Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

July 31, 2003

Marathon man arrested for stabbing, threats

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Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested Wednesday evening after he stabbed and threatened the people he was renting a room from.

35 year old Edel Rivero was renting a room from a husband and wife who live on 25th Street Oceanside, in Marathon. According to the victims, and two witnesses, Rivero returned to the residence at 7 p.m., saying he was “leaving the keys”. An argument ensued between Rivero and his landlords over rent money. During the course of the argument, Rivero pushed Patrisia Galindo and threatened to kill her. When her husband, Jaime Galindo, intervened, Rivero also threatened to kill him. The two men began fighting and Rivero pulled out knife, stabbing Galindo in the chest.

Rivero then left the residence and got into his truck. He was just beginning to drive away when Deputy Joel Slough arrived on the scene, quickly followed by several other deputies. Rivero was taken into custody and placed into the back of a patrol vehicle. Once inside the car, he began hitting his head repeatedly against the window, asking deputies to shoot him. He then began kicking the window, damaging it in the process.

Rivero continued to fight and struggle, even after being brought to the Detention Center in Marathon. He had to be placed in a special restraint chair in order to keep himself and others safe from his violent activity. At one point, his struggles did cause injuries to the back of one deputy who was attempting to restrain him.

Rivero was charged with Aggravated Battery, two counts of Aggravated Assault, Battery, Resisting Arrest without Violence and Criminal Mischief. Jaime Galindo was transported to Fishermen’s Hospital for treatment of his stab wound.

Bonita Springs man charged with violation of ordinance, and short lobster

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Islamorada – A Bonita Springs man was arrested Wednesday after he was caught diving in an Islamorada canal without a dive flag, and was found to be in possession of short lobster.

Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received a call at 5 p.m. from a resident who lives on Severino Drive in Islamorada. When Deputy Nelson Sanchez arrived on the scene, he spotted bubbles belonging to a diver in the canal. The diver had no dive flag displayed, so the deputy followed the bubbles until the man surfaced. Deputy Sanchez asked 41 year old Didier Colas if he was aware of the new Islamorada ordinance prohibiting diving in canals, and within 300 feet of shore. Colas said no, he was not aware of the ordinance. The deputy then asked Colas if he was lobstering in the canal. Colas said no.

At that point, Deputy Sanchez put his snorkeling gear and jumped in to look for evidence that Colas had been catching lobster. About 20 feet below, he spotted a dive bag. When he retrieved it, he found seven lobster, four of them were short of legal length.

Colas was arrested and charged with possession of four short lobster and with obstructing a law enforcement officer. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

July 29, 2003

Detective saves baby after hot-tub accident

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Key Largo - A Sheriff's detective saved a small child today after the he wandered outside and fell into a hot tub.

The parents of an 11 month old boy called Sheriff's dispatchers at 11:40 a.m. today to report the boy had fallen into a hot tub at their Buttonwood Drive home in Key Largo and wasn't breathing. Detective Dillon Corr was the closest officer and was the first person to respond to the scene. Detective Corr found the boy lying on the ground in the back yard. He appeared to be choking and couldn't breathe. The detective picked the child up and began performing back blows on him. The child immediately coughed up water and vomited, then began breathing and crying. He was transported to Mariner's Hospital for treatment.

According to the boy's parents, it appears the child wandered outside alone, climbed up on a step stool beside the hot tub and fell in. They believe they found him less than a minute after he fell in. The boy's father pulled him out and attempted to perform CPR before Detective Corr arrived.

July 28, 2003

Marathon man charged with robbery

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Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested in Marathon Friday night charged with robbing two tourists in town to take Scuba lessons.

The two victims, brothers from Melbourne, Florida, said they’d just arrived in town with their families and were going to take Scuba lessons. They said they went for a walk, looking for the beach. When they arrived in the vicinity of 240 Sombrero Road, they saw two men and asked them for directions. Neither man answered, and one of the two men, later identified as 19 year old Terrance Ennis, suddenly attacked them, hitting one of the brothers in the face, knocking him to the ground. Ennis then grabbed the other brother around the neck and threatened to kill him if they didn’t hand over their wallets. The brothers complied and turned over the wallets.

They walked back to their hotel and called the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies arrived and drove the two victims back to the scene of the crime to look for the suspect. The victims pointed out the two men they asked for directions, and specifically identified Ennis as the man who robbed them.

