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

July 31, 2017

Man arrested for kicking five year old

A Key Largo man is in jail, charged with aggravated child abuse. He is accused of kicking a five year old boy several times after the boy reportedly threw a rock at him.

The incident took place Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the 101 mile marker in Key Largo. The mother of the victim said her son was playing outside in the yard. She said she walked outside their house and found her son curled up on the ground and 38 year old Marvin Price was yelling at him and kicking him. Price told her the boy had thrown a rock at him, hitting him in the head.

Deputies Cody Kerns and Annette Simo found Price a short distance away at Trade Wind’s Plaza and detained him. Price was agitated, saying he needed an ambulance because the boy had knocked out all his teeth and one of his eyes. Price had no visible injuries and still had all his teeth and both eyes. Paramedics checked him for injuries and he was cleared at the scene.

Deputy Christopher Kilmurray responded to the victim’s location. The boy had visible fresh bruises on his stomach and back. He was taken to Mariner’s Hospital for an examination to determine the extent of his injuries.

Price was arrested, charged with aggravated child abuse and he was booked into jail.

July 29, 2017

Big Pine man caught with stolen car

A Big Pine key man was arrested for possessing a stolen car after a deputy noticed him acting strangely at the Circle K store on Big Coppitt Key.

Deputy Lazaro Valdes was gassing up his patrol car at the gas pumps at 4:30 p.m. Friday when he saw a blue Oldsmobile Cutlass with an Ohio tag on it. A man was sitting behind the wheel. The man started to get out of the car, made eye contact with Deputy Valdes, hesitated and then got out walking into the store. Deputy Valdes waited until the man came out of the store and watched him. Instead of returning to the car, the man walked toward a bike rack and removed a red bicycle from the rack.

Deputy Valdes approached him and the man, identified as 48 year old Douglas Bondie, dropped the bike on the ground. Deputy Valdes asked him if it was his bike. Bondie said “what bike?”

The deputy asked Bondie to walk over to the blue Cutlass with him. Bondie told the deputy it wasn’t his car. When Deputy Valdes told Bondie he’d seen him behind the wheel, first Bondie began to argue with him and then he ran south on U.S. One.

Deputy Daryl Walraven was in the vicinity and heard Deputy Valdes call for help on the radio. Deputy Walraven spotted Bondie as he ran down Diamond Drive. Walraven followed him down the street until Bondie finally stopped and was taken into custody.

A check on the car’s license tag revealed it had been reported stolen from Lisbon, Florida on July 24th. Bondie was taken to jail, charged with grand theft and with resisting arrest.

July 26, 2017

Marathon man caught with over the limit lobster

See photos at floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com

A Marathon man was arrested early today after he was caught making multiple trips out on the water to bully net for lobster.

Deputies Matthew Cory and Orey Swilley were on patrol in the early morning hours in Marathon, keeping an eye out for violators during the beginning hours of the sport lobster season. They were conducting resource violation checks at the 33rd Street boat ramp at 2:30 a.m. when they received information about a man making multiple trips to land with lobster from his boat, which was located off the gulf side at the north end of Marathon.

The deputies could see the boat from shore and watched him as he made several trips to shore with lobster, putting them in black wire trap in shallow water just offshore near a trap yard. After an observation period, the deputies, assisted by an officer from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, stopped the man, identifying him as 78 year old Nicolas Moreira. When they asked him how many lobster he had, he said one. He indeed had one undersized lobster in his boat at the time.  They then checked the trap they had seen him placing lobster in, finding 32 more live lobster which were measured and returned to the water.

Moreira was charged with possession of one undersized lobster and with possession of over the limit lobster. He was taken to jail.

July 25, 2017

Office manager steals large amount of money from Marathon business

A Marathon woman was arrested Monday, charged with stealing over $80,000 from her employer, Marathon Garbage Service, over the past five months.

One of the duties of front office manager 34 year old Michelle Ludwig was do payroll for the company. She is accused of writing checks to herself over and above her normal paychecks and using the scanned electronic signature of the owner to sign the checks. She cashed the 69 checks, totaling $83,443.65, on a weekly basis since February.

