Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin
Click here to read press releases on other Sheriff's Office events and occurrences
June 30, 2010
Man tired of waiting for his luggage is arrested for trespassing at the airport
Key West – A man from Cincinnati who said he had a long day and was tired, was arrested after he decided to collect his own luggage from the Key West Airport, instead of waiting at baggage claim like everyone else.
27 year old Klinton McGhee was waiting for his luggage just before 10 p.m. He told Deputy Todd Jones he had a long day and just wanted to get the luggage and go. When the luggage did not appear, McGhee reportedly climbed onto the belt that carries luggage from the airport tarmac area into the airport itself and rode it around. He then apparently fell through the door which opens out to the secure airport tarmac, where members of the public are not allowed.
He was apprehended by officers patrolling that area and was escorted back into the public area of the airport. He was charged with trespassing and booked into jail.
Domestic dispute leads to drug charges
Big Coppitt Key - Deputies and detectives responding to a domestic dispute on Big Coppitt Key arrested a man for possessing drugs.
When the officers arrived at the house on Avenue C, Big Coppitt Key at 12:30 p.m., they spoke with the female victim. She said her husband accused her of stealing his drugs, then hit and kicked her. She said she was afraid of him, so she fled to a neighbor’s house to call for help.
When deputies checked their house, looking for her husband, 45 year old Mark Morales, they found the door open, but he was not home. One of the officers heard what sounded like a person walking around in a vacant lot next door. She checked the lot and found a grey cloth lunch bag with 19 small baggies of cocaine with a total of 26 grams of cocaine inside and 20 Oxycontin pills inside. Officers also found a large plastic bag with 50 grams of an unknown white powder inside.
Morales’ wife said her husband has been dealing in cocaine, as well as consuming it. She said sometimes, when he gets paranoid, he hides the drugs in the back yard or the vacant lot then forgets where he puts them. She said he would then sometimes accuse her of stealing them.
While officers were on the scene, Morales’ step-father showed up. He agreed to take them to Morales, who was at a nearby restaurant. Morales was taken into custody. He admitted the drugs were his. He was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. He was booked into jail.
Highway Interdiction Operations are successful
The Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division conducted two Highway Interdiction operations over the past two weeks; one on Big Pine Key and the other in Marathon.
On Big Pine Key, 27 vehicles were stopped during the operation. In 12 of those stops, K-9 vehicle searches were done. Two people were arrested on drug related charges, and two more received notices to appear in court for drug related charges. Two grams of powdered cocaine and five grams of marijuana were seized, along with several prescription pills that were possessed without a prescription. Additionally, 3 citations and 18 warnings were issued for traffic and safety related violations.
On one of the arrests, 40 year old Sky Gerry Rockett of Big Pine was stopped after officers saw his muffler on his vehicle dragging on the roadway and a broken tail light. A K-9 Team conducted a search of the vehicle and located a pill bottle containing cocaine. Detectives also located several prescription pills. Rockett was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.
In another case, Detectives made contact with 52 year old Bruce Edward Parfitt of Big Pine Key. A computer check revealed he had an active warrant for a probation violation. During the arrest detectives located several pills that Parfitt did not have a prescription for. Parfitt was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and a warrant for a probation violation.
In Marathon, 36 vehicles were stopped. Of those, nine were searched by a K-9 team with one person arrested on drug related charges. Twenty one grams of powdered cocaine were seized. Additionally, 9 citations and 35 warnings were issued for traffic and safety related issues.
During the operation, a vehicle driven by 38 year old Daniel Rochela Zorio of Marathon was stopped for parking in the middle of the road way and acting suspicious. When detectives approached Zorio’s vehicle they observed a pill container with baggies of cocaine inside. A K-9 team conducted a search of the vehicle and located 21 grams of powder cocaine, several of which were prepackaged in red baggies for sale. Zorio admitted to Detectives he had just purchased the cocaine for $500 dollars. Detectives went to Zorio’s residence on 15th Street and spoke with his girl friend who gave detectives consent to search the residence. Detectives located more than 100 empty red baggies, which were seized. Zorio was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. His red 2006 Nissan Ultima was seized.
