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
July 31, 2008
Lobster diver's ID released
Bahia Honda - Detectives say they have notified the next of kin of a man who died while diving at Bahia Honda this morning.
32 year old Carlos Urruchaga of Miami was diving for lobster using a Hookah rig with two friends this morning in about 20 - 25 feet of water between the new and old Bahia Honda bridges when he surfaced in distress at about 9:45 a.m. He lost consciousness and was brought on board the boat. His friends called for assistance and performed CPR to shore where they were met by paramedics. He was rushed to Fishermen's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
Lobster diver dead at Bahia Honda
Bahia Honda - A MIami diver in the Keys for the sport lobster season died this morning off shore of Bahia Honda.
The 32 year old man was on a private vessel with two friends, diving on a hookah rig in about 20 - 25 feet of water between the new and old Bahia Honda bridges when he surfaced in distress at about 9:45 a.m. He lost consciousness and was brought on board the boat. His friends called for assistance and performed CPR to shore where they were met by paramedics. He was rushed to Fishermen's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
His name is being withheld until his next of kin can be notified. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
Walk-away from work release found, arrested
Key West - A Key West woman who failed to return to the jail from work release at a local restaurant was found at a bar in the city today.
A tip called in to a detention center work release officer at 12:30 p.m. led to the apprehension. The tipster said 39 year old Tina Halefrancis was at the Oreo Club at the corner of Front and Simonton Streets. Key West Police responded and found Halefrancis there. She was charged with escape and returned to the Detention Center. The charge carries the possibility of up to five years in prison.
Inmate walks away from work release
Key West - A Monroe County Detention Center inmate, on work release status working at a local restaurant, failed to return to the jail after work early today.
39 year old Tina Halefrancis of Key West was on work release, working at Denny's Restaurant on North Roosevelt Boulevard. The jail work release program allows low risk inmates to leave the jail to work at a job; their pay can be used to compensate victims, support family or goes into their jail canteen account. The work release program also helps inmates get a job prior to leaving jail so they can move seamlessly into the workforce when they are released.
Halefrancis was scheduled to return to the Detention Center at 1:45 a.m. after getting off of her shift at Denny's. When she failed to return, the detention center called the restaurant to find out where she was. The manager said he hadn't seen her since 11 p.m.
A notice to be on the lookout for Halefrancis was issued and the Key West Police Department was notified about the incident and given a photo of Halefrancis, who will be charged with escape when she is found. Halefrancis is a white female, five foot eight inches tall, 100 pounds with brown hair. She was booked into jail May 4th after the Key West Police Department picked her up on a warrant for violation of probation ref. charges of possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office or call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and may receive a reward if their information leads to an arrest. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
Key West man arrested for reckless driving, fleeing from detective
Key West - A Key West man is in jail after he fled from a detective who saw him driving and knew his driver's license was suspended.
A Sheriff's detective was on Northside Drive at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday when he spotted 27 year old Joshua Roth driving a maroon colored 2007 Lincoln. He looked at Roth and Roth looked at him and the detective saw Roth utter an expletive. The detective knew Roth had a suspended driver's license. In fact, Roth's license has been suspended 21 times since 2005.
The detective pulled behind Roth's car and Roth took off, turning right on 14th Street, then right onto North Roosevelt Boulevard. He traveled at a high rate of speed toward Stock Island, nearly hitting numerous cars head on as he fled.
The detective continued to follow him and radioed ahead to deputies on Stock Island, but once on Stock Island he disappeared. The Lincoln was found abandoned at Leo's Campground a short time later. A witness said a white male fitting Roth's description ran from the car, and asked for a ride to a house on 9th Avenue where he was staying. The witness refused to take him there, so Roth fled the area on foot.
Deputies went to the residence on 9th Avenue and found Roth there.Roth was charged with reckless driving, driving with his license suspended and resisting arrest and he was booked into jail.
July 30, 2008
Dade County man dies while diving for lobster
The first few hours of the sport lobster season in the Florida Keys has already brought one diving death off shore of the Key Largo area.
