Awards and Citations

2014 Officer of the Year named by Monroe County Drug Task Force

May 8, 2015

Sciarillo_DTF_award_2014.jpgOn Friday, May 08, 2015 during the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney Awards Ceremony Pocono Mountain Regional Police Detective Michael Sciarillo was presented with the Drug Task Force Officer of the Year Award. Presenting the award was District Attorney E. David Christine, Jr., and Chief County Detective Eric J. Kerchner.

The Monroe County Drug Task Force is a collaborative effort between the Office of the District Attorney, other county law enforcement agencies, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, and local police departments focusing their combined efforts on combating the sale and possession of illegal drugs in our community.

The Drug Task Force is coordinated by Chief Detective Eric Kerchner and Detective Kim Lippincott of the Office of the District Attorney, and is comprised of detectives, deputies, and officers from:

•Office of the District Attorney

•Monroe County Sheriff's Office

•Monroe County Office of Probation

•Barrett Township Police Department

•Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department

•Pocono Township Police Department

•Stroud Area Regional Police Department

•East Stroudsburg University Police Department

•East Stroudsburg Area School District Police Department

Funded entirely from grant money and forfeitures of property and money seized from drug dealers, the Drug Task Force operates at no cost to the county taxpayers. 

Each year representatives from the member departments elects a drug task force officer of the year. Such a candidate is judged on his or her overall professionalism and specific contribution to the success of the task force.

The Monroe County Drug Task Force Officer of the Year for 2014 is Detective Michael Sciarillo.

Mike joined the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department in 2005 as a patrol officer, where he was quickly recognized for his proactive policing style and work ethic.  As a member of the Monroe County Drug Task Force, Mike has led numerous successful drug investigations.  His exceptional performance eventually led to his appointment as a Task Force Officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration, where he continues to represent the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department and the greater Monroe County law enforcement community.

During his tenure with the DEA, Mike has continued to be a team player, assisting other Monroe County law enforcement agencies with narcotic investigations whenever possible.  Mike has proven himself as an invaluable asset in the fight against illicit drugs in our communities, both through his own investigations and the assistance he provides to other agencies in the county, where he can bring to bear the weight of federal prosecution on offenders whose activities warrant it.  In addition, Mike’s access to a variety of federal resources, coupled with his investigative skills, has been instrumental in solving a multitude of other crimes in Monroe County, including several homicide investigations.

In 2014, Mike conducted several notable investigations, including one that resulted in the seizure of 10 and ½ kilos of heroin and another that resulted in a seizure of 100 grams of crystal methamphetamine being trafficked into our county from California.  Mike’s efforts have had a direct impact on the quality of life for Monroe County residents.   

Mike’s commitment to protecting the residents of Monroe County and combatting the scourge of illegal drugs is why he has been named Monroe County Drug Task Force Officer of the Year for 2014.


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District Attorney honors investigators of Schirmer case

 

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February 20, 2013

Monroe County officials honored five individuals involved in the investigation and successful prosecution of former pastor Arthur Schirmer, who is awaiting sentencing in his second wife's 2008 murder in Jackson Township. Schirmer is currently awaiting trial for his first wife's 1999 murder in Lebanon County.

On Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 District Attorney E. David Christine presented plaques to those involved during a ceremony at the commissioners' office, stating that "this case and this defendant demanded nothing less than the exemplary teamwork of the individuals in our various law enforcement agencies."  District Attorney Christine continued, "because of the unusually high level of difficulty this multi-layered case presented, involving two murders in different jurisdictions and an atypical, highly intelligent, very dangerous, very evil defendant hiding behind a virtuous façade" this special recognition was warranted.

A Reeders United Methodist Church associate pastor at the time, Schirmer told police he was taking his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer, 56, to the hospital for jaw pain in July 2008.  Schirmer said he swerved to avoid a deer on Route 715, hit the guard rail and that Betty Jean, who was not seat-belted at the time, hit her head on the windshield.  Betty was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead the next day from a fatal head injury.

The first to be presented an award was Pocono Township Detective Jimmy Wagner.