Participating in the operations were Road Patrol and Traffic Enforcement deputies, troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol K-9 Unit and Monroe County HIDTA.
June 25, 2010
Deputies arrest two for vehicle burglary
Stock Island – Two men were arrested after witnesses saw them enter a truck on Stock Island and remove a tool box from inside.
Two witnesses were at the Tom Thumb Convenience Store at 4 a.m. today and saw two other men across the street. One appeared to be acting as lookout, while the other tried the doors on four vehicles looking for one that was unlocked. He found the doors on a truck unlocked, opened it and removed a large tool box from inside.
At that point, the suspects reportedly realized they were being watched. They hid the stolen tool box behind a nearby wall, then fled on their bicycles.
The witnesses flagged down Deputy Evan Calhoun, who had been on patrol all night, and reported the activity to him. They told the deputy one of the suspects was someone they’d seen him and Deputy Danielle Malone speaking with earlier in the evening. Deputy Calhoun recognized the description as being a man he knew as Anthony Jones. He and Deputy Malone had contact with Jones on two different occasions that night. The witnesses described the other suspect, which Deputy Malone recognized as 46 year old Roberto Carmona; the deputies had seen him earlier in his shift as well, and recognized the clothing he was wearing, and his general description.
Deputy Malone spotted Jones riding his bike nearby and stopped him. A more complete check of Jones revealed that he was actually 33 year old Paul Jones; he’d been using his brother’s name in earlier contacts with law enforcement. Carmona was also found riding his bicycle nearby.
The witnesses positively identified the two men as the ones they saw burglarizing the truck. Both men were charged with burglary and theft. Jones was also charged with falsely identifying himself to police. The tool box was returned to its owner.
June 23, 2010
Update: Deputy Melissa Powers killed in a traffic accident in the Florida Keys
Deputy Melissa Powers was killed in a traffic accident in Key Largo Tuesday night. Deputy Powers was 36 years old at the time of her death. She is survived by two children, and her husband who is a Detective with the Homestead Police department.
Deputy Powers came to work for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on December 28, 2006 as a road patrol deputy working in the city of Marathon. She transferred to road patrol in the Key Largo area in February of this year.
Prior to working for the Sheriff's Office, she worked for the Florida Department of Corrections.
June 22, 2010
Sheriff’s deputy killed in traffic accident on duty
A Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy was killed tonight following a single vehicle traffic accident which took place at the 101.8 mile marker of highway U.S. One at 10:20 p.m.
Deputy Melissa Powers was on her way northbound to check on another officer who was out of touch and couldn’t be reached on his police radio. The other officer was located. He’d reportedly switched his radio to a different channel and was temporarily out of touch on the dispatch channel.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. They will be the agency to release details of how the accident occurred. Deputy Powers was pinned in the car and had to be extricated. She was rushed to Mariner’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m.
Powers is the fifth Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy to be killed in the line of duty in a traffic accident. Deputy David Cormier was killed in 1989; Deputy Michael Alexander in 1998; Deputy Robin Tanner in 2007 and Deputy Nick Pham in 2008. Prior to the traffic related deaths, there have been no other in-the-line-of-duty deaths since 1905, when Deputy and Game Warden Guy Bradley was shot by poachers in the Everglades and 1901 when Deputy Frank Adams was shot while breaking up an altercation in Key West.
June 20, 2010
Investigation of “mummified body” turns up mannequin
Sugarloaf Key - A call to Sheriff’s Office dispatchers reporting a possibly “mummified” body on an abandoned boat caused an initial stir with law enforcement Saturday night. Response efforts were ratcheted down, however, when initial responders found a mannequin instead.
