Last night, Pinellas County deputies, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Police Department, Gulfport Police Department, Kenneth City Police Department, Clearwater Police Department, Pinellas Park Police Department and Largo Police Department conducted a DUI Wolf Pack operation.
The operation began at 7 p.m., Friday, December 21, 2018, and continued through 5 a.m. on Saturday, December 22, 2018.
An off-duty St. Petersburg Police officer was arrested in this wolf pack operation. Shortly after 3 a.m., a Pinellas Sheriff’s deputy stopped Sgt. Lesandro Santiago of St. Petersburg Police, in his personal car, on 4th Street South near 11th Avenue South. According to the arrest affidavit, he was stopped for swerving and failing to maintain his vehicle in a lane. He was charged with DUI.
Deputies noted Santiago showing signs of impairment by having bloodshot and glassy eyes, and a distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth. Santiago agreed to perform Field Sobriety Tests, but performed poorly on them. Deputies say Santiago refused a breath sample and admitted to drinking alcohol earlier.
Santiago was arrested and charged with one count of driving under the
influence. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
Sgt. Santiago was removed from his patrol duties and placed on Administrative duty until his criminal charge is resolved in court. Then, he will be investigated by the Office of Professional Standards (internal affairs) and will face professional consequences.
Sgt. Santiago was sworn as a St. Petersburg Police officer on March 31, 2003. He is 44 years old.
The results are as follows for DUI Wolf Pack
3 Misdemeanor Drug Arrest
3 DWLSR Arrest
3 Other Misdemeanor Arrest
1 Other Felony Arrests
32 Total Charges
4 No Insurance
36 Speeding Tickets
1 Open Container
17 Non-Moving Violations
22 Moving Violations
22 DUI Citations
116 Total Citations
Law enforcement will continue to maintain a proactive profile over the Holiday weekend on the highly-traveled roadways of Pinellas County.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, “The operation is part of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s on-going commitment to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage associated with traffic crashes related to impaired driving. The goal of the Wolf Pack is to educate people and create public awareness about the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and any chemical or controlled substances.”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.), the Suncoast Safety Council, and the Chaplains’ Outreach Ministries will be supported law enforcement during the operation.