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 headline to hear an audio recording of the story

July 30, 2004

Stock Island woman arrested for shooting at snorkelers

Stock Island - A Stock Island woman was arrested  Thursday afternoon for firing a gun at two boats. She was reportedly angry that the people on board were snorkeling in her canal for lobster.

Deputies were dispatched to a shots fired call at a house on 12th Avenue Stock Island at 2:30 p.m.When Deputy Paul Shultz arrived with a number of other officers, they found 69 year old Mary Workman on the back deck of her house on 12th Avenue, yelling and waving her arms. The officers handcuffed her, then asked her where the gun was. She told them it was under the pillow on her bed. The gun, a .38 caliber revolver, was recovered from that location. It appeared to have been recently fired.

Three young men on a boat in the canal told the deputies Workman had a gun and had pointed it at a pontoon boat. The men said when they tried to warn the people on the pontoon boat, Workman fired the gun at them instead. Witnesses in the area told the same story. Workman was placed under arrest, charged with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public. She was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

July 26, 2004

Accident at the 71 mm at 6 a.m. leaves tractor from 18 wheeler hanging from the bridge. Contact FHP for details. Click here for photos.

Key West man charged with burglarizing Sugarloaf home

Sugarloaf Key - A Key West man, arrested by Key West Police for a separate incident, was charged by the Sheriff's Office with burglarizing a Sugarloaf Key home last Wednesday.

The victim told Sgt. Vaughn Sommers he returned to his Sugarloaf Key home Wednesday afternoon and found his door unlocked. He said he remembered locking it when he left for work that morning. When he looked around inside, he realized three guns had been stolen along with several pieces of jewelry. Detective Jeremy Davy was assigned to investigate the case.

Detective Davy received information that the son of the victim's landlord was arrested in Key West and had weapons in his possession when he was arrested. Upon investigation, he found that 45 year old Marco Diaz did have the victim's guns in his truck when he was arrested by Key West Police. The victim's jewelry was also found - Diaz had been wearing it when he was arrested and it was in his property bag at the Monroe County Detention Center. All the items were identified by the victim as being his. Diaz was charged with grand theft and armed burglary.

Big Pine man arrested for abandoning a truck

Big Pine Key - A Big Pine Key man who was warned to remove a truck he left by the roadside was arrested after he failed to comply with the order.

In June, Deputy Charlie Cobb put a removal notice on a truck he found parked on Hibiscus Road. A short time later he was contacted by 33 year old Tussa Hatton who said the truck is owned by his girlfriend. He said he uses the truck for his landscaping business and it broke down. He assured the deputy the truck would be moved shortly.

In July, Deputy Cobb received several phone calls from neighbors in the area of Hibiscus Road. They said the truck was still parked roadside. They said they had seen Hatton make several trips to the truck to remove tools and other items from it, but that he'd done nothing to move the truck or repair it. When Deputy Cobb checked on the situation, he found the truck still in the same location. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Hatton and he was taken into custody Friday, charged with felony illegal dumping.

July 23, 2004

Marathon man threatens to kill two women and himself, then flees from deputies

Marathon - A Marathon man armed with a loaded handgun threatened to kill two women and himself Thursday just before 6 p.m. He then left the scene, fleeing from deputies on his motorcycle.

According to Deputy Michael Digiovanni, 46 year old Alexander Estrada was asked to move out of his 105th Street residence by his girlfriend. He was packing up to leave Thursday evening when he suddenly produced a revolver. He pointed it at his girlfriend and at another woman who was at the residence. He pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. The victims said he appeared to struggle with the gun, muttering to himself, "Why won't this revolver work?" He then reportedly went outside with the gun, at which point the victims called the Sheriff's Office. He later told Sgt. Susan Greenwood that when he went outside with the gun, he got into his truck and pointed the gun at his own head. He said the gun again failed to fire.

