Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

January 31, 2013

Woman arrested for stealing, pawning items

A Cudjoe Key woman was charged with stealing dive and fishing gear and other items, then pawning them. She said she spent the money on drugs.

On January 25th Deputy Joe Cortner responded to a home on Cutthroat Drive to reports of a theft. The resident of the home said he left home that morning and when he returned several hours later, someone had taken dive and fishing gear along with a hunting bow, Xbox games and some movies from his home. He told the deputy he suspected his girlfriend, 27 year old Christina Whitaker, may have taken them because he said she has a drug problem and is not working.

Detective David Brummer was assigned to investigate. Using the computerized pawn system, he ran a search through recently pawned items and located items matching those stolen. He then interviewed the suspect, who was already in jail on a separate case. She admitted to taking all the items and pawning hem at two local pawn shops. She said she pawned them so she could buy drugs.

Whitaker was charged with five counts each grand theft and violating the pawn act – giving false identification when pawning items.

Man arrested for vehicle burglary

Deputies responded to the Caloosa Cove Resort at the 74 mile marker of the highway at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday to a report of a vehicle burglary.

The victim caught 37 year old John Bishop rummaging through his unlocked Chrysler van and called the Sheriff’s Office. He then detained Bishop on the scene until deputies arrived.

Property from a second vehicle, parked nearby, was found in Bishop’s pocket. The owner of the second vehicle could not be contacted at the time the crime took place.

Bishop told deputies he is homeless and lived at the lower Keys shelter for a time. He said he took the bus northbound to the 74 mile marker. He said he needed a vehicle, and he contacted a woman on the internet who told him he could take her car. He said he was going through the van because he was confused about what car she was giving him. He could give no specifics about who the woman was or how to contact her.

Bishop was taken into custody, charged with vehicle burglary. A second count of vehicle burglary is pending until the second vehicle’s owner can be located.

January 29, 2013

Major Crimes detective seeks help with rape case

Major Case Detective Rosa DiGiovanni is asking for the public’s help solving a brutal rape case which took place in Marathon in December.

The victim, a Marathon woman in her 50s, was at Fishermen’s Hospital the afternoon of December 21st when she first met with deputies and detectives. She’d been beaten and had facial injuries as well as extensive bruising on her body. She told them she’d been raped by a man she met through a dating web site.

The victim said she met the suspect over the internet on the web site POF (Plenty of Fish). She said they communicated on line for a couple of weeks, and then he gave her his cell phone number. She said he told her his name was “John Strong”. She said they texted back and forth for a while, then decided to meet on December 20th. She agreed to go with him, in his truck, to Sombrero Beach. He picked her up at her house in Marathon.

She said when she got into his truck – a white crew cab pickup truck with gray interior – he was playing country music. She said he asked if she liked it and became upset when she said she did not. She said he  calmed down, and they went for a walk on the beach. She said at one point, he got her a bottle of water from his truck. She said she noticed the seal had been broken on the water, but she drank it anyway. After drinking the water, she began to feel dizzy so she asked him to drive her home.

She said they left the beach and went to a wooded area. She said he threw her in the back seat and began punching her. He took off her clothes and raped her in the truck. He then drove toward her house, but stopped before he got there and pushed her out of the truck. She said she ran home and, the next day, her roommate took her to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The victim described her attacker as a white male with very pale skin and reddish hair. He is approximately 52 years old, has no facial hair and is very overweight – approximately 300 pounds. He is between 6’ and 6’2” tall and listens to country music. He drives a crew cab truck with a light gray interior. The license plate in the back has black plastic trim around it.

Anyone with information about this case should contact Major Crimes Detective Rosa Digiovanni at 305-289-2410. 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 of up to $1,000.00. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

Vessel check results in recovery of stolen property; arrest

Marathon – A routine check of new vessels in Boot Key harbor Sunday resulted in the recovery of a large amount of stolen property and the arrest of the man who possessed it.

