Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

Click here to read press releases on other Sheriff's Office events and occurrences

 

September 29, 2009

Another home with new appliances missing

Key Largo - Another home, newly constructed, is missing it's appliances according to deputies in Key Largo. This is the third such burglary in the Key Largo area in the past week.

According to reports by Deputy John Perez, sometime over the weekend, someone forced open a back window to gain entrance to the home on Barracuda Boulevard. They removed the dishwasher, stove, microwave and refrigerator from inside. The owner discovered the theft Monday.

Detective Jason Madnick is investigating these cases. Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff's Office or contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters may remain anonymous and may receive a reward if their information leads to an arrest. Tips can be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or called in to the Crime Stoppers hot line at 1-800-346-TIPS.

Information leads to arrest; search warrant results in more charges

Key Largo - Sheriff's deputies and detectives arrested a man and a woman for trespassing at an upper Keys resort Saturday; after a search of the man's car, he was further charged with possessing various drugs.

Detectives received information Friday that a white Chevrolet Cobalt with New York tags was en route to Key West with drugs and stolen property inside. The person who was reportedly driving the car was Drew Barrisi of Seldon, New York. A notice to be on the lookout for the car was issued and on Saturday, in the early morning hours, Deputy Bryan Cross found it parked near the Marriott Resort in Key Largo. The deputy was at the resort investigating reports from security officers of suspicious people trespassing at the resort.

When Deputy Cross arrived, a security officer was detaining 18 year old Brittany Ozarowski and 22 year old Drew Barrisi. He said they and two others were found under one the buildings looking in car windows and trying door handles on cars. The two suspects were uncooperative, told several inconsistent stories about why they were there, and were finally taken into custody and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

A search of Ozarowski's wallet turned up pills she did not have a prescription for. She was further charged with possession of a controlled substance. The car was towed.

Because of the information about drugs and stolen property in the car, a Florida Highway Patrol K-9 unit responded and did an exterior search of the vehicle. The dog alerted on the trunk of the car, indicating the presence of drugs. A search warrant was obtained for the car. Inside the trunk, detectives found marijuana, various narcotic pills including Ecstasy and drug paraphernalia. They also found various pieces of property, including two cell phones, several watches and pairs of sunglasses, a digital camera, a laptop computer and identification and credit cards which do not belong to Barrisi.

Barrisi was further charged with possession of marijuana, possession of prescription drugs, possession of ecstasy, possession of drug paraphernalia. Detectives will be investigating further to see if any of the property found in the car corresponds to property reported stolen. More charges may be pending.

September 28, 2009

Appliances stolen from two new homes in Key Largo

Key Largo - Sheriff's detectives are investigating the theft of appliances from two new homes on Transylvania Avenue in Key Largo.

The contractor told Detective Don Dalton he last saw the appliances in the homes Friday night. Saturday morning, the owner of the homes checked on them and found dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens and cook tops gone. According to reports, all of the electrical hookups were neatly severed. Entrance was gained through rear windows, which had been pried open.

Detective Sgt. Dave Carey said in light of these burglaries, and several burglaries which took place last week in the Pirate's Cove Subdivision in Key Largo, people need to be on alert.

"We really need people to keep their eyes and ears open and to call us if they see any kind of unusual activity, particularly around homes that have part time residents, or that are vacant," he said. "In these most recent cases, the burglars had to use some kind of large truck to move the appliances and someone must have seen something," he said.

Sheriff Peryam encourages people to call anytime they think something is amiss.

"Even if it turns out to be nothing, we'd rather have the opportunity to check it out," Sheriff Peryam said. "The worst thing is to find a crime that has occurred and then talk to a neighbor who saw it happening, but didn't call because he wasn't sure," he said.

Anyone who has information about these crimes can call Detective Don Dalton at 305-853-3211 or contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters may remain anonymous and may receive a reward if their information leads to an arrest. Tips can be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or called in to the Crime Stoppers hot line at 1-800-346-TIPS.

September 23, 2009

Three men arrested for loitering, prowling in boat storage area

Rock Harbor - Deputies responded to Key Largo Ocean Resorts and caught three Miami men who may have been intending to steal boat motors.

