Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin
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October 24, 2017
Corrections deputy charged with stealing drugs
A Sheriff’s Office corrections deputy was arrested today, accused of stealing controlled substances from a family friend while she was babysitting for him.
The victim, David Kouri, works as a Key West police officer. He called the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning to report what happened. He told Special Operations Sgt. Juan Llerra that 27 year old Ashlie Hernandez had taken his prescription medications from his home while she was babysitting for him on Monday night.
He said he had just filled his prescriptions and knew how many were in the bottles because he had not yet taken any of them. He said he left to go to dinner and when he returned, he counted the pills and found some missing. He said when he confronted her about it she denied it.
On Tuesday afternoon, as part of the investigation into the accusations, detectives had Kouri call Hernandez to discuss the alleged theft. On the phone call, she told him her boyfriend had taken the drugs. He asked her to return the drugs to him. She said she only had possession of some of them. They agreed to meet in the parking lot of the Key West Police department later in the afternoon where she would return the pills she had that were his.
Just before 4 p.m., the meeting took place and Hernandez handed over a plastic bag with the pills inside. She left and, a short distance away, Sheriff’s detectives stopped her in her vehicle.
Upon questioning, Hernandez admitted to taking the pills. She was arrested. She was charged with two counts possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and one count theft of a controlled substance. Hernandez was booked into jail.
Three charged with Shark Key burglary
Three men were arrested Monday, charged with burglarizing a home on Shark Key Sunday.
Deputies responded to a home on Cannon Royal Drive just before 6 p.m. on Sunday after a call from a neighbor. When Deputy Shannon Jones arrived, she met with several neighbors one of which gave her the homeowner’s contact information. One of the other neighbors had video which showed three males inside the home burglarizing it. He also had a picture of the vehicle the three suspects fled in.
The video clearly shows the three men inside the home. Two go into the kitchen and another goes into another room off camera. The alarm goes off in the house and the three suspects fled the house and got into a white Nissan Frontier with gray rims, leaving the area.
Deputy Edward Swogger was on the way to an off duty detail in Marathon and stopped by to assist at the burglary scene. He saw the picture of the suspect vehicle. Later that evening, while working in Marathon, he spotted the truck and called on duty road patrol Deputy Seth Hopp. Deputy Hopp stopped the truck and found one of the suspects – identified as 18 year old Noah Homer – inside.
When confronted with the photo of the truck and a still shot from the video showing him inside the home, Homer admitted to being there with the two other men. He told Deputy Hopp they found a door open and went inside to find out if anyone was there and if the home owner needed any work done at the home. He was not initially arrested during the traffic stop because detectives had not had the opportunity to closely review the video and talk to the homeowner about the incident.
On Monday, Detective David Cruz was assigned to investigate the case and he reviewed the video. Hed recognized and identified the other two suspects as 49 year old Robert and 21 year old Richard Ray, father and son from Big Pine Key. Robert Ray had been arrested Sunday night on Big Pine Key for an outstanding warrant from another jurisdiction and for giving a false name to law enforcement.
Detective Cruz spoke with Robert Ray at the Stock Island jail and he admitted to going into the residence. He was charged with burglary and criminal mischief. He then located Richard Ray and Noah Homer, who were both on Big Pine Key. They were both arrested. Ray was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and theft; Homer was charged with burglary and criminal mischief.
Key Largo man charged with knife threats
A Key Largo man was arrested Monday night, charged with making knife threats to his ex-girlfriend.
The victim told Deputy Matt Koval she was at the VFW in Key Largo Saturday night at 9:20 p.m., in her car in the parking lot. She was talking with someone when she heard several loud bangs on the back of her vehicle. She looked back and saw her ex-boyfriend, 50 year old Eddy Lopez Jimot. He had a knife in his hand and he told her he was going to kill her and cut her head off.
She told Deputy Koval she was afraid he would hurt her so she drove away quickly. She didn’t initially report it because she was afraid if she did, he would kill her for it.
