Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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


Click on the highlighted headlines to hear an audio recording of the story

November 29, 2004

Marathon man arrested for battery on a deputy

Marathon - Deputies checking for a stolen purse at a Marathon bar arrested a Marathon man who struggled with them, biting one deputy on the hand.

Deputies Chuck Kellenberger and Jerry Jagoda were at Gary's Pub in the early morning hours Thursday to check out a report that a woman's purse had been stolen. They walked through the bar, checking for the stolen purse. Deputy Kellenberger entered the men's restroom to check that area and spotted a man he knew as 27 year old Sebastian Del Rio Duarte. Duarte was holding a driver's license with a picture on it that was not his picture. When Deputy Kellenberger asked for the license, Duarte refused to hand it over.

Deputy Kellenberger called for backup and, when Deputies Andrew Warwick and Jagoda arrived, they asked Duarte to step outside the bar to talk about the driver's license he had in his possession. As they walked him through the bar, he began to struggle with the deputies. As he struggled, the deputies took him to the ground and attempted to handcuff him. During the struggle, Duarte bit Deputy Kellenberger on the hand, drawing blood. One of the other deputies sprayed Duarte with pepper spray and he stopped struggling. He was placed under arrest.

Duarte was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Lobster boat stolen, recovered. Man arrested for theft.

Stock Island - A 41 foot Lobster boat was reported stolen Wednesday from a dock on Maloney Avenue, Stock Island. It was recovered by the Coast Guard the following day and the man who stole it was arrested.

The owner of the boat, 28 year old Jose Soca, called the Sheriff's Office Wednesday morning after he arrived at the dock to find his boat the "Rosita" gone. Deputy Robert Bulnes documented the theft and put out a notice to all law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the boat.

On Thursday morning, the United States Coast Guard recovered the vessel. It was found adrift, 50 miles south of Key West and was towed back to Key West. The only person on board was 49 year old Rafael Quintana-Perez of Miami. Deputy Bulnes took custody of him and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on charges of grand theft. While he was being transported, the suspect admitted to taking the boat. He said he took it because the owner owed him $2,000.00 and he wanted to "scare" him.

Marathon man beaten, stabbed after argument with another man

Marathon - A Marathon man was beaten and stabbed after he got into an argument with a man he identified as "his friend".

The victim, 36 year old Gerald Sturgill, told Detective Ron Sylvester the argument and subsequent fight took place at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. He didn't call the Sheriff's Office at the time of the fight. Instead, he waited until the morning and asked the owner of the property where the fight occurred to drive him to the hospital. Once at Fishermen's Hospital, hospital staff called to report Sturgill's injuries.

Sturgill told Detective Sylvester he got into an argument with 44 year old Clyde Gilbert. The two men were staying on the patio of a house owned by 51 year old Mark Bruno, on 92nd Street in Marathon. During the argument, Gilbert allegedly grabbed a butcher knife from his truck and stabbed Sturgill in the leg. He then got a hammer from his truck and hit Sturgill numerous times on various parts of his body. Gilbert also grabbed a chair and began hitting Sturgill with it, until it broke. After the chair broke, Gilbert used a leg of the chair to continue the attack.

Gilbert finally stopped beating on Sturgill and left the area in his truck. Sturgill reportedly suffered a cut on his thigh, lacerations on his head, a broken collar bone, broken leg, shattered elbow and other injuries.

After an investigation by Detective Sylvester, a warrant was issued by Judge Sandra Taylor for the arrest of Gilbert. The charge on the warrant was aggravated battery with bond set at $100,000.00. Detective Sylvester was notified today (Monday) that Gilbert is in custody in Indian River County and will be returned to face the Monroe County charges.

November 23, 2004

Stock Island man arrested for soliciting a minor on the internet
South Florida Cyber Task Force works together on investigation

Stock Island - A 46 year old Stock Island man has been arrested by Sheriff's detectives for soliciting sex from young girls via instant messaging.

The investigation was conducted under the auspices of a South Florida Task Force called Law Enforcement Against Child Harm (LEACH), which specifically targets internet sex crimes against children. Detectives from the Sheriff's Crimes Against Women and Children's Unit, who participate on the task force, worked the case together with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Detectives from Broward County.

