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
September 26, 2010
Islamorada woman charged with hitting her husband and running into him with a golf cart
Islamorada – An Islamorada woman is in jail this morning, charged with striking her husband in the head and then hitting him with a golf cart.
41 year old Anna Marie Reckwerdt confronted her husband at their place of business, Robbie’s Marine, at 10:30 p.m. He was sitting with a woman who manages a the Hungry Tarpon Restaurant, which is on the marina property, when his wife walked up and reportedly hit her husband in the head with her hand, cutting his head with a ring she was wearing. She then told the woman she was fired and had to leave the property immediately.
The confrontation continued after she got into her golf cart. She rode up the woman and again told the woman she was fired and had no reason to be speaking with her husband; she also allegedly ran into her husband with the golf cart, knocking him down and injuring his leg.
After leaving the scene, she reportedly went to a friend’s house where she was later found by deputies. She told Deputy Daniel Mehler she had been told by a number of employees at the marina that her husband was having an affair with the restaurant’s manager. She was placed under arrest for battery, and for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. She was booked into jail.
September 25, 2010
Key Largo teen charged with burglary
Key Largo – An 18 year old Key Largo man has been charged with burglarizing his neighbor’s house.
Deputy John Perez responded to a home on Aqueduct Lane Friday at 11:30 p.m. after the homeowners returned and found their residence had been broken into. Missing was stereo equipment, an Ipod and a docking station, sunglasses, several watches, and a DVD player.
Deputy Sheila Swindle arrived to assist and the two officers checked the neighborhood, looking for witnesses or other evidence. At the trailer next door, they saw an Ipod docking station on the ground in front similar to the one stolen; further investigation turned up a stereo system in an outside shed in plain view that was also similar to one stolen in the burglary. Through a window in the trailer several pairs of sunglasses were visible on a nightstand resembling those stolen. The renter of the trailer was identified as 18 year old Zachary Aleksa.
Aleksa was interviewed. He denied knowing anything about the burglary, but admitted staying in the room with the sunglasses, and said a “friend” he could not identify had given him the Ipod docking station. He gave consent to search his car; inside deputies found a prescription bottle in someone else’s name with Oxycodone inside. Aleksa said it was his and a “friend” had given it to him as well.
Aleksa was arrested. He was charged with burglary, grand theft and possession of a narcotic without a prescription. He was booked into jail.
Four Marijuana cases
Sheriff’s deputies made a number of arrests county-wide for possession of small amounts of marijuana between Thursday and Friday.
Thursday at noon, officers stopped a vehicle driving dangerously at the 90 mile marker after it swerved and wove in and out of traffic, almost hitting other vehicles. The driver, 30 year old Adalberto Rodriguez of Miami had a suspended license; he also had marijuana in his car. He was arrested for DWLS – his fourth such offense – and for possessing the illegal drug. He also had 27 Visa gift cards in his possession which were taken into custody pending further investigation.
Deputy Nicholis Whiteman conducted a traffic stop on 55th Street in Marathon at 9:40 p.m. after seeing a vehicle run a stop sign. The rear view passenger side mirror was also dangling from the car, broken. The driver, 19 year old Harlan Pettit, was issued two citations for the violations; a passenger, 24 year old Andrew Flis admitted to having marijuana in his pocket. He was arrested and taken to jail.
At 3 a.m. on Friday, Deputy Nicholis Whiteman stopped a vehicle with tint so dark he could not see into it. Suspecting the tint was illegal he tested it, and it was indeed illegal. K-9 team Deputy David Minor and his dog Tracer responded. The dog alerted on the car. Inside was the driver, 24 year old Misty Draper and her infant child. Draper was found to have both marijuana and medication for which she had no prescription. Her child was turned over to the grandmother and Draper was taken to jail.
Friday at 7 a.m., Deputy David Chavka set up surveillance at a school bus stop at the 29.9 mm on Big Pine Key because he had information students were smoking marijuana there in the mornings. He saw two students – a 15 year old boy and a 17 year old girl – light up a pipe and begin smoking the illegal substance. He confronted them, and issued both of them a juvenile citation. He also notified their parents, who responded to pick them up.
Vehicle burglaries under investigation on Plantation Key
Plantation Key - Deputies took four vehicle burglary reports on Venetian Way, Plantation Key on Thursday morning.
In all four cases, vehicles were left unlocked. Suspects entered and ransacked the vehicles, taking a number of items including a DVD player, an Ipod, sunglasses, a radar detector and cash.