Deputy Bob Dosh was assigned to investigate and, after interviewing the victim, he placed Lopez Jimot under arrest. He was booked into jail on charges of armed burglary to a vehicle and aggravated assault.
October 22, 2017
Death in fire suspicious in nature
Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes detectives say a woman found dead in a house fire in Key Largo had wounds on her body that appear suspicious in nature.
Deputies and firefighters responded to a house fire at 720 Ponce De Leon Boulevard at 9:40 p.m. Saturday. Deputy Jason Farr and Sgt. Scott Ward were first on the scene. They walked the perimeter of the house trying to determine if anyone was inside and found the back doors of the house wide open. The smoke and flames were too intense for them to enter the house.
Firefighters arrived and entered the house and found 70 year old Mary Bonneville dead in the living room. She had visible wounds on her body that do not appear to have been caused by the fire. An autopsy will be done Monday to determine the cause of her death.
The man who reported the fire told Deputy Jason Farr he was walking to a nearby convenience store when he smelled and then saw the fire. He said he knocked on the door and rang the doorbell with no result. He called 911 to report the fire and waited for emergency services to arrive. The State Fire Marshal responded to the scene and is assisting in the investigation.
Bonneville’s neighbors told deputies she lived alone in the residence. The case has been assigned to Major Crimes Detectives Rosa DiGiovanni and Bernardo Barrios for investigation.
October 20, 2017
One man airlifted, another arrested after fight
A Marathon man is under arrest for hitting another man in the head with a PVC pipe. The victim was airlifted to a Miami hospital for treatment of his head injury.
Deputies Edward Swogger and Darrel Walraven responded to 6350 Overseas Highway in Marathon at 11:20 p.m. Thursday. When they arrived, they entered the wooded area where they knew there was a homeless camp from previous calls to the location. They found the suspect, 57 year old John Cadwallader, in a tent in the woods. They found the 58 year old victim a short distance further into the woods. He was bleeding profusely from a laceration on his forehead.
There was a lot of blood on a walking trail, on plastic tarps on the ground and there were sections of PVC pipe in the area as well. The victim told the deputies Cadwallader had hit him in the head with a piece of the pipe.
Cadwallader, who was uncooperative and refused to follow deputies instructions to walk out of the woods, was arrested. He was charged with aggravated battery and resisting arrest and he was booked into jail. The victim was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for treatment of his head injury.
Teen charged with robbery at gunpoint
A Minnesota couple told deputies they were robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Key Largo restaurant by two men dressed in black. One of the suspects was later identified as 17 year old George Yeatman of Marathon, who was arrested in connection with the crime.
The victims were getting into their truck at Skipper’s Dockside Restaurant just after 8 p.m. Thursday when two suspects confronted them, one on either side of the vehicle. The suspects pointed guns at them, demanding money. The female victim screamed and slapped at the gun pointed at her. The suspect pointing the gun at her stepped back and fired a short into the ground.
Both robbers then took off running. Two witnesses who were in the area saw one of the suspects clearly as he fled into a wooded area.
Deputy Ignacio Molina, one of the responding deputies, located a young man – Yeatman - nearby, on Caribbean Drive. He was riding a bicycle away from the area. He was sweating profusely and had scratches consistent with fleeing through a wooded area. He told Deputy Molina he’d been at the Key Largo Community Park playing basketball with friends; the park has not been open since Hurricane Irma and the lights for the basketball court were not turned on that night.
The victims and witnesses all identified the teen as one of the armed suspects involved in the robbery. Yeatman was arrested and charged with robbery with a firearm. Investigations will continue into the identity of his accomplice.
Homestead man arrested for five counts sale of cocaine
A Homestead, Florida man was arrested today, charged with five outstanding Monroe County warrants for sale of cocaine and use of a two way communications device to facilitate a felony; he also has two warrants from Miami-Dade County for failure to pay child support.
34 year old Elvis Brown was arrested at #64 Harry Davis Circle in Key Largo. He is accused of selling cocaine to undercover operatives five times between late July and early October.