Ennis was arrested and charged with robbery and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Big Coppitt man charged with burglary

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Big Coppitt Key – A Big Coppitt Key man was arrested after he broke in to a woman’s house and stole a sword from her bedroom.

The victim told deputies she was just returning home when she heard someone yelling at the front door of her house on El Monte Lane, then heard glass breaking. She went to a neighbor’s house and called the Sheriff’s Office.

She said she looked outside after calling for help and saw 32 year old Kirby Irvin walking down the street carrying a sword she recognized as belonging to her. She’d last seen it in the bedroom of her home. Investigations later revealed he’d broken out glass in the door to get inside.

According to reports, after taking the sword Irvin walked down the street and entered through a gate and into the yard of another residence. The owner yelled at him to get out of his yard, and the two men struggled for possession of the sword. Irvin finally regained control of the weapon, and left the yard, continuing to walk down the street.

When deputies arrived, they found Irvin still armed with the sword. He was bleeding from a cut on his hand and there were blood trails showing the deputies all the different places Irvin had walked to on the street.

Irvin was ordered numerous times, at gunpoint, to drop the sword. He finally complied and was taken into custody. Irvin was charged with armed burglary, burglary and resisting arrest without violence. He was treated at the hospital, then booked in to the Monroe County Detention Center.


July 25, 2003

Little Torch man arrested for damaging car, threatening people

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Little Torch Key – A Little Torch Key man was arrested Thursday after he used a baseball bat to destroy a truck, and threatened to kill his wife and her boyfriend.

Numerous people called Sheriff’s Office dispatchers Thursday just before 8 p.m. to report a man destroying a pickup truck with a baseball bat on Tarpon Terrace, Little Torch Key. When deputies Craig Sparrow and Marlena Ramos arrived at the trailer on Tarpon Terrace, 36 year old Emiterio Trejo was standing beside the damaged truck holding the bat. He dropped it when ordered to do so, and was taken in to custody. A woman exited the trailer, identifying herself as Trejo’s soon-to-be ex-wife, 27 year old Nuria Trejo. She said Trejo showed up at the residence demanding to see her boyfriend, Elizandro Florian. When Florian refused to come outside, Trejo began destroying his truck. At some point, he also doused the inside of the truck with gasoline.

Nuria Trejo said at one point, she went outside and tried to calm him down, but he began yelling that he would kill them both. She retreated back inside, and Trejo began breaking windows in the trailer as well, continuing to yell about killing them both.

Numerous neighbors witnessed the destruction and threats. Trejo was arrested and charged with two counts each of burglary, criminal mischief and aggravated assault and one count each of arson and disorderly conduct. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

July 23, 2003

Man with gun stops traffic in Key Largo

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Key Largo - Detectives are investigating reports of an armed man who blocked traffic in Key Largo in the early morning hours today.

Sheriff's dispatchers received two phone calls from drivers who said they were traveling northbound at 1 a.m. when they were forced to stop at the 98 mile marker by traffic cones across the roadway. When they came to a stop at the roadblock, both drivers say they saw a man standing in the road with a rifle in his hands. One of the drivers said he heard a loud noise, possibly a gunshot. Both drivers reacted by quickly turning their cars around and fleeing south, stopping at the nearest phone to call the Sheriff's office.

Sheriff's deputies responded and found the cones still across the road, but no one in the immediate vicinity. Sheriff's dispatchers called out the Sheriff's Knight Star helicopter and a Sheriff's K-9 team and the area around the 98 mile marker was thoroughly searched, but no suspect was found. The suspect is described as a white male in his 20s, five foot eight to five foot ten inches tall with a light complexion. He was wearing jean shorts to his knees, no shirt and a baseball cap.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff's Office immediately at 853-3211. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a caller's information leads to an arrest, Crime Stoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000.00. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.


July 14, 2003

Armed Robbery Reported in Key Largo

 An employee closing the Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant in Key Largo late Saturday night reported that a man wearing a ski mask and armed with a handgun tried to get her to open the eatery’s safe.  The female employee said she was locking the door to close for the night when the suspect approached her from behind.  She said the suspect forced her back into the restaurant, stuck a gun to her head and demanded that she open the safe. The employee said she tried to open the safe, but could not.  She said the suspect then fled without taking anything.  She said she waited several minutes and then ran out the back door to an adjoining restaurant where police were called.  Sheriff’s deputies responded to the call shortly before 11 p.m. and cordoned off the area. The victim told deputies that the suspect was a Hispanic male, wearing a beige shirt with black flowers on it.  He was wearing a white tee shirt under the beige shirt and also covered his face, except the eyes, with a beige ski mask. Despite an intensive search and the use of a canine unit, deputies were unable to locate the suspect.  The female employee was not hurt in the incident, which is under investigation by Sheriff’s detectives.  Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-346-8477.   