46 year old Jon Kelch was arrested Monday afternoon at his home at 5740 4th Avenue, Trailer #6 on Stock Island after a search warrant was served at that residence. The search warrant was issued after an undercover investigation was conducted. During that investigation, a detective posed as a 14 year old girl with the screen name of "Kelly88cutie" and engaged in instant messaging with Kelch. In the instant messages, Kelch engages in sexually explicit conversation, even though he clearly has been informed the person he is chatting with is only 14 years old. During the course of the investigation, Kelch also emailed naked photos of himself to "Kelly88cutie".

During the search of his house, detectives found further evidence that Kelch was soliciting young girls, including notebooks listing a large number of screen names, with notations about the associated person's age, ranging from 13 to 17 years.

The case was opened after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip that a man with the screen name of KWcouple40, later identified as Kelch, was instant messaging a 14 year old New Jersey girl. In those instant messages, he also uses sexually explicit language and makes comments indicating he would like to meet her and have sex with her some day. The tip was passed from NCMEC to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on November 4, 2004. It was subsequently assigned to the Crimes Against Women and Children's Unit and the LEACH task force.

Kelch has been charged with violating the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, which prohibits the sexual solicitation of a child or a person believed to be a child. He is also charged with transmitting pornographic images to a minor (FS section 847.0135(3) Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited and FS section 847.0138(2) Transmission of Material Harmful to Minors by Electronic Device or Equipment Prohibited).

Sexual Predator arrested for failing to keep accurate address on file

Monroe County - A man who is designated as a Sexual Predator by the State of Florida and who is required to keep and accurate current home address on file at all times was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failing to do so.

When he was released from prison in June of this year, 33 year old Richard Bell personally stopped by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Plantation Key and registered a Key Largo address as his home. Bell was in prison for committing sexual battery in Hillsborough County in December of 1993. In September of this year, when Detectives from the Crimes Against Women and Children's Unit of the Sheriff's Office attempted to verify the address as his, they were unable to do so. Two people living at that address said Bell never resided there. A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest for failing to register a correct address.

On November 12th, detectives received a call from a Naval Investigator based in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He said Bell was at the base in Guantanamo Bay staying with his wife, who is in the military, assigned to the base.  The investigator was calling to verify the outstanding warrant. He'd discovered the warrant during a routine check he was doing on residents of the base. The warrant was confirmed and the Navy agreed to transport Bell from the base in Cuba to Monroe County.

On November 14th, Bell was flown into the Boca Chica Naval Air Station where he was placed under arrest for failure to comply with registration requirements.

During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered that in October, after the Monroe County warrant was issued, Bell registered a different home address in Bradford County, Florida. When detectives in that jurisdiction checked on the listed address, they discovered it was an abandoned bar. The property reportedly belongs to Bell's wife and, according to Bradford County investigators, shows no signs of anyone living there.

November 22, 2004

Fights break out at Key Largo carnival

Key Largo - Two fights at a Key Largo carnival reportedly between carnival workers and local residents Saturday night resulted in injuries.

Deputy Greg LaRochelle and Sgt. Deborah Ryan responded to reports of fighting at the carnival just before midnight. The carnival was taking place at St. Justin's Church at the 105.5 mile marker of Highway U.S. One. After questioning a number of people who claimed to have witnessed the fights, deputies were unable to make any arrests because the witnesses could not make a positive identification of those involved.

According to witnesses, the first fight broke out near one of the carnival rides between a group of carnival workers and a group of local residents. During the course of the brawl, a 21 year old Key Largo man was badly beaten receiving numerous injuries to his head and face. He was unable to identify his attackers and no one in the area at the time was able to give deputies the names of any of those involved. While the deputy was taking that report, a man told Deputy LaRochelle he was in the area of the fight, and was injured even though he was not involved in the main altercation.

An aggravated battery report was filed regarding the first man's injuries. He was transported to Mariner's Hospital for treatment. A battery report was filed regarding the second man's minor injuries. He refused medical treatment.

Two arrested for burglarizing bar at Holiday Isle

Islamorada - Two 18 year old students from Parkland, Florida were arrested Friday night for stealing alcohol from the Cantina Bar at Holiday Isle Resort in Islamorada.

When Sgt. Gabor Simoga arrived at 11 p.m. Friday, security guards at the resort already had the two suspects in their custody. The beverage manager for the resort said he was walking by the Cantina Bar and noticed a wooden window shutter was open and someone was inside. He called for security, then detained the person inside the bar, 18 year old Jordan Magro of Parkland, Florida. A group of people standing around the outside of the bar were also held on the scene until Sgt. Simoga arrived.