October 19, 2017
Drunk man leaves behind wallet at burglary scene
A drunk man from Big Pine Key burglarized a bulldozer overnight, leaving behind his wallet which deputies used to identify and charge him.
The owner of the bull dozer is a company called Unlimited Debris. A representative of that company met with Deputy Ken Fricke this morning just before 9 a.m. after he discovered someone had entered and damaged the bull dozer overnight.
He said he found the windshield broken as well as both the right and left hand mirrors. He told the deputy whoever had been inside the bull dozer’s cabin had left behind a brown wallet, a pair of sneakers, spilled beer and cigarette butts.
Inside the wallet, Deputy Fricke found identification for 65 year old Mark Moses, including a driver’s license, VA card and Social Security card. Detective John Gabay located Moses in the Winn Dixie grocery store. Moses admitted to entering the bull dozer during the night. He identified the sneakers and the wallet as his, but said he has no memory of what he did in the dozer’s cabin.
Moses was placed under arrest. He was charged with burglary and criminal mischief and he was booked into jail.
October 18, 2017
Florida City woman arrested on drug charges
A Florida City woman, wanted on outstanding warrants for selling drugs in Monroe County, was arrested on those warrants Tuesday. She faces additional charged after more drugs were found in her car.
Deputy Daniel Hill stopped the black Volkswagon sedan at 6:15 p.m. at the 55 mile marker of the highway after he received information it was traveling southbound on Highway U.S. One. A check on the vehicle’s license tag revealed the registered owner was wanted for two counts sale of cocaine and use of a two way communications device to facilitate a felony.
The driver was identified as 39 year old Naauh’Mocquaii Richmond-Jones. She was arrested on the drug warrants. She gave deputies permission to search her vehicle and told them there was cocaine in the center console of the car. She said she brings cocaine to the Keys in order to sell it.
Seven small plastic bags with cocaine inside were found in the center console. In a purse in the car, deputies found two crack cocaine “cookies” which Richmond-Jones admitted were hers.
A female passenger in the car was released without charges. Richmond-Jones was booked into jail on the outstanding warrants and was additionally charged with possession with intent to sell cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
October 12, 2017
Key Colony Beach Officer, injured during traffic stop, fires gun at suspect
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting incident this morning involving a Key Colony Beach police officer who discharged his firearm after having his hand caught in the door of a vehicle during a traffic stop. There were no injuries as a result of the firearm being discharged.
The KCB Officer, Charles Griffith, was acting as a backup officer on a traffic stop conducted by Sheriff’s Deputy Jose Hernandez just before 7 a.m. at the 61 mile marker of the highway on Duck Key. Deputy Hernandez initially stopped the 1996 Chevrolet because it had a headlight out, the tag light out. In addition, the license tag was obscured by dirt and was unreadable. The car was driven by 39 year old Jerrett Bryan. Bryan has a current address in Miami but is a previous long-time resident of the middle Keys and has recently returned to the Keys to work construction.
During the traffic stop, Deputy Hernandez detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and called for backup. Key Colony Beach Officers Griffith and Jeff Rodriguez responded. A check on Bryan’s name revealed he had a suspended driver’s license and was on probation for drug charges.
In an attempt to investigate the marijuana odor further, Bryan was asked to exit the vehicle. He refused and attempted to roll up his window. The officers stopped him from rolling up the window and opened the car door to remove Bryan from inside. Officer Griffith had his hand on the doorpost, with his fingers inside the car’s door. Bryan, who was still inside the vehicle, slammed the door on the officer’s fingers. Griffith was treated at the hospital for injuries to his hand.
Officer Griffith managed to extract his hand from the door after which he pulled his weapon and fired once at the driver’s side door, shattering the window, but not hitting Bryan. Bryan then fled the scene in the vehicle.
Deputy Hernandez jumped into a patrol vehicle, pursuing Bryan. Bryan was caught a short distance away and was arrested. Charges against Bryan include resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding police, battery on a law enforcement officer and driving with a suspended driver’s license.
