Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Marathon – A would-be auto burglar was detained by a Marathon resident who witnessed him break into a car parked at a Marathon service station.
When Deputies arrived at the Island Service Station at 12:45 a.m. Monday, they found 44 year old Charles Crawford sitting on 20 year old Christopher Scriba in the parking lot. Crawford told the deputies he caught Scriba sitting in a car parked at the service station. He said Scriba ran from him, but he found him hiding behind the station. The two struggled, and Crawford finally subdued and detained Scriba until deputies could respond.
When deputies questioned the suspect, he admitted to entering the 1992 Ford Mustang. He said it was “the best car ever” and he just had to “check it out.” Further investigation revealed Scriba had a screwdriver and pliers with him, and the steering column of the car had been broken.
Scriba was arrested, charged with burglary and criminal mischief and he was taken to jail.
Stock Island – A Stock Island woman is in a Miami Hospital with burns over a large portion of her body. The burns occurred after a dispute with her live-in boyfriend.
Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, which took place Sunday in the early morning hours. Employees at Florida Keys Health Systems East Hospital called the Sheriff’s Office about an hour to an hour and a half after the incident took place. Deputies arrived at the hospital as the victim was being loaded onto a rescue helicopter, so they were unable to interview the victim about what happened to her.
Her boyfriend, 26 year old Karl Bullock said he and his girlfriend, 19 year old Brenda Kuchcinski were downtown Saturday night and began arguing. He said after arrived at their trailer on 5th Avenue, the argument continued. He said he decided the best course of action was to take a walk, so he went outside. Bullock said he was down the street from the trailer when he heard Kuchcinski screaming. He ran back to the residence and found her in the front yard, dressed only in a pair of pants. The whole upper left side of her body was burned and smoking.
He said he put her in the bathtub and ran cool water over her. He then put her in the car and drove her to the hospital. Hospital personnel later told deputies that Kuchcinski reportedly told them “someone had burned her.”
Detectives responded to the trailer to investigate. Bullock gave them permission to look around. They found a strong smell of turpentine inside. They found a partially burned black t-shirt saturated in turpentine, and matches on the kitchen counter and floor. They found burned hair in the bathroom sink.
According to reports by Deputy David Lariz, Jr., Kuchcinski was at Jackson Memorial Hospital, listed in stable condition with first and second degree burns over 40-50 percent of her body. The investigation into the incident is continuing.
Lower Keys – Four lower Keys residents were arrested Thursday on drug related charges by the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division.
A father and son were arrested at a United Street residence Thursday evening. The father, 62 year old Juvenal Armando Alfonso, Sr., was arrested on an outstanding warrant for trafficking in cocaine. The warrant was issued after Alfonso, Sr. sold 29.7 grams of cocaine to an undercover operative in June of this year. Bond on the warrant is set at $150,000.00.
His 19 year old son, Juvenal Armando Alfonso, Jr., was also arrested because, at the time of his father’s arrest, he was found to be in possession of 13.5 grams of cocaine. The cocaine was hidden in food containers in the freezer.
66 year old Oscar Lopez Batista was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for trafficking in cocaine. The warrant was issued after Batista sold 60 grams of cocaine to an undercover operative in August of this year. Bond on the warrant is set at $175,000.00.
49 year old Eliceo Cheo Marquez was arrested for trafficking in cocaine as well. The warrant for trafficking was issued after Marquez sold 43 grams of cocaine to an undercover operative in June of this year. Bond on the warrant is set at $150,000.00.
All four arrests were made as a result of drug investigations by the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division.
Key Largo – Detectives would like to once again ask for the public’s assistance with a rash of burglaries in Key Largo.
To date, they have received several tips from citizens giving descriptions of cars and possible suspects. Unfortunately, these tips are not coming in soon enough. A number of neighbors have given deputies information on suspicious people and cars they’ve seen in their neighborhoods, but the information has been given after the fact, too late to do something about it. What detectives need is for neighbors to contact the Sheriff’s immediately when they see a suspicious car or suspicious people who don’t belong there.
