Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

 

September 29, 2000

Lotto scam strikes again

Marathon – A Marathon man was victimized in a lotto scam Thursday. Detectives are investigating.

The victim’s wife called the Sheriff’s Office to report her husband missing. She said he drove his car to the grocery store at around 2 p.m. Thursday. Someone drove him home an hour later. He came in the house and told her a couple had a winning lottery ticket, but had no identification to cash it in. He said they offered him $25,000.00 to cash it for them. He then left the house, taking $600 cash, his passport, some gold jewelry and other identification.

Deputy Greg Korzen drove the wife to the grocery store where they found her husband’s car parked in the parking lot. He was nowhere to be found.

At 6 p.m., the victim turned up at the home of one of his wife’s relatives in Miami. He said the suspects drove him to Florida City where they left him at a gas station. He said they took all his money and jewelry.

Detective Lionel Vargas is investigating the case. He says this scam may be related to a similar one that took place in August, also in the Marathon area.Anyone with information should contact him at the Key Vaca Substation, 289-2430. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the information leads to an arrest, the caller may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. The Crime Stoppers hot line is 1-800-346-TIPS.

 

September 26, 2000

South African man faces more molestation charges

Big Pine Key – A South African man, arrested September 15th for fondling young boys at a Big Pine Key science camp, has been with two more counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 16 years of age.

The fourteen year old victim told Detective Chris Scott that 30 year old Dieter Charles Vogt touched him on the groin and buttocks area numerous times in June of 1999, while he attended Seacamp on Big Pine Key. Vogt also reportedly stayed at the victim’s home in Massachusetts and the victim said he was fondled there as well. Detectives in that area are pursuing possible charges for that violation as well.

According to Detective Scott, Vogt has a laptop computer and uses it to lure boys to his bunk at the camp. He is known to keep in touch with boys from the camp via e-mail, and also frequently visits and stays at their homes.

Vogt was arrested Monday evening and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, a second-degree felony. The warrant, signed by Judge Susan Vernon, also specifies that Vogt is to have no contact whatsoever with anyone under 18 years of age.

September 22, 2000

Detective discovers inmate’s “real” identity

Monroe County – Detective Ben Lowe has discovered an inmate’s “real” identity and the reason why he gave a false name to law enforcement officers who arrested him.

The man identified himself as 21-year-old Bruce VanDanmme when he was arrested August 23rd in the city of Key West for possessing a stolen moped. He was further charged with burglary by the Sheriff’s Office after items stolen from a Big Coppitt Key residence were found in his possession.

He had no identification to prove his name was VanDanmme. He told the officers he is a movie producer. Once at the Monroe County Detention Center he listed five people he says are his wives on his jail visitor’s list including Sandra VanDanmme Bulloch and Demi VanDanmme Moore.

Detective Ben Lowe suspected “VanDanmme” was not the man’s real name. On two separate occasions, fingerprints were sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an attempt to check them through their system. That agency said they were not able to process the prints because of the poor quality. Detective Lowe then asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to visit the Detention Center and do a third set of prints. When that set of prints was sent to the FBI, they were positively identified as belonging to 30 year old Jose Rodriguez.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Rodriguez was released from prison July 1st after spending four years for grand theft auto and robbery. He was arrested almost immediately by Miami Beach police on July 8th and again July 30th. He was finally arrested in the Florida Keys August 23rd and has been in the Monroe County Detention Center since then. He is currently wanted by the State of Florida for violation of parole and a hold has now been placed on him because of those charges. Rodriguez is also known as Mike Henderson and Angel Rodriguez.

North Carolina man charged with auto burglary

Marathon – Deputies arrested a North Carolina man who was caught breaking in to a vehicle at a Marathon service station Wednesday morning.

An employee of the Texaco station in Marathon spotted 21 year old Phillip Ardrey enter a vehicle in the parking lot. Ardrey had a number of tools in his hand and he lay across the seat with his feet sticking out of the car. The witness notified the owner of the car and the Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene. In the meantime, the owner of the vehicle confronted Ardrey, who said he was there to work on the car. The owner told him the car didn’t need to be worked on, so Ardrey left the scene in another vehicle.

