welfare check initiated by Jones. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — A video call with an inmate led the captain of the jail division to help save the life of a child and to an arrest of an individual on gun and drug charges.

Capt. Lesa Jones, a supervisor of the San Jacinto County Jail, was supervising a video call on Sept. 2 between inmate Amanda Crocker and friend Christopher Bennett, who was involved with Crocker and watching Crocker’s 3-year-old daughter.

Reports indicate that during the call, Crocker witnessed what appeared to be an assault of her daughter. She then told Jones about the incident and expressed concern for her daughter’s safety. 

Crocker told police about the presence of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia and an illegal firearm at her residence where she, her child and her significant other were all living.

Jones the initiated a welfare check of the residence, and members of the Sheriff’s Office — Sgt. Martin Montalvo, Special Operations Deputy Jared Oliver, Detective Sgt. Omar Sheikh and Special Operations Deputy K9 Handler Dustin Oliphant, along with companion K9 Lady Duna — arrived to inspect the residence. 

While no visible injuries were found on the child, officers contacted Child Protective Services for an evaluation; further searching uncovered various illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia, including syringes, and a loaded pistol, all in plain sight and within reach of the child.

Bennett was found to have several open warrants for his arrest and was taken into custody. 

Sheikh said Bennett will be a guest of San Jacinto County Jail and beyond for the immediate future.

Sheriff Greg Capers said that when it comes to the well-being of a child, the office pulls out all the stops.

“Nothing is more important to this office or my staff,” he said.

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