The company’s accountant told Detective Rosary Ponce she had been asking Ludwig for company records for two months and finally received the records on July 17th. She said after reviewing the records, she noticed discrepancies. When she confronted Ludwig with the issues, Ludwig reportedly admitted to stealing the money. She told the accountant she had a drug addiction and was using the stolen money to finance it. After admitting the theft to the accountant, she went to the company’s president, Ronald Konrath, and told him what she had been doing. She told Konrath she had been forging his father’s signature on the checks and said she wanted to repay the money. At that point, the Konrath family that owns the company notified the Sheriff’s Office and said they wished to press charges.

On July 21st, Detective Rosary Ponce began investigating the theft. She obtained a warrant for Ludwig, who turned herself in on Monday. Ludwig is charged with 69 counts each of grand theft, forgery and fraud. Her bond was set at $207,000.

Big Pine man faces drug charges

A Big Pine Key man was arrested on outstanding drug related warrants Monday night.

33 year old Daniel Stokes is accused of selling illegal narcotics to an undercover operative three times, once in February and twice in May. In February, he sold cocaine; in May, he sold Oxycodone and Xanax. All the sales took place on Big Pine Key.

Stokes was picked up just after 10 p.m. on Avenue G, Big Pine Key. He faces multiple counts of sale of illegal drugs and use of a two way communications device to facilitate a felony. Total bond is $10,500.00.

July 24, 2017

More information on electrocution death

A 54 year old Tavernier man died from electrocution Saturday morning.

Roger Dinneen, an employee of Wahoo’s Restaurant, was reportedly working on an electronic sign at the business when he was electrocuted. A co-worker who was with him said they were working on the sign when Dinneen first asked him to turn the electricity back on to the sign so he could see which lights were not working; Dinneen then reportedly asked him to go get a volt meter for him. When he returned with the volt meter, he saw that Dinneen was being electrocuted. He said he ran to turn off the electricity and returned to find Dinneen unconscious on the ground.

Dinneen was taken to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit has been assigned to investigate.

July 19, 2017

More fishing equipment stolen

Sheriff’s detectives continue to investigate the theft of fishing equipment in various areas of the county.

On Tuesday, detectives in Marathon asked for assistance investigating two thefts at a marina on Gulfview Avenue. Two boat owners reported rods and reels stolen from their vessels in the early morning hours. Surveillance cameras caught two men leaving the marina. They appeared to be carrying the stolen fishing equipment.

Two more fishing equipment thefts were also reported Tuesday. A charter boat captain at Hurricane Hole Marina on Stock Island said he prepared his boat for a charter on Monday night. When he arrived at the boat Tuesday morning, he found four rod and reel sets valued at approximately $3,000 missing from his boat.

Another vessel, docked at the Courtyard Marriott Marina in Key Largo was burglarized Tuesday. The boat’s owner called Tuesday at 10 a.m. to report two rod and reel sets stolen, valued at approximately $650.

Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to remove fishing and diving equipment from vessels when they are docked or parked overnight. Leaving such equipment on board makes it easily accessible to thieves, who are often out overnight looking for items to steal. Electronics are also very vulnerable to theft and should be removed when the boat is not being used. Also, do not leave equipment out underneath your house or on your dock to dry. It only takes a moment for someone to take this type of equipment.

July 18, 2017

Two vessel burglaries reported in Marathon

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating two vessel burglaries overnight on Gulfview Avenue in Marathon.

Detectives Leon Bourcier and Rosary Ponce responded to Keys Fisheries this morning to reports two boats had been burglarized. Surveillance photos showed possible suspects walking around the marina with what appears to be fishing rods and reels in their hands at approximately 2 a.m.

Note: Two surveillance photos are included and are of admittedly poor quality. Visit floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com to see them.

The owner of the vessel Salty Bones told the detectives he was missing four Ugly Sticks with Penn 7500 Spinner reels attached; total value is approximately $1,000. The owners of the vessel Silent Hunter told detectives they were missing 13 custom made rods and reels, all of which are etched with the name of the boat on them.

Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

July 17, 2017

Group from Miami caught with undersized fish

A group of five teens from the Miami area were caught with 28 undersized Snapper Friday night.

Deputy Seth Hopp was on foot patrol on the Long Key Bridge at 9:20 p.m. when he saw the group of young men fishing. Three of them were 17 years old. Two were 18 years old. All were from the Miami area.

They had a bucket on the ground with fish inside and more fish in a plastic grocery bag. An inspection revealed 27 undersized Schoolmaster Snapper and one undersized Mangrove Snapper.

Deputy Hopp issued criminal resource citations to the two adult males, Michael Cruz and Michael Bagrameli. He dead fish were returned to the water.

