Public Information Officer
In April, the local Black College Reunion celebration was marred by a carjacking that resulted in a murder. The brutal crime might never have been solved if not for the quick actions of deputy Gary Rohm. On Thursday, Rohm’s efforts earned him honors, as he was named the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s deputy of the quarter. Also honored Thursday along with Rohm were investigator of the quarter Ted Richard, civilian employee of the quarter Cristal Bustamante and volunteer of the quarter Kenneth Gilliland.
While working a prisoner transport detail during BCR, deputy Rohm spotted a vehicle matching the description of the car seen fleeing the scene of the murder. Deputy Rohm pursued the car until the driver bailed out, and then gave chase and helped capture the driver. Because of his quick reaction, the suspect is now awaiting sentencing for his role in the crime after having recently pled guilty to being a principal to 2nd-degree murder and armed carjacking. The capture resulted in the arrest of additional suspects and is helping to bring justice for the victim and his family. “He has always been real good about seeing what’s going on around him,” Sheriff Ben Johnson said of deputy Rohm. “This could have been a crime that never got solved.”
As head of the Career Criminal Unit, investigator Richard helped coordinate Volusia’s role in a statewide sweep of sex offenders that resulted in more than 500 arrests. When the operation began in April, there were 62 offenders in Volusia County who required tracking and investigation because they had absconded from their court-ordered supervision. With initiative and determination, investigator Richard whittled down the list through exhaustive research that helped to identify true absconders from those offenders who actually lived where they were registered but needed to be verified. Following his research, investigator Richard led the charge to obtain arrest warrants on 28 offenders. He then was instrumental in organizing a multi-agency sweep through Volusia County that resulted in about a dozen arrests. “Thank you for protecting the children in our community,” Sheriff Johnson told Richard.
Bustamante, the Sheriff’s Office’s civilian employee of the quarter, works as an office assistant in the technical services section and helps electronically input charging information for every arrest made in the county. Other duties include felony criminal registrations and fingerprinting and photographing of applicants seeking a concealed weapon permit. She also answers the phone and helps keep track of office stats. “As her supervisor, I could only wish for an office full of this type of hard-working employee,” said Technical Services supervisor Larry Lewis in nominating Bustamante for the award.
Gilliland, the volunteer of the quarter, volunteers at the Sheriff’s Office’s District 5 headquarters in New Smyrna Beach, assisting the front desk receptionist and updating the district’s sexual offender binder. He also files field contact cards and transports items to the dump for disposal. “Ken is an incredible asset to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and deserves to be recognized for his tireless efforts,” Sergeant Jay
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