“After a burglary has taken place in a neighborhood, we do a neighborhood canvas and people are coming forward and saying, ‘I noticed a strange car driving around, but I didn’t want to bother you with a phone call.’,” said Detective Sgt. Corey Bryan. “We want to let people know: they should call us, immediately, if they are the least bit suspicious about a person or car in their neighborhood.”
“The people who live in a neighborhood are the only ones who can tell us who belongs there and who doesn’t.. We need everyone’s help in this investigation,” he said.
Fifteen home burglaries and one auto burglary have taken place in the past six to eight weeks, all in residential neighborhoods between the 93 and 106 mile markers. All of them are believed to be connected. Several people have given possible car and suspect descriptions.
There are two possible suspects that have been seen. Both of them are young Latin males, in their early to mid 20s. One is heavy set with short hair. The other is thinner, also with short hair. They may be driving one of three cars: a black Pontiac Grand Am or Grand Pri, a Black or dark colored sport utility vehicle, or a dark colored Pontiac Firebird or Trans Am.
“We could have a hundred deputies out patrolling neighborhoods and not be in the right neighborhood at the right time to catch these guys,” said Sgt. Bryan. “And if we were in the right neighborhood, we might not know the neighborhood well enough to tell who belongs there and who doesn’t. We need people who live in the area from Tavernier to Key Largo to take an active part in this investigation – we need phone calls about suspicious people and suspicious cars, and we need them immediately. That may be the only way we will be able to catch these burglary suspects,” he said.
Stock Island – A Stock Island man turned himself in on outstanding warrants for trafficking in Cocaine and Ecstasy Monday.
24 year old David Estevez was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on the outstanding warrants. Bond on the warrants was a total of $200,000.00.
The warrants were issued after a joint investigation between the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office and the Key West Police Department. On October 4th, detectives from those agencies, using an undercover operative, purchased cocaine from Estevez. Estevez met with the operative at the Key West Welcome Center to hand over the illegal drugs. His girlfriend and her children were with him at the time the purchase took place.
Detectives then asked the girlfriend for permission to search her apartment on Stock Island, where Estevez had been staying. She gave permission, and the search turned up 145 grams of cocaine, 27 grams of Ecstasy and a small amount of marijuana. Estevez admitted the drugs belonged to him.
Warrants were issued for his arrest. He was charged with trafficking in cocaine and Ecstasy, possession of cocaine with intent to sell and possession of marijuana. He is currently in the Monroe County Detention Center.
Key Largo – A large amount of cash was seized Tuesday from a man arrested for drug possession after a traffic stop.
Deputy Jim Ford was on patrol shortly after 8 p.m. when he received information from a passerby that a car was driving erratically. He followed the car, a 1999 Ford, and saw it swerving several times, so he pulled over the car at the 98 mile marker of the highway, southbound.
When the driver, 52 year old Victor Weaver, opened his window, the deputy smelled a strong odor of marijuana smoke coming from inside the vehicle. Weaver appeared to be intoxicated, so the deputy asked him to exit his car. When Weaver got out of his car, he took two small packets of white powder out of one of his pockets and threw them to the ground. When Deputy Ford recovered the packets, they turned out to contain a small amount of methamphetamine. A small amount of marijuana was also recovered. Weaver was placed under arrest for possessing the illegal substances.
A search of his car after the arrest revealed a small cooler on the front passenger seat. Inside the cooler was a large amount of cash, vacuum sealed in 7 plastic packages. His vehicle, along with the cash, was seized for possible forfeiture. Weaver reportedly told the officer the cash, which he claimed was $125,000, was an inheritance and he had come to the Keys from Fort Lauderdale to buy property with the money.
Weaver was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Upper Keys – Sheriff’s detectives, investigating a series of burglary cases in the upper Keys, are looking for two possible suspects, and a car which has been seen in the vicinity of several of the burglarized homes.