Further investigation revealed that Magro and 18 year old Tyson Pitts, also of Parkland, had taken seven bottles of alcohol from inside the bar. Some of the alcohol was found hidden under a table outside the bar, including Bacardi Rum, Crown Royal Whiskey, Absolute Vodka and Johnny Walker Scotch; several more bottles were found hidden in their car, including Tanqueray Gin, and two bottles of Vodka. Pitts initially gave a false name to Sgt. Simoga. Upon further questioning, however, he admitted he was lying and gave his real name.

Both men were charged with burglary, theft and resisting arrest without violence. They were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Woman charged with living in vacant residence

Key Largo - Alert neighbors called to report suspicious activity at a Pimlico Lane residence Friday night. A woman was arrested for living in a vacant residence on that street.

When Deputy Greg LaRochelle arrived at 9:30 p.m. Friday, he found 42 year old Adrian Kimberly Shannon just walking out of a house on Pimlico Lane. When she was confronted by the deputy, she claimed the house was hers. A neighbor was able to give the deputy the real owner's name, however, and when the owner was contacted, he said no one had permission to be in his house.

It appeared that Shannon had been living there for some time. She was arrested and charged with burglary and theft. She was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Man beaten on Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key - A Big Pine Key man reported being beaten by two men he didn't know sometime between 11 p.m. Saturday and midnight.

The victim called Sunday at 9 a.m. to report the incident. He told Deputy James Pleischl he was walking from Dion's Quik Mart on Avenue B towards 1st Street when a man yelled at him. He said the man then attacked him, hitting him and tackling him to the ground. While they were fighting, the victim said a white pickup truck stopped, and a man got out and kicked him in the head. He said he blacked out after that.

Deputy Pleischl called for an ambulance and the victim was transported to Lower Keys Hospital for treatment of severe facial injuries and bruises all over his torso.

The victim described the first man as a Hispanic male approximately 6 "2", with a moustache. His head was shaved on the sides and he had black curly hair on top. He was wearing red and white polo shirt. The second man was described as a Hispanic male , in his twenties and weighing 250lbs with short hair.

Detectives will investigate the incident.

November 19, 2004

Key West man arrested after pepper spraying ex-girlfriend

Stock Island - A Key West man is in jail charged with breaking in to his ex-girlfriend's Stock Island residence and pepper spraying her and her two daughters.

26 year old Mantrako Lampkin was arrested by Sheriff's deputies after they responded to a call for assistance at the 8th Avenue residence at 5:30 a.m. Thursday. When they arrived, Lampkin was being detained by the victim and her two daughters inside the house. According to the victims, he entered the home through a window and approached the bed where his ex-girlfriend was sleeping. He sprayed her in the face with pepper spray and she awoke, screaming. Her two daughters, age 14 and 17, heard her and came to her assistance.

They struggled with Lampkin, and were pepper sprayed in the face during the struggle. They were able to grab several items which they used as weapons against him, including a candle, candle holder and a broomstick.

Deputies Brian Kibbe and Edward Drielsma arrived and took him into custody. He was charged with violation of a domestic violence injunction, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and armed burglary. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

During the course of the struggle, the ex-girlfriend sustained a cut on her leg and an abrasion on the back of her head, along with exposure to pepper spray. She was transported to the hospital for treatment. The two daughters, Lampkin and the two deputies were treated on the scene for exposure to the spray.

November 15, 2004

Body found floating in Boot Key Harbor

Marathon - The body of a man was found floating in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon Sunday morning.

Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 47 year old Barry Puffer. A man called the Sheriff's Office shortly after 8 a.m. to report finding Puffer's body floating in the water just off of Dog Island in the Harbor.

When his body was removed from the water, detectives observed a cut on his forehead, but there were no other obvious signs of trauma evident. An autopsy will be performed in an attempt to determine the cause of his death.

Brawl sends one to the hospital with severe injuries

Marathon - A fight at the city of Marathon Marina Sunday afternoon sent one man to the hospital with severe injuries. Two were arrested for beating and kicking him in front of witnesses.

23 year old Lonnie Parrish and 46 year old Byron Waller both told Deputy Derek Paul that the victim attacked them first. But witnesses in the area say they heard screaming just before 5 p.m. and saw the victim, 44 year old Eric Lisle, lying on the ground. They said Parrish and Waller were kicking Lisle repeatedly.