Key Colony Police Chief Kris DiGiovanni has requested the Sheriff’s Office investigate the discharge of the firearm by his officer. The Sheriff’s Internal Affairs office will be conducting a Use of Force investigation to determine if the discharge of the firearm was justified under the circumstances.
Intoxicated man charged with misusing 911
An intoxicated man was arrested for misuse of the 911 emergency system Wednesday night after he was warned repeatedly not to call 911 by Sheriff’s deputies.
Deputy Daniel Hill responded to a home on Goodley Street on Grassy Key at 8:30 p.m. The resident of the home told the deputy he’d hired 54 year old Thomas Bieger, of Hollywood, Florida from a Craig’s List ad to help repair the home. He said he’d let him stay overnight in an extra bedroom. Now he wanted him to leave the home and Bieger, who was very intoxicated, was refusing to leave.
Deputy Hill told Bieger to gather his things and leave. Bieger refused, saying he would have to be evicted and demanding to see a supervisor. Sgt. Nick Whiteman responded to the scene and also explained to Bieger he would have to leave the property. Bieger continued to argue, demanding to see a lieutenant. When Sgt. Whiteman declined to call a lieutenant to the scene, Bieger said he would call 911 to demand a lieutenant respond. He was told if he called 911 in a non-emergency situation such as this one he would be arrested.
Bieger finally carried his belongings across the street from the house, off of the property. He was so intoxicated he had trouble balancing as he walked across the street. The officers stayed on the scene to make sure he complied with all of their orders. As the officers were standing in the street in front of the house, they saw Bieger begin to talk on his phone. Sgt. Whiteman asked Sheriff’s dispatchers if a drunk man was on the 911 line with them; they said yes, that a drunk man was calling them from a house on Goodley Street, Grassy Key.
Bieger was arrested. He was charged with misuse of the 911 system and he was taken to jail.
October 11, 2017
Gas pump confrontation leads to arrest
A Big Pine Key man threatened a couple with his stun gun in a confrontation at gas pumps at a Big Pine convenience store Tuesday afternoon.
The victims told Deputy Jon Riggs they were pulling up to a gas pump at 3:30 p.m. at the same time as 38 year old James Severson was backing up to the same pump. The male victim said he got out of the car to stop Severson from hitting it with his vehicle. That is when the confrontation took place.
According to the victim and witnesses, Severson had his hand behind his back and walked up to the victim, stepping on his foot. The victim pushed him to get him off his foot and Severson brought a stun gun from behind his back, activating it and approaching the victim, who quickly stepped back to avoid being struck with the stun gun.
Severson then pointed the stun gun at the female victim, who also backed away.
The store manager told Deputy Riggs Severson had been in the store earlier in the day and was asked to leave after causing problems with other customers.
Severson was arrested. He was charged with battery and with aggravated assault and he was taken to jail.
October 9, 2017
Woman arrested for drunk driving after fleeing deputies
A Marathon woman, driving while intoxicated, refused to stop for deputies. They had to spike her tires in order to stop her as she fled northbound on U.S. One.
At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, deputies responded to McDonald’s restaurant in Marathon to reports of a woman driving recklessly who was possibly intoxicated. When they arrived, they saw 60 year old Janice Hastings in her 2005 Cadillac in the drive thru of the restaurant. She was blocking traffic and her vehicle was not moving. Another driver in the drive thru lane got out and told her to move, pointing toward the parking lot next door. The manager of the restaurant then approached the vehicle and asked her to move. Hastings then moved her vehicle to that parking lot, where she parked across several parking spots.
Deputy Matthew Cory approached her car to speak with her and saw her eating food in the front seat. As he was attempting to get her attention, the manager of McDonald’s called 911 to report her as a drunk driver. He then approached Deputy Cory and told him he believed the driver to be intoxicated.
Suddenly, Hastings put the vehicle in drive. Deputy Cory hit the car window and shouted at her to stop, but she hit the gas and, tires squealing, jumped a curb and began traveling north on U.S. One.