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on board one of the Marathon City Pump Out vessels in Boot Key Harbor with a Marathon city employee. The two men were doing a routine check of new vessels in the harbor to make sure they had proper facilities on board. As they pulled up to the second of three new vessels they were checking, they announced themselves. A man later identified as 35 year old Mauricio Gonzalez  came on deck from below. Deputy Guerra told Gonzalez what they were there for and went below decks. Once there, he saw two outboard engine on the floor. He immediately recognized one of them as having been reported stolen earlier in the day. After checking the serial number on it, it was confirmed as stolen. The second motor was also confirmed as being stolen. Gonzalez was placed under arrest. He initially gave officers a false name, but his real name was discovered when he was booked at the jail.

Further investigation by Detectives Bobby Burkett and John Underwood revealed a large amount of stolen property on board the vessel. A stolen dinghy was also tied up to it.

Gonzalez has been charged with two counts of grand theft and resisting arrest. More charges are pending as Detectives unravel who all the property belongs to.

January 28, 2013

Sheriff’s Office continues with DUI Saturation patrols

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its efforts to combat drunk driving under a grant funded by the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community. Under the grant, Deputies perform extra patrols on the streets and highways of the county watching out for drivers who are impaired and driving dangerously.

Two patrols took place in the Lower Keys in January, one on the 19th and one on the 26th. On those dates, deputies working the special details had the following activity:

This operation was conducted in cooperation with the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community.

Alcohol Compliance Check results in seven violations

On January 25, 2013 the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division conducted an operation checking businesses that sell alcohol in the Lower Keys. Seventeen businesses were checked including restaurants, convenience stores and bars. Seven of the businesses served alcohol to minors during our investigations. The seven people responsible for the violations were given notices to appear before a Monroe County Judge. 

The following are a list of the Business, and suspects who sold the alcohol:

Chevron 5220 US-1 Stock Island, Fl attendant – Jose Reynaldo Garcia Zepeda, DOB 06/18/1957   notice to appear issued. This is the second offence for this business.

Dions 5350 Overseas Hwy Stock Island, Fl attendant – Jennifer Reed Albritton, DOB 03/10/1971 notice to appear issued

Tom Thumb 5690 Maloney Stock Island, Fl attendant – Nicanor Torres, DOB 08/31/1960 notice to appear issued

Shell 5991  Overseas Hwy Stock Island, Fl attendant – Jeffrey Richard Impallomeni, DOB 07/05/1944 notice to appear issued

Baby’s Coffee 3178 Overseas Hwy Bay Point, Fl attendant – Andrew J Olean, DOB 11/25/1943 notice to appear issued

Shell 6099 Overseas Hwy Summerland Key, Fl attendant – Agnes Mary Kavanagh, DOB 02/04/1961 notice to appear issued

Walgreens liquor store 30351 Overseas Hwy Big Pine Key, Fl attendant –  Douglas Wooddy Stevens DOB 05/01/1985 notice to appear issued

The Sale Clerk violations are up to 60 days in jail $500 fine, $235 in court cost, $75 in cost of prosecution, and $40 in cost of investigation.

The Licensee Violations are:
1st offense $1000 fine and 7 day suspension
2nd offense $3000 fine and 30 day suspension
3rd offense Revocation of license.
The remaining business checked, were in compliance with the law.

This operation was conducted in cooperation with the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community.

January 25, 2013

Search warrant leads to drug arrests

Marathon - The Sheriff's Special Investigations detectives executed a search warrant on 91st Street in Marathon this morning.

At 6:30 a.m., detectives served the search warrant at 495 91st in Marathon. Inside, they found 29 year old Katrina Mitchell, 38 year old Ralph Curry and two other people. Detectives also discovered a crack cocaine lab.

Mitchell admitted to detectives that she was had cooked cocaine, creating a “cookie” of crack. A search of the residence revealed 90 grams of powdered cocaine, approximately 50 crack cocaine rocks, 1 gram of marijuana, 33 Seroquel pills, scales with cocaine residue on them and $984 in suspected drug proceeds. More arrests may follow in the case, once evidence has been processed.

