30 Years in Prison for Drugs, Child Abuse, Car Chase

Today, Jessie James Peterson Jr., 36, of Fort Myers, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison for Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding, Resisting or Obstructing an Officer without Violence, Trafficking in Amphetamine, Possession of Cocaine, two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, two counts of Child Abuse, Driving While License Suspended (Habitual Revocation), and Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. The jury returned the guilty verdict Thursday afternoon following a three-day trial in Lee County.

Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office attempted to pull over the defendant for a traffic stop in 2019, but the defendant failed to stop. He drove away and intentionally crashed into a Lee County Sheriff’s Detective’s vehicle. The defendant fled at a high rate of speed and a pursuit began. The defendant ultimately lost control of his vehicle and crashed off Tamiami Trail.

As deputies approached the vehicle, they saw two small children inside with the defendant. An infant was being clutched by the defendant, like a human shield. The child was safely rescued, as was the other child, a 5-year-old, who was unsecured in the backseat. The defendant continued to resist being placed under arrest. He was subdued and taken into custody.

Upon searching the defendant’s vehicle, deputies found drugs strewn about the vehicle, due to the crash. There was trafficking amounts of methamphetamine on the floor, cocaine in the center console and floor, and a bag of fentanyl on the front passenger seat.

Assistant State Attorney Robert Rodriguez prosecuted the case.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office