The call was from a young couple who said they were off shore of Sugarloaf Key. They said they went to an abandoned boat just off shore to “claim” it. When they boarded, they saw what they described as a dead body, possibly “mummified” because they said the legs were very thin in appearance. They told dispatchers they were in a dinghy returning to shore and would meet with officers there.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was notified and sent a boat to transport deputies to the scene. They found a mannequin on the boat, but no mummified remains.
Key Largo woman charged with biting small child
Key Largo - A Key Largo woman was arrested Saturday evening after she admitted biting a small child on the cheek to teach her a lesson.
26 year old Danielle Dudley was booked into jail on child abuse charges after Deputy Ian Barnett responded to her Key Largo home at 7:50 p.m. He found a 6 year old girl at the home with what looked like a bite mark on her cheek. The girl told Deputy Barnett Dudley bit her. When the deputy confronted Dudley, she admitted to biting the child. She said the child had been biting other children, so she bit her to show her how it felt.
Dudley was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. The Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident.
Two charged with possessing large amount of Marijuana
Cudjoe Key - Two men were arrested for possessing a large amount of marijuana after being stopped for speeding and swerving on the highway on Cudjoe Key early today.
Deputy Danielle Malone was on patrol just before 3 a.m. when she spotted a white Ford Crown Victoria speeding. She turned on her lights and siren and watched as the vehicle swerved several times before finally pulling over.
When she asked the driver , 26 year old Julio Abella of Key West, for his identification and other paperwork, she noticed a black garbage bag on the passenger side of the car. The driver’s license returned as being suspended, so she approached the passenger, 22 year old Anthony Williams, to see if he had a valid license. She noticed the garbage bag was gone from the floorboards, but saw that Williams suddenly had a large bulge in his pants leg. She asked him what it was, and he said it was his wallet. Because it was square, and larger than her hand, Deputy Malone doubted his story, so she detained him and called for backup officers to assist.
Further investigation turned up two large compressed bricks of marijuana weighing an estimated 6 – 8 pounds, along with several smaller amounts in the vehicle. In the trunk of the car, deputies found a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Abella and Williams were booked into jail on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Abella was also charged with driving with a suspended license.
June 18, 2010
Monroe County participates in state wide operation targeting marijuana cultivation
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office participated this week in a state wide drug operation targeting marijuana grow houses. Called “Operation RAKE”, the investigation took place in counties all over the state and, in Monroe County, involved investigators from Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, the Monroe HIDTA, HIDTA Miami and investigators from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division.
During the operation, two locations in Monroe County were found to have cultivation operations and at two others, detectives found the presence of marijuana.
Detectives checked 65 Park Dr. in Key Largo. Detectives made contact with 22 year old Omar Martinez Moya of Hialeah. When Moya opened the door detectives were overwhelmed with what they recognized as the odor of marijuana cultivation. Moya showed detectives that he had converted the two bedroom house in to a full-blown marijuana grow lab. Detectives located 34 six-foot marijuana plants that were ready to be harvested. Detectives also located 23 pounds of harvested marijuana and one gram of cocaine. The grow operation was equipped with several grow lights, transformers air purifying systems, cooling systems and an irrigation system. To keep the cost of the power consumption down and not be suspicious Moya diverted power from the main line before it got to the meter. Florida Keys Electric was called to disconnect the power to the residence. Detectives also seized a 2009 Chrysler 300 for possible forfeiture. Moya was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent todistribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The total street value of this marijuana was $57,000.00.
Detectives checked 6621 Maloney Ave #26 in Stock Island. Detectives made contact with 74 year old William Muir DeChenel who was found to be in possession of 9 marijuana plants and 58 grams of marijuana. He was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of felony amount of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The total street value of this marijuana was $9,000.
Detectives checked 127 Airport rd north in Tavernier. Detectives made contact with 42 year old Marilee Jo Dodge. Dodge was found to be in possession of 16 grams of marijuana, and several pipes. Dodge was arrested and charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At 19 N. Ocean Dr in North Key Largo Detectives made contact with 22 year old Michael Lee Jones who was found to be in possession of 2 grams of marijuana and several pipes and bongs. Jones was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jones was given a notice to appear in court.