54 year old Randal Malcom from North Bay Village in Dade County died while diving for lobster. Paramedics pronounced him deceased at 8:58 a.m. today. The man was diving with four others on a private vessel about 4 miles off shore at Little Conch Reef. He reportedly surfaced in distress, was pulled into the boat he was traveling on and the others on the boat performed CPR as the boat was driven to shore. It was met on Bonito Lane in Rock Harbor by paramedics.
An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
Autopsy results on 16 year old not conclusive
Key Largo - The Medical Examiner's Office did not give a specific cause of death after performing an autopsy on a 16 year old girl who died while learning to dive offshore of Key Largo Sunday.
More tests need to be done and further examination is necessary before they give a cause of death, according to reports from the Medical Examiner. 16 year old Virginia McDougal of Miami was in a scuba diving class diving on Elbow Reef when the accident occurred.
Teens charged with business burglaries; implicated in shooting
Stock Island - Three teens have been arrested, accused of burglarizing two Stock Island businesses in the early morning hours July 19th.
When the owner of Rusty Anchor Restaurant opened for business on the 19th, she discovered someone had pried open the door of the office and taken a small amount of cash from a bank bag inside. The owner of Chico's Cantina arrived at work and found a similar scenario, the door was pried open and cash was taken.
Detectives Henry Hamilton and Juan Llera began investigating the two crimes. They spoke with two witnesses who live in the vicinity of 3rd Avenue. They said they returned to their apartment building in their vehicle at about 4 a.m. and saw two juveniles cross the road from the Rusty Anchor and get into a grey colored SUV. One of them they identified as 17 year old Miguel Ginart of Stock Island. They also said a few minutes later, the SUV with the juveniles inside pulled up to the parking lot of their apartment building. Someone in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle fired a gun at the witnesses car. They called the shooting in the the Sheriff's Office. Deputies were dispatched and found the car grey colored SUV a short distance from the scene. They identified the three boys inside as Ginart, 14 year old Ariel Roman of Stock Island and 16 year old John Cruz of Key Haven. They searched the car, but found no gun inside. They did observe cash in the car, but since the burglaries had not yet been reported, they did not know the cash may have been proceeds of a crime. They turned the boys and the vehicle loose after documenting the traffic stop.
Detectives later found evidence of eight gunshots, four in the car and four in and around the area of the car. The witnesses could not identify who specifically was the shooter.
Detectives spoke with Miguel Ginart, who was already incarcerated for violating his house arrest. He is on house arrest for three other burglaries committed earlier this year. Ginart admitted driving the car with the other two boys inside. They then spoke with Roman, who admitted to being present with Ginart during the burglaries at the Rusty Anchor and at Chico's Cantina. In a separate interview, Cruz also admitted to being present during both burglaries. He said he acted as lookout while the other two boys entered Rusty Anchor.
All three boys denied shooting a gun at the witnesses car. Detectives are still investigating that incident. The three boys have been charged with two counts each of burglary, criminal mischief and theft.
July 28, 2008
16 year old dies in dive accident
Key Largo - A 16 year old Miami girl is dead, the victim of a dive accident off shore of Key Largo Sunday afternoon.
16 year old Virginia "Ginny" McDougal was learning to scuba dive when she died. She was with a group of people taking the class about five miles off shore of Key Largo at a location called Elbow Reef. They were on board a dive vessel out of Atlantis Dive Center. Her father, Robert, who is a certified scuba diver, was also present.
According to witnesses, McDougal was diving at about 26 feet. She surfaced from the dive about 2:30 p.m. and was having trouble. Employees on the dive boat pulled her out of the water. She was not conscious and they began performing CPR. A boat from Tow Boat U.S. was nearby and, because it was determined they could transport her faster, they took her on board, continued CPR and took her to shore where they were met by paramedics.
She was transported to Mariner's Hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of her death.
July 25, 2008
Search warrant served; Key Largo man arrested
Key Largo - Sheriff's detectives with the Special Investigations Division served a search warrant at a home in Hibiscus Park in Key Largo Thursday evening.
During the search, detectives found six crack cocaine rocks and 12 grams of marijuana. The admitted owner of the drugs, 67 year old resident Harry Jones, was arrested. He was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana. He was booked into jail.