Vehicle burglaries such as these are crimes of opportunity – generally suspects only target cars that are easily accessed because they are left unlocked. The Sheriff’s office highly recommends always locking car doors, even if the vehicle is parked in your driveway. Also, remove valuables from your car. Taking these few easy steps and help you avoid becoming a victim of a crime and can save the Sheriff’s Office valuable time in reporting and investigating that crime.
September 24, 2010
Colorado man dies in dive accident
Key West - A Colorado man died in an apparent dive accident Thursday offshore of Key West.
Detective Mark Coleman says 57 year old William Rhoton of Briggsdale, Colorado was diving with his wife when the incident took place around 4 p.m. They were on a dive trip on board the vessel "Starfish Enterprise" out of Subtropic Dive Center, diving at Sand Key in about 25 feet of water. Rhoton surfaced from a 40 minute dive and, according to crew members on the boat, gave a distress signal. His wife said he appeared to be panicky and was coughing and gagging. He was pulled on board the boat and was not breathing, so crew members began doing CPR and called the Coast Guard for assistance.
The Coast Guard responded and brought Rhoton to shore where he was met by paramedics. He was transported to Lower Keys Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
Corrections deputy arrested for bringing drugs onto jail property
A Corrections Officer assigned to the Stock Island Detention facility was arrested today for bringing drugs onto facility property.
Internal Affairs investigators received a tip Thursday that 37 year old Olatunde Howard was bringing contraband in to the jail. Friday morning, when he arrived for work at 5:45 a.m., investigators met him in the secure parking lot underneath the jail. They informed him of the information they had. A Sheriff's Office K-9 team was also present. The dog conducted a search of the outside of his van and alerted on the driver's side. A search of that area of the car turned up three small plastic bags with a white powder inside under the floor mat. The white powder tested positive as cocaine.
Howard was arrested, charged with introduction of contraband into a detention facility. He is suspended from his employment with the Sheriff's Office pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation.
September 22, 2010
Detectives ask for help with Marathon home invasion robbery
Marathon - Detectives are asking for the public's assistance with their investigation into a home invasion robbery which took place September 5th in Marathon.
The 86 year old victim was awakened at 2:30 a.m. in his home on 107th Street Oceanside, by two men with ski masks over their faces who demanded to know where his valuables were. They used zip ties to secure his arms and his ankles and put duct tape over his mouth. They ransacked the house, finally removing two safes, one from a closet and one from an office area. The largest safe was black in color, and measures approximately five feet by three feet by four feet, and has a green colored bottom with wheels. The smaller safe is also black in color, measuring two feet on a side. Inside the two safes was cash, collectible coins and jewelry.
Some of the items in the safes are somewhat distinctive, and Detectives Marc Maison and Harry Boyden are asking for anyone who may have seen similar items recently to contact them immediately. The unusual items included a large number of silver Peace dollars from the 1920s; a large number of 50 and 100 dollar bills from the 1950s and 1960s; three gold Presidential Rolex watches; one fairly new (approximately ten years old) and the other two considerably older.
The suspects were wearing ski masks hiding their faces, and gloves on their hands at the time of the robbery. One of them had a heavy Spanish or Cuban accent, according to the victim. Once they left the house, the victim was able to remove the duct tape and the zip tie on his legs using his hands which were secured in front of him. He then called 911 for assistance.
Detectives say it is possible the suspects were able to open the safe and get to the valuables inside. If so, they may have tried to sell the valuables, or use the money. Anyone who has any information about this case, or has seen anything resembling the items described above, should contact Sheriff's detectives at 305-289-2430. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a substantial cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Crime Stoppers Tips may be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.
September 21, 2010
Stock Island man charged with burglary, auto theft
Stock Island - A Stock Island man is in jail, charged with breaking in to a home, stealing the victim's car keys, then stealing her car.
According to reports by Deputy Chris Duncan and Detective Juan Llera, the incident took place August 28th and was reported two days later. The victim called to report her home broken into and her car, a 2007 Cadillac, missing. She said the crime was committed by her sister's boyfriend, 24 year old Tony Morejon.
According to the victim, she last saw her car on the 28th in front of her house. She said she woke up the next morning to find the car gone. She said when she picked up her cell phone, she had text messages from her sister. The messages said Morejon had the car, and had been involved a hit and run accident in the city of Key West in it.
Detective Llera confirmed the accident took place. After the accident, the car was towed to a local tow yard. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Morejon for burglary and grand theft auto.
Morejon was additionally wanted on a warrant for dealing in stolen property for his involvement in a Key Haven burglary from March of 2009. Morejon is accused of selling jewelry stolen in that burglary to a Duval Street jewelry store owner. A third warrant was outstanding for Morejon for failure to appear in court.
