Trooper Elliot Gonzalez
Troop K - West Palm Beach
Congratulations to Trooper Elliot Gonzalez for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for March 2007, for looking beyond a traffic stop to make multiple arrests on drug possession charges.
On March 13, 2007, Trooper Gonzalez stopped a black Dodge pickup truck towing a trailer for a toll violation at the 107 mile marker on the Florida Turnpike in Palm Beach County. During the traffic stop, Trooper Gonzalez identified the contents within the trailer to be marijuana cultivation equipment. He also recovered a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a loaded 12 gauge Remington shotgun. As a result of his findings, Trooper Gonzalez arrested the driver and seized the truck, trailer, the contents within the trailer and both weapons. During the inventory of the truck and the trailer contents, Trooper Gonzalez discovered a check with the name of one of the truck occupants with a Loxahatchee address.
After further investigation, Trooper Gonzalez suspected this address could lead to a possible marijuana grow house location. Therefore, Trooper Gonzalez contacted members of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) task force and made contact with the occupants of the residence. Permission to enter the residence was granted by the occupants of the house. As a result of Trooper Gonzalez’s hard work and instincts, a large hydroponic marijuana grow house was discovered. Sixty nine hydroponic marijuana plants were eradicated from the garage of this residence, along with more than seven pounds of marijuana. The total value of marijuana that was discovered exceeded $75,000 dollars. The value of the hydroponic cultivation equipment seized was over $100,000.
Trooper Gonzalez is commended for his excellent police work and investigative skills and for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for March 2007.