15 year old charged with felony criminal mischief
Key Largo - A 15 year old Key Largo boy who admitted to damaging an upper Keys business with graffiti is under arrest.
Deputy Michael Sielicki was dispatched to the Adult Video Outlet in Key Largo to reports that the building had been damaged with graffiti. The owner showed the deputy the damage, saying it had been done sometime over night. He said he believed 15 year old Hunter Hickey to be a suspect because he'd been asked to leave the premises several times, and because he recognized the graffiti as Hickey's particular markings.
Other nearby business owners also told the deputy they suspected Hickey of doing the damage. Similar graffiti marks were found on the nearby Tom Thumb store and on a dumpster at the nearby Harley Davidson rental store. As the deputy was investigating, a witness drove up and told him he'd seen Hickey at midnight drawing graffiti in the area of Transylvania Avenue.
Deputy Sielicki went to Hickey's house. Upon questioning the boy, Hickey admitted to doing the damage. He was placed under arrest, booked at the Monroe County Detention Center for one count of felony Criminal Mischief and one count of misdemeanor Criminal Mischief, and turned over to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice. Hickey is also a suspect in numerous other cases of graffiti related criminal mischief in the upper Keys so more charges may be pending.
July 24, 2008
Man wanted federally may be in the Keys
A man wanted on a federal warrant may be hiding out in the Florida Keys.
Anyone who knows where to find 42 year old Angel Arce-Perez should call the Monroe County Sheriff's Office immediately or contact the Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in West Palm Beach, the office which originated the investigation.
The federal warrant charges Arce-Perez with alien smuggling in a case which resulted in a death. According to detectives, he may be staying in the Marathon area and may be working as a roofer. He also reportedly may be armed and dangerous.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tipster's information leads to an arrest, he or she would be eligible for a substantial cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
Investigation into woman's death leads to Miami
The investigation into the death of a woman off shore of the Seven Mile Bridge has led Monroe County Sheriff's detectives to Miami.
The City of Miami Police Department has taken over the lead in the investigation, which started July 18th when the woman's body was discovered in the water about 200 yards of shore in shallow water, bound and weighed down. An autopsy failed to determine a specific cause of death.
All further media inquiries should be directed to the City of Miami Police Public Information Office. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office will continue to assist that agency in the investigation, but in the interests of maintaining case integrity, that agency will take over public comment about the case.
July 22, 2008
Woman injured during robbery
Marathon - A Marathon woman was injured when a man robbed her of her purse Monday night.
The 27 year old victim said she was sitting in her car just before 9 p.m. in the parking lot of Walgreens. She said a man she knows only as "Mark" approached, opened her car door and sat in her passenger seat. They were reportedly talking when "Mark" suddenly grabbed her purse and ran from the car.
The victim said she chased him. He jumped into a vehicle. She grabbed the driver's side seatbelt through an open window. He yelled at her to let go, then took off in the vehicle, dragging her down the street.
The victim suffered a number of injuries from being dragged, including "road rash" and lacerations to her face, arms and legs. She was taken to Fishermen's Hospital where she was treated and released. Detectives are investigating.
Big Pine woman arrested for stealing wallet, trying to use ATM card
Marathon - A Big Pine Key woman who stole a man's wallet and tried to use his bank card at an ATM machine was arrested Monday on a warrant.
On July 3rd, a two truck driver called the Sheriff's Office to report someone stealing his wallet. He said he was towing a vehicle on 24th Street. He said he left the door to his truck open slightly and his wallet on the seat. He said a woman later identified as 20 year old Stacy Lingerfelt was there and appeared to be intoxicated. He said she kept asking him for money. Just before he noticed the wallet missing, she left the area. He said he believes she took the wallet.
The victim went to his bank to cancel his bank card and they told him someone had tried to use it at a Tom Thumb store in Marathon located at 2565 Overseas Highway.
Deputies Rosa DiGiovanni and Marc Maison went to the Tom Thumb in question. They reviewed a security tape and saw Lingerfelt on the tape with what looked like a wallet in her hand, trying to use the ATM machine. A clerk at the store also said she saw Lingerfelt. She said after trying to use the ATM machine, Lingerfelt walked around the store, bought a soda, then left.