Retail theft escalates into multiple offenses

 A Sanford Florida man faces multiple charges after he was arrested Saturday morning in Islamorada.  The incident started when 40-year old Alex Corrao tried to purchase a juice drink and cigarettes at a convenience store near the 88-mile marker. However, both of Corrao’s credit cards were refused and an attempt to get cash from an ATM machine also failed. Corroa left the store without paying for the merchandise. An employee pursued him outside.  The employee stated that Corroa backed his vehicle into him, forcing him to jump out of the way.  The employee called the Sheriff’s Office as Corroa fled northbound.  Deputies located Corroa at the 92-mile marker, but he ignored the flashing blue lights and refused to pull over. Deputies followed Corroa for several miles before he finally stopped.  Deputies took Corrao to the convenience store where employees positively identified him. Corrao was arrested on charges of simple battery, theft and fleeing and eluding police officers. He was booked into the jail at Plantation Key.

  July 11, 2003

DNA links suspect to burglary

It took over nine months, but Sheriff’s detectives were able to arrest a burglary suspect because of a tiny spot of evidence left at the scene.  The burglary occurred on October 23, 2002 at a Key Largo business. The burglar smashed a window to get inside and then rifled the cash register. During the subsequent investigation, Sheriff’s crime scene detective Bobby Haynes took a sample from a spot of blood that was near the cash register. The blood sample was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab for DNA typing.  Detective Larry O’Neill worked on several leads in the case and finally received information that would help solve it. On January 17, Sheriff’s detective Dillon Corr located a resident who stated that a Key Largo man identified as 38-year old Alek L. Newport had bragged about the burglary.  The resident also reported seeing a small wound on Newport’s hand shortly after the burglary.Detective O’Neill immediately requested that the FDLE lab compare the DNA from the blood sample at the burglary scene to Newport’s DNA.  Newport’s DNA was already on file because of an earlier felony conviction that resulted in a prison term.  On June 18, The FDLE reported that the DNA matched.  Armed with that information, Detective O’Neill obtained a warrant for Newport’s arrest on burglary charges.  Judge Luis Garcia set a bond of fifty thousand dollars.  Meanwhile, Newport had left the Keys. However, Detective O’Neill was able to track him to Brandon, Florida where Hillsborough County officers were able to find and arrest him last week on the warrant. Newport will now be transferred to the Keys to face charges stemming from the Key Largo burglary committed last October.

July 9, 2003 

Search Warrant in Marathon results in two arrests

 Acting on complaints of drug activity, members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit served a search warrant at a residence on 42nd Street Gulf side in Marathon Monday evening.  The search warrant yielded twenty small bags of marijuana that were packaged for sale and three grams of crack cocaine, also packaged for sale. Officers arrested 31-year old Irene C. Hester and 37-year old Darren T. Tharpe.  Tharpe is charged with possession of marijuana; Hester is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Both suspects were booked into the Sheriff’s detention facility at Marathon.  Assisting in the search warrant were members of the Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) and a canine officer from the U.S. Border Patrol.

Trespassers arrested at Higgs Beach in Key West

Sheriff’s Deputies arrested eight people for trespassing after hours at the Higgs County Beach in Key West early today (Tuesday).  The Sheriff’s Office has been receiving complaints about trespassers sleeping on the beach.  The beach is closed to the public from 11 p.m. until seven a.m.  The officers arrested the following for trespass after warning: 24- year old Louis P. Cremades, 46-year old Jason S. Greko, 20-year old Marshall C. Dubois, 53-year old Ronnie Baker, 42-year old David W. Durham, 56-year old Janet I. Hynes, 44-year old Lee K. Holdsworth and 52-year old Richard T. Sorel.  In addition to trespassing, Sorel is charged with providing false identification to law enforcement and introduction of contraband into a county detention facility.  Sheriff’s Deputies last Sunday (July 6) issued six notices to appear to trespassers who were on the beach after hours.

