Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin
Click on the highlighted headlines to hear an audio recording of the story
April 26, 2005
Two inmates escape from Marathon Detention Center
Sheriff's deputies are searching for two inmates who escaped from the Marathon Detention Center Tuesday afternoon.
24 year old Lonnie Parrish of North Carolina and 46 year old Gutier Gonzalez of Marathon were last seen between 1:30 - 2 p.m. at the jail facility. At 4 p.m., after a routine count of inmates, it was discovered that they were missing. Further investigation revealed they apparently climbed onto a roof in the recreation yard of the jail, then threw a blanket over razor wire which topped a chain link fence around the yard and climbed over.
Parrish was arrested November 14, 2004 on battery charges and Gonzalez was arrested April 23rd and was in jail on charges of violation of probation and theft. Parrish is a white male, 23 years old, six feet tall, 165 pounds, with blond crewcut hair and hazel eyes. Gonzalez is a white Latin male, 46 years old, five foot six inches tall, 150 pounds with greyish brown medium length hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about the two missing inmates should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the information leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a monetary reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Anonymous tips may also be made on the internet at TipSubmit.com.
Threats found at Key Largo School
The linked report gives information about a threat found written in a Geography book at Key Largo School April 19th, 2005. The written threat indicates that the suspect, who has not yet been definitively identified, may commit a violent act at on May 5, 2005. While the threat does not specifically target a school, or specific individuals at a school, appropriate security measures will be taken on and around that date to assure the safety of those students who attend school, and the employees who work there. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office will not release specific information about the security measures that will be taken, other than to say there will be an increased law enforcement presence on and around the area. The Sheriff's Office will not release the specific wording in the threat due to the ongoing investigation.
During the course of the ongoing investigation, numerous individuals at the school have been questioned, but no one person has been definitively identified as a suspect. Anyone who has further information in this case should contact the Sheriff's Office immediately. A person who wishes to report information anonymously can do so through Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers whose information leads to an arrest would be eligible for a reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
April 25, 2005
Key Largo man arrested for trespass and exposure of sexual organs after DNA match
Key Largo - A 20 year old Key Largo man was arrested Friday after detectives matched his DNA to semen found on the outside wall of a Key Largo residence. Detective Mark Coleman, who has been the investigator on the case since April of 2004, arrested 20 year old Michael Vanderwyden of Lake Shore Drive in Key Largo Friday for three counts of trespassing, two counts of exposure of sexual organs and one count of stalking.
The investigation began April 11, 2004 when a Key Largo woman called to report her daughter's bedroom window had been smashed with a rock. It was later discovered that a pair of her daughter's panties had been taken from the bed. A stain was found on the wall outside the window. The stain was believed to be semen and a sample was taken as evidence. Fingerprints were found on the broken glass found at the scene. The panties were recovered from the front lawn of the same house several days later. Detective Coleman was assigned to investigate.
The victim's mother called again in May. She told Detective Coleman she'd put a piece of plywood over her daughter's window after it was broken in April. On May 19th, she said she checked it and found three of the four nuts and bolts used to hold it in place had been removed. Someone had also removed light bulbs from a security light installed near the window. More of the same substance was found on the wall below the window. On May 30th, she again found the nuts and bolts missing from the plywood and light bulbs unscrewed. A number of fingerprints were lifted from the light bulbs and were submitted as evidence.
Detective Coleman questioned numerous people in relation to the case, and asked them to voluntarily submit DNA samples, but developed no solid suspects. No more incidents occurred until November 9th, when the same home was broken into while the resident's were out of town. Nothing was taken, but the daughter's bedroom was ransacked. On December 17th, a neighbor called the victim's mother to report seeing someone in her yard, looking through a window. By the time deputies arrived, the suspect had fled. The neighbor described the suspect as a white male, late teens to early twenties, wearing a blue or black hooded sweatshirt, knee length baggy shorts and flip flop type sandals.
The following evening, Deputy Debra Ryan spotted Vanderwyden walking in the neighborhood. He was wearing clothing similar to that described by the neighbor the night before. He could give no reason for being in the area. Detective Coleman submitted Vanderwyden's fingerprints, which were on file with the Sheriff's Office, to FDLE for comparison to prints found at the scene. Several days later, Detective Coleman asked Vanderwyden to voluntarily submit a DNA sample for comparison. Vanderwyden refused. A surveillance was set up on him and, during the course of the surveillance, detectives were able to obtain a DNA sample from a discarded Gatorade bottle. It was submitted to FDLE for comparison to the semen samples found on the house.