A warrant was issued for Lingerfelt's arrest. On Monday, she was picked up on the warrant, charged with burglary, theft and criminal use of personal identification. She was booked into jail.
July 20, 2008
Texas man arrested for burglary of vehicle
Stock Island - A Texas man is in jail charged with rummaging through cars on Suncrest Road on Stock Island in the early morning hours today.
Deputy Evan Calhoun was on patrol in the area of Suncrest Road at 2:30 a.m. when he noticed a man sitting in a car smoking a cigarette. Since the man was doing nothing wrong that he could see, he continued on his way making a mental note of the incident. Just 15 minutes later, Sheriff's dispatchers received a call from a home in that area. The caller said he'd just chased a man who was attempting to enter parked cars on the street.
Deputy Calhoun returned to Suncrest Road with Deputy Caridad Bellon. They spoke with the witness who said he'd hard noises outside, had seen a man outside rummaging through the tool boxes in the back of two trucks and trying the doors of another vehicle. He'd gone outside and chased him into a nearby vacant lot, then called the Sheriff's Office..
The deputies searched the vacant lot and found 27 year old Mitchell Parker of Galvaston, TExas hiding under a U-Haul truck parked there. He was the same man seen by Deputy Calhoun sitting in the car smoking. They discovered he'd removed a floor jack from the back of one of the trucks. He hadn't taken anything else from the vehicles prior to being apprehended.
Parker was charged with trespassing in a vehicle, burglary of a vehicle, theft and loitering and prowling. He was taken to jail.
July 19, 2008
Autopsy doesn't reveal cause of death. Victim still unidentified.
The Medical Examiner completed an autopsy on the body of a woman found Thursday off shore of the Seven Mile Bridge south of Marathon.
According to the Medical Examiner and Sheriff's detectives, the autopsy did not reveal a definitive cause of death for the unidentified Caucasian woman, although detectives say they are treating it as a homicide, since she was bound and weighed down with a heavy object. She had reportedly been in the water for two to three days when a passing boater spotted her washed up in an area of flats, off shore of the 41.5 mile marker on the oceanside. She is estimated to be in her 20s or 30s, five foot five inches tall, 150 pounds with reddish brown hair.
The Medical Examiner's Office was able to take her fingerprints, which were entered in the Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS). They also took a sample of her DNA which is being sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for entry into their DNA database. Dental Impressions were taken to assist in identification as well.
Anyone with information which might help identify the unknown victim should contact the Monroe County Sheriff's Office immediately at 305-289-2410. 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 substantial cash reward. The Crime Stoppers Hot Line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
July 19, 2008
Deputies arrest sex offender for failing to register
Key West - Deputies patrolling in the city of Key West arrested a man for failing to register as a sex offender.
Deputies Walter Kirchner and Caridad Bellon were on foot patrol at Charles McCoy Indigenous Park on Atlantic Boulevard when they came across a man sleeping along the fence line of the park. They asked him for identification, but he said he had none. He gave them the name Eugene Heister, but a check of that name turned up no record found.
Deputy Kirchner asked the man if he had anything in his possession with that name on it. As the man was digging through his possessions, the deputies spotted what looked like an identification card. It turned out to be ID from Pennsylvania in the name of Harry Heister, 49 years of age. A check on that name revealed Heister to be a sex offender in Pennsylvania. He is also a convicted felon and the deputies found marijuana in his possession as well. Heister said he'd been in Monroe County for six weeks.
He was arrested, charged with failure to register as a sex offender and as a convicted felon. He was also charged with possession of marijuana and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer and he was taken to jail.
July 16, 2008
Drug arrests in Stock Island trailer park
Stock Island - Narcotics detectives were in Ocean Spray Trailer Park on Stock Island investigating numerous complaints about drug traffic in the area Wednesday. They wound up making two arrests on drug charges.
While patrolling through the park, detectives encountered 18 year old Arthur Shine. They asked him if he had any drugs in his possession. He said he didn't, and told the detectives they could search him and search his house if they wanted to.