Mitchell was charged with trafficking in cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Curry was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. Both were booked into jail.

January 24, 2013

Ohio man dies while diving

Key Largo – An Ohio man died while diving offshore of Key Largo Wednesday.

56 year old Ronald Dye of Grove City, Ohio was diving from the commercial dive vessel Tropical Adventures, operated by Rainbow Reef Dive Center in Key Largo. They were diving on the Benwood Wreck site, about six miles offshore of Key Largo.

Dye and his dive buddy entered the water at 9:15 a.m. The captain of the vessel said he saw then surface about 25 minutes later and the dive buddy signaled for assistance. A mate on the boat went into the water with a rescue buoy and assisted both men back to the boat.

Dye was unresponsive so the mate started cardio pulmonary resuscitation and the vessel started back for the dock. Dye was taken to Mariner’s Hospital by paramedics where he was pronounced dead.

The dive buddy told Deputy Sever Hustad Dye was low on air, so they surfaced. At that point, he said Dye indicated something was wrong, but didn’t tell him what it was.

Detective Deborah Ryan was assigned to investigate the case. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

January 23, 2013

Traffic stop results in drug arrest

Key Largo – A traffic stop by the Florida Highway Patrol for speeding in the Upper Keys early this morning resulted in an arrest for a large amount of marijuana.

FHP Trooper Arias stopped the silver Nissan sport utility vehicle at the 108 mile marker of the highway at 2 a.m. after he measured it’s speed at 68 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. He called for a back up officer after he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the inside of the vehicle. Deputy Pedro Garcia responded to the call.

When the officers confronted the driver, 61 year old Igor Pilecki of Lutz, Florida, he admitted to possessing marijuana. He handed over a marijuana cigarette he had in his pocket, and a bag which was found to contain 339 grams of the illegal substance.

Pilecki was charged with possession of a felony amount of marijuana and he was booked into jail.

January 22, 2013

Homeless man pulls knife on jogger

Stock Island – A man jogging on College Road told deputies a homeless man on a bicycle pulled a knife and threatened to stab him with it Monday afternoon.

The victim flagged down Detective Sgt. Donald Catala, who was passing by in his unmarked patrol car at 4:45 p.m. He told him he was jogging on the sidewalk when a man on a bike almost ran into him. He said he shoved the man on the bike who, in turn, pulled a knife out of a backpack he was carrying and pointed at him as if he were going to stab him with it. The victim said he picked up a rock to defend himself and then saw the officer driving by.

Detective Sgt. Catala found the suspect, 39 year old John Foster, a short distance away. Foster was trying to throw his backpack over a fence at the Botanical Garden, but the strap had become wrapped around his wrist.

The knife was found in the backpack. Foster, who said he was on his way to the homeless shelter for the night, said he thought he was justified in pulling the knife because the victim had pushed him.

Foster was charged with aggravated battery and he was booked into jail.

January 16, 2013

Second person charged in Key Largo case involving lewd behavior

A 17 year old from Key Largo has been arrested in connection with a case of lewd and lascivious acts on a young girl.

In December, a 20 year old  Key Largo man was arrested in connection with the same case. Both are accused of having sexual relations with a 15 year old girl.

Detectives investigating the case found on July 13th the victim went to the Key Largo home of the 17 year old male. Also at the home was the 20 year old. The victim was there for approximately four hours, during which she said she drank three shots of alcohol. She said she began to feel weak and disoriented. She said that is when both men took her into the bedroom, where they had sexual relations with her.

Afterward, the two males told her to stay there; they went to the drug store and purchased a package of  “morning after” pills for her. They gave her one and told her to take it. They told her to take the other one 12 hours later.

Williams admitted, during an interview with detectives, that he had sexual relations with the girl and that he knew her age at the time. The 17 year old has also admitted to having sexual relations with her and knowing her age at the time.

The 20 year old was arrested in December; the 17 year old was arrested Sunday and booked on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim between the ages of 12 and 16.