Detective Sgt. Corey Bryan says there have been 11 or 12 burglaries over the past month and a half, all located between the 92 mile marker and the 102 mile marker of highway U.S. One. The circumstances of the burglaries have varied: in a couple of instances, a pry bar was used to break in, and in a couple more, doors were left unlocked. Suspects take mostly electronic equipment such as television sets, computers and stereo equipment.
Two witnesses who live near two different burglarized homes may have seen the suspects and a suspect car. In both cases, the witness’s descriptions are similar. The suspects are both described as Latin males, 25 to 30 years old, five foot nine inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. One of the suspects may weigh around 200 pounds; the other is described as having a smaller build.
The suspects have reportedly been seen driving a dark colored car with a temporary license tag on the back, possibly a Pontiac Firebird or similar make. On the front of the vehicle is a plate with a word on it beginning with the letter “C”, possibly the word “Century” or “Centra” or something similar to that.
Detectives also now believe there is a possibility the men might be using another vehicle which was reported stolen recently, a black colored Toyota Tundra.
Anyone with any information pertaining to these cases should call the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Caller who wish to remain anonymous should contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
Marathon – Deputies arrested two brothers after a disturbance Sunday night on 15th Street.
Deputies were called to the Trailerama trailer park to complaints that a loud party was going on. Neighbors complained that people gathered in the street were being loud and obscene.
When they arrived, they asked the group in the street to keep it down. After the deputies left, 45 year old Renaldo Parrado became angry and began yelling at the neighbors who had called the Sheriff’s Office. He continued to yell and scream, and at one point, threatened to burn down a shrimp boat and traps that belonged to them. Deputies responded to the scene again, finally arresting Parrado for disorderly conduct. They booked him into the Detention Center.
Later in the evening they were called back to the area again. Someone called to report seeing a man on board the Shrimp boat. They said it appeared he was trying to burn it. When deputies arrived, they found Parrado’s brother, 33 year old Jose Parrado. He was wet, and witnesses said he was on the Shrimp boat and fell off the bow of the boat because he was intoxicated. A cigarette lighter was found in his pocket, but he did not have any cigarettes. In addition, his wife told deputies he was going to the boat to “mess up the traps.”
Jose Parrado was arrested and charged with burglary to the vessel. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Islamorada – An Islamorada man was charged with exposing himself Saturday afternoon at an Islamorada Resort.
According to witnesses, 46 year old James Haigler III exposed himself in a public place several times Saturday afternoon. Deputy Daniel Marquith said when he arrived on the scene, Haigler was there, along with the witnesses. Haigler was wearing a pair of shorts with a hole just underneath the zipper. Both the deputy, and the witnesses said his penis was openly visible through the hole in his shorts.
The witnesses said they saw him sitting in the area of the beach just before 4:15 p.m., with his legs spread wide open, obviously exposing himself in public.
Haigler was arrested and charged with exposure of sexual organs. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Islamorada – A Miami teen was arrested Saturday in the early morning hours after he was caught speeding in Islamorada and fled from deputies.
Sgt. Tim Hurd was on patrol just before 5 a.m. Saturday when he spotted the 1998 Honda northbound on the Whale Harbor Bridge with three people inside. The Honda was traveling at 64 miles per hour in a 45 mile par hour zone, so Sgt. Hurd turned on his lights and siren to pull the vehicle over.
The car sped up instead of stopping, then turned into a parking lot at the Coconut Palm Resort. The car stopped near the water and the occupants jumped out and ran into a mangrove area, hiding in the bushes. Sgt. Hurd called for backup. When backup arrived, Sgt. Hurd sent his K-9 Storm into the bushes. Within a minute, Storm found the three suspects. They all immediately surrendered to Sgt. Hurd and Storm.
After further investigation, one of the occupants, a 17 year old Miami boy, was taken into custody for Fleeing and Eluding law enforcement officers. A check on the vehicle’s tag revealed the tag was stolen and did not belong on the Honda it was attached to. He was further charged with Petit Theft and he was booked at the Detention Center, then released on a notice to appear in court. The other two teens were checked out through computers, then released without charges.
