SIOUX CITY – On November 30, 2017, five members of the team that investigated the May, 2011 killing of Tony Canfield were recognized for their efforts with the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) national group achievement award. The award ceremony took place at the Sioux City Police Department.
The FLEOA was founded in 1977, and is a non-profit organization that represents federal law enforcement agents across the nation, and currently represents more than 25,000 federal law enforcement agents from over 65 different agencies.
The recipients of the FLEOA award were FBI Special Agent Jonathan Moeller, Northern District of Iowa Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild, Sioux City Police Department Detectives Heather Albrecht and Mike Simons and Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Captain Mike Walsh.
The national award stems from the recipients’ group efforts in the investigation of Sioux City resident Tony Canfield’s murder. The case began on May 1, 2011, when Mr. Canfield and his wife were robbed at gunpoint by three men. One of the robbers held and brutalized the wife, while the other two physically robbed Mr. Canfield of marijuana and cash. Mr. Canfield resisted his attackers and attempted to escape the robbery by fleeing his home. While fleeing, Mr. Canfield was shot and killed on his front porch. The crime went unsolved for five years, owing to the fact there was no forensic evidence identifying the perpetrators, and neither the murder weapon, nor any shell casings were recovered at the scene. In addition, the wife could not identify the robbers as they were wearing masks. Nonetheless, through dogged investigative work, which included numerous interviews conducted in a number of different states, the perpetrators were arrested and prosecuted. In 2016, all three defendants were convicted, and sentenced. The sentences ranged from 20 to 35 years’ imprisonment.
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Peter Deegan stated: “Our office is proud to count Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild among those who helped bring Canfield’s ruthless killers to justice. The investigative team represents the very best in cooperative law enforcement and is most deserving of this prestigious award.”
Sioux City Police Chief Rex Muller added: “We are extremely proud of the working relationship we have with the local FBI Office and United States Attorney’s Office. This was a particularly challenging case that required the resources of multiple agencies to lead to a successful prosecution. These criminals presented a significant danger to the general public if not identified and arrested. The efforts of the investigators and prosecutors in this case over a five year period are a testament to their dedication to bring justice to this case, as well as bring some closure to the family of Tony Canfield. It is a fine example of the strong cooperation and capability that exists within Northwestern Iowa law enforcement community.”
In praising the investigative team, Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said: “I’m proud that Captain Mike Walsh was able to provide valuable assistance to this joint investigation and help bring those responsible to justice. The team’s dedication, thoroughness and persistence paid off in ways far beyond the award they received today.”
Finally, FBI Special Agent Jon Moeller, a member of the award winning team, said: “Although this investigation took five years, it never really went ‘cold’. Diligently and persistently a team of investigators and analysts – spread over five states – and from multiple agencies, never stopped working this case. Together we brought three killers to justice, brought closure to the friends and family of Mr. Canfield, and a renewed sense of security to the whole community. It is an honor and privilege to work with these folks on a daily basis.”