January 15, 2013

Reckless driver jumps from 7 Mile Bridge

Marathon – Deputies in Marathon stopped a reckless driver on the hump of the 7 mile bridge Monday night. The driver jumped off the bridge to avoid arrest and was later recovered from the water and airlifted to Miami.

Dispatchers received reports of a reckless driver northbound in the southbound lanes of the 7 mile bridge at 11 p.m. Callers reported a white Chevrolet Impala which side swiped the bridge several times and had body damage on the sides of the car.

Deputy Vincent Weiner spotted the car a few minutes later northbound at 25th Street in Marathon. As he began to follow it, he saw the car do an abrupt u-turn and begin traveling south.

The deputy turned on lights and siren to stop the vehicle. It stopped at 22nd Street, but then accelerated away from the stop suddenly.The deputy continued to follow the car as it reached speeds of 90 miles an hour onto the 7 Mile Bridge. Sgt. Joel Slough also joined the chase at that point.

As they all reached the approach to the hump of the bridge, the deputy saw a large black cloud of smoke and debris from the Impala and the car suddenly slowed. The driver pulled over at the top of the hump and got out of the car. As the driver began walking around the front of his car, Deputy Weiner and Sgt. Joel Slough got of their vehicles ordering the driver, later identified as 45 year old Dale Darosa of Massachusetts, to stop and put up his hands.

As they continued ordering him to stop, Darosa jumped over the edge of the bridge and into the water. He began drifting toward the old 7 Mile Bridge rapidly, yelling for help.

The Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Marathon Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra were called to respond to the area to search for Darosa by water. He was recovered from the water about a half mile away from the bridge by Deputy Guerra and brought in to the Coast Guard station.

Darosa admitted to deputies he had been drinking alcohol. His son, a Marathon resident, later told the deputies his father is a recovering alcoholic who had begun drinking again. He said his father had been drinking alcohol all day.

Because of the distance Darosa fell when he jumped from the bridge, he was airlifted to Miami to the Ryder Trauma Center for treatment. A warrant will be obtained for his arrest and he will be taken into custody when he is released from the hospital. He faces charges of reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police and resisting arrest.

The vehicle he was driving – rented from Alamo Rental Car Company – appeared to have blown it’s engine and had to be towed off the bridge with severe damage to both the engine and to both side of the car’s body.

January 13, 2013

Fire destroys four apartments in Marathon

Marathon – Fire destroyed four apartments on 108th Street and 1st Avenue Gulfside in Marathon Saturday.

When Deputies Danielle Malone and Greg LaRochelle arrived at the scene of the fire at 8 p.m., they found the structure engulfed in flames. They first checked to make sure everyone had escaped the building unharmed. The building was all one story, with four apartments. Three residents were home and had vacated the premises when it caught fire. One resident was not home at the time the fire started.

After ascertaining the residents were safe, the deputies evacuated adjacent buildings just in case the fire spread. Marathon Firefighters responded and extinguished the blaze.

The American Red Cross was notified and responded to the scene, assisting the residents with finding temporary housing and anything else they needed assistance with.

County and State Fire Marshals will be investigating the cause of the fire.

Marathon man charged with occupied burglary

Marathon – Deputies and detectives working together arrested a Marathon man who entered an occupied residence and stole numerous items, including a car.

The victims – a couple with a newborn baby - called the Sheriff’s Office Saturday morning at 8 a.m. to report their vehicle gone, along with two Iphones, a laptop computer and a wallet with cash and credit cards. The male victim said he woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday when he heard noises inside his home, an apartment at 112th Street and U.S. One in Marathon.

He said he went out into the living room and found a black male standing there. He said he recognized him as a local man he’d seen around town. He confronted the man – later identified as 28 year old Phernando Hill. Hill told him he was in the wrong apartment and left. The victim went back to bed, not realizing Hill had taken his belongings and his car. He later told officers he usually locks his apartment door, but must have left it unlocked on this one occasion.

From the victim’s description of the suspect, Deputy Anthony O’Dea and Detective Nicholis Whiteman believed the suspect to be Hill, whom they had had many encounters with before.

