Suffolk Police Detective Rachelann Cain was honored as the Suffolk Police Department’s Top Cop during the Greater Hampton Roads Crime Line’s Dinner and Top Cop Awards held in Suffolk on Nov. 4.
Detective Cain was the primary case agent, along with a FBI Special Agent, in the investigation of a Suffolk man, Lionel Nelson Williams, who was attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The FBI was informed in March 2016 that Williams had been posting ISIL-related videos and content about supporting the group on his Facebook page.
Detective Cain interviewed numerous witnesses to help identify Williams, conducted surveillance when surveillance teams were not available and coordinated with the businesses Williams used to send money to ISIL. She worked more than 300 hours of overtime throughout the investigation.
Detective Cain was headed out-of-town for Christmas in December 2016 when she received a call from her supporting case agent requesting she return due to the escalation of Williams’ behavior. Detective Cain was about two hours from her destination when she turned around and returned to Virginia. Within days of this, Williams was arrested for Material Support of Terrorism.
After the arrest of Williams, Detective Cain began combing through hundreds of files and evidence. This information lead to the discovery Williams was planning an attack on United States soil.
During the course of the investigation, it was learned that Williams had purchased an AK-47 assault rifle the day after the terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif., in December 2015. Two firearms, including an AK-47 and a semi-automatic handgun, were recovered in a post arrest search of Williams’ residence.
With these efforts, Williams took a plea on Aug. 16 and is awaiting sentencing. If it were not for the investigative efforts of Detective Cain, Williams may have been successful in aiding ISIL and his efforts could have resulted in countless deaths.
Wayne Powers, a current member of the Suffolk Crime Line Board, was honored with the Top Individual award during the ceremony. Powers is the owner of Suffolk BBQ, Co. and is a dedicated individual to the Suffolk community, donating his time and food to various organizations and fundraising events.
The Suffolk Crime Line Board sponsors an annual recognition luncheon where the Officers of the Quarter and Year are recognized, as well as the local Crime Stopper programs in the middle and high schools. Lunch is provided to the attendees at this event and Powers provides food for the attendees.
Powers also donates food to Tidewater Motorcycles in Suffolk on numerous occasions for their weekly hot dog social and donates gift certificates from his business in support of the silent auction for the annual Top Cop event.
The Greater Hampton Roads Crime Line’s Top Cop Awards honor police officers and others who have demonstrated a commitment to a safer Hampton Roads community. Award recipients are leaders and role models for both their peers and their community. A total of 17 Top Cops were named from law enforcement agencies across the Hampton Roads area during the event.