July 13, 2017

Islamorada woman loses money in phone scam

An Islamorada woman fell for a common phone scam, losing $400 to the scammers Wednesday.

The 50 year old woman received a call Wednesday afternoon from someone who said her brother had been in an accident. The caller knew her brother drove a green car, and told her she would need to pay him money to keep him from hurting her brother. He also told her not to call the police.

On his instructions, she drove to Walgreens and purchased four AT&T GoPhone cards for $100 each. She then gave him the pin numbers on the cards. He then demanded phone numbers for her friends and relatives so he could call them as well. At that point, she realized she was being scammed and hung up. She then called the Sheriff’s Office.

She checked on her brother, who was at work and was fine.

This is a typical scam, which is reported to law enforcement agencies across the country on a regular basis. Someone calls to say a loved one is in jail, or hurt in an accident, or in trouble of some kind and needs money. The callers can be extremely persuasive and they generally insist that time is of the essence, pushing the victim to send the money now without taking the time to call anyone about it.

If you receive such a call, either hang up immediately or take the time to check on the claims being made. In this situation, a call to her brother would have revealed the scam for what it was.

Cocaine arrest on Stock Island

A Stock Island man was arrested for possessing cocaine after a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon.

Deputy Alexandra Davis was on patrol on 5th Street, Stock Island just after 2 p.m. when she saw a Ford van with an expired tag. She pulled the van over and identified the driver as 33 year old Anthony Macias. When Macias rolled down his window to speak with the deputy, she smelled the odor of marijuana emitting from the window. Deputy Christopher Schwartz responded to back her up on the traffic stop.

A search of the van turned up 16.4 grams of cocaine in several plastic bags. Macias also had a digital scale in the van like those commonly used to weigh illegal substances; the scale had cocaine residue on it.

Macias was arrested. He was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.

July 12, 2017

Deputy arrested for grand theft, falsifying documents

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrested a sheriff’s deputy today after an internal investigation into allegations he falsified his time sheets to reflect he was working when he was not.

44 year old William Schlegelmilch has been assigned as the School Resource Officer at Key Largo School since he was hired in July of 2008.  Investigations showed between March of 2015 and April of 2017, on at least 22 occasions, he recorded more work time on his electronic time sheets than he actually worked. The fraudulent time recorded has a monetary value of $3,073.

“It is our job to protect and serve the people of this county by arresting those who break the law. That includes members of our own agency, when they choose to do so,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “It is in particular my responsibility to be a good steward of the funds our citizens pay for our service. I will not tolerate my own employees stealing from and defrauding the very people we are

charged with protecting and serving.”

Deputy Schlegelmilch was charged with two felonies – grand theft and falsifying public documents. He is currently suspended without pay pending termination.

Cocaine hidden in “Cookie Monster”

A 39 year old Key West man is in jail after he was caught with a large amount of cocaine hidden in a Cooke Monster doll.

Just after midnight, Deputy Orey Swilley was parked at 14th Street and highway U.S. One in Marathon when he spotted a black Dodge passenger car drive past with the license plate obscured. The tint on the windows of the car was so dark the deputy could not see who was inside. He pulled the car over at 73rd Street, identifying the driver as Camus McNair.

When McNair rolled down his window, Deputy Swilley could smell the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. A search of the vehicle turned up a backpack. Inside the backpack was a blue “Cookie Monster” doll. Deputy Swilley noticed the doll seemed to weigh more than it should have. He took a closer look and found a slit cut in the doll. Inside the doll were two packages containing what turned out to be a total of 314 grams of cocaine.

Paperwork found inside the backpack indicated the backpack did belong to McNair. Deputies Seth Hopp and Matthew Cory assisted on the traffic stop.

McNair was arrested and charged with trafficking in cocaine.

Elderly woman scammed

A 74 year old Key Largo woman fell victim to a common scam Tuesday.

The victim got a phone call from someone claiming to be her son saying he was in trouble. The voice sounded in distress and the person sounded like they were crying. She said another person then got on the phone saying her son owed them money and they were beating him up. The man on the phone demanded she immediately wire them $2448 to ensure her son’s safety.

The victim was told to stay on the phone until the wire went through. She wired two transfers totaling that amount to two different people in Puerto Rico. Afterward, she called her son and found out he was fine.