The car was seized because it could not be immediately determined who it belonged to.
Big Pine Key - The Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol are asking for the public's help locating a vehicle possibly involved in a hit and run accident Monday night on Big Pine Key.
A resident of the Doctor's Arm Subdivision of Big Pine Key, near where the accident happened, called the Sheriff's Office Tuesday with a tip about a possible suspect vehicle. He said shortly before he heard the Sheriff's Trauma Star helicopter arrive to pick up the accident victim, he saw a small pickup truck speeding through the neighborhood where he lives. He said it was dark colored, and appeared to have a damaged headlight on the front passenger side.
The Florida Highway Patrol said damage to the right front of the vehicle would be consistent with their investigative findings. They are asking anyone who has information about a small, dark colored truck with front end damage to call the Sheriff's Office or the Florida Highway Patrol immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The crime stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
Stock Island – A Stock Island man, just released from jail, was arrested Friday for possession of crack cocaine.
Deputy David Lariz, Jr. was on patrol Friday in the early morning hours in the vicinity of 5th Avenue, Stock Island. He saw 31 year old Florencia Suarez acting suspiciously, walking back and forth in front of an apartment complex. When Suarez saw the deputy’s car, he hid behind a tree.
The deputy stopped to talk with Suarez. As he was talking with him, he saw a pill bottle on the stairway next to him. A check of its contents revealed 13 crack cocaine rocks. Suarez was placed under arrest for possession of cocaine and loitering and prowling.
Suarez was released from jail just 17 hours prior to his arrest. He was booked into the jail previously on August 26th for violation of probation.
Marathon – A man was arrested Saturday evening for domestic battery and drug possession; his girlfriend was also arrested for possessing drugs and for child neglect. Her children were turned over to the custody of their father.
Deputies Greg Korzen and Cynthia Pandol were called to a Marathon hotel just before 7 p.m. to investigate reports of domestic battery. When they arrived, they found 33 year old Lisa Kaye wandering the halls with her two young children, aged 2 and 5. She told the deputies her boyfriend, 21 year old Erik Finder, had pushed her into a table during an argument. Both deputies said Kaye was obviously intoxicated, and was having trouble speaking.
During the course of their investigation, they found Finder in a room at the hotel. While they were talking with him, they discovered he had a number of prescription pills in his possession which were not prescribed for him. He was arrested and charged with domestic battery and possession of the pills.
Upon further investigation, the deputies found out that both Kaye and Finder had been drinking during the afternoon at the hotel’s tiki bar, while their two children swam in the pool without adult supervision. In addition, Kaye had allegedly been taking various types of pills, none of which are supposed to be mixed with alcohol.
The two hotel rooms the couple were staying in were in extreme disarray, and several Xanax pills were found on the floor, easily accessible to the two children. The oldest child told Deputy Korzen that they had not eaten since breakfast and were hungry.
There were prescription bottles in one of the rooms for four different medications. Kaye was arrested and charged with child neglect and possession of a controlled substance.
When deputy Korzen put Finder in the back seat of his patrol car, Finder began hitting his head against the windows, and used his feet to kick out one of the car’s back windows. He was further charged with criminal mischief. Both Finder and Kaye were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Key Largo – A Key Largo man was charged Friday morning with neglecting his 2 year old son.
Deputy Bryan Cross responded to the 105 mile marker at 10 a.m. to reports of a small child standing in the roadway, unattended. When he arrived, he met with a man who lives in the neighborhood. He said he found the young boy by himself, standing in an intersection. He recognized the boy as belonging at a home on Ryan Avenue.
Deputy Cross went to the house where they boy lives. He found a gate wide open, along with the back door. He walked in and called out, but no one responded. He finally found the boy’s father, 22 year old Jenaro Dominguez, sleeping in a back bedroom.