Detective Whiteman went to Hill’s residence on 41st Street, where he lives with his mother. His mother said Hill told her he might be in trouble. She told the detective he could find the victim’s vehicle at Gulfside Village shopping center, but she didn’t know where her son was.

Hill was found, with the stolen vehicle, at the shopping center. In the trunk of the car was the stolen laptop computer. Hill was arrested. He was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling, grand theft and grand theft of an automobile. He was booked into jail. The victim later positively identified Hill as the suspect from a photo line-up.

The victim later contacted Detective Whiteman and told him he used a computer application and located one of his stolen Iphones. Detective Whiteman went to a residence on 114th Street, where the application indicated the phone was. The occupant told the detective Hill had been there earlier and had left a bag there. Inside the bag, the detective found one of the stolen Iphones and one of the victim’s credit cards.

January 12, 2013

Accident, 104 mile marker. A vehicle hit a pedestrian this morning just before 1 a.m. The pedestrian was killed in the accident. Both lanes of traffic were impacted until 4:30 a.m. Some traffic was diverted using the median and using adjacent neighborhood roadways. FHP is the investigating agency.

Search warrant in Key Largo

Key Largo - Sheriff's Special Investigations detectives executed a search warrant Friday at 12:30 P.M.

The warrant was served at 805 Blue Heron Lane in Key Largo. Outside the residence detectives located 50 year old Manuel De La Caridad Riesgo-Penate along with two other people. A search of the residence revealed 115 grams of marijuana, .5 grams of cocaine, scales with cocaine residue and a large bottle of Inositol that is used as a cutting agent for cocaine.

Riesgo-Penate was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Key Largo resident charged with business burglary

Key Largo – A Key Largo man was arrested Friday, charged with entering a fenced in area in the back of the American Legion and stealing three beer kegs.

On January 9th, witnesses told Deputy Sever Hustad they saw a man pulling aluminum beer kegs out of a wooded area behind the American Legion and putting them into the back of a silver Jeep. They gave him the license tag of the Jeep, which was registered to a person who lived on Bahama Avenue.

The bartender at the American Legion told the deputy she was indeed missing three empty beer kegs from the fenced in yard in back of the building.

Deputy Hustad went to the home on Bahama Avenue, where he spoke with 31 year old Joshua Davis. Upon questioning, Davis admitted to taking the empty kegs from the American Legion. He said he took them to the local Publix grocery story where he received $30 apiece for them. The transaction was confirmed when the deputy viewed store video.

A warrant was obtained for Davis and on Friday, he was arrested. He was charged with burglary, theft and dealing in stolen property. He was booked into jail.

January 11, 2013

Big Coppitt man arrested for fleeing, drunk driving

Stock Island – Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Big Coppitt Key man who was involved in a hit and run accident in the city of Key West. He fled from deputies who spotted him on Stock Island, but was apprehended at the 10 mile marker of the highway.

Deputy Chris Fraser was on Stock Island at 8:10 p.m. when he got a call on his radio to be on the lookout for a red Chevy Corvette convertible which had been involved in a hit and run crash in the city. He spotted the car at U.S. One and 3rd Street, pulling in behind it and activating his lights and siren.

The car continued to travel, erratically changing speeds and crossing both the white and yellow lines on the highway finally stopping at the 10 mile marker on Big Coppitt Key.

The driver, 59 year old Robert Sieminski, had trouble following the deputies instructions and had trouble standing up without holding on to his vehicle. On a couple of occasions, he almost staggered out into traffic. When deputies asked him to kneel so they could handcuff him safely, he did so but then fell forward onto his face, injuring himself.

In the car, deputies found two partially consumed bottles of alcohol – one each of Absolut and Smirnoff Vodka.

He was arrested. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, then transported to the Detention Center for processing. A Key West Police Officer was also present, so he could continue his investigation into the accident. When Sieminski took a breathalyzer test, almost three hours after his accident, his blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.

Sieminski was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, fleeing and eluding police, possession of an open container and failing to maintain a single lane. More charges are pending.

