FBI searches pond for evidence from street gangs


Evidence from gangs sought

By Merri Hanjora - [email protected]



An agent with the FBI surfaces from a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.

An agent with the FBI surfaces from a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.


Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News

Agents with the FBI use two divers to search a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.

Agents with the FBI use two divers to search a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.


Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News

An agent with the FBI surfaces from a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.


Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News

LIMA — Divers from the FBI Underwater Evidence Recovery Team were in the water at Faurot Park on Wednesday conducting a search for evidence used in violent acts by street gangs.

The investigation is a joint effort between the FBI and the Lima Police Department, said Special Agent Vicki Anderson of the FBI’s Cleveland office. Through the course of the investigation, agents discovered evidence used in violent acts by street gangs may have been disposed of in local small bodies of water.

“This is so early in our investigation, we have no idea which way it’s going to lead us,” said Detective Steve Stechschulte of the Lima Police Department.

But Stechschulte made it clear that Lima has a gang problem that needs to be addressed.

“Anytime you have a metropolitan area you’re going to have most likely some type of gang activity,” Stechschulte said. “We have several different gangs that fall under three or four different larger gangs, but they have all their little smaller sects. But the problem is … people are afraid to acknowledge the fact that it’s gang activity as opposed to labeling it as kids committing criminal acts together, and it’s just not that. Until we start to take a realistic approach toward it, it’s never going to stop. We are too worried about hurting people’s feelings a lot of times as opposed to calling things what they are. So, we have a considerable amount. For the size of city we are, we’ve had a lot of violent crime. And most of that violent crime can be tied back to some type of activity with the gangs.”

The FBI Underwater Evidence Recovery Team, which is based out of Virginia, was in the Lima area Tuesday and Wednesday. There were 10 agents on the scene at Faurot Park, which included two divers.

Other bodies of water in the Lima area were also searched by either the FBI Underwater Evidence Recovery Team or the Lima/Allen County Dive Recovery Team. The FBI would not reveal details on which bodies of water have been searched.

“Hopefully they finish up” Wednesday,” Anderson said. “But you may see them Thursday.”

The dive teams have recovered items from these searches.

“We found stuff that we are going to send off to the lab for processing, but I can’t be specific about what has been found,” Stechschulte said.

“What this is, is there are certain federal statues that cover racketeering and street gang activity and those types of investigations can encompass multiple cases and multiple individuals. So we are looking at a large scope of things,” he added.

An agent with the FBI surfaces from a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/04/web1_FBI_Divers_05co.jpgAn agent with the FBI surfaces from a pond at Faurot Park in Lima. Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News
Agents with the FBI use two divers to search a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/04/web1_FBI_Divers_02co.jpgAgents with the FBI use two divers to search a pond at Faurot Park in Lima. Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News
An agent with the FBI surfaces from a pond at Faurot Park in Lima.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/04/web1_FBI_Divers_03co.jpgAn agent with the FBI surfaces from a pond at Faurot Park in Lima. Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News
Evidence from gangs sought

By Merri Hanjora

[email protected]

Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511

Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511

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