Both Parrish and Waller were initially arrested on battery charges and the victim was transported to Fishermen's hospital for treatment. The charges against Parrish and Waller were later upgraded to aggravated battery after Lisle was airlifted by the Sheriff's Trauma Star helicopter to Miami to be treated for severe injuries to his liver.

November 1, 2004

Deputy offered $30,000 to drop arrest of Miami man

Marathon - A Marathon deputy was offered a bribe of $30,000.00 to release a Miami man caught speeding southbound through Marathon in the early morning hours Sunday.

18 year old Diego Armando Ramirez was spotted by Deputy Luis Rivera at the 54 mile marker traveling 55 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone shortly after midnight Sunday. Deputy Rivera pulled the 1992 Mitsubishi over at the 53 mile marker. The driver identified himself as Jose Ramirez. He said he'd left his wallet at home, and didn't have his driver's license, insurance card or registration with him.

The deputy checked Jose Ramirez through his in-car computer. The photo on Jose Ramirez' driver's license did not match the driver. He placed the driver into the back seat of his patrol car, and then asked the passenger what the name of the driver was. The passenger said the driver's first name was Diego. Further investigation revealed the driver was Diego Armando Ramirez of Miami. Ramirez' license turned out to be suspended as well. He was arrested for giving a false name to a law enforcement officer and driving with his license suspended.

On the way to the Marathon Detention Center, Ramirez offered Deputy Rivera $30,000 several times in exchange for letting him go. Ramirez was further charged with bribery and he was booked into jail.

Man being transported to Detention Center attempts escape

Key West - A Fort Myer's Beach man managed to kick out the back window of a jail transportation van Saturday night and jump out of the van while the van was en route to the Detention Center.

30 year old William Peter apparently kicked out the back window of the van and jumped out on North Roosevelt Boulevard, even though he was handcuffed, with the cuffs secured to a belly chain. When Transportation Deputy Brian Luth heard the destruction of the window at 11:40 p.m., he pulled the van over. When he got out, he saw the suspect run away from the van and he chased him, tackling him a short distance away. The deputy was able to call on the radio for back up and, when back up Deputy Evan Calhoun arrived, he found Deputy Luth restraining Peter on the ground. He was taken back into custody.

Deputy Luth suffered scrapes on his hand and arm during the struggle. Peter was charged with assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief, resisting arrest with violence, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and escape. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Speeding motorcycles caught by Sheriff's deputies

Marathon - Two men from the Miami area were arrested Saturday evening after a deputy in Islamorada clocked them on his radar doing 140 miles per hours southbound.

Sgt. Wilson Williams spotted the motorcycles southbound at 4:30 p.m. His radar registered 77 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. When he tried to pull them over, they accelerated and began driving recklessly. He measured their speed at 140 miles per hour and discontinued his pursuit, calling ahead to deputies south of his location to be on the lookout for the motorcycles.

Between Islamorada and Marathon, a number of deputies attempted to stop the motorcycles without success. Finally, in Marathon, two deputies sitting at the traffic signal at Coco Plum Drive saw the motorcycles approaching. When the motorcycle driver's saw the deputies, they turned around and fled northbound. The deputies radioed to another deputy stationary at the 61 mile marker that the motorcycles were returning northbound. When the motorcycles did not appear at the 61 mile marker, it was determined they must have stopped somewhere in between.

A search turned up the motorcycles abandoned at the end of Blue Isle Boulevard at the 60 mile marker of the highway. The two driver's were found hiding nearby, one in the bathroom of a bar and one on the back porch of a residence behind the restaurant.

28 year old Miguel Angel Sanchez-Pompa of Coconut Grove was charged with having an expired license, having no motorcycle endorsement, aggravated fleeing and eluding law enforcement, reckless driving and unlawful speeding; 29 year Alejandro Rodriguez-Ramos of Miami was charged with having no motorcycle endorsement, aggravated fleeing and eluding, reckless driving and unlawful speed. They were both booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Deputies in Islamorada continue to target speeders 

Islamorada - In a continuing effort to crack down on speeding, improper passing and careless driving, Islamorada Deputies issued 54 citations and 4 warnings during the Fantasy Fest Weekend, Friday-Sunday.

Most of the citations were for speeding and running the red light at US 1 and Sunshine Boulevard at MM 90, the scene of numerous crashes. Also 19 vehicles were cited for passing in the center turn lane including several vehicles pulling boats on trailers. The highest speed violation was for 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. There were no serious vehicle crashes in Islamorada during the 3 day weekend.


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