When Deputy Jake Brady arrived, the victim pointed out the suspect’s car as it was leaving. The deputy pulled the car over near 85th Street and U.S. One. The victim and witness both identified Ardrey as the man they saw breaking in to the vehicle. Ardrey was arrested, charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Key Largo man charged with dealing in stolen property

Key Largo – A Key Largo man has been charged with pawning a diamond ring he stole from a Key Largo residence.

The victim called the Sheriff’s Office Thursday to report that several items of jewelry were missing from her home, including three diamond rings. She told Deputy Todd Wyatt her neighbor had recently evicted a man from her home. She said the same neighbor had a key to her house, and she suspected the man, 42 year old David Caldwell, might have taken the key, entered her house and stolen the jewelry.

The victim visited local pawnshops to see if the stolen items were there. She found two of the three rings at Florida Keys Jewelry and Pawn. Employees of the shop identified a photo of Caldwell as the man who pawned the items.

The victim paid $83.00 to recover her rings from the shop. Caldwell was found in a wooded area near the 102.5-mile marker and was arrested. He was charged with dealing in stolen property and he was taken to jail.

Boat captain recovers bale of marijuana

Key Largo – An upper Keys boat captain recovered a large bale of marijuana floating in the water Thursday.

The man said he was returning from a dive charter with approximately 10 passengers on board his boat when he found the bale. He took it on board then contacted the Sheriff’s Office when he reached shore.

The 50-pound bale has apparently been in the water for some time because it was extensively water damaged and had barnacle growing on it. It was taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Office and will be held for destruction.

 

September 18, 2000

South African man charged with molestation

Monroe County – Detectives from the Special Investigations Division arrested a South African man Friday. He is accused of molesting young boys while he was a counselor at Sea Camp on Big Pine Key.

30-year-old Dieter Charles Vogt has been charged with two outstanding warrants for lewd and lascivious molestation, a second-degree felony. According to Detective Chris Scott, Vogt has been a counselor at Sea Camp for five summers. During that time, he allegedly fondled two young boys who were staying in the cabin he supervised at the camp.

Vogt was arrested Friday as he drove through Key Largo en route to the camp on Big Pine Key. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on the two warrants, which had a total bond of $150,000.00. He was released on bond Saturday evening. The investigation into his activities is continuing.

Search Warrant leads to arrests

Key Largo - A search warrant, served Friday afternoon, led to the arrest of two Key Largo residents for possession of cocaine.

The warrant was a result of undercover drug investigations conducted by the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division. They served the warrant at 2:30 p.m. Friday at 839 Largo Road. The search turned up 24.4 grams of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

52-year-old Diane Gross and 46-year-old Jerry Goodner were both arrested. They were charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia and they were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Two men caught breaking in to residence

Key Largo – Two Key Largo men were arrested Friday evening after they were caught breaking in to a home on Atlantic Drive in Key Largo.

An alert neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office at 8:30 p.m. after he noticed the men acting suspiciously at the victim’s residence. They were reportedly knocking on the home’s doors and peering in the windows prior to breaking a window in the back.

When Deputy David Cline and Sgt. Tim Hurd arrived, they found 30 year old Marco Hilby already inside and his father, 50-year-old James Hilby, in the act of climbing through the broken window. They were both placed under arrest and charged with burglary and attempted theft and they were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Stock Island man charged with false imprisonment

Stock Island – Sheriff’s deputies and detectives arrested a Stock Island man for holding his ex-wife against her will in violation of a domestic violence injunction prohibiting him from having contact with her.

The victim told Deputy Jay Smarowski and Detective Lynn McNeill, she was at a downtown Key West bar Saturday at 10 p.m. when her ex-husband 53 year old James Mallory grabbed her by the arm and forced her into his vehicle. He allegedly hit her on the head and took her to his residence on Stock Island. She said he pointed a gun at her head and threatened her life. He then held her there against her will until the next morning. She was able to leave the residence at 7 a.m., after which she called the Sheriff’s Office.

Mallory was arrested Sunday at 11 a.m. and charged with false imprisonment, battery, aggravated assault and violation of a restraining order. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

September 15, 2000

Fight call leads to marijuana, stolen property

Plantation Key – Deputies called to the scene of a fight on Tequesta Street on Plantation Key found a large amount of marijuana and stolen property inside an apartment Thursday morning.