This victim is not the first Keys resident to fall for this particular scam, which uses threats of harm to family and high pressure tactics to keep people from checking the story before the scam is successful. The scammers also always insist the victim stay on the phone the entire time because they do not want to allow the victim to talk to anyone who might realize it is a scam. They ask that money be wired to a location outside the United States; sometimes they also ask the victims to purchase green dot or other types of cash cards as payment. It is extremely difficult to catch the perpetrators.

If you have elderly friends or family members, they are the most likely to fall victim to this scam and many others. Make sure you educate them in the types of scams they may encounter so they will recognize them for what they are and will just hang up the phone. The people who perpetrate these scams are extremely persuasive and convincing. The longer someone stays on the phone with them, the more likely they are to fall victim.

July 10, 2017

Detectives investigate stolen car in rock quarry

A car, stolen from Stock Island overnight, was pulled from the water near the intersection of Riviera and Puerta Drives on Rockland Key.

Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call at 5:30 a.m. from a resident of that area who said he saw two or three young men estimated to be in their 20s run away from the scene after the vehicle went into the water. When deputies arrived, they ascertained there was no one in the car, then called for a tow truck to remove it from the water.

The owner of the car told deputies she forgot to remove her keys from inside the car the night before. She said she last saw the 2011 Dodge Charger at 11 p.m. She didn’t realize it had been stolen until she woke up and looked outside this morning.

Detectives will be investigating.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7060. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

July 9, 2017

Houston man dies while diving

Update:

Monroe County Sheriff’s detectives have notified the next of kin for the man who died while diving offshore of Key Largo Saturday. The deceased is identified as 70 year old Richard Winpress of Houston, Texas.

A 70 year old Houston man died while diving offshore of Key Largo Saturday afternoon.

Sheriff’s detectives say they are attempting to notify the man’s next of kin and are withholding his name until that time.

The man was on a private vessel with a female friend. The two were on their second dive of the day, near Carysfort Reef Lighthouse just after 4 p.m. The victim’s dive buddy told Deputies David Minor and John Babula she saw him underwater attempting to inflate his buoyancy compensator and noticed the BC had a leak in it. She informed him of the issue and they both surfaced.

She said at that point he seemed to begin panicking; she said he turned over on his back and began swimming away from her and away from the boat. When she realized what was happening, she said she yelled to him to stop and swam after him. When she reached his location, he was unresponsive and not breathing.

She had a whistle with her which she began to blow, indicating her need for assistance. A nearby privately owned vessel responded, pulling the victim and witness from the water and radioing for assistance. U.S. Coast Guard responded and transported the victim to shore at Ocean Reef. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded and transported the witness to shore as well.

Paramedics from Ocean Reef Public Safety met the Coast Guard at shore; they pronounced the victim deceased at 5:15 p.m. Major Crimes Detective Matthew Pitcher has been assigned to investigate the case.

July 7, 2017

Islamorada man charged with video voyeurism

An Islamorada man was arrested Thursday, charged with video recording a woman without her knowledge as she used his bathroom to change her clothes.

The 21 year old victim called the Sheriff’s Office May 5th to report the incident. She said she works at a restaurant in Florida City with several family members. She said the restaurant manager, 35 year old Adam Roberts, invited them all to his Islamorada condo at Plantation by the Sea. She said they all spent time by the pool and about 8:30 p.m. she wanted to change her clothes. She said Roberts offered to let her use the bathroom in his condo. She said he went into the bathroom before her, and then she went in and began changing. She said she noticed a cup holder with a cell phone in it with the screen facing away from her. She thought this was strange and, when she picked up the cell phone, she realized it had been video recording her.

The victim deleted the video and saw a photo of the suspect on the phone’s screen, indicating the phone belonged to him. She confronted the suspect, who denied knowing what she was talking about. As she was packing up her stuff to leave, however, she saw Roberts talking to one of her family members who was also at the pool. She later learned Roberts had admitted to the family member that he’d video recorded her in the bathroom.

Detective Lance Hernandez was assigned to investigate. He interviewed the victim; he also interviewed the witness who had talked to Roberts about the incident. The detective also interviewed the suspect about the recording he made that night at his condo.

Based on all the information gathered during the investigation, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Roberts for video voyeurism. He was arrested on the charge on Thursday and booked into jail.

July 6, 2017

Woman arrested for weapon threats

A Marathon woman is in jail, accused of threatening an 18 year old girl with what turned out to be a pellet gun.