A security guard at the resort called Sheriff's dispatchers to report three men who'd climbed over a fence near the area where boats are stored. He said they were behind a boat, where the motor is, and he said they had two tool boxes with them, one red and one black.

When Deputies Derek Paul and Ray Jodlowski arrived at 12:30 a.m., they saw a silver colored Lincoln parked nearby with no one in it. At that point, the security guard told the deputies he'd just seen the suspects jump back over the fence and run into a nearby wooded area.

19 year old Ivan Aviles, 18 year old Ariel Otero and 19 year old Carlos Puron were all found hiding in the woods. The Lincoln was registered to Aviles and it was towed. All three men were charged with loitering and prowling and they were booked into jail.

September 21, 2009

Tavernier man charged with molesting young girl

Tavernier - A Tavernier man is in custody in Lake Wales, Florida charged with molesting a young girl in the Florida Keys.

64 year old Rafael Castellanos was picked up today in Lake Wales by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He was charged with 11 counts of sexual assault on a victim under the age of 12 and 3 counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 12. Detective Linda Mixon, with the Sheriff's Crimes Against Women and Children's Unit is the lead investigator on the case.

His victim is handicapped; some of the molestation took place just prior to and after she had surgery. After surgery she had casts on both legs for a period of time and Castellanos sexually molested her while she was immobilized in the casts.

The victim told her mother what Castellanos had done to her on September 12th. She says the abuse has been going on for two years, since she turned 10 years old. The sexual abuse took place at a home on Coconut Row in Tavernier where Castellanos was living.

Stolen car found submerged

Marathon - A car reported stolen in Marathon Saturday was found in a canal east of Faro Blanco Marina several hours later.

The victim reported her 2005 Toyota Camry stolen from her driveway on 25th Street oceanside sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. At 10 a.m., dispatchers received a report that a car was found submerged in a canal in Marathon. Deputies responded, along with Marathon Fire/Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard. No one was in the vehicle, which was submerged in about six feet of water.

When the vehicle was pulled from the water, the key was found in the ignition; the car was in 3rd gear and the two rear windows were partially down.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call 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. Anonymous tips may be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

Five burglaries in Key Largo neighborhood

Key Largo - Detectives are investigating five burglaries in a Key Largo neighborhood; four were reported Saturday morning and one Monday (today).

A woman walking her dog at 9:30 a.m. Saturday discovered two of the break ins after noticing glass in the front door of a home on Buccaneer Point broken. She subsequently noticed the same thing at a nearby residence on the same street. Deputy Robert Dosh and Sgt. Susan Greenwood, who responded to investigate, found two more break ins nearby.In all four cases, windows were broken and forced entry was made to the inside of the homes. In one of the four burglaries, a flat screen television was taken. It is unclear if anything was taken in the other three break is.

In the fifth incident, reported Monday, a window was also broken to gain entry and a flat screen television was stolen. Detectives are investigating.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call 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. Anonymous tips may be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

Motorcycle related accidents over the weekend

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office responded to six vehicle accidents over the weekend involving motorcycles:

Bars, conveniece stores checked for underaged sale of alcohol

Monroe County - The Sheriff's Special Investigations Division conducted checks of businesses that sell alcohol from Key Largo to Islamorada on Sunday.Out of 20 businesses checked, four served alcohol to minors.

Of the four violations, three people were issued notices to appear in court; one was arrested because it was her second time selling alcohol to a minor within a year's time. Those caught selling alcohol to minors were:

The violations issued to sales clerks can include a penalty of up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, $235 in court cost, $75 in cost of prosecution, and $40 in cost of investigation.

The Licensee Violations are:
1st offense $1000 fine and 7 day suspension
2nd offense $3000 fine and 30 day suspension
3rd offense Revocation of license.

The remaining 16 businesses checked, were in compliance with the law. This operation was conducted in cooperation with the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community.

September 19, 2009

Teen charged with car theft, burglary

Marathon - A Marathon teen has been charged with stealing a car, and a number of items inside the car.

On September 7th, a woman reported her car was stolen from a home on Harbor Drive. She told Deputy Sydney Whitehouse she left the keys in the center console and the unlocked when she parked it at 11 p.m. It was gone when she woke up the next day.

