Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin

Follow us on Twitter @mcsonews and on Facebook at MCSO – Florida Keys. All of our press releases can be found on our blog at floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com

February 27, 2014

Woman charged with aggravated child abuse

A 32 year old woman was arrested Wednesday, charged with throwing boiling water on a 14 year old girl.

Detectives say no one seems to know why Nadeige Pluviose threw the boiling water on the victim in the early morning hours, about 6 a.m. Wednesday. Pluviose herself refused to make a statement about the incident. The victim suffered second and third degree burns on her face, neck and shoulder.

A witness told Detective Manuel Cuervo he heard the victim screaming and saw Pluviose running from the room where the victim had been sleeping, carrying a plastic cup. He said he checked the kitchen and found the stove still hot. The victim was treated with home remedies until someone reported the incident to the Child Abuse Hotline. Once detectives responded at 1 p.m. Wednesday, she was transported for professional treatment at Lower Keys Hospital.

Pluviose was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on charges of aggravated child abuse – a first degree felony crime.

From the Florida Department of Children and Families website:

The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. To make a report you can:

Florida law requires any individual who suspects that a child has been abused by any person to report that to the Florida Abuse Hotline. Penalties for those who suspect a child is being abused but fail to report it have been increased from a misdemeanor to a felony. Financial penalties also have increased.

February 26, 2014

Two arrested for boat burglaries, vehicle burglary

An alert neighbor who called the Sheriff’s Office and a rapid response from deputies resulted in the arrest of two teens for multiple counts of burglary.

A man who lives on 27th Street in Marathon called the Sheriff’s Office at 5:30 a.m. to report suspicious activity in his neighborhood. He said he heard people walking up and down his dock, looked outside and saw two people climbing into a vessel across the canal from him.

Deputies responded and saw flashlights going on and off inside a boat docked at a home on 28th Street. They surrounded the vessel and boarded it, giving commands for anyone on board to come out with their hands visible. A young man and a young woman walked out of the boat. The man is 19 year old Hunter Bradley of Marathon. The woman is a 17 year old from Marathon.

The woman told the deputies she had permission to be on the boat. The boat’s owner was contacted. It turned out his daughter did tell the girl she could sleep on the boat. The girl did not, however, have permission to take any belongings from the boat and she was found to have two GPS Units from the boat in her purse.

Further investigation revealed a number of items on the boat that did not belong there, including a guitar, a steel bracket, four fishing rods and a fire extinguisher. On the dock nearby was a large speaker. Deputies began contacting people who lived in the area. All of the items except the guitar and speaker had been taken from nearby vessels.

The guitar and the speaker turned out to have been stolen from a car parked on 28th Street. A matching speaker was still inside the car.

Both Bradley and the girl were arrested. They were charged with five counts each of burglary and grand theft in connection with the vessel burglaries. They were charged with one count each of burglary and grand theft in connection with the vehicle burglary.

February 24, 2014

Tavernier clean up scheduled

The Sheriff’s Office is organizing a cleanup at Old Settler’s Park in Tavernier this Saturday, March 1st, at 9 a.m. Sheriff’s Office members and members of the public are welcome to participate. Gloves, garbage bags and water will be provided. Come out and help the Sheriff’s Office keep the community clean!

Deputy involved in accident

A Sheriff’s deputy was involved in an accident Sunday night in Key Largo. The following information is preliminary, based on dispatch notes: at 9 p.m., Deputy Tim Hunsberger was on duty, in a marked patrol vehicle. He was responding to back up another officer who was on a traffic stop at the 104 mile marker of the highway.

Deputy Hunsberger was southbound on County Road 905 and transitioning onto highway U.S. One at the 106 mile marker. At that location, the motorcycle and his patrol vehicle were involved in a collision. Deputy Hunsberger was not injured. The motorcycle driver was injured in the accident.

Florida Highway Patrol responded and will be the investigating agency on this case. Please contact them for any further details.

February 22, 2014

Drug charges added to warrant arrest

Deputies attempting to arrest a man on an outstanding warrant for sale of cocaine found 35 grams of cocaine hidden in the man's boxer shorts.

Deputies Ian Cooper and Wendy Negron went to 31251 Avenue E on Big Pine Key at 1 a.m. today looking for Jerome Durham Jr. Durham was wanted for sale of cocaine within 100 feet of a public park. When they arrived, Durham came out of the house and he was taken into custody.

During a routine search of Durham, Deputy Cooper felt two lumps underneath the rear of his shorts. The lumps turned out to be two plastic bags hidden in his boxer shorts. Inside the bags was white powder which tested positive as cocaine.