The incident took place just before 1 p.m. Wednesday between neighbors who live on Copa De Oro in Marathon. The victim told Deputy Michelle Swilley she was playing music outside as she did yardwork. She said she took a break to lay in a hammock under her house. She said she looked next door and saw her neighbor, 46 year old Marie Resnick, staring at her. She said Resnick yelled something at her she could not hear. She said she saw Resnick raise something up to her eye that was long and black. It was at that point the girl realized Resnick was aiming some type of long gun with a scope on it at her.

The victim said she hid behind a concrete pillar, then ran into her house and told her father to call the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Swilley recovered the rifle from Resnick, which turned out to be a pellet gun. Resnick was arrested. She was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and she was booked into jail.

July 3, 2017

Stock Island man charged with burglary

A Stock Island man was arrested late Friday, charged with burglarizing a home on Azalea Street in the Key Haven neighborhood of Stock Island.

The victims called the Sheriff’s Office just before 11 p.m. They told dispatchers they were out of town, but had seen someone in their house on their video surveillance system. They said no one had permission to be in their house while they were gone.

Deputies Jenna Moeller, Anthony Lopez and Vince Pacifico arrived to investigate. They searched the area around the home but didn’t find anyone. Deputy Moeller then spoke with the victims, who said they knew the person they saw on the video. They said he was a former employee, 55 year old Warren Reid. They said they saw him on the video stealing a jar of coins from the home. There were other distinctive items in the jar, including a drawstring pouch with green sea glass inside. The victims sent a copy of the video to Deputy Moeller. In the video,  Reid was seen wearing a light colored, shot sleeved button up shirt with fish on it and cargo shorts with a “camo” pattern. He had long hair in a ponytail.

The deputies were able to locate Reid a short time later at a residence on 3rd Avenue, Stock Island. He fit the description of the person in the video, seen inside the victim’s house. At the time they encountered Reid, he was wearing the same clothing as in the video. In his pockets the deputies found loose change and a cloth drawstring pouch with green sea glass inside.

Reid was arrested. He was charged with burglary and theft and he was taken to jail.

Resource violation cases

A Marathon Sheriff’s deputy has been patrolling for resource violations this holiday weekend.

On Saturday, Deputy Seth Hopp was on patrol at the south end of the Channel Five Bridge at 7:20 p.m. when he saw two women fishing. He asked to inspect their catch and they agreed. In a cooler and a bucket, he found numerous different types of fish, many of them undersized, including six undersized mangrove snapper, three undersized schoolmaster snapper, four undersized mutton snapper, and one undersized lane snapper. 51 year old Eulia Hill of Perrine, Florida and 45 year old Laura Armstrong of Homestead, Florida were both issued criminal citations for the undersized fish and for having over the limit mangrove snapper and over the aggregate limit for snapper.

On Saturday, Deputy Hopp was on patrol at the Channel Five Bridge at 8:30 p.m. when he located two men fishing. He inspected their catch, finding a a bag with mutton snapper inside. All of the fish in the bag – six total - were undersized. 55 year old William Ortiz of Miami Gardens, Florida and 38 year old William Ortiz, Jr. of Homestead, Florida were both issued criminal citations for the violations.

On Sunday, just before 11 p.m., Deputy Hopp was on patrol at the Channel Five Bridge when he encountered a man fishing. He asked to inspect the man’s catch and the man agreed. Inside a cooler, the man had a number of fish that were undersized, including two undersized mutton snapper and one undersized yellowtail snapper. 38 year old Jose Fonseca Perez of Miami was issued criminal citations for the violations.

Man charged with street racing, reckless driving

A 22 year old man from Eustis, Florida was arrested Sunday night for street racing and reckless driving.

Deputy Shaun Lones was on patrol at the 54 mile marker of the highway in Marathon just after 9 p.m. when he heard engines revving and saw two vehicles traveling northbound through the intersection of Coco Plum Road and Highway U.S. One at a high rate of speed. The lead vehicle was an older model Ford Focus traveling an estimated 80 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone.

Deputy Lones could see the tail lights of the vehicle as it continued northbound, weaving in and out of traffic. He followed the vehicle, stopping it at the 56.5 mile marker of the highway.

Inside the vehicle was driver Beau Baumann. The deputy asked Baumann why he was racing the other vehicle. Baumann said he did not have a good reason except it “was a beautiful night”.

Baumann was charged with racing on a highway and with reckless driving. He was arrested and taken to jail. The other vehicle involved in the racing was not located.