The car was found parked on the side of the road on Gulfstream Boulevard. A number of items, including two cameras, a stereo and a ball cap, were missing from inside.

A teacher at Marathon High School called the Sheriff's Office on September 8th and reported overhearing three boys talking about stealing something. She said she knew about the stolen car and thought that might be what they were talking about. She identified one of the boys as 16 year old Michael Brabham.

That same day, the victim told Deputy Whitehouse she'd been contacted by Brabham, who admitted taking her car and the stuff from inside. Deputy Whitehouse interviewed Brabham and he again admitted committing the crimes. He said he was just walking by and decided to look inside the car. When he saw the keys, he decided to take it for a drive.

All of the stolen items except the stereo and the ball cap were returned to the victim. A warrant was issued for Brabham for burglary, theft and grand theft auto. He was arrested on the charges Friday and was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

September 18, 2009

Convicted felon charged with weapon offenses

Big Pine Key - A Big Pine Key man who is a convicted felon was arrested Thursday after he fired a gun into the air outside his home on Begonia Drive.

Deputies Jon Riggs and Scott Ward responded to the area of Begonia Drive at 10:30 p.m. after a woman called to report hearing shots fired. When they arrived, the witness pointed to a house and said the man at the house had been shooting a gun. She said she heard him on his cell phone outside talking to someone. She said she overheard him laughing and saying the "cops would never find me" and saying "I have to go because I hear sirens and I need to get inside."

The deputies approached the house and saw 44 year old Donald Perry leaning on a counter with a gun beside him on the countertop. When the officers announced themselves, he tried to cover the gun with a cushion. Perry was detained. The gun, a .44 caliber Colt Anaconda, was warm to the touch and it was obvious it had recently been fired. Perry admitted to shooting it up in the air outside his house. He also admitted he'd been drinking alcohol.

He was arrested, charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and with  using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. He was booked into jail.

September 14, 2009

Woman charged with attempted murder

Key West - A Key West woman has been charged with attempting to kill a man in an argument over a woman.

37 year old Michelle Henson is accused of cutting the victim's throat with a box cutter type knife. The 48 year old victim was taken to Lower Keys Hospital where he received nine stitches to close the cut. The victim said he was on board Henson's houseboat in Cow Key Channel off shore of South Roosevelt Boulevard with his girlfriend; Henson was there with her boyfriend, who later left the boat. The victim said after he left, Henson began making sexual advances to his girlfriend. He got upset and jumped in the water to go to shore. He said Henson jumped in the water after him, told him she was going to kill him, then cut his throat with a box cutter.

He said he swam to shore and waved down a man who was exercising who called 911 on his cell phone. An ambulance responded, along with Deputy Evan Calhoun and Sgt. Tom Walker. The victim was taken to the hospital and the U.S. Coast Guard took the two officers out to the boat. Henson was taken into custody. She was later positively identified by the victim as the person who stabbed him.

Henson was charged with attempted murder. She was booked into jail.

Sheriff's detectives investigate missing boater; recovered body

Big Coppitt Key - Sheriff's detectives are investigating the case of a missing boater and the recovery of a body to determine if the two cases are related.

The Sheriff's Office received a call Saturday from a person who'd been walking along Boca Chica Beach on Big Coppitt Key and had found a boat washed ashore. Deputy David Cruz responded. He found a 22 foot vessel. The motor was down, the dive flag was up and the anchor line was out, although the end of the line was frayed and there was no anchor on the end of it. On board, the deputy found a wallet with identification belonging to 48 year old David Schermerhorn of Big Coppitt Key. Also on the boat was Schermerhorn's cell phone, sunglasses and clothing.

Investigations revealed Schermerhorn had his boat put into the water earlier in the week at Murray's Marine on Stock Island. His vehicle was found in the parking lot of the marina. His apartment was padlocked from the outside. His landlady said she'd last seen him the previous Saturday.

A short time after the boat was found, the United States Coast Guard reported they found partial remains of a human body near the Western Sambos offshore of the Atlantic side of the lower Keys. According to Detective Terry Smith the remains will not allow for positive identification of the body, so there is no way to know for sure if the remains are Schermerhorn. DNA tests will have to be performed in order to confirm that it is him. He said so far, his investigation of the recovered boat and the human remains do not indicate any type of foul play involved in either case.