Durham was further charged with trafficking in cocaine and he was booked into jail.

February 20, 2014

Teen charged with molesting small children

A 19 year old man who has recently been staying in the Stock Island area was arrested for molesting young children.

Jason Patrick McCain acted as caregiver for both of the victims - aged 6 and 7  at various times. In December, one of them disclosed to her mother that McCain had molested her. A short time later, the second child' s mother called the Sheriff' s Office to report she believed her son had also been molested by McCain.

Major Crimes Detective Rosa DiGiovanni was assigned to investigate. Following her investigation into the allegations, warrants were issued for Jason Patrick McCain.

On February 10th, McCain was arrested on the outstanding warrants in Broward County. He was returned to Monroe County where he is currently charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on small children.

Big Pine man charged with fleeing from deputy

A Big Pine Key man was arrested after he fled from a deputy who was trying to stop him for speeding.

Deputy John Gabay was northbound at the 24 mile marker of the highway just after midnight Thursday when a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed southbound. Deputy Gabay' s radar measured the car' s speed at 73 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. He turned around and attempted to stop the vehicle - a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox.

The driver - later identified as 27 year old Anthony Velez LLanes - failed to stop and instead, turned off the highway onto Cutthroat Drive, then onto Jolly Roger Drive where it stopped on the front lawn of a home. Velez LLanes jumped out of the car and ran behind the house, where he was apprehended hiding behind some garbage cans. He attempted to flee from the deputy a second time during his apprehension, but Deputy Gaby caught up with him and took him into custody.

Deputy Gabay and back up officer Kendall Bailey could both smell marijuana while near Velez LLanes, but could not find any in his possession. After he was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center, corrections officers found a small amount of the illegal substance in one of his pockets.

Valez LLanes was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, introduction of contraband to a corrections facility. He also received citations for speeding and running a stop sign.

February 19, 2014

Drug related search warrant served on Stock Island

Stock Island - A search warrant served at a Stock Island residence this morning resulted in the arrest of a 29 year old man for drug possession.

The warrant was served at 6415 2nd Street, Apartment E by Sheriff' s Special Investigations detectives, detectives from the Lower Keys Criminal Investigative Unit, Key West Police detectives and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

A search of the premises turned up 64 Oxycodone pills, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Over $10,000 was seized as the possible proceeds of drug sales. Xavier Blackman was taken into custody, charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Remains identified as homeless man

The human remains found in a wooded area off of College Road on Stock Island Monday have been identified as 53 year old William Brian Norton. He was identified using dental records, with the assistance of family members who live in Naples, Florida.

Norton' s sister said she last spoke with him in May of 2013. She said at that time he was homeless and  living on the beach . She said he was known to have many medical issues.

Detectives say there is no evidence of foul play in Norton' s death.

February 18, 2014

Traffic congestion alert:

If you plan to do any traveling in or through the area of Islamorada this weekend, this is a reminder: there will most likely be traffic delays in the vicinity of Founder’s Park in Islamorada due to the Rotary Nautical Flea Market taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

The annual event is expected to cause traffic delays between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on both days. These delays will be compounded by the Snake Creek draw bridge, which will continue to open on the hour, each hour to allow boat traffic through.

Officers will be assigned to the area to assist with both traffic and pedestrian control.

Plan plenty of extra time if you have to travel through the area of Founder’s Park, at the 87 mile marker of highway U.S. One.

Sheriff' s Office seeks to identify graffiti vandals

The Sheriff' s Office is looking for information which might help identify suspects who vandalized several vehicles and businesses over the weekend.

The first report came in the early morning hours Saturday. A woman who lives on Caribbean Drive in Key Largo came home at 2:45 a.m. to find her white Saturn had been spray painted on the left side with red paint. Deputy Greg LaRochelle responded and found Similar vandalism in two different locations on the nearby roadway.

Shortly thereafter, Deputy LaRochelle found more graffiti painted on three commercial vehicles at Sub Zero on Laguna Road, on a white trailer parked in the rear of the Holiday Inn Hotel, and on a blue trash bin and a piece of construction equipment in the same area. Waldorf Plaza at the 100 mile marker also had extensive graffiti painted on the rear of the building. In all cases, the graffiti was in red colored paint. In a number of locations, the word  JBLAZZ was included in the graffiti.

On Saturday, Sheriff' s deputies took a group of jail inmates on a work detail and painted over all the damaged areas at the plaza.

