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Drone helps police track north Alabama prison escapee, missing teen

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
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Date: Nov 04 2019 11:49 PM

New charges have been filed against a north Alabama escapee and a missing teen who were captured early Monday, in part thanks to drone technology.

John Kaleb Gillespie, 30, and a 16-year-old girl with him both are now charged with resisting arrest. Gillespie also is charged with attempting to elude.

Hoover police did not identify the 16-year-old girl, but other authorities have identified her as Peyton Bryleigh Ledlow, who was reported missing Oct. 28 in Lawrence County.

Gillespie escaped from the Morgan County jail in Decatur on Oct. 27. He has been required to register as a sex offender since 2009, when court records show he pleaded guilty to two charges of statutory rape in Morgan County.


HOUSTON COUNTY:   Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza got introduced to drones several years ago. In a stand off situation the drones were utilized to fly around the residence and up to the windows looking inside. That kept law enforcement officers out of harms way.

That day Sheriff Valenza was sold on the value of the drones. Since then the Sheriff Department has invested a lot of money in more sophisticated drone family of the Sheriff Department. I will not reveal all of the capabilities because not sure what to reveal.

Sheriff Deputies ( ranking Deputies ) Jason Grantham and Ray Arnold maintain the fleet of drones of the Sheriff Department.

A recent large outdoor fire Sheriff Deputy Grantham responded placed the drones in the air and alllowed Dothan Fire and Emergency Management to get views from above about where all of the fire was at.

A very valuable tool used by the Sheriff Department in multiple ways.

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