Deputies Matt Koval and Adam Rabinowitz responded to 102 Tequesta to a fight in progress. When they arrived, they saw four people coming out of an apartment. One of them had a cut on his arm. The deputies checked inside the apartment to make sure there wasn’t anyone else inside who might be injured, or a threat to public safety. They didn’t find anyone, but they did find marijuana sitting out in plain view.

They detained all four people, and called the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division for assistance in obtaining a search warrant to search the premises. The search warrant was served at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. Inside the apartment, detectives recovered 900 grams of marijuana, 15 amphetamine pills packaged individually and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia. After further investigation, one of the four people from the apartment was arrested. 18-year-old Christopher Ford was charged with two counts possession of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The search also turned up a large amount of property that detectives believe to be stolen. The property was taken as evidence and Detective Adrian Youngblood is attempting to match the stolen items with a number of burglaries that have taken place over the past few days in the upper Keys. More arrests and more charges are pending.

Key Largo man charged with robbery, kidnapping

Key Largo – A Key Largo man was arrested Thursday on an outstanding warrant for robbery and kidnapping.

The incident occurred August 22nd at 3 a.m. at a service station near the 99-mile marker of highway U.S. One. The victim told Deputy Matt Koval he was pumping gas into his vehicle when 31-year-old Timothy Muscarella walked up and asked for a ride. The victim refused, but Muscarella got into the car anyway. He had a paper bag over his hand and told the victim he had a gun and wanted a ride to Hibiscus Park in Key Largo, and some money to buy drugs.

The victim handed over his cash and drove the suspect to Hibiscus Park. Muscarella told him to drive north, and not to call the police or he would be hurt.

Investigations led detectives to Muscarella and an outstanding warrant was obtained for his arrest. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center Thursday on charges of robbery and kidnapping. Bond on the warrant is set at $130,000.00.

Man charged with threatening woman with a gun

Islamorada – A South Carolina man was arrested Thursday evening after he put a loaded firearm to his girlfriend’s head in the parking lot of a local resort.

The victim told Deputy Nelson Sanchez she and her boyfriend, 33-year-old Andrew Pacheco, were at the Holiday Isle Resort Thursday at 5:30 p.m. when he got into an argument with several people at one of the resort’s bars. She said he went to their car in the parking lot to retrieve his gun and she followed him. When they got to the car, he pulled out the gun and put it to her head, saying “You must be scared because you blinked.” He then left with the gun and she went to a nearby restaurant and called the Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies arrived, they found a black waist pouch sitting on a lounge chair at the pool. Witnesses said the pouch belonged to Pacheco. Inside the pouch the officers found a loaded semi-automatic handgun.

Pacheco, who reportedly has several felony convictions on his record, was arrested. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

September 14, 2000

Detective looking for help with identity

This man is in jail under the name "VanDammne". 
Detectives believe that is a false name and are looking 
for help discovering his true identification.

Lower Keys – Sheriff’s detectives are asking for help in finding out the real identity of a man arrested on burglary charges in August.

The man was arrested August 23rd after he was caught in the city of Key West riding a stolen moped. A search of his possessions turned up several items stolen in a burglary August 18th on Big Coppitt Key. During that burglary, he ate food from the refrigerator, messed up the inside of the house including plugging up the toilet, and he watched a pornographic video tape that he brought with him. He left the tape behind inside the house. He stole a pair of binoculars, an address book, a phone receiver and some dimes and quarters. The address book and phone receiver were in his possession when he was picked up in the city of Key West.

When he was arrested, he identified himself to officers as 21 year old Bruce VanDanmme. He had no identification at all. He told them he is a movie producer. Once at the Monroe County Detention Center he listed five people he says are his wives on his jail visitor’s list including Sandra VanDanmme Bulloch and Demi VanDanmme Moore. He is in jail on charges of two counts of theft, having no valid driver’s license and burglary.

Detective Ben Lowe says he suspects “VanDanmme” is not the man’s real name and he is looking for anyone who might know him by another name, or know anything about him.

“I suspect he has probably done similar crimes elsewhere, but since I don’t think he is giving us his real name, I have no way of checking on it,” Detective Lowe said. When officers at the Detention Center tried to run the man’s fingerprints through the Automated Fingerprint System, there was no return on his prints. Fingerprints were also sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an attempt to check them through their system. After two processing two separate fingerprint cards, that agency said they were not able to process the prints because of the poor quality. According to experts, some people have fingers that are extremely difficult to get good prints from. This man may be one of those people.