January 10, 2013

Detective asks for help identifying ID theft suspect

ID theft suspect

Detective Nicholis Whiteman is asking for help identifying a man who used to fraudulent credit cards at a number of different locations in the Keys and in Miami.

The case came to light, when the man walked into the Dion’s Quik Mart on 15th Street in Marathon in October. He handed two credit cards to the clerk, telling her he was filling up with gas. He pumped $99 worth of gas into his vehicle – a newer model black Range Rover – then left without retrieving the two cards.

After the clerk realized the credit cards were fake, she called to report the incident to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigation revealed the two cards had also been used in a number of other places, including Boondocks on Ramrod Key, Macy’s in Miami Beach and Hyatt Hotels in Coral Gables.

Detective Whiteman was able to obtain a photo of the suspect from Dion’s Quik Mart. The detective is hoping someone will recognize him. The photo is attached.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Detective Nicholis Whiteman at Sheriff’s Office, 305-289-2430 or 305-906-0984. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest in this case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be submitted anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

January 9, 2013

Bone Island Triathlon may cause minor traffic delays

The Bone Island Triathlon, scheduled for Saturday January 12th in the Lower Florida Keys, may cause slight delays when it comes to traffic. The Sheriff’s Office wants to let the public know about the event so they can plan a little extra time for their travels, and so people will know to keep an eye out for the athletes participating.

The bicycle portion of the event will travel from Stock Island to the 28.5 mile marker between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For the most part, the bicyclists should be spread out over a distance, and traveling outside of the lanes of traffic. Motorists should take care, however, when passing bicyclists in the interests of safety.

The only real delays expected will be at the 28.5 mile marker, on Middle Torch Key, where cyclists will be crossing the highway. Sheriff’s deputies will be stationed at this location, and at other intersections along the course to help increase the safety factor.

Wounded Warrior bicycle ride this weekend

The Sheriff’s Office will be assisting this weekend with the Wounded Warrior Project’s “Soldier Ride” this Friday. The community is encouraged to come outside and cheer the riders on as they pass.

On Friday, starting around 8:30 a.m., riders will travel from the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Key Largo to the Tiki Bar at the Postcard Inn in Islamorada. There will be a “cheer stop” at Coral Shores High School and the ride should finish at the Tiki bar at about 10:30 a.m.

The second part of Friday’s ride will take place from the Marathon Fire Station over the Seven Mile Bridge. Participants should start their ride from the fire station at 12:15, riding over the bridge and ending at about 1:15 p.m.

Participants will end the day Friday in the city of Key West. They will spend the day Saturday in Key West at a number of different events. On Sunday, they will ride within the city limits of Key West ending with a ride which winds up at Mallory Square with a closing ceremony at about 2:30 p.m.

January 8, 2013

Tavernier man charged with fishing violations

Islamorada – A Tavernier man was arrested Monday after a marine deputy caught him spearing undersized lobster and fish in the waters offshore of Islamorada.

Deputy Nelson Sanchez was on patrol in his Sheriff’s Office patrol boat when he saw a man and a woman on a rock jetty near Founder’s Park in Islamorada. He noticed they had a white cooler and asked if he could check it. Inside he found undersized lobster which had been speared. He asked where the lobster came from. The couple said a third person – 24 year old Brandon Shelby – was in the water and had been catching the lobster.

Deputy Sanchez motored over to where Shelby was swimming in the water. As he approached, he saw Shelby drop items to the bottom. He told Shelby he could see what he dropped and asked him to retrieve the items. Shelby retrieved a pole spear and a white mesh bag. Inside the bag, Deputy Sanchez found a lobster, and several fish, all of which had been speared.

Shelby was asked to exit the water and he was taken into custody. He was charged with 14 counts possession of undersized lobster, 15 counts possession of speared lobster, two counts possession of undersized Sheepshead, possession of undersized Hog Snapper, possession of lobster over the bag limit and spear fishing in upper Keys waters. He was booked into jail.

The fish and lobster, which were all deceased, were photographed for evidence, then donated to the Wild Bird Center in Tavernier.