The detectives took him up on his offer and found 47 crack cocaine rocks wrapped in a gray and black colored hat. They asked Shine if the drugs were his and he said "I'm going to jail. I've got nothing to say."
His words proved to be prophetic. He was arrested, charged with possession of cocaine and he was taken to jail.
A short time later, detectives were walking around the trailer park. As they passed the open door of #15, they could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside.
They knocked on the door and 41 year old Luis Vasquez Tafoya answered. They identified themselves as detectives and asked Tafoya if he had been smoking marijuana. He denied it and gave them permission to search his trailer.
Inside, the detectives found a plastic bag of marijuana. Tafoya admitted the illegal substance was his. He was arrested, charged with possession of marijuana, and he was booked into jail.
July 18, 2008
Detectives investigate death
Marathon - Sheriff's Office Homicide Detectives are investigating the death of a woman found offshore of the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge this morning.
A passing boater spotted the woman's body at about 11:00 a.m., which had washed up on an area of flats on the ocean side of the bridge, about 200 yards offshore. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard responded initially, confirming there was indeed a body. They then notified the Sheriff's Office which has taken over the investigation.
The body was bound and weighed down with a heavy object. Detectives decline to release details of what she was bound with, or what the heavy object was. She was clothed in a T-shirt and shorts. She may have been in the water for a couple of days. She has not yet been identified. Detectives say they will attempt to identify her using fingerprints.
Her body has been turned over to the Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy will be done as soon as possible to determine the cause of her death and to assist in identification.
Anyone who suspects they might know who the woman is should contact the Sheriff's Office immediately. Special Operations Detectives can be reached at 305-289-2410. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a caller's information leads to an arrest, he or she would be eligible for a substantial cash reward. The Crime Stoppers Hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
July 17, 2008
Boat motor theft leads to arrest of two men
Key Largo - A Bradenton man who stole a boat motor, and the Key Largo man who bought it from him were both arrested by Sheriff's detectives.
31 year old Frank Echemendia of Bradenton and 63 year old Luis Montenegro of Key Largo are the ones accused of the crime of dealing in stolen property. Detective Jason Madnick says he interviewed Echemendia's girlfriend in early July. She told him she was with Echemendia in May when he took a boat, motor and trailer from Clearwater, Florida. She said he just hooked up to it and drove it to Tampa, where he removed the Yamaha 150 hp motor and abandoned the boat and trailer. She said he then contacted Montenegro, who wired him enough money to drive the motor to the Keys.
According to the girlfriend, she and Echemendia delivered the motor to Montenegro in May, who paid them more cash at the time of delivery, for a $850.00.
The motor was found on a boat belonging to Montenegro, moored at the 96.4 mile marker where he lives. Warrants were issued for both men. Echemendia was already in jail where he faces multiple burglary and theft charges from a crime spree he and his girlfriend took part in in May. He was further charged with the warrant for dealing in stolen property. On July 16th, Montenegro was picked up and also charged with the same crime. The motor will be returned to the owner.
Stock Island man arrested for break in at Big Pine Storage facility
Stock Island - A Stock Island man was picked up on an outstanding warrant Tuesday for his part in a break in that took place at a storage facility on Stock Island June 18th.
34 year old Jorge Garmas was the driver of a truck pulled over by Sheriff's deputies that night, after a witness reported seeing it at A1A Storage on Big Pine Key. The witness said he saw three men loading items from storage units there into the truck. Two other men were in the truck with Garmas - 56 year old Cesar Davila and 36 year old Luis Garcia, both of Stock Island.
In the truck, deputies found numerous items stolen from the Big Pine Key storage units. They also found burglary tools, including bolt cutters and a box of latex rubber gloves. At the time, Garmas and the two other men were arrested for burglary and possession of burglary tools.
Further investigation by Detective Juan Llera, assisted by other detectives, revealed some of the property in the truck came from a second break in that same night at Keys Self Mini Storage on Stock Island. A search warrant was served at Garmas' house on July 2nd. Approximately $45,000 worth of more stolen property was found there, taken from Keys Self Mini Storage.