The investigation continues.

September 12, 2009

Key Largo man charged with burglary, assault

Key Largo - A Key Largo man who broke into his ex-wife's home and threatened a neighbor with a hammer is under arrest.

60 year old Larry Locascio broke in to his ex wife's house on Avenue A in Key Largo Friday evening. When she arrived home at 6:15 p.m., she told Deputy Ian Barnett her neighbor came over to talk to her as she was pulling in the driveway. She said as she was talking with the neighbor, Locascio came out of her house waving a hammer. He yelled at the neighbor to leave her alone, then approached him still waving the hammer. That is when she called 911 for help.

Deputy Barnett arrived and placed Locascio under arrest. He was charged with burglary, trespassing and aggravated assault and he was booked into jail.

Woman charged with prostitution

Stock Island - A Stock Island woman was charged with soliciting prostitution Friday after she offered a "blow job" for $25.00 to an undercover officer.

Special Investigations Detectives working undercover were in the area of Fourth Avenue on Stock Island at 2 p.m. when they saw 39 year old Melissa Damis riding her bike up and down the road. When she noticed them looking at her, she approached the car. The detective asked if she was "working". She said she was "always working". He asked her how much for a 'blow job". She said $30.00. He bargained with her, finally settling on a price of $25.00.

She put her bicycle in the back of the vehicle, then began getting into the front of the vehicle. At that point she was placed under arrest.

A search turned up a pipe used to smoke crack cocaine. She was charged with soliciting prostitution and possession of drug paraphernalia and she was booked into jail.

September 11, 2009

Tires slashed in Marathon

Marathon - Seven people had a tire slashed on their cars, parked on 2nd Avenue Gulfside in Marathon.

Deputies Rosa DiGiovanni and Marc Maison took reports from seven victims who live on 2nd Avenue Gulf between 107th and 109th Street. Each vehicle had one tire slashed by a sharp object of some sort.

The vandalism took place sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call 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.

Woman arrested for prescription fraud

Key West - Sheriff's detectives arrested a Big Pine Key woman for prescription fraud Thursday.

31 year old Crystal Ianetta is accused of calling in a co-worker's prescription order to a Key West pharmacy several times, then picking the prescriptions up, saying she was picking them up for her friend. She did not have permission to order or pick up the prescription medication. When the co-worker tried to refill her prescription herself, she and the pharmacist discovered the crime. The suspect was identified on a video tape fraudulently picking up the prescription.

Detectives from the Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division obtained a warrant for Iannetta's arrest. On Thursday, she was charged with three counts of prescription fraud. She was booked into jail.

September 7, 2009

Five lower units taken

Monroe County - Deputies took reports this weekend of four lower units stolen from boats in the county.

In Key Largo, a lower unit from a Yamaha 250 hp engine was stolen on St. Thomas Avenue sometime between 8/31 and 9/5; a lower unit from a Mercury 250 hp engine was taken from Key Largo Ocean Resorts sometime over the last two weeks; and two lower units were taken from Yamaha 250 hp engines on Central Avenue in Key Largo sometime between 8/23 and 9/5.

On Big Pine Key, a lower unit was taken from a Yamaha 225 hp engine. The boat was parked in a parking lot on Bogie Drive and the lower unit was taken sometime between 6/1 and 9/6.

Man drowns offshore of the upper Keys

Islamorada - A Miami man drowned as he was swimming offshore of Islamorada Sunday.

56 year old Armando Cordova was on board a boat with friends and his wife. They were on the Bay side of Snake Creek at 6:15 p.m. when several of them, including Cordova, decided to jump in the water to swim. According to witnesses, as soon as they jumped in, the current began sweeping them away from the boat and they couldn't get back to it. A passing boater spotted them and picked up two of the swimmers, returning them to their boat. Cordova, however, drowned. According to his wife, Cordova was not a good swimmer. She and another person who stayed in the boat tried to toss life preservers to those in the water, but were unable to reach them.

