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Marijuana plants seized from LCSO deputy’s Cape home

By Staff | May 17, 2013

A now former Lee County deputy and his girlfriend are accused of growing pot after 30 marijuana plants were seized from their home early Friday morning following the execution of a search warrant.

Piotr Urbanski and Shannon E. Clancey, 29, both of 2122 S.W. 25th St., were arrested at 3:30 a.m. by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and charged with one count each of producing marijuana, possess marijuana over 20 grams and drug equipment paraphernalia possess advertise, according to officials.

Both were booked into the Lee County Jail at about 7 a.m.

Urbanski was released on $4,000 bond approximately three hours after being booked, the jail records state. As of Friday afternoon, Clancey remained in custody at the Lee County Jail on $4,000 bond.

Urbanski could not be reached for comment.

“Thorough disgust and disappointment would probably be the simplest way to put it,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said Friday, describing his reaction to the arrest of one of his deputies.

“However, when the crime occurs, whether the criminal is hiding behind a tree or hiding behind a badge, we deal with it,” he said. “When somebody commits a crime in Lee County, we are going to investigate it and make an arrest.”

The department received information Thursday night that drug activity may be taking place at the residence on Southeast 25th Street, and it was suggested that a deputy was living at the home.

An address check revealed that Urbanski resided at the location.

“We received information that he might have been involved in drug activity and there might be drugs in the home,” Scott said.

When authorities executed the search warrant at the home Friday morning, 23 live marijuana plants were found on the back lanai. They were about 2 inches to 4 inches tall and all had a root system.

According to arrest reports, an additional seven plants were found in a trash can on the porch.

Inside the residence, authorities located approximately 12 grams of processed dried marijuana in the kitchen. There were also two pipes seized in the search that reportedly had been used to ingest pot.

Urbanski and Clancey apparently both provided recorded statements to investigators.

According to Scott, Urbanski claimed that the marijuana was not his and that he did not use it. The deputy stated that the plants were Clancey’s and that she used marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Urbanski also reportedly volunteered to take a drug test to prove his statements.

“The crime is committed, whether he uses it or not,” Scott said.

As a result, Urbanski was terminated from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Hired May 28, 2013, he was within his one-year probationary period and as such was not affordable the usual due process.

“I think we were almost at his year anniversary,” Scott said, adding that he was not informed of any issues with Urbanski prior to Friday’s arrest. “He was probably processing along well and doing OK.”

He worked mostly in the Charlie District, which covers Fort Myers and south Cape Coral.

Urbanski had no law enforcement experience prior to joining the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. According to department officials, Urbanski was previously employed as a privacy officer.

All LCSO applicants undergo a background check that includes drug use and activity.

“He passed all of that,” Scott said.

He reiterated that the department tries to make good hiring choices and generally does.

“It could be that a person starts OK, but then drifts into whatever,” Scott said.

“If we’ve got them in house, we want to clean our house,” he added.

Both Urbanski and Clancey have court appearances scheduled for June 17.