Search warrant in Key Largo results in 2 drug arrests
Key Largo - Sheriff's Special Investigations Detectives served a search warrant at 6 a.m. today in Key Largo.
The residence where the warrant was served was 117 Point Pleasant apartment #5. Inside, detectives found 28 year old Milo Lorenzo Whitehead who was sleeping on a couch, and 39 year old Kimberly Renee Spell who was found in the bedroom with her infant.
A search of the apartment revealed 87 grams of marijuana, some that were prepackaged for sale, 4.1 grams of powder cocaine, 6.6 grams of crack cocaine, 27 Ecstasy pills and glassware that was used in the manufacturing of crack cocaine. Detectives also seized 1 Ford Taurus, 1 scooter and $1149 in drug proceeds.
Whitehead was charged with Trafficking in Ecstasy, Possession of cocaine, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. Spell was charged with possession of Ecstasy and possession of cocaine. The Department of Children and Families was notified of the infant’s presence in the home.
Three Hialeah men charged with stealing vessel
Key Largo – Three Hialeah men were arrested early today after they were caught on board a vessel stolen from a Key Largo residence.
Sheriff’s Deputies Darnell Durham and Tony Conde responded to Bass Avenue at 5 a.m. to reports of possible suspicious activity. When they arrived, they saw a U-Haul truck parked in a no parking zone. The engine was still warm and, as they began checking the area, they heard the sound of someone running away from the truck, then heard the engine of a boat start up. As they ran toward the sound, they saw a large boat motoring away from them, down a canal toward the open ocean. They called Sheriff’s dispatchers, asking them to notify the U.S. Coast Guard about the fleeing boat.
The U.S. Coast Guard responded and stopped the 38 foot Jupiter with triple 250 horsepower Yamaha engines. The boat had ignition damage, and there were three men on board.
The owner of the boat was contacted and said he never gave anyone permission to take his boat, which had been docked behind his house on Barracuda Boulevard. Inside the U-Haul truck, deputies found Gatorade, food, clothing and a 15 gallon drum of gasoline.
The three men on board were arrested. 33 year old Maykel Posada Monteseno, 28 year old Luis Ramirez Rodriguez and 30 year old Andy Rodriguez Rodriguez were all charged with burglary and grand theft and they were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Sheriff’s Office releases the ID of two who jumped from bridge
The two men who jumped from the Card Sound Bridge Thursday afternoon are 24 year old Jorge Suarez-Taupier of Miami, who died as a result and 20 year old Isaac Morejon, who survived the jump.
Morejon told deputies he and his friend were fishing and drinking beer when they decided to jump from the bridge “just for fun”.
Two charged with more auto burglaries
Two men from the Miami area arrested June 17th in the early morning hours for loitering and prowling have been charged with committing auto burglaries in the Upper keys.
20 year old Vladimic Mateus and 19 year old Jonathan Reyes were caught after alert homeowners spotted them checking car doors to see if they were unlocked. Subsequent investigations revealed they entered two vehicles on Adobe Casa Court and one on Camelot Drive. The cars were all ransacked. A Sunpass was taken from one of them. The two were charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft in connection with those crimes.
Investigations into their activities are continuing.
June 17, 2010
Two jump from bridge; one dies
Key Largo - One man is dead after he and his friend jumped from the top of the Card Sound Bridge today.
According to officers at the scene, the two Miami men – aged 20 and 22 - jumped from the top of the bridge at 4:40 p.m. because they “thought it would be fun”. The 20 year old surfaced, the 22 year old didn’t. Witnesses called 911 and boaters in the area began to search for the missing man. Deputies, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to begin searching. His body was recovered from nearby waters by officers from FWC at 5:50 p.m.
The names of the two men are not being released pending notification of the dead man’s next of kin.
Two teens charged with stolen moped
Big Coppitt Key – Two teens have been charged in connection with a scooter stolen from a Key West residence.