Cordova was pulled from the water. CPR was performed on the way back in to Smuggler's Cove Marina. He was transported to Mariner's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Homeless man airlifted

Marathon - A 58 year old homeless man was airlifted Sunday morning after he was transported to Fishermen's Hospital.

Sheriff's dispatchers received a call from another homeless person who'd found Frank Studley at his camp in a wooded area near Keys RV park. Deputies responded and found him lying in his camp, incoherent and foaming at the mouth.

His friends, who were staying in another camp nearby, said he left their company at dusk Saturday. They said he was intoxicated to the point where he had trouble walking and told them he'd taken some kind of sleeping pill an unknown person had given him. They said when he hadn't shown up back at their camp by morning, they went to check on him. They found him with foam or vomit on his mouth and knew "something was wrong" so they called the Sheriff's Office for help.

Studley was transported to Fishermen's Hospital. He was subsequently airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Miami. His condition or the specific nature of his injuries is unknown at this time. Detectives will be investigating.

September 3, 2009

Search warrant results in drug arrest

Ramrod Key - A search warrant at on Shannahan Road, Ramrod Key Wednesday night resulted in one arrest for marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

The Sheriff's Office Special Operations Division responded to 26959 Shannahan Rd at 9:30 p.m. where they served the warrant. As detectives were arriving, so did the home owner 52 year old Noel A. Kartman. During the search Kartman cooperated by showing detectives the location of several baggies of marijuana, and one 9mm hand gun. 

Detectives seized 23 ounces of marijuana, a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun, $1,650.00 in cash. Kartman was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Road Patrol also assisted in this warrant.

September 2, 2009

Investigation into pest control employee results in more charges

Upper Keys - A Rock Harbor man arrested in June for stealing jewelry and coins from a home he was spraying for pests has been charged with more crimes.

Detective Patricia Garcia is continuing to investigate possible crimes committed by 30 year old Justin Andrulot, who worked for an upper Keys Pest Control business. Andrulot has been terminated from his employment with the company due to his actions. He was arrested again on August 31st and charged with several more crimes.

According to Detective Garcia, Andrulot stole jewelry from two guests at the Caloosa Cove Resort while he was performing his pest control duties; he is also accused of stealing jewelry from a home on Ojibway in Plantation Key. He has been charged with two counts of grand theft and with theft in those two cases. Detective Garcia is working with detectives from Miami-Dade County and has been able to recover some of the stolen jewelry from pawn shops in that area.

Andrulot is also charged with failing to return some of the equipment he was issued by the company he worked for. According to Detective Garcia, he pawned a company GPS at a Key Largo pawn shop and claimed, on the pawn slip, that it belonged to him. The GPS was recovered and Andrulot was charged with theft, dealing in stolen property and falsifying a pawn slip in that case.

He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. More charges are pending in other cases.

September 1, 2009

Search warrant results in drug arrest; more arrests made later

Marathon - A search warrant at a Marathon apartment resulted in one arrest for crack cocaine and marijuana possession. An operation following the search warrant resulted in more arrests.

The Sheriff's Office Special Operations Division responded to 9501 Overseas Highway at 6 p.m. where they served the warrant. Once inside the residence, they found 21 year old Ashley Spivey and her 2 year old daughter. During the search Spivey showed detectives the location of several baggies of marijuana, and 17 crack cocaine rocks. Spivey was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to sell.

While detectives were leaving the search warrant location they observed 57 year old David Sharp and an unknown white male at the Marathon Tom Thumb gas station on the corner of Sombrero Boulevard and Highway U.S. One. Both were acting suspiously. When detectives made contact with Sharp he dropped a crack cocaine rock. Detectives arrested him and located more crack cocaine in his possession.

As they were arresting Sharp, 33 year old Denise Lashawn Natta walked in to the Tom Thumb Store. After she came out of the store, detectives reviewed the video surveillance inside the store. The video showed Natta walking in to the back of the store and placing several items on a middle shelf behind the Pork Skins then walking back out side. Detectives recovered 44 bags of marijuana, and several chunks of crack cocaine from the hiding place in the store. Natta was found later and arrested for tampering with evidence, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Also arrested at the scene was 29 year old Kareta Scott who had an arrest warrant for fraud.

Road Patrol deputies assisted in the investigation. All of the arrestees were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.