Warrants were issued for all three men found in the truck on June 18th. On July 11th, both Cesar Davila and Luis Garcia were charged with the warrants for grand theft. On July 15th, Jorge Garmas was found hiding in a trailer on Stock Island. Detectives received information he was in the trailer on Maloney AVenue and deputies responded. He was found crouched down in a bathroom closet. He was taken into custody and charged with grand theft and resisting arrest without violence. Another man in the trailer, 54 year old Guillermo Morales, had been informed of the warrant for Garmas earlier, so he was arrested and charged with harboring the wanted felon.
Detectives say Garmas is also a suspect in numerous other burglaries and thefts which have taken place in the Stock Island area.
July 14, 2008
Key Largo man charged with burglary, sexual battery
Key Largo – A Key Largo woman called 911 early today to report someone entering her home and sexually battering her while she slept.
The victim, who is acquainted with the suspect, told Detective Linda Mixon that 42 year old Bond Ferrer used a key to enter her home while she slept in her bed with her young daughter. She says she woke about 4:45 a.m. to find he’d penetrated her with his fingers. She began screaming at him and he left. She followed him to the door and grabbed his keys, removing her house keys from his key ring. As he drove away, she grabbed her cell phone and called 911.
Ferrer was picked up a short time later and positively identified by the victim as the person who raped her. He was charged with burglary with battery on the occupant and with sexual battery. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
July 14, 2008
Arizona man dies while snorkeling
Key Largo - An Arizona man, in the Keys with family to scatter his mother’s ashes on the water, died while snorkeling off shore of Key Largo.
55 year old Phillip Viator of Mesa, Arizona and family members who’d gathered from several different areas of the country rented a boat for the day and had just scattered the ashes, then decided to go snorkeling at White Bank Dry Rocks. Everyone except Viator jumped into the water. He finished a phone call to his wife, then jumped in himself. According to Detective Terry Smith, it appears from all accounts that Viator almost immediately began having trouble breathing.
Several others saw his distress and swam over to help him, by which time he was face down in the water. They began rescue breathing and got him into the boat where they began Cardio Pulmonary Resusitation. They called the Coast Guard, and they responded, transporting Viator to shore. Despite all their efforts, he could not be revived and was pronounced dead by paramedics upon reaching shore.
An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
July 12, 2008
Two airlifted after motorcycle accident
The Sheriff's Trauma Star helicopter airlifted two people from Mariner's Hospital in Tavernier to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami today after a motorcycle left them with serious injuries.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident which reportedly happened just before 2 a.m. at the 103.4 mile marker of the highway in Key Largo. The accident involved a passenger vehicle and three motorcycles. The driver of the passenger vehicle may have fled the scene, according to initial reports. The southbound lanes of the highway were closed for a little over an hour. All traffic is currently flowing smoothly through the area.
Call the Florida Highway Patrol for details of the accident.
Johnson was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and criminal mischief. More arrests may be pending in the cases.
July 7, 2008
Tavernier woman charged with prescription fraud
Tavernier - A Tavernier woman employed by an upper Keys physician is under arrest for calling in a number of prescriptions for herself to a local pharmacy.
Deputy Kyle Page initially responded to a call from the doctor's office because the doctor had been alerted to the possible fraud by a local pharmacy. The pharmacist reported receiving a call from someone at the doctor's office giving the name "Amy" had called the pharmacy to order a prescription of hydrocodone. The prescription was for another employee of the office named Maegan Bynum. The pharmacist became suspicious because he recognized the voice on the phone as belonging to Bynum herself, whom he'd spoken to before.
Further investigation revealed 26 year old Bynum had previously called in prescriptions for hydrocodone as well. She had a legitimate prescription for the drug in 2007, but the doctor said she'd not authorized any refills for it. None of the refill prescriptions were authorized by the doctor. A warrant was issued for her arrest.
On July 4th, Bynum was arrested for three counts of obtaining a prescription fraudulently. She was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
July 3, 2008
Couple charged with burglarizing hotel rooms
Sugarloaf Key - A Sugarloaf Key couple is in jail, charged with breaking in to three occupied rooms at the Sugarloaf Lodge in June.