Estrada came back inside a short time later and the victims told him deputies were on the way.He threw down the gun and left, fleeing the scene on his motorcycle as deputies were arriving. Estrada pulled out onto the highway directly in front of Deputy Eric Mixon. Deputy Mixon attempted to stop Estrada using his emergency lights and siren, but the man refused to stop, accelerating to 70 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. The Florida Highway Patrol joined Deputy Mixon at the 53 mile marker, also with lights and siren activated, followed by Deputy Iscandel Perez. At 73rd Street, the officers finally stopped Estrada when he tried to elude them by driving through a vacant lot.

Estrada was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with three counts of fleeing and eluding law enforcement and two counts of aggravated assault. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

July 22, 2004

Stock Island man charged with felony for dumping trailer

Stock Island - A Stock Island man was arrested Wednesday, charged with illegally abandoning a travel trailer on another man's property.

Deputy Matthew Dowling responded to a complaint about a trailer being dumped on property at 1st Avenue and 2nd Street on Stock Island. When he arrived, he found a 1986 Coach Craft trailer apparently abandoned. The deputy contacted County Code Enforcement and found out they had a previous case involving this vehicle. They said they tagged the vehicle with a courtesy notice in May when it was found abandoned on county right of way.

When Deputy Dowling ran the vehicle identification numbers to find out the owner, the name of 51 year old James Mcmennamy came back as the search result. The deputy went to Mcmennamy's residence on Fifth Avenue. When he spoke with Mcmennamy about the trailer, the man claimed to have sold it. He could not, however, produce a bill of sale for it. He was asked to remove the trailer and warned he would be arrested if he did not. He refused to remove it and said, "Do what you have to do.".

Deputy Dowling filed for a warrant for his arrest. On Wednesday afternoon, Mcmennamy was arrested for felony illegal dumping. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Bond on the warrant is set at $5,000.00.

July 21, 2004


For better quality versions of these photos, contact Deputy Becky Herrin

Detectives bust two marijuana growing operations in Marathon

Marathon - Detectives from the Sheriff's Special Investigations Division working together with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement disrupted two marijuana growing operations in the Marathon area today, arresting three people for cultivation of the illegal substance.

At 6:15 a.m. members of the Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics team served a search warrant at 1000 West 75th Street in Marathon. Detectives from the Special Investigations Division searched the home, finding a hydroponics operation with more than 200 marijuana plants growing. Hydroponically grown marijuana has a higher street value than other types of marijuana because there are more buds on the plants. Marijuana buds contain the highest concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary active ingredient in Marijuana. The value of this crop is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $4,000 per plant, or $800,000 for the entire amount.

The hydroponics lab was cooled using a central air conditioning unit and four separate wall air conditioners. Electricity to run the lab was being illegally tapped from lines coming in to the electrical meter at the house. 32 year old William Rabito and 22 year old Charity Kasten were arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The search also turned up Xanax and another unknown type of drug which will be sent off for testing. They were further charged with possession of a controlled substance.

At 6:30 a.m., detectives knocked on the door of a home at 58744 Overseas Highway on Grassy Key. They asked for consent to search, and, at the same time, an officer on the scene told detectives he could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from one particular area of the residence. A search turned up 40 marijuana plants growing inside in a hydroponics lab. At this residence, detectives also found that electricity was being illegally diverted. 39 year old Raymond Tencelski was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All three people were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Charges may be pending in relation to the theft of electricity in these cases.

July 19, 2004

Naples man stabbed on Conch Key

Conch Key - A man from Naples Florida was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami for treatment of a stab wound after he argued with another man on Conch Key in the early morning hours Sunday.

Witnesses who saw the stabbing called the Sheriff's Office at 1:30 a.m. They told dispatchers the suspect, 20 year old Loren Bellizia of Naples, Florida, left the scene northbound in a Turquoise colored 2000 Chevy Cavalier. The witnesses told Sgt. Jake Brady Bellizia and the victim, 22 year old John Dexter, argued over money outside a room at the Bayview Inn on Conch Key.  Bellizia allegedly pulled out a small dive knife with a yellow handle and stabbed Dexter in the lower abdomen.