This morning, Deputy Danielle Malone picked Morejon up and took him to jail. He was charged with all three warrants and is currently being held at the Detention Center on Stock Island.
Detectives release identity of man found dead at Tavernier marina
Tavernier - Detectives say they have notified next of kin for a man found dead in teh water at a Tavernier marina Saturday.
The dead man is identified as 58 year old William Strella. He was found floating in the water at Mangrove Marina Saturday at 1 p.m.
Strella was last seen by another resident at the marina unloading groceries from his car Friday afternoon. Detectives say they looked on his boat and found the groceries, some still in grocery store bags. There was no sign of a struggle or anything unusual on the boat; there was no obvious signs of foul play upon initial examination of the man’s body.
An autopsy was done, and results of that autopsy are pending the return of test results, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
September 20, 2010
Man found floating at Tavernier marina
Tavernier – A Tavernier man who lived on board his boat at an upper Keys marina was found floating in the water at that marina Saturday at 1 p.m.
The 58 year old man was last seen by another resident at the marina unloading groceries from his car Friday afternoon. Detectives say they looked on his boat and found the groceries, some still in grocery store bags. There was no sign of a struggle or anything unusual on the boat; there was no obvious signs of foul play upon initial examination of the man’s body.
An autopsy was done, and results of that autopsy are pending the return of test results, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Detectives say his next of kin have not yet been notified of his death, so they are asking that his name not be released pending that notification.
September 20, 2010
Aggravated battery case now being looked at as death investigation
Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives say a man airlifted to Miami after being injured in a fight Thursday night has died.
Detective Mark Coleman says 55 year old William White died at Jackson Memorial Hospital Saturday. The Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office will be doing an autopsy.
Detective Coleman will be investigating the circumstances of the fight White was involved in, and questioning those people who were there at the time the fight took place. The incident happened at 10:30 p.m. on Ventana Lane, Big Coppitt Key.
No arrests have been made in connection with this incident.
September 19, 2010
Key West man charged with burglary with battery on the occupant
Stock Island – A Key West man was arrested after he violently broke into his ex-wife’s home, beating up her current roommate.
Deputy David Fernandez responded to Ocean Spray Trailer Park at 1:30 a.m. When he arrived, he found a fence gate had been torn down to gain entry to the property and a sliding glass door had been broken in. The suspect, 36 year old Frederick Eugene, had fled the scene on a green moped.
His ex-wife, and her current male roommate, both told the deputy Eugene was the one who’d done the damage. They said he broke down the gate, and then broke in through the glass door, bending the door frame and breaking the glass in the process. He then attacked the roommate, who suffered a severe bite to one of his fingers and was bleeding profusely.
Eugene’s moped was located parked at a nearby residence and he was apprehended as he hid inside. He was charged with aggravated battery, criminal mischief and burglary with battery on the occupant. He was booked into jail.
September 17, 2010
Big Coppitt man airlifted to Miami after a fight
Big Coppitt Key - A Big Coppitt Key man was airlifted with neck and head injuries Thursday night after a fight with friends.
Detectives are still investigating the circumstances of the incident, which took place on Ventana Lane at 10:30 p.m. A group of friends, including the victim, reportedly went to Boca Chica Beach for a barbecue earlier in the evening. Witnesses say the victim was drinking and taking some kind of pills. He reportedly began arguing with his girlfriend and threw a punch at her, missing. She decided to leave for the night, and he reportedly began tearing up the house as she packed her things.
A friend confronted him, asking why he was treating her that way. That is when the victim allegedly grabbed a baseball bat and began chasing him down the street. He was reportedly unable to make contact with his friend with the bat, so he broke a window in the friend's vehicle instead.
The friend admits to hitting the victim after his window was broken; none of the witnesses say they saw exactly what happened during the fight. When Sgt. Evan Calhoun arrived, he found the victim unconscious on the ground, and not breathing. Sgt. Calhoun began CPR, assisted by Sgt. Tom Walker as other officers arrived on the scene. Paramedics arrived and transported the victim to Lower Keys hospital where medical personnel said he was suffering from a fractured neck and bleeding in his brain. He was airlifted to a Miami hospital for treatment.
Detectives will be investigating the exact circumstances surrounding the argument, subsequent fight and the injury to the victim. There have been no arrests in the case as of yet.
September 16, 2010
Man charged with burglary of Marathon home
Marathon - A homeless man was arrested after deputies caught him sitting in a vacant home, watching television.