In February, FDLE matched Vanderwyden's DNA to the semen sample. In March, FDLE reported that Vanderwyden's prints matched those found at the scene, both on the light bulbs and on the broken glass.
Detective Coleman met with Vanderwyden and his father. Vanderwyden said he'd been in Orlando for about six months over the summer. During the interview, Vanderwyden admitted to trespassing on the victim's property and leaving his semen at the scene. A warrant was obtained for his arrest for three counts of trespassing and two counts of exposure of sexual organs and one count of stalking. On Friday, he was arrested on those warrants and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Stock Island - A Stock Island man was arrested by deputies after they discovered he had a pellet gun concealed, tucked in the waistband of his pants. He was also found to have cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Deputy David Lariz was on patrol at 10 p.m. Sunday when he saw two men standing together in the intersection of First Street and First Avenue on Stock Island. He stopped to speak with the men, asking both of them for identification and permission to search them for weapons. One man was cooperative, handing over his driver's license and allowing the deputy to search his pockets. The other man, 45 year old Alan Lamberson, refused to cooperate.
As Deputy Lariz was speaking to Lamberson, Deputy Tom Walker arrived as back up. The deputies explained the only reason they wanted to search was to ensure officer safety, and make sure he was not carrying any dangerous weapons. Just then, Lamberson lifted up his shirt and began to reach for something in his waistband. Each officer grabbed one of his arms to stop him. They then lifted the shirt up and observed a gun in the waistband. The gun turned out to be a .45 caliber pellet gun. Lamberson was placed under arrest for carrying a concealed weapon.
A further search of his pockets revealed marijuana, crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Lamberson was further charged with possessing those illegal substances and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Key Largo - A Key Largo man, arrested for drunk driving and driving without a license, threatened deputies and their families after his arrest Saturday evening.
Sheriff's office dispatchers received numerous calls from residents in the Port Largo subdivision of Key Largo just after 5 p.m. Saturday. They reported a man driving recklessly through the neighborhood. When Deputy Laura Garcia arrived, two people flagged her down and told her they saw the truck drive down Atlantic Boulevard traveling fast and squealing it's tires. Just then, the deputy heard tires squealing and a green truck appeared. The residents identified it as the truck they called about.
Deputy Garcia pulled the truck over and 43 year old Frederick Dillon got out. When the deputy got close to Dillon, she could smell a strong odor of alcohol and Dillon had to lean on the truck to keep from falling down. A check on his license revealed it was suspended following a previous DUI arrest in August of 2004.
Dillon failed to complete field sobriety exercises and refused a breathalyzer test. Deputy Ray Jodlowski arrived to assist with the arrest. As the deputies were transporting him to the Detention Center, Dillon said when he got out of jail he would "get" the deputies and their families. He told them it would happen when they least expected it, and he specifically threatened Deputy Jodlowski's children.
Dillon was charged with driving with his license suspended, driving under the influence of alcohol, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test and with threatening harm to a public servant and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
April 20, 2005
Two men charged with trafficking in marijuana
Tavernier - Sheriff's detectives arrested two Tavernier men, charging them with trafficking in marijuana Tuesday.
Detectives with the Sheriff's Special Investigations Division received information that the two men were in possession of a large amount of the illegal substance. An undercover operative was able to arrange to purchase a large amount of marijuana from them. The sale was set up to take place Tuesday afternoon. Detectives saw the two men drive to a trailer at the Driftwood Trailer Park at the 92 mile marker where 36 year old Idalberto Rodriguez got out and went inside. 36 year old Geovani Valladares-Ramirez then drove to a trailer on Normandy Drive, where he went inside. He then exited carrying a large box which he put in the rear seat of his car. He then returned to the other trailer, where the detectives confronted him. In the box, they found 58 pounds of marijuana.
A search of the trailer at Driftwood Trailer Park turned up more marijuana and some items of drug paraphernalia. Both men were arrested and charged with trafficking in marijuana and they were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Assisting in the case was the Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
April 18, 2005
Sex offender arrested for failing to register
The Sheriff’s Crimes against Women and Children Unit arrested convicted sex offender, 43-year old Hector Luis Diaz, for failing to register his address as required by state law.