Bellizia was stopped in the Cavalier a short time later at the 78 mile marker by Deputy Joseph Moran. He was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Dexter was airlifted by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Trauma Star helicopter to Ryder Trauma Center for treatment of the stomach wound.

17 year old charged with attacking deputy

Key Largo - A deputy, responding to back up other officers on a possible reckless driver call was struck in the mouth by a 17 year old Key Largo boy. The deputy was treated for his injury at Mariner's Hospital and the teen was arrested.

Deputies received reports of a sport utility vehicle driving recklessly southbound near the 99 mile marker of the highway with someone hanging out of the sunroof at 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Deputy Kenneth Baker spotted a vehicle fitting the description near the 99.5 mile marker. There were four teens inside, one hanging out of the sunroof. He stopped the vehicle to investigate, backed up by Deputy Ray Jodlowski and several other deputies.

The four teens were taken out of the car and identified. The deputies were speaking with them when suddenly one of them, 17 year old Colin Cornell, punched Deputy Jodlowski in the mouth. Cornell was taken into custody, treated for minor scrapes and bruises at Mariner's Hospital and booked at the Monroe County Detention Center for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

14 year old arrested for armed, masked burglary of Marathon residence

Marathon - A 14 year old Marathon boy was caught burglarizing his neighbor's house Saturday afternoon. He was wearing a mask, a tactical vest and had armed himself by stealing three loaded guns from the home before the homeowner caught him leaving the premises.

14 year old Matthew Hunter told Deputy Dennis Coleman he learned how to break in to his neighbor's house on an internet site the night before. He said the web site told him how to do it, and what items he needed to take with him.

When the owner of the Grouper Drive house got home at 12:45 p.m., he found Hunter exiting the house and when the boy removed his mask, the victim recognized him as a boy who lives next door. He called the Sheriff's Office and held the boy on the scene until deputies arrived. Hunter said he piled several items on top of one another and climbed onto a balcony. He then opened sliding glass doors to get inside. Once inside, he stole numerous items including cash and three handguns. During the course of the burglary, he was wearing a mask and a tactical vest. He brought with him numerous items described as "burglary tools" including screw drivers, tape, rubber gloves, knives and an adjustable wrench.

Hunter was charged with armed burglary, wearing a mask in the commission of a crime, possession of burglary tools and grand theft. He was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

Marathon man charged with burglary, battery

Marathon - A Marathon man was arrested Saturday afternoon, charged with burglary and battery.

The victim told Deputy Amanda Barger and Sgt. Susan Greenwood he was sleeping in his bed at his trailer on 21st Street at 1:30 p.m. when he was attacked. He identified his attacker as 46 year old Mark Cannon. He said Cannon beat him up using his hands, feet and a TV tray, then left the trailer. The victim then ran to a neighbor's house to call for help.

Cannon was found at his tent at Knight's Key Campground. He was placed under arrest, charged with burglary with battery on the occupant. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. He said he beat up the victim because the victim made sexual advances toward him and he was defending himself.

Miami man charged with shooting at another man

Stock Island - Deputies responded to reports of shots fired at Peninsula Marina on Stock Island Saturday night. They arrested a Miami man who fired a shot at another man.

When Deputies Greg Korzen and David Lariz arrived just before midnight, they found four people who said they were present when the shot was fired. They said they were in the area to visit a friend who lives on a boat at the marina. The friend wasn't home, so they were leaving the area when 23 year old Joshua Roth came out of an apartment complex in the area and began yelling at them. They exchanged words, and Roth allegedly pulled out a handgun, firing it once in the direction of one of the groups members. The four then left the area to avoid being shot at again.

Roth denies shooting the gun, however a friend of his who was present during the incident said he saw Roth point the gun and fire it. A bullet casing was found at the scene, and a gun loaded with a similar type of ammunition was found hidden near the apartment complex. Roth was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Key Largo man charged with possessing marijuana

Key Largo - Deputies arrested a Key Largo man Saturday night who was found to have over 23 grams of marijuana in his pocket.