In October 2008, more than three months after Betty Jean's death, Detective Wagner investigated the gunshot suicide of Joseph Musante, 50, in what was then Schirmer's office at the church.  Detective Wagner learned Schirmer was involved at the time in an extramarital relationship with Musante's wife, now engaged to Schirmer, and also about the 1999 death of Schirmer's first wife, Jewel Schirmer, 50, under similar questionable circumstances in the couple's Lebanon County home.  This prompted Pocono Township police to take another look at the crash Schirmer claimed gave Betty Jean her head injury.  Investigators from the state police Fern Ridge barracks, which covers Jackson Township where the suicide occurred, worked with Wagner.

Recognized next during the award ceremony, State Police investigator Phil Barletto found evidence of Schirmer giving Betty Jean the fatal head injury in the couple's garage and then staging the car crash to cover his crime.  Barletto successfully presented some of the key evidence in court and remained steady under defense cross-examination, Christine said.  Retired State Trooper Barletto was given a second award for the exemplary service he provided Monroe County while serving as a State Trooper out of the Fernridge Barracks.

Third to be recognized was State Police Investigator William Maynard, who helped question Schirmer after the suicide and spent many long days helping strategize with First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso on the investigation.

Fourth honored was District Attorney's Detective Wendy Bentzoni, who worked with law enforcement in the field and with Mancuso on organizing and presenting the evidence in a way the jury could understand.  "This investigation started out well and got better day by day, due to the dedicated teamwork of everyone involved," Mancuso said.

Fifth in line for special recognition was First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso.  While presenting Attorney Mancuso with a plaque, District Attorney Christine stated that, “Attorney Mancuso is the best trial attorney he has ever worked with during his many years with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.”

The Monroe County investigation into Betty Jean Schirmer's death prompted Lebanon County authorities to take another look at Jewel Schirmer's death and eventually charged Arthur Schirmer.  His trial in Lebanon County is pending.

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Monroe County Drug Task Force names 2012 Officer of the Year

February 4, 2013

anglemyer.jpgEach year the District Attorney’s Office selects an OFFICER OF THE YEAR based on nominations submitted by the Department Chiefs of Monroe County Drug Task Force members.  

Member departments include Stroud Area Regional Police, Pocono Mountain Regional Police, Pocono Township Police, Barrett Township Police, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Monroe County Probation, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, East Stroudsburg University and East Stroudsburg School District Police.

The Officer of the Year award recognizes the outstanding performance of a single drug task force member.

Criteria for nomination requires that the candidate:

a) be an active member of the drug task force,

b) is a significant contributor of the task force mission,

c) is a team player,

d) employs outstanding investigative skills, and

e) stays on top of each investigation from its initiation through prosecution and final outcome. 

The Officer of the Year for 2012 is Pocono Township Police Officer Aaron Anglemyer.

Officer Anglemyer was presented with a plaque in recognition of his contribution to a very successful 2012 at the Pocono Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, February 04, 2013.

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Barrett Township police officer honored in fight against drugs

By Andrew Scott - Pocono Record Writer - February 09, 2012

Patrolman Larry Raisner.jpgBarrett Township Police Officer Larry Raisner didn't want a comfy, regular 9-to-5 job.

"I wasn't really cut out for the mundane and I don't like being confined to an office," Raisner said.

So, when it came to a career that can be exciting and dangerous and offers the chance to help others, law enforcement seemed like a natural choice for the 36-year-old Monroe County native and Easton Area High School graduate.

It sure beat working in construction or fixing ski lifts, Raisner said.

A Barrett Township police officer for 11 years, Raisner was honored with the Monroe County Drug Task Force 2011 Officer of the Year Award at the township supervisors' meeting Wednesday night.

Eric Kerchner, a county District Attorney's Office detective who heads the task force, presented the award, which goes to a task force member whose performance has been outstanding.

Formed in 2004, the Drug Task Force includes members of the county's four local police departments, East Stroudsburg University and East Stroudsburg Area School District police, the District Attorney's office and county Sheriff's and Probation offices.

The task force is involved in arresting those who sell drugs to undercover officers and seizing large amounts of drugs. The task force in 2011 conducted 202 investigations and 23 drug raids, executed 29 search warrants and seized 18 vehicles, 17 guns and $78,812 in cash.

And Raisner has been right there on the front lines, helping make the big busts.

"While I'm honored to be accepting the award, I don't think I've worked any harder than anyone else in the task force," said Raisner, a drug dog handler for the task force.

"I'm not really sure what the criteria for being considered Officer of the Year is, other than working hard and making yourself available. You sacrifice a lot of time with your family. But, in the end, it's all worth it to help keep the community safe."

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