A woman told deputies she saw a suspicious man, riding his bicycle between two homes she knew to be vacant. When Deputies Trevor Wirth and Michael Cofield approached one of the homes to check it out, through a window they saw a man sitting in a chair, watching television. Thinking it was possibly the homeowner, the deputies knocked on the door. When they looked through the window again, the man was no longer sitting in the chair and the television was off.
The deputies went to the rear of the house and found a sliding glass door unlocked. As they were looking around the area, 60 year old Robert Zambri walked out of the laundry room of the house. When the officers asked if he lived in the house, he admitted he did not. The homeowner was contacted by phone and said no one had permission to be in his house. Zambri was arrested; he was charged with burglary and theft and he was taken to jail.
September 15, 2010
Tampa man caught with drug, weapons
Marathon - A traffic stop led to the arrest of a Tampa man on drugs and weapons charges.
Sgt. Joel Slough was on patrol in Marathon at 11 p.m. Tuesday when he saw a truck pulling a trailer. The trailer had a taillight and a tag light out, so he pulled it over near 20th Street. He found the driver to be 43 year old Richard Nelson of Tampa. Upon approaching the truck, the sergeant saw a knife, in an unsnapped sheath, sticking up from between the seats next to Nelson's leg.
When back up officers arrived, including K-9 Deputy David Minor and his dog Tracer, they did a check of the vehicle. Tracer alerted on the car. A black zippered pouch was found in the truck; in the pouch was a loaded gun and 27 grams of marijuana.
Nelson was arrested. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a felony amount of marijuana. He was booked into jail.
Detectives release homicide victim's name, confirm cause of death
Islamorada - The man found dead in his Islamorada home Sunday evening died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Detectives say 70 year old Henry Allwardt was found shot to death in the bedroom of his downstairs apartment on Pirates Lair Road at 6:20 p.m. Sunday by a co-worker. Allwardt worked as a security guard at the Moorings Resort in Islamorada. He was last seen alive by a neighbor who saw him leaving in his vehicle Saturday sometime between 10 a.m. and noon. When his body was found, his vehicle - a Honda sedan - was found parked outside the apartment.
The investigation is continuing. Detectives are following up leads and questioning people about Allwardt and the circumstances surrounding his death. Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Crime Stoppers Tips may be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.
September 13, 2010
Detectives investigate homicide
Islamorada - Sheriff's Office Homicide detectives are investigating the death of an Islamorada man. His body was discovered Sunday evening by a woman who was checking on him because he did not show up on time for work.
When deputies arrived 500 Pirates Lair Road at 6:20 p.m. Sunday, the found the 70 year old Islamorada resident dead in his bedroom, in a downstairs apartment at the home. The victim had what appear to be several gun shot wounds. An autopsy will be done to confirm the cause of his death. Neighbors in the area were questioned; so far, he was last seen by a neighbor leaving in his vehicle Saturday sometime between 10 a.m. and noon.
The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Crime Stoppers Tips may be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.
September 10, 2010
Search warrant in Marathon results in 3 drug arrest
Marathon - Sheriff's Special Investigations Detectives, the Special Weapons and Tactics team and Marathon HIDTA served a search warrant at 5:30 a.m. today in Marathon.
The warrant was served at 373 64th Street Ocean. Inside, detectives located 41 year old Jimmie Lee Davis, 43 year old Gregory Allen Davis and 32 year old Brian Lee Hoover.
When detectives spoke with Hoover, he initially gave them a false name and said that he had never had a drivers license or Florida ID. Detectives later correctly identified him and discovered he had a warrant out of Ft Myers, Florida for failure to appear in court reference resisting arrest without violence. Hoover is also wanted for failing to register as a sexual offender.
During the search of the residence detectives located marijuana, and prescription medication. Detectives also searched a vehicle belonging to Jimmie Lee Davis, locating 31 Oxycontin pills he did not have a prescription for, and a small amount of marijuana.
Jimmie Lee Davis was charged with trafficking in Oxycontin, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jimmie Lees Davis’s 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante was seized. Gregory Allen Davis was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hoover was be charged with the Fort Myers warrant and a new charge of resisting arrest without violence for giving a false name; he was also charged with failing to register as a sexual offender. All three were booked into the Monroe County Jail.
September 9, 2010
Search warrant in Key Largo results in one drug arrest
Key Largo - Sheriff's Special Investigations Detectives and Patrol Deputies served a search warrant at 5:30 a.m. today in Key Largo.