Deputies Robaldo Ramos and Jason Keith were on patrol at the 106 mile marker at 9:45 p.m. Saturday when they spotted 19 year old John Capote riding his bike without a headlight. They stopped him to cite him for the violation and saw a large bulge in one of his pockets. For officer safety reasons, they asked permission to pat him down for weapons or other dangerous objects. During the pat down search, the deputies felt a large hard object in one of his shirt pockets. They asked him to empty the pocket on to the hood of the patrol car.

Capote pulled two plastic bags out of his pocket. In the bags was marijuana, with a combined weight of 23.5 grams.

Capote was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Business owner reports dead chicken on mailbox

Stock Island - The owner of Monroe Tire Company called the Sheriff's Office Friday to report a dead chicken hanging from his mailbox.

He told Deputy Albert "Butch" Albury he arrived at work Friday morning and found the dead chicken hanging from it's feet by a string. Also hanging on the mailbox were two beer bottles with torn condoms attached to them. Inside the mailbox were ten chicken feet. He said he thinks someone is trying to put a "hex" on his business.

July 16th, 2004

Deputies charge two teens with stolen auto

Marathon - Deputies arrested two teens Thursday night after they were caught driving a stolen car.

Deputy Sherman Foster was in the area of 120th Street in Marathon when he received information from Sheriff's Office dispatchers that a Ford Escort was seen driving recklessly northbound on Highway U.S. One heading in his direction. He spotted it a short time later and when he ran a check on the license tag, he discovered it had been stolen from Winter Haven, Florida on Wednesday.

He pulled the car over and found two 19 year old men inside. Peter Avsenen of Davie, Florida and David Bergeron of Eagle Lake, Florida said they'd stolen the car and decided to come to Key West to "hit the beaches and see some girls." They said another man named Josh was with them, but they said they left him in Key West after he snatched a woman's purse.

Avsenen and Bergeron were both charged with grand theft auto and were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Bergeron has an outstanding warrant from Polk County for failure to appear in court. Avsenen was also charged with falsely identifying himself to a law enforcement officer because he initially gave a false name to Deputy Foster, and with driving without a license.

A search of the car turned up numerous credit cards, driver's licenses and other identification in several different names, along with other items which may be stolen. Detectives from Miami-Dade Police will be coming to the Keys to interview the two men to see if they may have been involved in any crimes in their jurisdiction.

July 15th, 2004

Key West man charged with possessing marijuana and cocaine

Cudjoe Key - Sheriff's detectives from the Special Investigations Division arrested a Key West man Wednesday for possessing marijuana and cocaine after receiving a tip that he was transporting marijuana in his car.

The white Nissan Sentra was pulled over on Cudjoe Key just before 2 p.m. When Deputy Paul Schultz approached the car, he noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the open driver's side window. Detectives who were also on the scene approached the car and also detected the distinct smell of marijuana. They looked inside the car and saw, in plain view, a green leafy substance scattered on the floorboards and center console area. The passenger in the car admitted to smoking a marijuana cigarette just prior to being pulled over.

The driver, 32 year old Chris Jaycocks of Key West, gave detectives permission to search his car and admitted to having over a pound of marijuana in a backpack in the trunk. After a search confirmed the existence of marijuana, Jaycocks was arrested. A small bag of cocaine was also found in his left front shirt pocket. He was transported to the Monroe County Detention Center, charged with possession of the two illegal drugs.

Once at the Detention Center, detention deputies discovered Jaycocks had another 29 grams of cocaine in his possession. He was further charged with trafficking in cocaine and introduction of contraband to a detention facility.

July 12, 2004

Marathon man charged with sexual battery

Marathon - A Marathon man was arrested Saturday, charged with having sex with a woman against her will.