VanDanmme is a black male, five foot four inches tall, 150 pounds and has been known to frequent strip clubs. He may have spent considerable time in the Miami-Dade/Fort Lauderdale area.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Ben Lowe at 292-7060. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers who provide information which might identify this man could be eligible for a monetary reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

September 12, 2000

Upper Keys man charged with possessing pornographic images of children

Upper Keys – An Islamorada man was arrested Monday night and charged with possessing pornographic images depicting sexual conduct of children. The arrest came after detectives investigated reports that he photographed a local child in seductive poses.

The local victim, who is in her early teens, told Detective Mark Coleman that 39 year old Melvin Pettit approached her in July as she attended a program at Coral Shores High School. Pettit is an employee of the school, and asked the victim to pose for photographs that he then told her he would e-mail to a modeling agency in California. She agreed to pose for him, and he took a number of photos of her in seductive poses in a classroom at the school. When she asked him for copies of the photos, he refused to provide them to her.

When he asked her to pose for him at a local beach wearing a thong bikini, she and her mother began to be suspicious and contacted authorities.

Detective Coleman interviewed the victim and her mother and, after further investigation, he confronted Pettit. Pettit consented to a search of his residence on Coral Road in Islamorada. His computer was seized and an examination of its hard drive revealed a number of pornographic photos of young girls. Pettit was charged with three counts of possessing photographic images depicting sexual conduct by a child. Each count is a third degree felony, punishable by a penalty of up to five years in prison and a$5,000 fine. His bond was set at $15,000.00.

Man charged with Child Abuse for driving drunk with small child

Key Largo – A Key Largo man has been arrested for Child Abuse after a woman reported seeing him drive dangerously with a small child in his truck.

The woman told Deputy Lyle Agins she was driving northbound on highway U.S. One at 8:30 p.m. when she saw a truck swerving on the roadway, driving dangerously. She said she passed the truck to get away from it and when she got in front of the truck, it almost hit her vehicle. That is when she noticed a small child sitting in the truck’s passenger seat. She became concerned for the child’s safety and allowed the truck to pass her so she could follow it. That is when she called the Sheriff’s Office from her cellular phone.

Deputy Agins met with the witness in front of a house on Largo Avenue. After speaking with her, he knocked on the door of the house. He spoke with a woman who answered the door, then found the defendant, 48-year-old Joseph Waters, in an upstairs room. The room smelled strongly of alcohol and he appeared to be disoriented.

The deputy questioned Waters, and conducted further investigation into the incident. He then placed Waters under arrest, charging him with child abuse. Waters was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

September 8, 2000

Taxi driver charged with suspended license, drug possession

Marathon – A driver for Island Taxi in Marathon was arrested in the early morning hours Thursday after deputies discovered he had a suspended license and was in possession of illegal drugs.

Deputies Lin Badman and Todd Blyth received information that 26-year-old Steven Durham was driving a taxicab with a suspended license. They pulled him over at 1:30 a.m. and asked him for his license. He said he didn’t have it with him. At that point, they informed him that the license was suspended for failure to pay traffic fines and they placed him under arrest.

A search of the taxicab revealed marijuana and crack cocaine. Durham was further charged with possession of the illegal drugs and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

 

September 6, 2000

Search warrant leads to arrest

Key West – Sheriff’s detectives from the Special Investigations Division arrested a Key West man for possessing illegal drugs after a search warrant was served early today (Wednesday) at Robert Gabriel Apartments in the city of Key West.

The search warrant was obtained after an undercover operative made purchases of cocaine from apartment D2 at the Robert Gabriel apartment complex on Amelia Street in Key West. The search was conducted at 6 a.m. and turned up cocaine residue, 6 grams of marijuana and numerous items of drug paraphernalia including electronic scales and drug packaging material. Marijuana was found hidden on top of the refrigerator, and in a bedroom of the residence. Ammunition for various handguns was also seized at the residence, although no guns were found during the search.

58-year-old Jesus Borges was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. A 15-year-old boy who was at the residence when the warrant was served was issued a notice to appear in court for possession of marijuana.

Assisting in service of the search warrant were officers from the Key West Police Department and the Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team.