When the deputy woke Dominguez and asked him where his son was, Dominguez did not know. He said he’d gotten home from work at 6 a.m. and must have fallen asleep. Inside the residence, in plain view and easily accessible to a child, the deputy found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He also noticed a strong odor of marijuana throughout the house, as if someone had been smoking the illegal substance there on a regular basis for some time.
Dominguez’ roommate, 21 year old Eugene Simpkins, admitted ownership of the drugs and paraphernalia. He was issued a notice to appear in court for possession. Dominguez was charged with child neglect. His son was taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Families.
Key Largo – A Key Largo teen was arrested last week by detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Investigation’s Division and charged with sale of marijuana.
18 year old Timothy Downey met with an undercover operative Tuesday in the parking lot of the Key Largo Blockbuster Video store, where he works. He sold the operative marijuana, and was arrested for sale of the drug. A search of his pockets after the arrest turned up 43 more grams the green leafy substance.
A search was later conducted at his home on Tina Place where seven more baggies of marijuana were recovered. Detectives questioned Downey about his activities and he admitted to selling marijuana at his place of work for the last six months.
Downey was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on charges of sale of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Marathon – A West Palm Beach man is in jail after deputies caught him driving with a suspended license, traveling at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour across the Seven Mile Bridge.
Deputy Harry Boyden was northbound Thursday afternoon on the bridge when he spotted 20 year old William Weschrek driving his white 2000 Mitsubishi southbound at a high rate of speed. Deputy Boyden activated his radar and clocked Weschrek at 123 miles per hour at the 40.5 mile marker. The deputy turned around and finally got the car stopped at the south end of the bridge. He asked Weschrek why he was in such a hurry. Weschrek said he was in a hurry because he was late for DUI court in Key West.
A computer check on his driver’s license revealed it had been suspended 18 times between November of 2001 and October 3, 2002. The license check also showed it had been revoked September 3rd after he’d been declared a “Habitual Traffic Offender”.
Weschrek was arrested, charged with reckless driving and being a habitual traffic offender and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Bond was set during first appearance Friday at $50,000.00.
Stock Island – A Key West man has been charged with trafficking in cocaine.
Sheriff’s detectives arrested 36 year old Dagoberto Delgado Thursday on an outstanding warrant. Delgado is accused of selling 44 grams of cocaine to an undercover operative in August.
After the sale, detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest. He was picked up Thursday at 9:15 a.m. on 8th Avenue, Stock Island. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Bond on the warrant is $50,000.00.
Key West – Sheriff’s Office and Key West Police detectives arrested a drug trafficker Tuesday in a cooperative investigation handled jointly by the two law enforcement agencies.
Using an undercover operative, detectives from the Sheriff’s and KWPD’s Special Investigation divisions arranged a purchase of 90 grams of cocaine from 27 year old Big Coppitt resident Osmany Garcia. After the drug sale took place, at approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday, detectives arrested Garcia without incident in the parking lot of a Key West auto parts store.
Garcia was charged with cocaine trafficking and he was booked into the Monroe County detention center. Also assisting in the investigation were agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Big Pine Key – A routine traffic stop led to the arrest of a Big Pine Key man for trafficking in cocaine.
Deputy Andrew Ensminger was on patrol shortly after midnight Wednesday when he saw an older model Camaro turned off Angelfish Road onto Pine Channel Road. The car passed the patrol vehicle, running off the road and hitting some bushes and trees as it did so.
The deputy stopped the driver, 53 year old Edward Begerow. A check on the car’s tag revealed the tag belonged to another vehicle. Deputy Ensminger asked Begerow why he’d put the wrong tag on the car and Begerow said he did it so he could drive the car from Big Pine to Marathon and back. Begerow was arrested for attaching a tag not assigned to the vehicle.
A search of the man’s pockets turned up two baggies filled with a total of 30 grams of cocaine. A drug pipe was also found in the car. Begerow was additionally charged with trafficking in cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.