The Valdosta Daily Times
A Lowndes County sheriff’s deputy has been fired and charged in an incident where a motorist claims he was robbed during an August traffic stop, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Friday.
Two other suspects, who have no connection with the sheriff’s office, have also been arrested and charged in the incident.
Jason Stacks of Valdosta is charged with violation of oath of office, robbery by intimidation, and kidnapping, according to sheriff’s office reports.
Stacks was a deputy with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. In light of this incident, Stacks was fired.
On Aug. 17, a deputy reportedly stopped a car driven by a Hispanic male on North Ashley Street for a traffic violation. Two other people, who are not associated with the sheriff’s office, assisted the deputy in the stop. These two people rode in a separate car and “would ‘appear’ after the stop,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Stryde Jones.
“Once the victim was stopped, the trio demanded money from the victim in exchange for not arresting him,” according to the sheriff’s office report.
The trio then took the motorist from the traffic stop site to his own residence where he gave them $300 cash and was released, Jones said. Moving the motorist led to the kidnapping charges.
Miguel Angel Reyes of Jennings, Fla., and Gloria Gallego of Valdosta were also arrested and each is charged with robbery by intimidation and kidnapping, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office learned of this incident and initiated an investigation with the department’s internal affairs unit.
Stacks was placed on administrative leave immediately after the allegation, the sheriff’s office reports.
Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine warns citizens that “under no circumstance are Lowndes County deputies authorized to accept money for payment on the roadside. If a deputy should make a demand for payment on the roadside, citizens should immediately notify the Sheriff’s Office.”
The sheriff asks that anyone with information about this case, or other similar events to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, (229) 671-2950; or anonymous tips can be provided at (229) 671-2985; or online at www.lowndessheriff.com