January 4, 2013

Stock Island man arrested for burglary

Stock Island – A Stock Island man was arrested Thursday for attempting to burglarize a Stock Island business in full daylight in view of passing traffic on U.S. One.

Deputy Vicki Lockwood-Fleck was on duty at 7:30 a.m. at the Stock Island Chevron Station. A woman approached her and reported seeing a man in front of Skin Deep Tattoo who appeared to be breaking in to the business. Deputy Lockwood-Fleck notified Deputy Jon Riggs, who was nearby, and asked him to meet her there.

Deputy Riggs was first to arrive. He drove up and saw 46 year old Steven Grant in front of the front window. He was holding a large screwdriver in hand and was attempting to force his way inside. He had also removed a mailbox and a video camera from the front of the building.

When Deputy Riggs ordered Grant to put down the screwdriver, Grant ignored him, instead walking toward the deputy holding the large screwdriver. He was ordered numerous times to drop the screwdriver,  finally complying.

Deputy Lockwood-Fleck arrived on the scene and the two officers took Grant into custody. A pipe used for smoking crack cocaine was found in his possession.

Grant was charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail.

Crime Stoppers tip helps solve ID theft case

A Crime Stoppers tipster helped to identify two suspects in a case of identity theft in the Upper Keys.

In December, Detective Yunier Galvez asked for the public’s help in identifying four suspects who used the identity of a Florida Keys resident to open credit card accounts in various south Florida department stores, then made purchases using the cards.

The four suspects opened or attempted to open credit card accounts in the name of a Plantation Key man. The department stores included Bass Pro Shops, Kohls, Best Buy and Macys. They reportedly had his driver’s license number, social security number and other identifying information. The victim says he has no idea how they might have gotten that information.

Detective Galvez obtained security footage of the suspects and was able to isolate photos of their faces. The photos and short video clips were released to the public in the hopes someone would call and identify who they were.

A caller to Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys gave Detective Galvez the names of two Miami residents: 25 year old Roger Dwayne London and 46 year old Compton Roger Nicholson.

Detective Galvez obtained arrest warrants for both men. This week, London was arrested by law enforcement in Miami. He was booked into the Miami-Dade County jail for two counts of fraud. A warrant is still outstanding for Nicholson for two counts of fraud.

Anyone who knows were Nicholson is should contact law enforcement. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

January 1, 2013

Stock Island man arrested after multiple incidents

Stock Island – A Stock Island man punched a woman driving a car on Stock Island, then took off all his clothes and was lying in the highway late Monday.

Deputy Spencer Curry responded to a report of an altercation at the Chevron Station on Stock Island at 9:30 p.m. When he arrived, a witness told him he’d just seen a man punch a woman who was driving a car. The 24 year old Key West victim said she was stopped at the stop light at Cross Street and U.S. One when a man – later identified as 24 year old Deni Noa – reached into her car, punching her in the eye. He then took off, running north on U.S. One.

While Deputy Curry was speaking with the victim, getting a description of her attacker, he heard a report over his radio that Deputy Chris Fraser was responding to reports of a man lying in the roadway near the Key Haven boat ramp. When Deputy Fraser arrived at the boat ramp, he saw a naked man on the ground and two other men struggling with him, trying to put him into the trunk of a car. He held all the men on the scene at Taser point until Deputy Curry could respond as back up.

The naked man turned out to be Deni Noa. The other two men were his brothers. Noa’s shorts were found nearby and the deputies helped him put them on.

The victim from the battery incident was brought to the scene and identified Noa as the man who punched her. The witness from the battery also positively identified him. As deputies tried to handcuff Noa, he refused commands to put his hands behind his back and continually struggled with them. At one point, he threatened to find both deputies when he was released from jail and kill them.

He was taken to jail where he kept fighting, kicking Deputy Fraser in the kneecap while being taken upstairs in the jail’s elevator. Corrections deputies had to place him in a restraint chair for their safety as well as his own.

Noa was charged with battery, assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, making threats to a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence. He was booked into jail.