- After being sworn in on Tuesday, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson got to work on Wednesday, tapping law enforcement veteran Lee Adams to lead the Department’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement
- Adams will oversee more than 230 sworn law enforcement officers
Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson has named Lee Adams the new director of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement.
Simpson announced the leadership transition in a press release on Wednesday, shortly after issuing the oath of office to Adams at the Florida State Capitol. Adams will take over for Col. James Wiggins, who has served in the role since 2016, where he will be tasked with overseeing the office and its more than 230 law enforcement officers.
“First, I want to thank Colonel James Wiggins for his more than two decades of service to the state of Florida and his dedicated leadership of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement,” said Simpson. “Colonel Lee Adams will bring a level of excellence, professionalism, and integrity that is in keeping with the tradition of the Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement. I am confident that his unique skills and experience will keep Floridians and businesses safe.”
Adams boasts more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. He started his law enforcement career at the Panama City Beach Police Department before moving to the Bay County Sheriff Office. Most recently, Adams served with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for nearly 20 years in a variety of investigative, intelligence, training, policy, dignitary protection, and special operations roles.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology from Florida State University.
According to a news release, The Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE) “conducts criminal investigations relating to any matter over which the department has jurisdiction, protects consumers from unfair and deceptive trade practices, protects Florida’s agriculture industry from theft and other crimes, and safeguards the wholesomeness of Florida’s food and other consumer products.”
Additionally, the OALE operates more than 20 agricultural interdiction stations around the state, while conducting vehicle inspections around-the-clock to protect Florida’s food supply and prevent the introduction and spread of agricultural pests and diseases.