Deputy Cory turned on his lights and siren and began following Hastings. She was traveling at 45 miles per hour in the outside lane of the highway. She refused to stop. Two more officers joined in the pursuit, behind Deputy Cory.
Deputy Mark Martin was north of the pursuit location and got Stinger Spikes ready to deploy at the intersection of Coco Plum Road and U.S. One. He deployed the spikes in front of her car, successfully puncturing all four tires. Spikes are designed to puncture a car’s tires and slowly bring the car to a stop safely.
Hastings did not stop, however, and continued to drive northbound on four flat tires. Her tires disintegrated as she was driving and soon she was driving mostly on rims, frequently losing control of the vehicle and fishtailing, endangering oncoming cars. Deputies north of the fleeing car’s location stopped southbound traffic due to the danger. In addition, Deputy Cory passed the Cadillac and, at a safe distance in front of her, used his lights and siren to warn oncoming traffic of the danger.
Mechanical difficulties finally brought the vehicle to a stop at the 57.2 mile marker. Hastings refused to open the car door or car window so deputies had to break the window to remove her from inside.
As deputies were dealing with Hastings roadside, a vehicle drove by and a woman yelled “I told her to take a cab.” The woman stopped and told deputies she saw the Cadillac leaving JJs Doghouse bar earlier and saw Hastings driving southbound. She said the Cadillac ran a red light and hit the median several times. She said she was the original caller who reported the reckless driver.
As deputies spoke with Hastings, she reportedly appeared very impaired and was not making sense. She first said she couldn’t speak to them because she had flat tires. She then told them she didn’t stop for the lights and sirens because she was not speeding and had no reason to pull over.
Hastings refused to participate in any roadside sobriety exercises and she was placed under arrest. Once at the Detention Center, she refused any breath tests as well. At one point, she refused to spit out gum she was chewing and, when a deputy attempted to remove the gum from her mouth, she bit him.
Hastings was charged with fleeing and eluding police, reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. She was booked into jail.
October 3, 2017
Key Largo man arrested for firing gun into the air
A 66 year old Key Largo man was arrested today for firing his gun into the air at his home on Transylvania Avenue in Key Largo.
Deputies responded to a call of shots fired on Transylvania Avenue at 1 p.m. Two people called Sheriff’s dispatchers to say they heard gunfire from the residence at #68.
When Deputies Darrel Walraven and Ben Elmore arrived, they found the front and back doors open at the house. They called for the resident – later identified as Roger Scheid – to come out of the house.
Scheid finally came to the door, he was naked and appeared to be intoxicated. A fully loaded shotgun was found on the bed in one of the bedrooms; a loaded .45 caliber handgun was found on a pile of clothing. Two spend casings from the gun were found on the rear porch of the residence.
Scheid told the deputies several different stories: that he was cleaning his guns, and that he was checking them to make sure they worked.
Scheid was placed under arrest. He was charged with two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm and he was taken to jail.
October 2, 2017
Man arrested for burglary in Marathon
A Key West man was arrested Saturday afternoon, charged with burglarizing a home on 41st Street in Marathon.
The victim told Deputy Aaron Coller he was walking toward the door of his residence at 11 a.m. when he saw a man walking out the door. He said the home was damaged in the hurricane and the door does not lock properly. He said he yelled at the man, who then ran toward a neighboring house. The victim described the suspect as a white male, 5’9” tall, 160 pounds with sandy blond or brown hair. He said he’d seen him around the neighborhood the day before and thinks he goes by the initials CJ or something similar.
When the victim entered his house he discovered three cell phones missing, along with some size 12 red and white Reebok athletic shoes.
A short time later, Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was at a convenience store on 55th Street when he saw a man fitting the suspect’s description, wearing red, white and black Reebok athletic shoes. The man – identified as 30 year old Theodore French – was positively identified by the victim as the man he saw fleeing from his residence. French goes by the nickname “TJ”. The size 12 shoes he was wearing where the ones stolen from the victim’s house; a phone found in French’s pocket was one of the phones stolen as well.
French was arrested. He was charged with burglary and grand theft and he was taken to jail.