The damage to all the locations was extensive enough to constitute a felony charge of criminal mischief. Anyone who has information about this damage should call the Sheriff' s Office immediately at 305-853-3211. Callers may also report their information to Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip to Crime Stoppers results in an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

February 17, 2014

Skeletal remains found off College Road

Stock Island - Sheriff's detectives say skeletal remains of a man were found in a wooded area off College Road today.

The bones have been turned over to the Medical Examiner so he can attempt to discover more about who the dead man is and how he may have died. The body was about 10 feet into a wooded area across from Gerald Adams School. Detectives say the body may have been there for months. There was no obvious signs of foul play upon initial examination of the body and the surrounding area.

A bag with belongings in it and possible identifying documents - including a Florida driver's license - was found nearby. The driver's license is not from Monroe County. A closer examination of the body will be necessary, however, to determine if the body is, indeed, the same person as the person depicted on the license.

Deputy Vicki Lockwood-Fleck responded to the area at about 10 a.m. after a man called Sheriff's dispatchers to report seeing the bones there. Major Crimes Detective Lissette Zuelch also responded and will be investigating the case along with the Medical Examiner.

February 13, 2014

Teen charged with sexual battery

A 16 year old Marathon teen was arrested Tuesday, charged with sexual battery on another teen.

16 year old John Qualls is accused of forcing another 16 year old boy to perform oral sex on him. The incident took place at Quall’s home on 74th Street the night of February 8th. He is also accused of holding the victim against his will by locking the doors of the house. The victim told Major Crimes Detective Manny Cuervo Qualls threatened to kill him or hurt him if he told anyone, put his hands around the victim’s neck on several occasions during the attack and struck him in the face several times.

Qualls was arrested and charged with sexual battery, false imprisonment and battery. He is currently in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

February 12, 2014

Detective needs help identifying fraud suspects

(Go to the Sheriff's Office blog to see pictures of these suspects)

Marathon Detective Nick Whiteman needs the public’s assistance identifying suspects in a credit card fraud case.

A Marathon man reported  someone used his credit card number to make numerous fraudulent charges. He said he checked his account on January 27th and discovered the fraud. Detective Whiteman was assigned to investigate. He discovered suspects used the credit card number to make 23 separate charges at various locations in the Miami area for a total of $6,600.

Detective Whiteman contacted a number of the different places where the card number was used and was able to obtain photos of the suspects that used it. He also learned the suspects could be driving an older model dark colored Ford two door truck.

Anyone who recognizes one of the suspects in these photos should contact Detective Whiteman at 305-289-2430 or nwhiteman@keysso.net. Callers can also call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. A Crime Stoppers tipster whose information leads to an arrest in the case would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

February 11, 2014

Detectives need help finding jewelry owner

Lower Keys Detective Dave Chavka would like help identifying the owner of jewelry recovered in the vicinity of Little Torch Key.

Deputies recovered the jewelry while responding to a call on Little Torch Key on January 28th. Detectives believe the jewelry may have been stolen and not reported, perhaps in the Ramrod or Little Torch Key area. Anyone who finds they are missing some jewelry can contact Detective Chavka for more information, 305-292-7060.

A description of the jewelry is not being released so that when someone calls to claim it, the detective will be able to use that information to determine who the true owner is.

February 8, 2014

Big Coppitt man arrested in stabbing

A 27 year old Big Coppitt Key man is under arrest, accused of stabbing a Sugarloaf Key man. The victim is in critical condition at a Miami hospital.

The victim, 30 year old Yunior Carrazana, was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami for treatment of life-threatening wounds to his upper torso.

According to 22 year old Dayanet Portal, she and suspect Ramon Sanchez separated from their relationship about a month and a half or two months ago. She said they have a child together and Sanchez had the child for the weekend. She said Sanchez called her because the child was sick. While they were on the phone, he began asking who she was with. She said she refused to answer because she was afraid of how he would react.

She said about 1:30 in the morning Saturday, she and the victim and her two other children were at her home on Avenue A on Big Coppitt Key. She said she and Carrazana were in her room talking when she heard something. She said suddenly Sanchez entered the bedroom holding a large knife. She said first he attacked her, stabbing at her with the knife and striking her several times with his hands. When Carranza got up to defend her, the suspect attacked Carrazana, stabbing him in the arm and multiple times in the upper torso.

He reportedly held the two in the room, and refused to allow them to leave or call for help for about 15 minutes. He finally told them they could call police, and he left the house.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they put a notice out over radios to look for the suspect s truck, a silver Dodge RAM pickup. The truck was stopped by Deputies Ian Cooper and Wendy Negron a short time later at the 6 mile marker of the Highway. The suspect was inside the truck, and the knife detectives believe he used to stab the suspect was found in the back seat, still covered in blood.