Deputy David Fernandez was on patrol on Big Coppitt Key at 3:50 p.m. when he saw a young man on a blue scooter with no tag visible. When the deputy tried to pull the scooter over, the man fled. Deputy Fernandez lost sight of him and a short time later found the scooter abandoned on Prada Circle. He put a description of the boy out over police radios. A half hour later, Deputy David Lariz found the suspect – identified as 15 year old Jesus Diaz- on a bicycle at a Big Coppitt convenience store.
When confronted by Deputy Fernandez, Diaz admitted being on the stolen scooter. He said his friend, 16 year old Julian Firuta of Key West, brought the stolen scooter to his house. Diaz was arrested and charged with grand theft auto.
While Diaz was being booked, Deputy Fernandez received a call from Diaz’ mother who said she had Firuta at her home and he wanted to confess. Firuta admitted to the deputy he’d stolen the scooter from Key West on June 15th. Firuta was also arrested and charged with grand theft auto. Both teens were booked at the jail.
Loitering and prowling leads to burglary charges
Tavernier – Two alert homeowners called the Sheriff’s Office when they spotted suspicious activity in the early morning hours. Their calls led to the arrest of two for loitering and prowling and led to vehicle burglary investigations as well.
Dispatchers received two calls just after 1:30 a.m., one from Adobe Casa Court and one from Aberdeen Court. Both callers saw a car with two men inside; the car was cruising slowly through the neighborhoods and the suspects appeared to be checking vehicle doors to see if they were unlocked.
Deputies responded to the area and Deputy Tony Conde stopped a dark colored Impala with two men inside. The car was identified by one of the callers as the vehicle he saw acting suspiciously.
The driver, 20 year old Vladimic Mateus of Miami initially told the deputy he was on his way home from a party in the area; he was unable, however, to give specific information about the party and said he lived on Sunshine Key, but didn’t know the address. Mateus and the passenger, 19 year old Jonathan Reyes of Homestead, finally admitted to driving around looking for vehicles to burglarize.
In the car, deputies found a flashlight, a glove and pocket knife – all potential burglary tools. Further investigation revealed that the car – with Mateus driving it – was also involved in a vehicle burglary in Key Largo on June 7th. He admitted to the burglary and those charges are pending against Mateus.
Mateus and Reyes were both arrested for loitering and prowling. Deputies and detectives are continuing their investigations and expect to find more vehicle burglaries during the course of those investigations. More charges are expected.
June 14, 2010
Teens charged with burglaries
Marathon – Four teens have been arrested, accused of two separate burglaries which took place in April in Marathon. One other is expected to be arrested soon.
According to Detective Harry Boyden, sometime between the night of April 2nd and the morning of the 3rd, the teens broke into the Hammocks Inn, taking 11 bottles of alcohol from the area of the Tiki Bar. They also broke into the Sombrero Country Club. They took five golf carts and rode them around the golf course, damaging the course itself. They also damaged three of the five carts. They stole a large amount of beer from the club as well.
Deputies responding to the club found a set of Keys which belonged to 18 year old **redacted**. When Jones was questioned about how the keys got there, he admitted that he and four of his friends had committed the crimes at the Country Club. He said his car was still parked there because he couldn’t find his keys to move the vehicle. He said the stolen beer was in the trunk of the car.
Detective Boyden went to the club with **redacted** to retrieve the stolen beer from the car. When **redacted** opened the trunk, Detective Boyden also saw the bottles of alcohol stolen from the Hammocks Inn. Surveillance video from the motel burglary showed the teens on that property the same night as the Country Club burglary.
Warrants were obtained for all five teens and on Friday four of them turned themselves in. They were charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft. Those charged included **redacted**, -- name redacted--, 15 year old Hilaria Partida, 15 year old Bryan Echeverria. 16 year old Sabrina Matie is expected to be arrested soon.