The victim, who is from Minneapolis, said she is staying at a resort in the Marathon area for business. She told Special Investigations Detective Mark Coleman she met 37 year old Eric Orlang Friday night at a bar with two other people. They went out and had drinks, then returned to the resort. She said Orlang became sick, and she let him sleep in the living room area of her suite at the resort. She went to bed in the bedroom.

The victim said she awoke to find him on top of her. She said he forced her to have sex, holding his hand over her mouth so she could not make any noise. She said afterward he fell asleep and she fled from the room. She flagged down a truck and asked for a ride to Fishermen's Hospital, where she reported the incident.

Detective Coleman found Orlang at his Marathon apartment. Upon questioning, Orlang admitted to having drinks with the victim, going back to her room and having sex with her. The victim identified Orlang as the man who allegedly raped her. He was placed under arrest, charged with sexual battery and was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Sheriff's deputy arrests two for stolen boat

Islamorada - A deputy on board a Sheriff's Office patrol boat apprehended two men fleeing from the Coast Guard Friday. The two men were on a boat stolen from Venice, Florida.

Deputy Nelson Sanchez was on patrol at 2 p.m. Friday just off of Islamorada when he was called to assist the the United States Coast Guard with a fleeing vessel. The vessel was initially reported as being about 20 miles out and was being pursued by three Coast Guard vessels and a Coast Guard helicopter. Deputy Sanchez spotted the fleeing boat, a 29 foot Donzi valued at $80,000.00. He turned on his emergency lights and siren and ordered the boat's driver to stop. The driver, later identified as 43 year old Jorge Alberto Parrado Martinez, complied with the order. Parrado Martinez reportedly just arrived in the United States from Cuba in June.

A check on the hull identification numbers revealed the boat had been reported stolen from Venice, Florida earlier in the day. Also on board the boat was 25 year old Chadiel Miranda Torna, who said he was also recently arrived from Cuba.

Both men were arrested and charged with grand theft. They both claimed they did not steal the boat, and said they were not aware they were being chased by the Coast Guard. They were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Woman charged with obtaining prescriptions fraudulently

Key Largo - Detectives arrested a Homestead woman Friday after she tried to obtain prescriptions for the same type of medication from two different doctors.

Detectives from the Sheriff's Special Investigations Division were notified of a possible prescription fraud case by a pharmacist at the Key Largo KMart store July 7th. She called after her computer notified her of an irregularity with a prescription brought in by 31 year old Laticia Giacalone. According to the computer system, and confirmed by Giacalone's insurance provider, she had obtained the same drugs just days earlier with a prescription written by a different doctor.

Investigations confirmed that Giacalone had been to two different doctors within a short span of time and had been prescribed similar narcotic drugs by both of them. She did not tell either doctor that she was being treated by someone else.

A warrant was issued for her arrest. She was taken into custody Friday, charged with a Florida Statute which makes it a third degree felony to withhold information from a practitioner in order to obtain a prescription for a controlled substance when the person has already received a similar controlled substance from another practitioner within 30 days. She was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Plane lands on U.S. One

Crawl Key - A small plane landed on Highway U.S. One at the 56 mile marker Saturday after reportedly experiencing engine trouble.

Neither of the men on board the plane was injured when the pilot had to land the Cessna 172 on the highway at 2 p.m. The pilot, Edwin Montgomery Good of St. Petersburg, Florida said he was en route from St. Petersburg to Key West when the plane had trouble and the engine stopped. He said he was forced to land where ever he could - which turned out to be in the middle of the highway.

A multiple vehicle crash occurred at the same time as the plane landing, just north of the 56 mile marker. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating that accident, but it may have been caused by the plane's actions. There was at least one injury in the automobile accident, with the accident victim transported to Fishermen's Hospital in Marathon.

Five teens charged with burglary, theft of scooters

Stock Island - Five juveniles aged 13 and 14 were arrested Saturday morning after they were seen by witnesses burglarizing a Stock Island trailer and were caught driving stolen mopeds.