The warrant was served at 595 La Paloma Rd. Inside, detectives located 50 year old Glenn Goodall, who showed detectives the location of his drugs. A search turned up 9 plastic bags with powder cocaine inside weighing a total of 10 grams; they also found 7 grams of marijuana. In addition to the drugs, Detectives located 4 loaded hand guns, several items of drug paraphernalia and they seized $198 dollars in suspected drug proceeds.
Goodall was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of a weapon while committing a felony and possession of drug paraphernalia. Goodall was booked into the Monroe County Jail.
September 6, 2010
Couple break into house to “make out”
Key Largo - A man and a woman from Miami were arrested Sunday night after they broke in to a Key Largo home to “make out”.
A neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office just after 9 p.m. to report two people breaking in to the vacant home on Lower Matecumbe Road in Key Largo. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found a window broken and the door unlocked at the stilt home. When they entered, they found 24 year olds Adrian Alonso and Iliu Gonzalez lying on the floor.
The couple had broken a window and Gonzalez had crawled through it and opened the door for Alonso. They said they broke in to “make out”.
Both were arrested, charged with criminal mischief and burglary and they were booked into jail.
Home Invasion Robbery in Marathon
Marathon – An 86 year old Marathon resident was the victim of a home invasion robbery early Sunday.
When deputies arrived on the scene 107th Street Ocean at 5:45 a.m., the victim still had a zip tie around his wrists. He told them he’d been awakened around 2:30 p.m. by two men wearing all black with black ski masks on their faces. He said they broke into his house, zip tied his hands and feet and put duct tape over his mouth. They allegedly held a knife to his throat and demanded to know “where is the money”? They then ransacked his house, taking two large safes with them when they left. The safes contained cash and other valuables.
The victim described his attackers as possibly black males; he said one spoke Spanish. Detectives are investigating.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 305-289-2430. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Crime Stoppers Tips may be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.
Two arrested on drug charges
In the photo, Deputies David Fernandez and Peter Garcia search a truck on Big Pine Key, finding drugs inside.
Two lower Keys men were arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop this morning on Big Pine Key.
Deputy David Fernandez stopped the white Dodge RAM pickup truck at 1:30 a.m.. on Big Pine Key because when he ran the license tag, it returned as having expired in May. When he approached the truck, he could smell what he recognized as burnt marijuana emanating from inside.
At first, the driver – 37 year old Todd Williams of Key West – denied having any drugs. He finally told the deputy he had a small amount of marijuana in a duffel bag in the truck.
Deputy Peter Garcia was also on the scene. Williams gave the deputies permission to search his vehicle. The search turned up 187 Oxycodone pills, which the passenger – 38 year old William Roche of Stock Island – said were his. Deputies also found prescription strength Ibuprofen, more marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Neither of the men could produce a legitimate prescription for the medications.
Williams was charged with possession of the marijuana, drug paraphernalia and the prescription strength Ibuprofen. Roche was charged with possessing the Oxycodone without a prescription. Both men were booked into jail.
September 2, 2010
Multi-Agency operation nets drugs, cash and Stolen Newspaper box
Stock Island - On Tuesday, Detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division conducted a highway interdiction on Stock Island. Participating in the interdiction were Road Patrol Deputies, Key West Police Special Investigations Detectives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, ICE Agents, and Monroe County HIDTA.
During the interdiction detectives responded to a suspicious person call on Big Coppitt Key. As detectives arrived at 431 Avenue B they could hear hammering. Detectives then observed a attempting to pry open a newspaper box. The man admitted to detectives that he had stolen the newspaper machine by the Tom Thumb on Stock Island and was attempting to remove the coins. A representative of the Key West Citizen was contacted and declined to prosecute the man for the crime.
Overall in the interdiction, 36 vehicle stops were conducted for various traffic and safety violations; 3 people were arrested, 8 citations were issued along with 31 warnings. 24 K-9 searches were completed. The team seized 7 grams of marijuana, 80 Oxycodone pills, 25 Xanax pills, and $1250 in suspected drug proceeds.
During the interdiction, 23 year old Steven Christian was stopped for having his vehicle’s left brake light out. A check revealed his driver’s license was suspended. He admitted to having a small amount of marijuana in his glove box. Christian was arrested.
26 year old Andrew Jackson of Sugarloaf Key failed to stop at a stop sign in his vehicle. He was pulled over and Deputy David Minor and K-9 Tracer checked the outside of the vehicle. Tracer alerted on the vehicle’s passenger door, and then alerted on the center console. A search of the car turned up Oxycodone pills and Xanax. Jackson was arrested.
40 year old Javier Nodal was stopped on his bicycle for having no light. He admitted to having a small amount of marijuana in his sock. Nodal was arrested.