Crime Stoppers 5K Run/Walk generates record donations

The ninth annual Crime Stoppers Walk/Run on July 4th at Smathers Beach in Key West generated over seven thousand dollars for the Crime Stoppers reward fund.  Over 250 runners and walkers registered for the event and many local businesses donated cash and prizes for the popular fundraiser. Last year 175 runners and walkers challenged the 5k early morning competition.  The President of the non-profit Crime Stoppers Corporation, Stan Rzad, expressed gratitude to everyone who participated. “Crime Stoppers requires the cooperation of the community, the media and law enforcement to be successful,” Rzad said.  “The positive results of this event clearly show that the Crime Stopper success formula is working in the Keys.” 

Proceeds from the event will go into the anonymous tip reward fund of Crime Stoppers.  Crime Stoppers is working in the Keys. So far this year, Crime Stopper tips have assisted local enforcement in making 24 arrests and solving 40 criminal cases

Sexual Battery Incidents under investigation.  Reward Offered for Information

July 8, 2003

Monroe County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating two sexual batteries that occurred in the Key Largo area during the past two weeks.  Detectives believe the same suspect committed the rapes.  In both incidents, the female victims accepted rides from a suspect described as being in his mid twenties, with dark close-cropped hair, dark eyes and a dark complexion. Detectives have released a composite drawing of the suspect described by the victims, both adult women.  Both victims were driven to a remote area and sexually assaulted.  The suspect’s car is described as a dark colored, four-door sedan.

Sheriff’s detective, Sgt. Patricia Dally, of the Sheriff’s Crimes against Women and Children unit, is emphasizing the obvious danger of accepting rides with strangers.  Sgt. Dally is warning all residents and visitors to refuse a ride offered by a stranger.

Anyone with information about these cases should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 305-289-2430 and ask for Detective Smith or Detective Leird. Crime Stoppers of the Keys is offering a one thousand dollar reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with these sexual batteries. The Crime Stopper hotline is 1-800-346-TIPS (8477).

 July 2, 2003

Diving Death 

A Pembroke Pines, Florida man was pronounced dead after he lost consciousness during a recreational dive in waters off Plantation Key Monday.  51-year old William Humphreys and his wife were diving with several other people from a recreational dive boat in waters near French Reef.  Witnesses told investigating Sheriff’s Deputies that Humphreys experienced difficulties as soon as he entered the water. He spit out his regulator, thrashed his arms and lost consciousness. Fellow divers floated him to the boat’s dive ladder and pulled him aboard.  Crewmembers administered CPR until a Coast Guard boat arrived and an emergency technician took over.  Despite efforts to resuscitate him, Humprheys was declared dead at the dock.  Cause of death is pending a report from the County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Crime Stoppers’ tip leads to fugitive arrest

An anonymous Crime Stoppers’ tip led Sheriff’s Deputies to a restaurant in Marathon where they arrested 41-year old Laurie B. O’Sullivan, who is wanted by West Palm Beach, Florida authorities.  The Crime Stopper tipster provided the suspect’s name and location where she was working. Deputies ran a warrants check on O’Sullivan that showed she was wanted on several charges  in West Palm Beach. Deputies went to the restaurant where she was working as a cook and placed her in custody as a fugitive June 25. O’Sullivan was taken to the jail in Marathon where she is being held pending transfer to West Palm Beach to face the charges.  The anonymous tipster will receive a cash reward from Crime Stoppers by using a code number to pick up the cash at a local bank.


Murder suspect arrested


June 30,2003


A lengthy multi-agency investigation into the murder of a man whose body was found on the Bahia Honda Bridge last November has led to the arrest of a suspect in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  44-year old Larry Palmer is charged with pre-meditated murder in the death of 28-year old James. A. Alexander.  Palmer allegedly shot Alexander three times-one shot was from close range to the left side of the victim’s head; the other two shots were fired into the right side of the victim’s body.  Alexander’s body was discovered on the bridge November 25, 2002.

Sheriff’s investigators, assisted by agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, focused on Palmer after tracing his movements the days and hours before the murder.  The investigative team interviewed dozens of people including Palmer and reviewed surveillance tapes from several local businesses. Witnesses stated that Palmer and Alexander were together the night before the murder.  A surveillance video from a Key West convenience store showed both men together less than an hour and a half before the body was discovered.  Investigators also knew that the men were roommates at one time. 

Investigators also discovered that just a few days before the murder Palmer had purchased a handgun that ballistics showed was consistent with 9mm rounds fired from that type of weapon. 

Investigators also linked DNA evidence to the crime.  Traces of blood found in Palmer’s car matched the DNA of the victim.  A witness also gave investigators a description of a car spotted parked on the bridge the morning of the murder.  That description matched Palmer’s vehicle, an older model, light colored Mercedes.