Guatemalan man dies snorkeling
A 59 year old man from Guatemala died Sunday afternoon while snorkeling offshore of Key Largo.
Jose Herrador was snorkeling offshore of Pennekamp State Park on board the vessel Snorkel Express. An employee noticed Herrador was floating in the water face down with his snorkel out of his mouth. Herrador was pulled from the water and CPR was performed as the vessel made its way back to shore. The vessel was met by deputies and paramedics, and Herrador was transported to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Detective Linda Mixon responded to the scene. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
Marathon man found dead in hot tub
A 41 year old Marathon man was found dead Saturday morning in the hot tub of a motel.
Guests of the Hammocks Inn in Marathon found Armandito Alzugaray floating in the hot tub early Saturday. His dog was found running around the area and is the Marathon Animal Shelter was called and took the dog for safe keeping. Alzugaray was found unclothed. His clothing was found nearby. There were no obvious signs of foul play at the scene or in evidence on the body.
Detective Deborah Ryan will be investigating. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
Two Dominos Pizza restaurants broken into
The employees of two Upper Keys Dominos Pizza Restaurants came into work Saturday morning to find they’d been burglarized.
Sometime between closing time in the early morning hour s Saturday and opening later that morning, the storefront restaurants at the 88.5 mile marker and the 99 mile marker were both forcibly entered. Suspects forced open doors, made entry to safes in the businesses, taking a small amount of cash in both instances. At the 99 mile marker, they put surveillance cameras and other electronics into a sink and ran water on them. At the 88.5 mile marker, suspects ransacked the office.
Detectives will be investigating the cases.
June 11, 2010
Islamorada man calls 911 because he's "crushed" by a water buffalo
listen to the 911 call (.wav format)
Islamorada - Sheriff's dispatchers didn't know what the problem was when they got a frantic 911 call at 1:20 a.m. All the male caller could do is yell his address and tell them he was "crushed".
Sheriff's deputies rushed to the scene - a residence at the 88 mile marker of highway U.S. One. When they got inside, they found the man who'd apparently fallen asleep in his recliner. He was abruptly awakened when a the head of a water buffalo which had been hanging on the wall next to him fell onto his lap.
According to Deputy Don Dalton, the head was so heavy the man couldn't move, but his cell phone was close enough to his hand that he was able to call for help. He was taken to Mariner's Hospital for treatment of the injuries inflicted by the stuffed head.
June 10, 2010
Detention Deputy arrested
Key West - A Sheriff's Office Detention Deputy was arrested Wednesday night, charged with fondling a teenage boy, and providing him with alcohol.
21 year old Jonathan Mann is accused of fondling a 15 year old boy while the boy was visiting Mann's Little Torch Key home in February of this year. He also provided the boy with beer prior to the sexual encounter. According to investigators, Mann and the boy were alone in the house. He offered him several beers, then suggested the two go in the bedroom to watch movies. He showed the boy pornographic movies, then fondled the boy under his shorts; he also asked the boy to fondle him in return.
A warrant was obtained for Mann's arrest. He was booked into the Stock Island Detention Center on charges of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16 and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Mann is a probationary employee with the Sheriff's Office. He went to a Corrections Academy begriming in January of 2009, then started work as a full time Detention Deputy at the Stock Island Detention Center in July of 2009. He will be terminated from his employment with the Sheriff's Office today.
June 9, 2010
Man found floating at Sombrero Boulevard Marina
Marathon - A Marathon man who lived on a boat docked at a Sombrero Boulevard Marina died Tuesday. Detectives say his death appears to be accidental.
Witnesses say they saw a man's body in the water at Sombrero Marina just after 5 p.m. They pulled him out of the water and a nearby Border Patrol agent and other bystanders began performing CPR and called 911. Unfortunately, 67 year old Robert Jones, who lived on a boat in one of the Marina's boat slips, could not be revived. He was transported to Fishermen's Hospital by Paramedics, where he was pronounced dead.