Investigators learned that Diaz, who was serving time in the county jail for burglary and grand theft, was a convicted sex offender in New York State. He was convicted in 1993 for the sexual abuse of an individual under the age of eleven. Diaz was released from the county jail on March 25 and gave an address in Marathon as his permanent residence. Investigators checked that address and obtained a sworn statement from the property owner that Diaz did not live there.
After obtaining an arrest warrant, investigators
located Diaz in the Marathon area on April 15 and arrested him on the
third degree felony charge of failing to comply with the sexual offender
registration requirement. Diaz is currently in the county jail under a
25 thousand dollar bond
April 13, 2005
Bike Race may cause traffic delays in Upper Keys Saturday
A bicycle race in the Upper Keys this Saturday, April 16, may cause traffic delays. The race is from Dade County to Penekamp Park at the 102 mile marker. The race begins at ten a.m. Saturday and should be completed by five p.m. The bike racers will use Card Sound Road, but will be on U.S. Highway One for approximately four miles in the Key Largo area. Motorists are urged to use caution
Uniformed Heroes Honored
The American Legion Marathon Memorial Post 154 is honoring Marathon's Uniformed Heroes on Friday, April 22, 2005. The ceremony will be held at 6:00 PM at the Post (4115 Overseas Highway). The ceremony will include honors to all local Public Service Personnel, static displays of law enforcment and rescue equipment (set up will be complete by approximately 4:30 PM), an awards presentation to those taht have distinguished themselves per personal actions, and a banquet. All public service personnel are invited. Those honored will be presented with a certificate of appreciation, and the winners of each category will be presented with an appropriate plaque.
There are three categories for male and female personnel, they are: Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Fire Fighter of the Year, and Emergency Rescue perons of the Year.
For tickets to the banquet please contact Mr. Scott Foster (305) 684-0692
or Mrs. Angie Glover (305) 289-2430 M-F 8am - 4pm.
April 6, 2005
Stock Island - A inmate at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island who walked away from his work release assignment at a Key West restaurant on March 25th was found on Stock Island Monday and was arrested on charges of escape.
On March 25th, at the end of his work shift, 39 year old Amado Cardenas left the restaurant, but did not return to the Stock Island Detention Center as he was supposed to. Cardenas was in jail on charges of failure to appear in court, theft of utility services and molesting crab traps. A warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of escape.
On April 4th, 10 days after his escape, Cardenas was picked up on Stock Island by Deputy Paul Schultz. He was charged with the outstanding warrant and he was returned to the Stock Island Detention Center, this time facing a felony and a potential of five years in state prison.
Upper Keys - An auto burglar appears to have targeted convertible cars in the upper Keys Monday, slicing through the roofs of four of them to obtain property from inside.
Four vehicles were targeted on Monday in the upper Keys, three in the area of Islamorada and one in Key Largo. One of the cars, parked in the parking lot of an Islamorada restaurant was burglarized and a suitcase was stolen. The suitcase contained a large amount of jewelry worth almost $5,000.00. The suitcase was later found at the site of a second auto burglary in Key Largo, at Tradewind's Plaza. Everything was inside except the jewelry.
Two other vehicles were burglarized while parked in the parking lot of a resort located on Upper Matecumbe Key.
A damaged rental van was also found in the parking lot, and a guest at the resort reported his Chrysler Sebring convertible was stolen. The keys had reportedly been left in the car. The damage to the van was such that it could not be driven and it is surmised that perhaps the person belonging to the van stole the convertible to get away from the area.
Detectives are investigating the case.
Addendum to this story
Detective David Carey, who is investigating this case, says he has identified the probable suspect as 36 year old Wesley Kane Canada, whose last known address was 508 Simonton Street in Key West. He is wanted in Volusia County for Grand Theft and other charges. He is also a suspect in 16 auto burglaries in the Orlando area, and four auto burglaries in the upper Keys earlier this week. He may still be driving the car he is believed to have stolen in Islamorada Monday. The car is a 2005 White Chrysler Sebring Convertible with a Florida tag of U68HNW.
Anyone with information about this case should call the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers whose tip leads to an arrest are eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Secure and anonymous email tips can be made at www.tipsubmit.com.