Deputy Paul Schultz was on patrol at 8:30 a.m. when he spotted two girls on a moped. When they saw him, they parked the moped next to a trailer and walked away from it. He ordered them to stop, but they kept walking. he finally stopped them an identified them as 14 year old Amanda Rangle and 14 year old Reina Rodriguez. The deputy checked on the scooter, but because it was not reported stolen at that time, he let the girls go. He impounded the scooter because neither girl had a driver's license. The moped later turned out to be stolen.

A short time later, he was driving on Maloney Avenue when he spotted the two girls with three boys leaving a residence. A neighbor flagged him down and said she'd seen them break in to the residence, and that the family of one of the girl's had just been evicted from it. A check inside of the home revealed it had been vandalized extensively inside. A scooter was found, running, under the residence. That scooter also turned out to be stolen.

Deputy Schultz found all five juveniles at a convenience store on Maloney Avenue. Upon questioning, they admitted to being inside the residence and admitted to stealing the two scooters the night before from Key West.

Rangel and Rodriguez were charged with burglary and grand theft, along with 14 year old Anthony Diaz, 14 year old Leo Haney and 13 year old Daryl Burgess. They were all booked on the charges and the Department of Juvenile Justice was notified of the arrests.

July 7, 2004

Detectives in Marathon search for wanted man
Also look for owners of recovered property

          Hector Diaz

Marathon - Sheriff's detectives in Marathon are looking for a man wanted on charges of Grand Theft. They are also looking for the owners of property they recovered during the course of their investigation.

Detective Rick Martin says anyone who knows where 42 year old Hector Luis Diaz is should call 911 to report his location. Diaz is wanted on an outstanding warrant for Grand Theft and Detective Martin is investigating a possible connection between Diaz and other thefts and burglaries that have occurred in the Marathon area over the past four months.

On July 1st, detectives were able to search two trailers where Diaz is known to have stayed recently, one on 15th Street and one on 37th Street. At both trailers they recovered a large amount of property, some they know to be stolen and some they suspect is stolen, but that may not have been reported to the Sheriff's Office yet. Property from six known burglaries has been returned to the victims so far. There is still more property in the custody of the Sheriff's Office which needs to be traced to the owners, including wall hangings, electronics, tools, fishing equipment, spools of electrical wire, musical instruments and video tapes.

Anyone who thinks some of the recovered property might be theirs, or anyone who knows where Diaz is should contact either Detective Rick Martin or Detective Ron Sylvester at 289-2430. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the information leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a substantial cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

Key Largo detectives look for burglary suspect


                                  Nathan Haywood

Key Largo - Detectives in Key Largo are looking for a man wanted for two outstanding burglary warrants.

Detective Mark Coleman has obtained two warrants charging Nathan Jeremiah Haywood, 20 years old with burglary. Total bond on the two warrants is $100,000.00. The break ins occurred in May in the Harry Harris Park neighborhood of Key Largo, on Arctic Avenue.

Anyone with information about Haywood's location should call 911. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the information leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a $500.00 reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

July 2, 2004

Detective arrest four on warrants

Big Pine Key - Sheriff's detectives from the Special Investigations Division spent time on Big Pine this week arresting people on outstanding warrants.

Four Big Pine residents were arrested Wednesday on drug related charges. 70 year old William Felmey, 35 year old Corinna Mahan, 69 year old William Roberts, Sr. and 35 year old Tyren Williams were all charged with warrants for Sale of Cocaine, or being a Principle in the First Degree to Sale of Cocaine.

All four were transported to the Monroe County Detention Center for booking.

Two charged with being on Higgs Beach after hours

Key West - Sheriff's deputies arrived at Higgs Beach in the early morning hours today to make sure all of those warned Thursday to leave the area had complied with those warnings.

All except two people had apparently listened when deputies issued warnings Thursday. The beach and adjoining park areas were clear of campers except two men who were arrested for violating the county's ordinance which closes the beach between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

38 year old Robert Mercurio and 39 year old Michael Tanner were both taken into custody. They were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.