Deputies took a report on June 15th, and two more on June 17th about occupied rooms being burglarized. In all three cases, the occupants were asleep when someone entered and took wallets, cash and other items. In one case, there were two dogs in the room that began growling and woke up one victim. He spotted a man in his room and chased him as he fled out the door. The victim saw the man get in to a pickup truck in the parking lot. He described the truck as a gray colored Chevrolet full sized truck with a standard cab, short bed and an aluminum topper on the back.
The owner of the Lodge told deputies he'd recently fired 43 year old Stacey McDorman and suspected she might be involved in the crimes. Investigations by Detective Henry DelValle revealed she and her husband, James McDorman, own a truck fitting the description of the one the suspect fled in.
Detective DelValle met with James McDorman, who was already in jail after being arrested with his wife for burglarizing a storage shed and trying to sell the fishing equipment he'd taken from it. He told the detective his wife committed the crimes at the Lodge and he went with her to make sure she was safe. The detective then met with Stacey McDorman who said her husband had committed the crimes while she rode along with him in the truck.
Both of them were arrested and charged with three counts of burglary of an occupied dwelling. They are being held in the Monroe County Detention Center.
Girl charged with burglarizing hotel room
Key Largo - A 13 year old Key Largo girl was arrested Wednesday, charged with burglarizing a hotel room.
Deputy Ryan Cowart responded to the Sunset Cove Resort June 26th to a report of a burglarized hotel room. While the occupants were at dinner, someone entered the room through a window and took a number of items, including Ipods, cell phones and cash. During a follow up investigation by Deputy Edgar Piniero, a maintenance man at the resort said he'd seen a couple of young boys in the area just prior to the crime being committed. He said he'd asked the two of them to leave. He was able to identify one of the boys by name.
Deputy Piniero located the boy and asked him about the burglary. The boy identified 13 year old Dakota McManus as the person who broke into the hotel room. He said McManus tried to give him a bag full of stolen items afterward, but he claims he told her he didn't want anything to do with it.
Deputy Piniero then interviewed McManus. She admitted to committing the break in. A warrant was issued for her arrest and she was picked up Wednesday, charged with burglary and theft, and booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.
July 1, 2008
Couple from Tampa charged with second auto burglary
Islamorada - A Tampa couple, arrested June 18th for smashing the window of a car and stealing a purse from inside, have been charged with a second car burglary.
39 year old Juan Gonzalez and 37 year old Dalia Ortega were first arrested after they smashed the window of a car parked at the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge and stole a purse. The victims saw their van parked next to their car a short time before the burglary and, after discovering the purse missing, reported it to the Sheriff's Office. When the van was pulled over in Marathon just minutes later, some of the property stolen was found inside. Gonzalez and Ortega were booked into jail on burglary charges.
Further investigation revealed additional property in the van which was traced to a vehicle burglary in Islamorada the same day as the first burglary. The vehicle, parked at Robbie's Marina, also had it's window smashed and a purse stolen from inside. A credit card from that purse was used to purchase items from Walgreens in Marathon. The purchased items were also found in the van.
Warrants were obtained for Gonzalez and Ortega and they were charged Monday with a second count of burglary, along with theft, and two counts each of criminal use of personal identification and fraud.
Credit Card Fraud suspect apprehended
Key Largo - A suspect in a credit card fraud case was caught by an alert deputy who spotted him standing in line at a convenience store.
Deputy Derek Paul took a report of a credit card fraud June 27th. The victim received information his card had been used at Walgreens in Key Largo. Deputy Paul and the victim reviewed surveillance tapes with the manager of the store and saw the two people, a man and a woman. The man was using the stolen card to make a purchase.
Later that same day, Deputy Paul was in line to make a purchase at the Shell Station in Key Largo when he spotted a man and a woman in front of him who looked like the same couple using the stolen card at Walgreens. He followed them out of the store and detained them for further investigation. The man was identified as 36 year old Denis Gonzalez of Hialeah. He was arrested and charged with using the personal identity of another without consent and he was booked into jail.