After months of investigation, Sheriff’s detectives decided that had enough probable cause to seek an arrest warrant for Palmer.  Judge Ruth Becker signed the warrant.  Investigators had traced Palmer to Albuquerque, New Mexico and shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, Sheriff’s detectives James Norman and John Ellsworth, assisted by FDLE agent Mike Bettis, served the warrant.  Palmer is being held without bond on the murder charges pending extradition to Monroe County.






June 27, 2003

Big Pine Key man charged with fondling young girl

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Big Pine Key – A Big Pine Key man was arrested Thursday. He is accused of fondling a young girl.

The girl, now 18, told her mother that 46 year old Mark Kresser fondled her several times when she was between the ages of 9 and 15. After hearing the allegations, her mother called to report them to the Sheriff’s Office. On May 22nd, detectives from the Crimes Against Women and Children’s Unit were assigned to investigate.

On Thursday afternoon, Kresser was placed under arrest for Lewd and Lascivious acts on a child, a second degree felony. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

June 26, 2003

Man charged with battery, false imprisonment

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Tavernier – A 46 year old Tavernier man forced his way onto a boat Wednesday night, battered the occupants and refused to allow them to leave.

Robert Therrien climbed on board a boat belonging to his ex girlfriend at 11 p.m. without permission. The boat was docked at a Marina on Florida Avenue. Therrien lives in a boat docked nearby. He forced his way inside, damaging a door in the process. The victim told Deputy Lyle Agins she told Therrien to leave numerous times, but he refused. He also refused to allow her to leave, pushing her down several times. At one point, he also punched the victim’s 14 year old son in the chest and kicked her dog.

The victim was finally able to escape. She jumped on a neighboring boat and asked the occupant to call 911 for help. Deputies arriving on the scene found Therrien walking away from the boat. They placed him under arrest for burglary, false imprisonment and battery. He was taken to the Monroe County Detention Center.

June 25, 2003 

Crime Stoppers 4th of July Run/Walk


Runners and walkers can win big prizes, have fun and help fight crime in the ninth annual Crime Stoppers Fourth of July Run and Walk at 7:30 a.m. at Smathers Beach in Key West.  The first 200 entrants will receive tee shirts donated by First State Bank and designed by a local artist.   This year’s event features a partnership with the Sheraton Suites Resort on S. Roosevelt Boulevard. The race course will start and end on the Smathers Beach side of the Boulevard, directly across from the Resort. The Sheraton is also featuring pre and post race events.  On July 3 from  5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. registrants can pick up their race packets and enjoy a special pasta dinner buffet for $9.95 and two for one drink specials.  The Sheraton will also sponsor the post race party, featuring prize drawings, free beer, refreshments and presentation of awards to winners in the various race divisions. Trophies and medallions will be awarded to the first and second place winners in the various runner and walker categories.  The Sheraton is also offering special room rates for out of town runners, who can enjoy the Key West experience during race week and the holiday weekend.  For reservations, call the Sheraton toll free at 1-800-BEACH and ask for the “Crime Stoppers” rate.  The Southernmost Runners Club handles the race and has set up the certified race course, which is a flat three stretch flanked by palm trees and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Crime Stoppers’ fundraiser always features great prizes, and this year is no different.  Giveaways include airline tickets, car rentals, gift certificates from local merchants, weekend getaway vacations and special prizes for the youngest and oldest winners. 

Entry forms can be picked up at the Sheraton Resort, Key West City Hall, local fitness centers, Key West Police Station and the Sheriff Office’s substations throughout the Keys.   There will also be a registration booth on race morning at Smathers Beach, starting at six a.m.  Runners and walkers can obtain registration forms or more information by calling the Sheriff’s Office Community Relations Division at 305-292-711, 1-800-273-COPS or the Race Coordinator, Barbara Wright at 305-296-7128.  Cost for entering the race is $15 for pre-registration and $20 the day of the run/walk.

 All proceeds benefit the anonymous tip reward fund of Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys, a non-profit corporation that assists law enforcement. So far this year, The Crime Stoppers 24-hour hotline (800-346-8477) has resulted in 20 arrests, 32 criminal cases cleared and the seizure or recovery of over thirty-seven thousand dollars worth of property, drugs and cash.  The Crime Stoppers’ civilian board raises money to pay rewards to tipsters who provide the anonymous crime information.