Sanchez refused to give a statement and he was arrested. He was booked into jail on multiple felony charges including attempted murder, aggravated battery, false imprisonment, obstruction, domestic battery, and burglary with battery on the occupant. The victim is in critical condition at the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

Convicted felon faces weapon charge

A Naranja, Florida man convicted of six past felonies was arrested in Key Largo today for possession of a handgun.

Deputy Tim Hunsberger was flagged down by a driver just before 5 a.m. on State Road 905. The driver said he was traveling southbound on Card Sound Road and was followed very closely by a car. He said the car flashed it' s high beams at him continuously and tailgated him for miles.

He said he went through the toll booth and drove over the Card Sound Bridge with the vehicle still following. He said suddenly the vehicle turned off its lights and turned off the roadway at the south end of the bridge. He said he was concerned because of the erratic driving.

Deputy Hunsberger responded to the area and found a silver Nissan Altima parked in that area. There was a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. There were five people in the car. The deputy saw what looked like a handgun in the back seat. He called for backup and began investigating the circumstances. Sgt. Sydney Whitehouse arrived as back up officer a short time later.

The handgun Deputy Hunsberger spotted in the back seat turned out to be a toy, however he subsequently found a real, loaded handgun under the passenger side seat. The handgun, a Springfield XD-40 semi-automatic handgun, was located directly in front of passenger 47 year old Darin James. James subsequently admitted the gun was his. He said a friend gave it to him earlier in the evening. A check on the gun revealed it was reported stolen. Marijuana was also found in the car, which James also claimed was his.

A check on James' history revealed six felony convictions, including sale of cocaine, possession of cocaine and three separate cases for robbery, one for robbery with a deadly weapon. James was arrested and charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of marijuana. He was booked into jail. The others in the car were released.

Search warrant on Stock Island

Stock Island - A search warrant was served Friday morning in a Stock Island residence.

The Sheriff' s Special Weapons and Tactics team performed the initial entry to the residence. Detectives from the Special Investigations Unit, along with Lower Keys Criminal Investigations detectives and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration then served the warrant at B-7 8th Avenue, on Stock Island. Inside the residence detectives found 22 year old Julian L. Barger, 39 year old Jesus R. Paoli and 23 year old Samantha Romeo.

The search of the residence turned up approximately 2 grams of powder cocaine, sixteen Xanax pills, two Soma pills, 21 grams of Marijuana and several items of drug paraphernalia. Barger and Romeo were charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of cocaine and marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Paoli was charged with tampering with evidence after detectives received information he had destroyed some of the evidence prior to detectives entering the premises.

Barger, Paoli and Romeo were were all booked into jail.

February 3, 2014

Detectives continue investigating Soca family

Detectives continued with their investigation into the drug activities of a Stock Island family, with more searches taking place over the weekend.

Search warrants were served at two trailers occupied by the Soca family on 6th Street on Stock Island last week; a search warrant was served at a storage shed and on three boats belonging to the Soca family. Those searches were completed late Saturday. So far, the following illegal substances were found:

In addition, detectives found and seized $252,261 in cash believed to be proceeds from drug sales.

Juan Soca Jr. has been charged so far with trafficking in cocaine and trafficking in Oxycodone. His bond is currently set at $6 million. Juan Soca Sr. has been charged so far with trafficking in cocaine. His bond is currently set at $1 million. Jose Soca has been charged so far with trafficking in cocaine and trafficking in oxycodone, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possessing the short lobster tails, which were found on his property. His bond is currently set at $6.055 million.

Agencies involved in the case include the Sheriff’s Office, Key West Police, Monroe HIDTA group, Key West HIDTA, Homeland Security Investigations and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Anyone who has any information about this criminal organization or drug activity by this family, contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the information leads to additional charges or an additional arrest the tipster would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at tipsubmit.com.

Detention Deputy arrested for domestic battery

A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy is in jail today, charged with domestic battery.

33 year old Brittany Linares was arrested in the early morning hours by Sheriff’s deputies after her husband called to report being battered by her. According to the victim, he and Linares returned to their Big Coppitt Key home in the early morning hours after attending a Super Bowl party. Once there they began to argue.

He said at one point, she grabbed his holstered gun and said she was going to make him kill her. He grabbed it in an effort to secure the weapon and she bit him on the arm. He managed to remove the gun from her possession safely.

The disagreement continued later and she began breaking things in the house. That is when he called the Sheriff’s Office for help. He went outside the house to put a safe distance between them and to wait for deputies.

When deputies showed up a few minutes later, they took Linares into custody, charging her with domestic battery. She was booked into jail.