When deputies and detectives arrived, they found no signs of foul play. Detective Linda Mixon said a sandwich and a couple of Busch beers were found on the side of the boat, and it appears Jones was sitting there eating and having a few beers when he fell in the water. It is unknown how long he was in the water before someone noticed him floating. Deputy Monica Young spoke with an employee of the American Legion who said Jones had been there earlier drinking beer, and had purchased the sandwich there to go. She last saw him at 1 p.m.
Autopsy results on Jones support detectives initial assessment of an accidental death. Indications are Jones died of saltwater drowning, although toxicology reports are still pending in the case.
June 5, 2010
Three trailers damaged by fire
Stock Island - Another fire at a Stock Island trailer park left three trailers damaged. One man was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Deputies Caridad Bellon and Evan Calhoun responded to reports of a fire at Coconut Grove Trailer Park on Maloney Avenue at 2:47 a.m. When they arrived, they saw flames from Lot #7 which appeared to be spreading to #8. They began evacuating nearby structures.
Neighbors told them a man lived in #7. They began looking for him and found 62 year old John Landon bent over, complaining of breathing problems and back pain. He was taken to Lower Keys Hospital by paramedics.
Firefighters responded and extinguished the blaze by 3:45 a.m. Key West Police were called for assistance with setting up a perimeter around the fire as firefighters worked.
The trailer at Lot #5 also sustained damage. The Red Cross was contacted to assist those displaced by fire. The Fire Marshall's Office is investigating.
Key Largo man charged with occupied burglary
Key Largo - A 26 year old Key Largo man is in jail, accused of forcing his way in to an apartment and demanding money from the resident.
The victim called the Sheriff's Office Friday night to report the crime. He said someone he didn't know knocked on his door shortly after 9 p.m. When he opened the door, he said 26 year old Robert Gonzalez forced his way in. He demanded the victim hand over money. The victim said Gonzalez had a gun with him.
When the victim said he had no money, Gonzalez told him he'd be back for the money the following Tuesday and he left. Detective Greg LaRochelle responded to investigate. He went to Gonzalez' residence and confronted him about the alleged incident. Gonzalez admitted to the break in, but denied having a gun. Further investigation indicated the confrontation was most likely related to a drug dispute.
Gonzalez was arrested. He was charged with occupied burglary with assault on the occupant. He was booked into jail.
June 3, 2010
Six trailers burn in Stock Island trailer park
Stock Island - Six trailers were damaged by fire in the Ocean Spray Trailer Park on Maloney Avenue, Stock Island early today.
Deputies John Gabay and Joshua Pool responded to reports of a fire at 2 a.m.. When they arrived, they said it appeared that two trailers had caught fire and were fully engulfed in flames. The deputies made sure nearby trailers and an adjacent trailer park were evacuated just in case. Six trailers in the park were damaged by fire - at least two of them appeared to be a complete loss.
The Red Cross was called to the scene to help those displaced by the fire. The Fire Marshall was also notified and will be investigating the cause of the blaze.
June 1, 2010
Free diving fatality identified
The man who died while free diving and spear fishing yesterday off shore of Bahia Honda State Park has been identified by detectives as 24 year old Ignel Gonzalez of 11227 NW 6th Street in Miami. Detectives say they notified family members today of his death.
Gonzalez was on a private vessel with two friends – a man and a woman who are also from Miami. They were about five miles off shore when the incident took place. He and the male friend were free diving and spear fishing in an estimated 35 feet of water. His friend said they both shot a grouper and were trying to get it into the boat. He said they both had to repeatedly dive down to the bottom to try to get the fish out of some rocks. He said he saw Gonzalez surface and he looked fine. The next thing he knew, he looked for Gonzalez and couldn’t find him. He found him on the bottom.
They pulled Gonzalez into the boat and began CPR, calling 911 for help, and began heading in to shore. Paramedics from Monroe County Fire Rescue and Deputies Spenser Bryan and Dave Chavka met the boat at Bahia Honda State Park. Gonzalez was transported to Fishermen’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.